The predicted surge of passerine migrants after the weekend cold front
proved to be more of a trickle, but an unexpected rarity and a
resurgence of shorebirds have made for an exciting week of birding at
Presqu'ile Provincial Park.
In Popham Bay there have been a few REDHEADS and GREATER and LESSER
SCAUP in recent days. BLACK-BILLED CUCKOOS have been seen in two
different locations this week. COMMON NIGHTHAWKS should soon be passing
through the Park in their fall migration. Fifteen species of
shorebirds have been seen in the past week. Highlights include
BLACK-BELLIED PLOVER, RED KNOT (first found yesterday evening and
present for much of today), STILT SANDPIPER (seen and photographed
yesterday for the first time in a week and a half), SANDERLINGS, BAIRD'S
SANDPIPER, WHITE-RUMPED SANDPIPER, SHORT-BILLED DOWITCHER, SOLITARY
SANDPIPER (at south beach near High Bluff campground). Both adult and
immature GREAT BLACK-BACKED GULLS have been on the beach. One birder
encountered an AMERICAN BITTERN in the flooded area of the beach and
flushed it into a tree. As many as 19 GREAT EGRETS have been seen,
mostly on High Bluff Island. The highlight of the week has been a
CATTLE EGRET that showed up on Monday and was still present this
morning. Two GREEN HERONS were also seen. The occasional visits of one
or two OSPREYS to the former nest site on the Salt Point lighthouse are
too infrequent to indicate breeding.
RED-BELLIED WOODPECKER and MERLIN are two uncommon species that summer
and likely breed at Presqu'ile, and both have been seen this week. A
surprising out-of-season find on the beach on Sunday was a HORNED LARK.
For the second consecutive week a BLUE-GRAY GNATCATCHER was seen. It is
impossible to differentiate between warblers that are dispersing summer
residents and those that are returning migrants, but most of the
following species seen in the past week away from their breeding
territories could fit into either category: NORTHERN WATERTHRUSH,
MOURNING WARBLER, BLACKBURNIAN WARBLER, CANADA WARBLER. A SCARLET
TANAGER seen this week could also fit into that category. ORCHARD
ORIOLES can often be seen at 83 Bayshore Road.
To reach Presqu'ile Provincial Park, follow the signs from Brighton.
Locations within the Park are shown on a map at the back of a tabloid
that is available at the Park gate. Access to the offshore islands is
restrictedat this time of year to prevent disturbance to the colonial
nesting birds there. Birders are encouraged to record their
observations on the bird sightingsboard provided near the campground
office by The Friends of Presqu'ile Parkand to fill out a rare bird
report for species not listed there.
Questions and comments about bird sightings at Presqu'ile may be
directed to: fhellei...@trentu.ca.
186 Bayshore Road
If visiting, access via Presqu'ile Provincial Park
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