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: Peregrine Falcon, Ruby-crowned Kinglet
OVERVIEW: Again there was almost no coverage this week, and after my comment last week wondering if Ontario Park’s new reservation system might be to blame, a number of readers responded saying that they had either tried to get pass but couldn’t, or gave up trying to work through the website. According to the Ontario Parks handout the reservation system will end on 2 September so hopefully birders will return.
Fall migration is well underway with a number of warblers starting to appear and lots of blackbirds gathering in the marsh to roost. In an unusual pattern, the water level in Lake Ontario has actually been going up for then past month and has swamped some of the mudflat habitat available to shorebirds but birds are still coming through – just harder to see being partly hidden in shoreline vegetation. This week marked the first juvenile shorebird (Lesser Yellowlegs) arriving from the north.
American Wigeon: One was in the mixed duck flock along the north side of Gull Is. on 8 Aug.
American Black Duck: One was in the mixed duck flock off Gull Is. on 8 Aug. For the first time in many years this former breeding species has been present through the summer.
Green-winged Teal: Five were off Gull Is. on 8 Aug.
Bald Eagle: One was reported from Owen Pt. on 8 Aug.
Northern Harrier: A juv. flew over Presqu’ile Parkway on 12 Aug. A pair usually nest in the marsh but they have been very scarce this year during the breeding season.
Semipalmated Plover: 2 adults were at Owen Pt. on 8 Aug.
Lesser Yellowlegs: The first young of the year was on Owen Pt. n 8 Aug.
Ruddy Turnstone: An adult was scoped up on Sebastopol Is. (the rock outcrop north of Gull Is.) on 8 Aug.
Short-billed Dowitcher: One was reported at Owen Pt. on 11 Aug.
Rock Pigeon: A fairly rare bird in the Park proper. One was seen on 8 Aug and may have been a homing pigeon.
Peregrine Falcon: A recently fledged young of the year (still with slightly rounded wingtips) flew east over Owen Pt. on 8 Aug fueling suspicions of nesting somewhere in the area. Adults were seen on several occasions into June earlier this summer.
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher: One was seen on 8 Aug.
Ruby-crowned Kinglet: An exceptionally early migrant was reported on 11 Aug.
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