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: Lesser Scaup OVERVIEW: There was almost no coverage at Presqu’ile this week so this report is very slim. Like last week, the big story is nesting and most birds are fully involved in the process. Many species have already fledged their young and are now attending them in a more mobile fashion. Small family parties of blackbirds are now gathering at dusk in the marsh and roosting together – basically staging in preparation for fall migration! The first southbound shorebirds could come at any time, and the Owen Pt. area has good habitat available for them. SIGHTINGS: Northern Pintail: A moulting male was with the Mallard flock around Gull Is. on 28 Jun and 1 Jul. Lesser Scaup: An out-of-season male was swimming alone off the south shore of Gull Is. on 1 Jul. Common Merganser: A male was seen in Presqu’ile Bay on 28 Jun. The breeding female that has been frequenting Owen Pt. is down to 9 chicks (from 14) but they are half-grown now and are hunting fish on their own. On 1 Jul three other adult females also joined them. Red-breasted Merganser: Nine birds flew past Owen Pt. on 1 Jul. Least Bittern: These tiny herons are likely feeding young now and will be making more flights to and from feeding spots. A female flew over the east end of Presqu’ile Parkway on 1 Jul. Bonaparte’s Gull: There were 15 sub adults on Salt Pt. on 28 Jul and three on Owen Pt. on 28 Jun and 1 Jul. Ring-billed Gull: Scanning from Owen Pt. reveals thousands of inexperienced ring-bill chicks crammed along the shoreline, swimming offshore and now all along the main beach. Herring Gull: By strange contrast on two mornings this week not one Herring chick could be seen. A few birds are still sitting on nests (which is late) but none appear to have chicks. Typically the Herrings nest high on the cobble ridge that surrounds most of the island. Marsh Wren: One was singing in the small marsh at the base of Owen Pt. on 28 Jun. Although common in the main marsh, it is not known from this small site but may represent an unmated or failed breeder roaming. 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.
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