[Ontbirds] Presqu'ile Birding Report for Week Ending November 3, 2005.
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.
186 Bayshore Road,
Brighton, Ontario, Canada, K0K 1H0
VOICE: (613) 475 5309
If visiting, access via Presqu'ile Provincial Park.
More information about the ONTBIRDS