By Doug McRae
This report is 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.
There is no question that songbird numbers and diversity are dwindling, although several species continue to linger past expected departure dates. Many species that were fairly common a few weeks ago are now either scarce or gone. Northern ducks continue to arrive and build up numbers with the biggest concentrations being off the beach (mostly redhead and scaup), Presqu’ile Bay (mostly scaup) and the marsh (mostly puddle ducks).
Highlights: RUDDY DUCK, LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL, TUFTED TITMOUSE, EVENING GROSBEAK
TUNDRA SWAN – 3 birds on 28 Oct and 2 on 29 Oct were the only reports.
SURF SCOTER – seen several times off Gull Island and the Lighthouse with a high of 4 on 29 Oct.
BLACK SCOTER – Up to 4 birds spent the week off the Lighthouse and 5 more were seen off Gull Is. on 29 Oct.
RUDDY DUCK – 1 was seen in the causeway marsh on 28 Oct.
RED-THROATED LOON – 3 on 23 Oct.
BALD EAGLE – single birds seen on 25 and 27 Oct were the only reports.
ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK – 2 birds were seen on 28 Oct and 1 on 29 Oct.
AMERICAN COOT – 4 were seen in the marsh on 28 Oct.
BLACK-BELLIED PLOVER – 4 on 29 Oct were the first seen since early October, which is really odd as this species is typically present throughout the month.
SEMIPLAMTED PLOVER – 1 on 25 Oct was the only (and last?) report.
GREATER YELLOWLEGS – 1 on 23 Oct and a flock of 7 over Gull Is. on 29 Oct were the only reports.
SANDERLING – present throughout the week in small numbers, with a high of 58 on 23 Oct.
DUNLIN – present throughout the week with a high of 39 on 23 Oct.
WHITE-RUMPED SANDPIPER – 2 on 29 Oct was the only report.
SEMIPALMATED SANDPIPER – a late bird was seen on 23 Oct.
LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL – an adult, likely the same bird as last week, was seen again on 23 Oct.
BARRED OWL – a bird spent the day behind the Visitor Centre on 27 Oct and it, or another was nearby the next day.
NORTHERN SAW-WHET OWL – birders enjoying the Barred Owl on the 27th were delighted to see this bird sitting only 10 metres away.
EASTERN PHOEBE – a few phoebes lingered with the last one on 28 Oct.
TUFTED TITMOUSE – a bird appeared sporadically at a feeder near the Lighthouse on 25 Oct and returned infrequently until 27 Oct then appeared again briefly on 29 Oct so keep an eye out for this less-than-annual rarity.
RUBY-CROWNED KINGLET – present through the week with a high count of 125 on 24 Oct.
SNOW BUNTING – numbers picked up this week with 7 on 25 Oct, 20 on 27 Oct and a high count of 160 on 29 Oct.
TENNESSEE WARBLER – 1 on 25 Oct was late.
ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER – 1 on 23 Oct was the only report.
NASHVILLE WARBLER – 1 on 23 Oct was the only report.
NORTHERN PARULA – this species often lingers into October but there have been many more than usual this fall. Records this week include 1 on 23 Oct, 4 on 24 Oct, and 1 on 24 Oct.
BLACKPOLL WARBLER – the lingering bird near the lighthouse was last seen on 23 Oct.
PALM WARBLER – 1 was seen on 23 Oct.
YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER – seen throughout the week in small numbers.
AMERICAN TREE SPARROW – the first of fall were 2 on 23 Oct.
COMMON REDPOLL – the first report of this winter was a single on 28 Oct .
EVENING GROSBEAK – this charismatic finch moved into the area this week; reports included 2 on 25 Oct, 1 on 27 Oct and 2 on 28 Oct. Additional birds were reported in the Brighton area as well.
PINE SISKIN – 15 on 24 Oct, 1 on 25 Oct and 4 on 26 Oct 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. is open for now but will be closed once a blind is placed there. Closed areas are well signed.