By Doug McRae
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.
OVERVIEW: It was a somewhat low-key week (at least compared to last week) with mostly expected species for the season, plus a few less common birds. In a sign of the approaching winter, for the first time since spring no warblers were reported this week.
The crossing to Gull Island remains easy with water depth being about mid way up rubber boots. The spit that had almost connected Gull and High Bluff Is. was partially washed out during the big wind storm mid week and has made wading the gap unadvisable if not impossible so do not attempt. Hopefully the spit will rebuild again.
HIGHLIGHTS: GLAUCOUS GULL, PURPLE SANDPIPER, EVENING GROSBEAK, WHITE-WINGED CROSSBILL
TRUMPETER SWAN – 3 were reported on 19 Nov.
SURF SCOTER – small numbers present throughout the week off both the Lighthouse and the north side of Gull Is.
BLACK SCOTER – small numbers present off the Lighthouse and north side of Gull Is. with a high of 11 on 19 Nov.
RUFFED GROUSE – 1 was heard drumming (normally a spring territorial behavior that happens occasionally in fall as daylight hours shorten) on 13 Nov.
RED-THROATED LOON – 1 on 13 Nov was the only report.
ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK – a light morph was seen migrating east to west over the Lake on 13 Nov and another light morph spent the week on High Bluff Is.
SANDERLING – 3 on 13 Nov was the only report.
PURPLE SANDPIPER – 1 was on the north side of Gull Is. on 19 Nov.
WHITE-RUMPED SANDPIPER – 5 were feeding on Beach 1 on 13 Nov.
GLAUCOUS GULL - a first winter bird between the islands on 19 Nov was the first of winter.
ROCK PIGEON – the two birds that have been frequenting Beach 1 were seen again on 13 Nov. This is actually a pretty scarce bird in Presqu’ile proper.
NORTHERN SHRIKE – 1 on 16 Nov was the first of winter.
HORNED LARK – small numbers seen through the week on Gull Is. and the beach with a high of 7 on 19 Nov.
RUBY-CROWNED KINGLET – singles on 13 Nov and 19 Nov may be the last until April.
CEDAR WAXWING – 1 seen on 13 Nov was the first in some weeks.
SNOW BUNTING – after an initial burst in late October they have become somewhat scarce with 3 on 19 Nov being the only report.
EASTERN TOWHEE - 1 on 13 Nov may prove to be the last of fall.
FOX SPARROW – 1 was at a Bayshore Rd. feeder from 14-17 Nov and another was at the Birdhouse Nature Store feeder, just outside the gate, on 19 Nov.
WHITE-WINGED CROSSBILL – 12 were seen feeding in White Spruce at Paxton Rd. and Atkins Lane on 18 Nov.
COMMON REDPOLL – seen throughout the week in generally small numbers.
PINE SISKIN – seen throughout the week in small numbers.
EVENING GROSBEAK – 1 on 16 Nov and 10 the next day were the only reports.
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.
Birders should be aware that duck hunting is permitted 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 Point are off limits. Owen Pt. and the High Bluff Campground are also now closed until the hunt ends in late December. Closed areas are signed.