Presqu'ile Birding Report for Week Ending June 5, 2003.

Fred Helleiner fhelleiner at
Thu Jun 5 19:45:13 EDT 2003

In many respects, the transition from spring to summer occurred at
Presqu'ile Provincial Park during the past week.  The trees in the
forest had scarcely begun to leaf out a week ago and now have a fully
developed canopy, which makes birders much more reliant on
identifications based on vocalizations.  The bird migration that was in
full swing a week ago has slowed to a trickle.

A Green Heron, one of very few reported in the Park this spring,
appeared on June 3 at the calf pasture, a favourite haunt of that
species in previous summers.

A moult migration of Canada Geese, presumably failed breeders heading
for Hudson Bay, took place on several mornings in the past week, when
moderately large flocks passed overhead.  About 325 Brant flew past Owen
Point on June 1.  Several other interesting waterfowl have also appeared
recently.  A Gadwall was sitting on Gull Island on May 30.  A drake
Canvasback, first spotted on June 1 near the viewing platform opposite
the bird sightings board, was subsequently seen on June 3 and 4 behind
the cottages at 10-16 Bayshore Road.  A female Redhead and a male Lesser
Scaup were also in that vicinity on June 4.  A White-winged Scoter was
far out in Popham Bay off beach 1 on June 3.

May 30 turned out to be the peak day for this spring's shorebird
migration, with several thousand descending on the beaches and Gull
Island.  Among them were five Black-bellied Plovers (of which a few are
still present almost every day), 16 American Golden-Plovers that stopped
only very briefly on beach 1, two Whimbrels, and about 3,000 Dunlins.
Other species that have been seen during the week include Ruddy
Turnstones (almost every day, with a peak of 42 on June 1), Red Knots
(also a daily occurrence, with a peak of 23 on June 3, including several
colour-banded individuals), Sanderlings (up to 17 on June 1), one
White-rumped Sandpiper (feeding regularly among the Semipalmated
Sandpipers), and a Short-billed Dowitcher on June 1.  An American
Woodcock was seen at the entrance to the beach 3 access road.

A Black-billed Cuckoo was heard at the calf pasture on June 2.  The most
recent Red-headed Woodpecker sighting was on May 30 at the lighthouse,
where there was also a Northern Mockingbird, neither of which stayed
around to be seen by others.

A Yellow-bellied Flycatcher was seen on May 30, and Willow Flycatchers
are regular along the Owen Point trail, which has ideal habitat for that
species.  The latest Philadelphia Vireo was seen on May 30, and a
Red-breasted Nuthatch was among the migrant warblers near the lighthouse
on June 2.  Two Carolina Wrens have been making their presence known
irregularly at the lighthouse and around 87 Bayshore Road.

There was a flurry of late-migrating warblers at Presqu'ile on June 2,
including 13 species.  Figuring most prominently were Magnolia,
Chestnut-sided, Blackburnian, Blackpoll, and Wilson's Warblers and
American Redstarts.  Others of interest were Black-throated Green,
Bay-breasted, Black-and-white, Mourning, and Canada Warblers.  On the
preceding day, there was a late Yellow-rumped Warbler.  A White-throated
Sparrow continues to pay occasional visits to 186 Bayshore Road, and
there was still a pair of Indigo Buntings near the lighthouse on June
2.  A Bobolink has been frequenting the calf pasture, the only part of
the Park which has suitable nesting habitat for that species.

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.  Access to the offshore islands is
restricted at this time of year to prevent disturbance to the colonial
nesting birds there.

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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