[Ontbirds] Presqu'ile Birding Report for Week Ending October 5, 2006.

Fred Helleiner fhelleiner at trentu.ca
Thu Oct 5 21:51:32 EDT 2006

There have been several days in the past week when Presqu'ile Provincial 
Park has been "crawling with birds."  Not surprisingly, therefore, a few 
rare or uncommon birds have also been spotted.

For the first time this fall, Horned Grebes have begun to outnumber 
Pied-billed Grebes.  Red-necked Grebes have also been present in small 
numbers but appear to be succumbing to some disease, which is also 
taking its toll on loons and scoters.  A Greater Snow Goose was found 
accompanying the Canada Geese on the beach on October 4 and re-appeared 
late on the following day.  It will soon be time to be on the lookout 
for Brant.  The marsh opposite the bird sightings board has become a 
good place to find dabbling ducks, as well as the first Ring-necked Duck 
of the season on October 3, but many of them hide well in the emergent 
vegetation.  The raft of Redheads and Greater Scaup in Popham Bay has 
grown to several hundred birds.  Six Surf Scoters stopped briefly there 
on September 30, and White-winged Scoters can be seen off the south and 
west shores of the peninsula.

A rather late Osprey was seen in several locations on September 29.  A 
Northern Goshawk was seen on October 5.  Merlins were seen on at least 
two days, and a Peregrine Falcon flew past the beach on September 30.

Among the shorebirds being seen regularly are a few American 
Golden-Plovers.  There were two Greater Yellowlegs on the beach on 
October 5, and "peeps" of three species have also been seen: 
Semipalmated Sandpiper and Least Sandpiper on October 5 and White-rumped 
Sandpiper on September 29 and 30.  A late report of a Ruff at Owen Point 
on October 5 came without any documentation, which would normally be 
expected for a species that has only once previously been found at 
Presqu'ile.  A search for the bird three hours later was unsuccessful.  
An American Woodcock was flushed on Gull Tombolo (formerly Gull Island) 
on October 5.  Both adult and immature Little Gulls were present in the 
Park in the past week.  There was a late Caspian Tern over Popham Bay on 
September 30, and a few Common Terns are still being found both there 
and in Presqu'ile Bay.

The latest sighting of a Ruby-throated Hummingbird, on October 2, was a 
day later than the latest one last year, which was believed at that time 
to be a record late date for Presqu'ile.  An Eastern Wood-Pewee on 
October 3 and a Philadelphia Vireo on September 29 were also late.  Well 
over 100 Tree Swallows were migrating over the Park on September 30.  A 
House Wren was seen on October 3.  A Blue-winged Warbler, never common 
at Presqu'ile, was found at the lighthouse on the remarkably late date 
of October 3.  Orange-crowned Warblers have been seen on three of the 
past four days.  Other warblers of interest were a Northern Parula on 
October 2 and 3 and a Magnolia Warbler on the following day, both near 
the lighthouse.  Eastern Towhees showed up in two different parts of the 
Park.  The first Fox Sparrows arrived on October 5.  A Rose-breasted 
Grosbeak at the lighthouse on October 5 may be a record late date for 

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. It should be noted that, because 
duck hunting is given priority on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and 
Saturdays, Gull Tombolo, High Bluff Island, and part of the calf pasture 
are not available for bird-watching on those days.  For the first time 
in several years, however, birders and others will be permitted at Owen 
Point on hunting days, at least for the first few weeks of the hunting 

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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