By Doug McRae
Overview: This is my first report since the pandemic shut down in spring. I’m sorry for taking so long to start up, but I will strive to get this out by Friday from now on. I regularly scan ebird for information, otherwise I rely on observers to send/call their sightings in to me if not already posted to ebird.
Although we are well into fall there is still a good selection of lingering warblers and shorebirds around. The 3 rd and 4 th saw major passerine movements with hoards of kinglets, sparrows and an excellent selection of warblers moving through. Hawks also moved on these days but most of the flight occurred north of the park. Gull Island has been the hotspot for most of the week and is where most of the shorebirds have been hanging around (as opposed to the beach which has been fairly quiet). The crossing to Gull requires wading about 150m in water that is typically just below knee deep. Hip waders are best for crossing, or just wear shoes that can get wet and walk across. Be cautious on windy days when there can be a significant wind-driven current.
TRUMPETER SWAN – still not a common bird in our area; 1 on 3 Oct and 3 on 4 Oct.
GADWALL – 50 on 6 Oct was a high count.
SURF SCOTER – 3 on 4 Oct were the first of fall.
WHITE-WINGED SCOTER – 3 on 4 Oct were the first of all.
HORNED GREBE - numbers are picking up with a high count of 62 on 4 Oct.
GREAT EGRET – up to three birds are being seen daily in the marsh along the
BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT-HERON – 1 on 6 Oct was the first report in several weeks.
OSPREY – the last report was of 1 on 7 Oct.
GOLDEN EAGLE – a very early bird, identified as an adult, was reported flying to
High Bluff Island on 4 Oct. While this species passes by along the north shore,
usually in November, it is a very rare bird in the Park itself.
COMMON GALLINULE – one was still present on 6 Oct.
SHOREBIRDS – for most of the week a mixed group of birds has been frequenting the north shore of Gull Island and Sebastopol Is.(the rocky outcrop north of Gull), and to a lesser extent, the beach. A total of 12 species were seen this week including:
BLACK-BELLIED PLOVER, SEMIPALMATED PLOVER, GREATER YELLOWLEGS,
RUDDY TURNSTONE, SANDERLING, DUNLIN, BAIRD’S SANDPIPER, LEAST
SANDPIPER, WHITE-RUMPED SANDPIPER, PECTORAL SANDPIPER,
SEMIPALMATED SANDPIPER, and AMERICAN WOODCOCK. Only SANDERLING and DUNLIN are present in any numbers.
CASPIAN TERN – 1 on 4 Oct.
BARRED OWL – resident birds have been heard calling on several nights. 1 seen on 4 Oct by the Park Store may have been a migrant since this is not a “usual” location for the local breeders.
NORTHERN SAW-WHET OWL – 1 was found near the camp office on 5 Oct.
RUBY-THROATED HUMMINGBIRD – 1 on 4 Oct is getting late.
PEREGRINE FALCON – an immature of the tundrius subspecies spent most of 4 Oct on Sebastopol Is.
HOUSE WREN – several were reported this week with the last being 1 on 8 Oct.
GOLDEN-CROWNED KINGLET – a big push occurred on 3 and 4 Oct with the high
count of 250 on 3 Oct.
RUBY-CROWNED KINGLET – also moved through in big numbers with a high count of 130 on 3 Oct.
VEERY – a somewhat late bird was seen on 3 Oct.
GRAY-CHEEKED THRUSH – several birds were reported with the last being 1 on 4
SWAINSON’S THRUSH – lingering birds were seen through the week with the last on 8 Oct.
LAPLAND LONGSPUR – 1 on 4 Oct was the first of fall.
WARBLERS continued to move through in numbers, especially on the 3-4 Oct. No
rarities were seen but most of the common/expected species were still about in
SCARLET TANAGER – a few lingering birds were seen with the last being 1 on 4 Oct.
RUSTY BLACKBIRD – 6 on 4 Oct was the only report.
BROWN-HEADED COWBIRD – 1 on Gull Is. on 4 Oct. was the only report.
PINE SISKINS were reported by several parties on 4 Oct.
EVENING GROSBEAK – a bird believed to be this species was heard calling overhead on 5 Oct.
Directions: Presqu’ile Provincial Park is located south of the town of Brighton, on
the north shore of Lake Ontario. It is well signed from either Hwy 401 or Cty Rd. 2. Birders should be aware that duck hunting occurs in the Park on Mondays,
Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays and access restrictions are in place on hunting
days. This means that the islands, marsh and Calf Pasture Pt. are off limits. Owen Pt. is open for now but will be closed once a blind is placed there. Closed areas are signed.