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Presqu’ile Bird Report for Week of 30 Oct – 5 Nov 2020

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 Your observations are appreciated.

Overview: No notable bird movements were reported but numbers of migrant/wintering ducks continue to build. At the same time migrant songbirds are getting much scarcer. The crossing to Gull Is. is easier as the water level drops and can now be done in rubber boots on a calm day


TUNDRA SWAN – 3 were at Owen Pt. on 5 Nov.

SURF SCOTER – Seen several times from the Lighthouse and north of Gull Island with a high of 7 on 5 Nov.

BLACK SCOTER – Seen through the week from the Lighthouse and Gull Island with a high of 17 on 5 Nov.

LONG-TAILED DUCKS – Numbers picked up greatly this week with a high of 850 on 5 Nov.

RED-THROATED LOON – one on 5 Nov was the only report.

AMERICAN BITTERN – A fairly late individual was at the Calf Pasture on 2 and 5 Nov.

ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK – 2 light morph birds were seen flying west of Owen Pt. and Gull Is. on 5 Nov.

SEMIPALMATED PLOVER – 1 on 5 Nov is late and may be the last.

GREATER YELLOWLEGS – the only report was of a bird feeding on limestone flats near the Lighthouse on 31 Oct.

SANDERLING – present through the week, mostly on Beach 1-2 area, with a high of 56 on 4 Nov.

DUNLIN – present through the week, also mostly on the beach, with a high of 46 on 4 Nov.

PURPLE SANDPIPER – A lone individual was reported from Owen Pt. on 3 Nov. This is our second report of the fall after a very early bird in late September.

WHITE-RUMPED SANDPIPER – Present on the beach with a high of 7 on 4 and 5 Nov.

PECTORAL SANDPIPER – 3 were on the beach on 4 Nov and 4 the next day.

ROCK PIGEON – This is actually a rarely seen species in the Park and most that are seen well have leg bands indicating they are homing pigeons. A flock of 4 that flew over Gull Is. on 5 Nov are likely from this source.

EASTERN PHOEBE – 4 birds were seen on a very cold 31 Oct and a single on 2 Nov may be the last report.

BLUE-HEADED VIREO – birds continue to linger late including at least 2 on 30 Oct, 1 on 3 Nov, and 1 on 4 Nov.

HORNED LARK – present through the week on Gull Is. and the beach with an unusually high count of 24 at Beach 1 on 4 Nov.

RUBY-CROWNED KINGLET – Scarce all week with 1 on 5 Nov, possibly the last sighting until April.

EASTERN BLUEBIRD – 2 on 2 Nov and 2 in different locations on 5 Nov were the only reports.

HERMIT THRUSH – 4 on 3 Nov was a good count this late into fall.

AMERICAN PIPIT – small numbers present through the week on Gull Is. and the beach.

LAPLAND LONGSPUR – 3 were seen on Beach 1 on 4 Nov.

SNOW BUNTING – small numbers were seen on the beach and Gull Is. with a high of 35 on 4 Nov.

CAPE MAY WARBLER – A late individual was photographed on 4 Nov.

YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER – 3 birds on 30 Oct were the last reports, although some are likely still around.

BLACK-THROATED GREEN WARBLER – A very late individual was seen on 31 Oct.

CHIPPING SPARROW – 1 on 3 Nov was the last report.

WHITE-CROWNED SPARROW – 1 on 31 Oct was the last report.

BROWN-HEADED COWBIRD – the lingering bird on Gull Is. was not seen this week but a single was noted elsewhere on 3 Nov.

COMMON REDPOLL – 16 on 3 Nov is likely a sign of more to come.

PINE SISKIN – Sightings this week included 4 on 1 Nov, 1 on 2 Nov and 3 on 3 Nov.

EVENING GROSBEAK – a flock of 10 on 3 Nov and 3 on 4 Nov were the only reports; additional birds were seen at Brighton area feeders.

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.

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