Presqu'ile Birding Report for Week Ending September 11, 2003.

Fred Helleiner fhelleiner at
Thu Sep 11 21:37:12 EDT 2003

After a flurry of migrants passed through Presqu'ile Provincial Park 
last weekend, coincident with the passage of a weak cool front, the 
recent return to summery conditions has made birding somewhat more 
uneventful.  However, the possibility of birding on Gull Island, which 
was re-opened to the public today, creates a dimension to birding that 
has interesting potential, at least until the commencement of the duck 
hunt on September 26.*  *

There are several interesting sightings to report from the heron 
family.  On September 6, a Least Bittern was sighted on the marsh 
boardwalk and a Great Egret was also seen.  A Green Heron was at the 
calf pasture on September 9.

The hundreds of dabbling ducks that are congregating around Gull Island 
and Owen Point include at least three Northern Shovelers and several 
Northern Pintails.  On September 5, two each of Greater Scaup and Lesser 
Scaup flew past Owen Point.  Common Goldeneyes are still present in 
Popham Bay and Common Mergansers along the shore near the lighthouse.

There are several Merlins to be seen almost every day at both Owen Point 
and the calf pasture, and occasionally a Peregrine Falcon at Owen 
Point.  Less predictable raptors seen during the past week include 
Cooper's Hawks, a Red-shouldered Hawk, and two Broad-winged Hawks, the 
latter an uncommon species at Presqu'ile.

While shorebird numbers are down somewhat from a week ago, there is 
still sufficient variety (20 species during the past week) to entice 
many birders to the Park.  Among the highlights of the week are American 
Golden-Plovers (regular at Owen Point since September 9), a Whimbrel 
there on September 6, Red Knots at Owen Point and Gull Island, a Western 
Sandpiper last reported on September 5, a few Dunlins, and a 
Buff-breasted Sandpiper that usually frequents the sand bar at the east 
end of Gull Island.

Pockets of migrating land birds have appeared intermittently during the 
past week, especially at the lighthouse and along Paxton Drive.  They 
are usually on the move in the treetops, which makes identification a 
challenge.  Olive-sided Flycatchers were at the lighthouse on September 
8 and 9.  American Pipits were at Owen Point on September 5 and 6.  Most 
of the common warblers (17 species at last count) have put in at least 
one appearance, albeit in small numbers.  In one tree along Paxton Drive 
on September 9 there were four Northern Parulas, along with several 
other 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.  Visitors to Gull Island not using a 
boat  should be prepared to wade through knee-deep water in which there 
is often a swift current and a substrate that is somewhat uneven. 

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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