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-bellied Plover, White-crowned Sparrow
OVERVIEW: There was almost no coverage this week so pickings are slim. Everything is about nesting right now with waterfowl and grebe broods moving around, young gulls all over the place, and songbirds gathering food to take to nestlings. A Ruddy Turnstone on 22 Jun is what I would consider the last northbound migrant. Ironically, the first fall migrants should be showing up any day!
Green-winged Teal: A pair was off the north shore of Gull Is. on 22 Jun.
Common Merganser: The female with young was noted again on 21 Jun with at least 10 chicks. Five females were also seen on 23 Jun.
Red-breasted Merganser: A male was at Owen Pt. on 18 Jun and two females were at Salt Pt. on 19 Jun. A report of a female with 11 chicks on 18 Jun came in from the same area the Common brood has been seen. Additional details would be greatly appreciated. To my knowledge neither big merganser has been documented to breed here until this year’s Common brood.
Least Bittern: There have been several sightings of this secretive marsh bird this week from the Camp Office viewing deck on 18 and 19 Jun.
Black-bellied Plover: A bird in first summer (born in 2020) plumage was seen on the beach on 22 Jun. Most birds in this age class remain in or near the winter quarters but some do partial migrations which is likely what this bird is doing.
Ruddy Turnstone: A late male was on the beach on 22 Jun.
Alder Flycatcher: Willow is the expected nesting Empidonax flycatcher in the park, but an Alder was heard twice along the marsh Boardwalk Trail this week on 22 and 24 Jun.
Cliff Swallow: This is the least common swallow to see in the park, and given the shocking scarcity of swallows in general, one on 23 Jun was notable.
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher: One was reported along the Owen Pt. trail on 24 Jun. While it was never a common species, at their peak about 10 pairs could be found in the Park. In the past few years only one or two have been located.
White-crowned Sparrow: And the award for the most unexpected bird goes to the adult White-crowned Sparrow that was found at Calf Pasture on 22 Jun and relocated there the next day. This species nests near the treeline in the far north and the last migrants are usually gone by the end of May so this late bird is unprecedented.
Please Note: Access to Gull and High Bluff Island is closed to visitation between 10 March and 10 September to protect the thousands of colonial birds that nest on the islands.
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