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.
HIGHLIGHTS: Redhead, Black-bellied Plover, Semipalmated Plover, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, Northern Parula
OVERVIEW: There is still very little birding coverage at Presqu’ile so the report is once again, a bit thin. More southbound migrant shorebirds are arriving and several songbirds were seen in areas they didn’t breed at suggesting they too are migrating. This trend will pick up substantially over the next few weeks.
American Black Duck: One was with the Gull Is. mixed duck flock on 27 Jul.
Green-winged Teal: At least three were swimming off the north shore of Gull Is. on 27 Jul.
Redhead: A male was off the north shore of Gull Is. on 27 Jul. This species has bred a number of times around Gull Is. over the years and in some years the broods are late in appearing so worth keeping an eye out.
Hooded Merganser: The lingering immature was seen with Canada Geese off Gull Is. on 26 Jul and was joined by a second the next day.
Common Merganser: The female with her full grown brood of nine was off Owen Pt. on the 26th and 27th, as were four females resting on Gull Is.
Wild Turkey: A female with six small chicks was photographed on 27 Jul.
Least Bittern: A female was seen at the Camp Office Viewing Deck on 26 Jul and another was reported from the Marsh Boardwalk Trail on 29 Jul.
Great Blue Heron: Four young of the year were on Owen Pt. on 26 Jul.
Virginia Rail: Five were encountered at night on 23 Jul.
Black-bellied Plover: The first southbound migrant was seen on 27 Jul.
Semipalmated Plover: The first southbound migrant was seen on 26 Jul.
Least Sandpiper: Numbers are starting to build with a high count of 11 on 26 Jul.
Wilson’s Snipe: Although present, this species is very inconspicuous now but one was found in the Fingers on 23 Jul.
Caspian Tern: The first fledged young from the nesting colony on Gull Is. was seen on 26 Jul.
Barred Owl: One was heard calling on 29 Jul.
Least Flycatcher: A migrant was near the Lighthouse (where none breed) on 26 Jul.
Purple Martin: A high count of 42 was reported from the nest boxes near the Lighthouse on 25 Jul.
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher: Four, likely a family group, was seen along Bayshore Rd. on 26 Jul. Since the mid 1950’s this species has nested in small numbers in the Park, almost exclusively in seasonally flooded ash forests, but over the past five years has essentially disappeared so it was surprising to see this group. Although our ash trees are just now dying off, the gnatcatcher decline started before the die-off.
Northern Parula: A bird was singing along Bayshore Rd. on 26 Jul, presumably the same one reported on and off over the past few weeks.
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