By Doug McRae
Photo Andrea Kingsley
This report is primarily based on sightings gleaned from eBird, and those reported directly to me. I would be grateful to hear of any interesting sightings. You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Your observations are very much appreciated. If you are reporting something rare, please provide some details (exact location, ID features noted) or photographs if possible. Finally in order to try and keep the database as accurate as possible, eBird accounts submitted under false names or pseudonyms will not be used unless I know who the actual observer is.
HIGHLIGHTS: Black Scoter, Red Knot
OVERVIEW: Waterfowl remain scattered in the marsh and lake but numbers of diving ducks are starting to build up in traditional roost areas like Popham Bay. The northern ducks like Long-tailed, Common Goldeneye, Bufflehead and scoters should be appearing very soon. Shorebird diversity remains good but numbers are low and most birds seem to be staying on Sebastopol Is. There was an obvious decrease in many species of songbirds this week, especially warblers which, apart from Yellow-rumped Warbler, were in scarce supply.
White-winged Scoter: A single male was off Gull Is. on 7 Oct.
Black Scoter: The first three of fall were seen off the picnic area on 3 Oct.
Ruffed Grouse: A bird was seen drumming from a log used in spring on 3 Oct.
Common Loon: Calm water on 7 Oct revealed 28 birds, most gathered off the south shore of Gull Is.
Pied-billed Grebe: Small numbers remain in the marsh but a single bird with Horned Grebes off the beach on 7 Oct was unexpected in open water.
Horned Grebe: Calm water on 7 Oct resulted in 275 being seen, mostly north of Gull Is.
Black-crowned Night-Heron: One reported at Calf Pasture on 1 Oct is our first in several weeks.
Osprey: Singles were seen on 1 Oct and 5 Oct.
Black-bellied Plover: Present through the week with a maximum of 24 on 7 Oct.
American Golden Plover: Three birds flying over Popham Bay on 6 Oct was the only report.
Semipalmated Plover: A group of six frequented the natural beach all week with a few others as well peaking at 10 on 7 Oct.
Killdeer: This species is rather rare in the Park in fall so two on 7 Oct were of interest.
Ruddy Turnstone: The only sighting was an immature on the natural beach on 6 Oct.
Red Knot: A continuing bird frequented Sebastopol Is. (rock island north of Gull Is.) through the week with the last sighting on 7 Oct.
Sanderling: Present through the week with a high of 55 on 3 Oct.
Dunlin: Small numbers present through the week with a high of 12 on 3 Oct.
Least Sandpiper: One on 3 Oct was the only report.
White-rumped Sandpiper: One on 7 Oct was the only report, but we can expect an influx of juveniles any day now.
Semipalmated Sandpiper: A single bird was noted on 7 Oct.
Peregrine Falcon: A large dark immature – possibly the same bird - was seen on 3 Oct at Gull Is. and Salt Pt.
Blue-headed Vireo: Several were seen through the week with a high count of five on 5 Oct and the last was a single on 6 Oct.
Horned Lark: Two were seen on Gull Is. on 3 Oct and one on 7 Oct.
House Wren: This common species is mostly gone by late Sep with a few stragglers staying into the first days of October. This week there were two on 3 Oct and two on 7 Oct.
Tennessee Warbler: One was reported on 5 Oct.
Nashville Warbler: One was seen on 1 Oct and two on 5 Oct.
Common Yellowthroat: One on 6 Oct was the only report, which is a bit odd as this species tends to stay later than most warblers.
Cape May Warbler: One was seen on 7 Oct.
Northern Parula: The last reports were of singles on 5 Oct and 7 Oct.
Blackpoll Warbler: One on 1 Oct and two on 5 Oct were then last reports.
Black-throated Blue Warbler: Two birds were seen on 3 Oct and 5 Oct, and a single on 7 Oct.
Palm Warbler: One on 6 Oct was the only report.
Please Note: Presqu’ile Provincial Park permits waterfowl hunting from Saturday 25 September until Saturday 18 Dec on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. Access to the marsh (other than the Marsh Boardwalk Trail), Calf Pasture Point, Gull Island and High Bluff Island is closed to all park users except registered hunters on those days. Once blinds are placed on Owen Pt. on 15 November, the whole of the Point to the High Bluff Campground will also be closed.
Directions: Presqu’ile Provincial Park is located south of Brighton on the north shore of Lake Ontario. It is well signed from either Hwy. 401 or Cty. Rd. 2.
Doug McRae Shrew Solutions Inc. 240 Presqu’ile Parkway Brighton, Ontario K0K 1H0 613-475-5014 H 613-243-4161 C