Presqu'ile Birding Report for Week Ending July 31, 2003.

Fred Helleiner fhelleiner at trentu.ca
Thu Jul 31 17:17:02 EDT 2003


The "natural beach" between beach 3 and Owen Point is the portion of
Presqu'ile Provincial Park where most of the interesting bird life has
been concentrated during the past week.  From the various lookouts in
that area, it is possible to see a variety of herons, water birds, and
shorebirds.

The Tundra Swan which was first reported on July 17 was last seen on
Gull Island on July 27.  Mute Swans are beginning to congregate in
Presqu'ile Bay, where last winter they reached alarming numbers.  The
need for a control program for these attractive but ecologically
devastating birds is becoming increasingly evident.  A small number of
Gadwalls and Green-winged Teals can be found almost every day on Gull
Island or the adjacent parts of the beach.

An Osprey and a Merlin flew past the lighthouse on July 31 and 25,
respectively.  Both of these species breed in the general area
surrounding Presqu'ile Park, but a Peregrine Falcon spotted flying out
over Popham Bay on July 31 was certainly the first migrant of the
season, and should put shorebirds, on which that species preys, as well
as birders visiting the Park, on alert for further sightings.

Thirteen species of shorebirds (three plovers and ten sandpipers) have
been frequenting the natural beach during the past week.  The flocks and
the variety built up to a peak on July 29, but many of them moved on
during that night.  From now on and for the next few weeks, each new
cold front will be followed by fresh arrivals, likely in ever-increasing
numbers.  Among the highlights this week were Black-bellied Plover and
Red Knot, both first seen on the early date of July 28, Ruddy Turnstone,
first seen on July 29, Pectoral Sandpiper, Stilt Sandpiper, and
Short-billed Dowitcher (as many as eight on July 27).

Apart from the normal summer residents, very few land birds have been
reported this week at Presqu'ile.  At the lighthouse, there have been
sightings of a Least Flycatcher (July 28), a Brown Creeper (July 26), at
least one Blackburnian Warbler (perhaps two) every day from July 24 to
27, a Black-and-white Warbler (July 29), and two White-throated Sparrows
(July 29).  Near Atkins Lane, there were two Yellow-rumped Warblers on
July 29.  In all likelihood, the first significant wave of fall migrant
land birds will appear during the first week or two of August.

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 trentu.ca>

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