Presqu'ile Birding Report for Week Ending October 3, 2002.

Fred Helleiner fhelleiner at
Fri Oct 4 00:49:14 EDT 2002

When two observers can find 109 species of birds in one October day at
Presqu'ile Provincial Park, there can be little doubt that few places in
Ontario can match the birding potential of that location, especially
during migration.

While Great Egrets can generally be seen feeding in the marsh in ones
and twos during the day, it is possible to find larger numbers by
watching for them to fly to High Bluff Island to roost or flying from
the island to the mainland at dawn, where five were seen on October 3.
A Black-crowned Night-Heron was also seen at the marsh on October 1.

Wood Ducks in considerable numbers can be seen in the marsh without
leaving the road.  Other ducks of interest seen during the past week
include two Blue-winged Teal and a Northern Shoveler on October 3, a
Ring-necked Duck on September 30 and October 3, and a Black Scoter on
October 1.

A Bald Eagle appeared at opposite ends of the Park on October 2 and on
October 3.  Merlins are being spotted in various parts of the Park every
day, and on three different days Peregrine Falcons have been sighted,
including three on October 1.

Eighteen species of shorebirds were reported during the past week.
Spotted Sandpipers, a Red Knot, a Baird's Sandpiper, and a Stilt
Sandpiper are still being seen regularly, even at this late date, though
not consistently at any one place.  The last-named, however, has usually
been reliable at Salt Point, where there was also a Long-billed
Dowitcher on two different days.  A flock of five of that rare species
dropped in briefly at Gull Island on October 1.

Probably the rarest bird of the week was an adult Sabine's Gull seen at
Owen Point on September 28.

Birders visiting Presqu'ile during the next few weeks are encouraged to
make the effort to search diligently the dark depths of cedar trees,
where Saw-whet Owls roost during the day.

Ruby-throated Hummingbirds were still coming to a feeder as late as
September 30.  Flycatchers have all but disappeared from the Park except
for Eastern Phoebes, of which an astounding 120 individuals were present
on October 3.  Likewise, vireos, except for Blue-headed Vireos, have
thinned out, the latest dates for other species being September 28 for
Philadelphia and October 3 for Red-eyed.  An unusually late Barn Swallow
was seen on September 29, and a record late Blue-Gray Gnatcatcher was at
the lighthouse on October 3.

The past week saw an influx of thrushes, including the first Hermit
Thrushes of the season on September 28.  With the notable exception of
Yellow-rumped and Palm Warblers, which seemed to be all over the Park on
October 3, warblers have thinned out considerably, with only 14 species
being sighted in the past seven days.  Orange-crowned Warblers on
September 28 and October 3, a Tennessee Warbler on September 28, a Cape
May Warbler on October 3, and an Ovenbird on October 1 were of
particular interest.

Among the hordes of White-throated Sparrows that have descended on
Presqu'ile, Lincoln's Sparrows, White-crowned Sparrows, and Dark-eyed
Juncoes first appeared on September 28.

Three Lapland Longspurs on Sebastopol Point and thirty Rusty Blackbirds
over Gull Island and in the marsh are the first sightings of these
species in the Park this fall.

To reach Presqu'ile Provincial Park, follow the signs from Brighton.
Locations within the Park are shown on a map at the back of a tabloid
that is available at the Park gate.  Visitors to Gull Island should be
prepared to wade through knee-deep water in which there is often a swift

current and a substrate that is somewhat uneven.  It should also be
noted that, because duck hunting is given priority on Mondays,
Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, Gull Island and part of
the calf pasture are not available for bird-watching on those days.

Questions and comments about bird sightings at Presqu'ile may be
directed to: FHELLEINER at TRENTU.CA.

Fred Helleiner

186 Bayshore Road,
R.R. #4,
Brighton, Ontario, Canada, K0K 1H0
VOICE: (613) 475 5309
If visiting, access via Presqu'ile Provincial Park.

Fred Helleiner <fhelleiner at>

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