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 email@example.com. 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.
Sandhill Crane, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Red-throated Loon, Northern Goshawk, SCISSOR-TAILED FLYCATCHER, Lincoln’s Sparrow
Spring migration is ramping up with lots of new arrivals (First of Year=FOY) although there has still been no big push of birds yet. Several species came in unusually early, but everything was eclipsed by the discovery of a Scissor-tailed Flycatcher near the Lighthouse.
Redhead: A male close to shore at Gull Is. on 25 Apr might be a breeding bird.
Surf Scoter: Two were seen on 23 Apr.
Sandhill Crane: One was heard on 23 Apr.
Common Gallinule: This species arrived on 28 Apr when one was seen.
Dunlin: The FOY were two on 22 Apr, followed by three the next day and one on 25 Apr.
Spotted Sandpiper: The FOY was one on the beach on 25 Apr.
Lesser Black-backed Gull: An adult was seen on Sebastopol Pt. on 22 Apr.
Red-throated Loon: Two “winter” plumaged birds were off the beach on 25 Apr.
Green Heron: The FOY was one at the Camp Office viewing deck on 26 Apr.
Northern Goshawk: An immature was seen hunting in the Pines Campground on 22 Apr.
Red-headed Woodpecker: A very early bird was reported calling on 22 Apr.
Great Crested Flycatcher: An early bird was noted on 25 Apr.
Scissor-tailed Flycatcher: On 27 Apr two residents of Bayshore Rd noticed a strange and beautiful bird in their yard but didn’t know what it was. The next day it landed in long-time birder Fred Helleiner’s yard and the rest is history. Although this is an annual stray in Ontario, they rarely stay more than a day, but this cooperative bird was seen and photographed by many through till 29 Apr. Many thanks to Fred for allowing birders to use his yard as the vantage point to see this wonderful rarity!
Carolina Wren: Singles were reported on 23 Apr and 25 Apr.
Gray Catbird: An early bird was reported on 26 Apr.
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher: One was seen on 23 Apr.
Northern Waterthrush: The FOY came on 26 Apr when three were noted.
Black-and-white Warbler: One on 26 Apr was the FOY.
Nashville Warbler: One on 26 Apr was the FOY.
Palm Warbler: Two on 28 Apr were the FOY.
Yellow Warbler: One on 25 Apr was the FOY.
Lincoln’s Sparrow: A very early bird as seen on 25 Apr.
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.
Please Note: Gull and High Bluff Island are closed to visitors from 10 March to 10 September. Large numbers of colonial nesting birds breed there and are greatly disturbed when people go into the colonies.
A seasonal or daily permit is required when visiting Presqu’ile. You can purchase a daily vehicle permit online in advance of your visit online or by phone. Ontario Parks recommends you make a reservation during periods of high visitation to guarantee entry. Reserve here: https://reservations.ontarioparks.com or by calling 1-888-668-7275