[Ontbirds]Presqu'ile Birding Report for Week Ending May 25, 2006.
fhelleiner at trentu.ca
Thu May 25 20:57:38 EDT 2006
While spring migration may be winding down at some of the birding "hot
spots" in southern Ontario, there is little sign of that happening yet
at Presqu'ile Provincial Park. In fact, the past week has in many
respects been the peak of migration. Nevertheless, there are more
reports of "late" birds that would normally have left by this date than
there are reports of early arrivals.
The five Common Loons off the day use area on May 25 are not likely to
continue migrating to some northern lake to breed. Most of the regular
species of herons, including Great Egrets, have been back for some
time. The last week of May, however, has in the past produced such
rarities at Presqu'ile as Snowy Egret and Tricolored Heron. The "moult
migration" of Canada Geese has already begun. Surprisingly, the only
flock of Brant seen in the Park this week was one on May 22. On May 20
the two immature Trumpeter Swans were again at the calf pasture and
should continue to be looked for. Diving ducks of several species put
in an unexpected appearance on May 25, perhaps because viewing
conditions over Lake Ontario were ideal. There were two flocks of
White-winged Scoters and Long-tailed Ducks, as well as more Red-breasted
Mergansers than had been seen recently. In Popham Bay there were
singles of Surf Scoter, Bufflehead, and Common Goldeneye, all of which
were rather late for those species.
Raptor sightings of the past week have included Turkey Vulture, Osprey,
Northern Harrier, Sharp-shinned Hawk, and, for the second time in as
many weeks, a Peregrine Falcon at Owen Point, as well as a Barred Owl
nearby on the same day (May 23).
A good selection of shorebirds can usually be found off Owen Point and
along the beach, but the big concentrations are yet to come, perhaps in
the coming week. Only two Black-bellied Plovers were seen this week.
Although the past weekend was billed as "Warblers and Whimbrels Weekend"
at Presqu'ile, only one of the latter species could be found, and it or
another of its kind has been seen sporadically since then. One or two
Red Knots have been present off and on since May 20. No bands could be
seen on their legs. Short-billed Dowitchers have been present for the
past two days. Sanderlings are likely to be the next shorebirds to
arrive. A Lesser Black-backed Gull was sitting among the other gulls at
Owen Point on May 22. Caspian Tern numbers continue to build up, with
several dozen in view at any one time at Owen Point.
The first Black-billed Cuckoo of the season in the Park was heard on May
25. A late Yellow-bellied Sapsucker has been frequenting the eastern
end of the peninsula. All of the regular flycatchers have now returned
to Presqu'ile with the exception of Yellow-bellied Flycatcher, which
should be back any day now. For the third consecutive week,
Yellow-throated Vireos have been seen, - single individuals on two
different days. Swallows were seemingly everywhere near the water on
the cold days of the weekend, all six of the regular species being seen
near the lighthouse. A late Golden-crowned Kinglet was found on May 22,
and several late Ruby-crowned Kinglets were still being seen daily up
till May 24. A Northern Mockingbird was near beach 1 on May 19.
After a slow start on Saturday, the other featured birds of the weekend
did not disappoint those who came to see warblers. Twenty-five species
plus one hybrid were seen on at least one of the next two days, and that
total omits a Hooded Warbler that was near the Park Store for much of
Friday. Two late Golden-winged Warblers were among them, as was a
"Brewster's Warbler". Another of that hybrid had been seen on May 19.
Both Orange-crowned Warbler and Blackpoll Warbler were also seen then
and subsequently. Several late Palm Warblers were in the Park on the
weekend, and one was still present on May 24.
Of the two Lincoln's Sparrows found this week, one co-operated by
feeding beside a brush pile on three consecutive days, May 22-24.
White-crowned Sparrows lingered in unusually high numbers for this time
of year, half a dozen or more being seen daily up to May 24. The
biggest surprise of the week was a Yellow-headed Blackbird that stopped
very briefly at the lighthouse on May 21 but left before most of the
birders in the area could see it. Orchard Orioles can be found in
widely separated parts of the Park, where they have been present
throughout the summer in recent years. A Pine Siskin was seen as
recently as May 21.
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.
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