[Ontbirds] Presqu'ile Birding Report for Week Ending November 3, 2005.

Fred Helleiner fhelleiner at trentu.ca
Thu Nov 3 17:08:48 EST 2005

With the exception of water birds, the autumn bird migration at 
Presqu'ile Provincial Park is now little more than a trickle.  Yet there 
are still a few species that have not yet arrived but which may be 
expected before the end of this month.

One of the better locations for spotting water birds in the past week 
has been off Chatterton Point, between campsites 231 and 333, where 60 
Common Loons were counted on October 31.  Large numbers of Horned Grebes 
were also there late last week and a flock of about 90 American Black 
Ducks appears to have settled in there for the winter.  Another good 
spot has been the outer part of Presqu'ile Bay, between Salt Point and 
the lighthouse, where over 100 Double-crested Cormorants and even more 
Red-breasted Mergansers have been attracting swarms of gulls.  In the 
marsh opposite the bird sightings board, the commonest ducks are 
Mallards and Green-winged Teal, but a careful search will usually 
produce a few Wood Ducks, American Wigeons, and Northern Pintails and 
once in a while a Gadwall.  Off 42 Bayshore Road, where Lilac Lane meets 
Bayshore, there is a growing flock of Redheads, Lesser Scaup, and 
American Coots, along with a handful of  Pied-billed Grebes and 
Ring-necked Ducks and the first Canvasbacks of the season  (two on 
October 31, one of which was still present on November 2).  In Popham 
Bay, the largest flock of ducks consists of Greater Scaup, but a flock 
of about 30 Black Scoters has also been present for over a week, best 
seen from lookout #3 on the Owen Point trail or from Gull Island.  More 
and more Long-tailed Ducks are appearing every day, in Popham Bay and 
elsewhere.  November is the month when, in the past, King Eiders have 
often been found at Presqu'ile.  Almost all of the mergansers at 
Presqu'ile at this time of year are Red-breasted Mergansers, but a few 
Hooded Mergansers can be found almost every day, including a reliable 
female in the pond alongside the causeway joining The Pines and High 
Bluff campgrounds, and a few Common Mergansers are also showing up.

This is the first anniversary of the visit to the Park of a Gyrfalcon, 
but as yet no one has reported seeing one this year.  If none appears, 
it will be the second time in the past four years that the species will 
have bypassed Presqu'ile.

The latest sighting of Black-bellied Plovers in the Park was on October 
30.  Sanderlings and Dunlins are still present.  The first Purple 
Sandpiper of the season was on Sebastopol Island right on schedule on 
November 1, but it has not been seen since.  Among the gulls that have 
been feeding on beach 1 and in Presqu'ile Bay, there was a Little Gull 
in both places and a Glaucous Gull, the first of the season, in the 
latter location on October 31.

Early in the morning of October 29, a Barred Owl was sitting on the 
roadside where Lighthouse Lane begins.  A Red-eyed Vireo at the 
lighthouse on October 29 was exceptionally late.  An American Pipit was 
on Gull Island on October 30.  Two Yellow-rumped Warblers were seen on 
November 2.  A Blackpoll Warbler feeding on the lawn at 186 Bayshore 
Road on October 30 was ten days later than the previous late date 
reported in Birds of Presqu'ile Provincial Park.  A Chipping Sparrow was 
at that address for two days this week, and a Vesper Sparrow was there 
briefly on October 29.  A Fox Sparrow was also there for two days.  Snow 
Buntings are still plentiful on the offshore islands.

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 shin-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, High Bluff Island, Owen Point, 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.

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