[Ontbirds] Presqu'ile Birding Report for Week Ending August 16, 2007.

Fred Helleiner fhelleiner at trentu.ca
Thu Aug 16 20:40:06 EDT 2007

With the first big influx of fall land bird migrants having reached 
Presqu'ile Provincial Park on Tuesday, birding has become much more 
exciting in the Park and promises to become even more so.  The foliage 
still makes it difficult to spot the warblers in the canopy, especially 
since they are being greatly outnumbered by monarch butterflies, whose 
movements offer a constant distraction  for those whose only interest is 

Not a day has gone by in the past week without sightings of Common Loons 
in Presqu'ile Bay.  Their distress calls when boats approach too closely 
come as a pleasant surprise to visitors at the calf pasture.  One group 
of observers saw eight Great Egrets fly over.  Although it is still a 
bit early for the main hawk migration (much of which by-passes 
Presqu'ile anyway), there have been several interesting sightings this 
week:  Ospreys on most days; Northern Harriers (probably local 
breeders); Sharp-shinned Hawk at the calf pasture on August 15; Cooper's 
Hawk and Peregrine Falcon on August 16; Merlin on August 14.

A Black-bellied Plover has been at Owen Point regularly since August 
11.  Up to six Semipalmated Plovers and four Lesser Yellowlegs have also 
been present on most days.  A bird that fitted the description of a 
Hudsonian Godwit was reported, but the bird disappeared before its 
identity could be confirmed.  A Baird's Sandpiper aand two Short-billed 
Dowitchers were also of interest.  The next two weeks should see more 
shorebirds arriving, and with them, one hopes, an even greater variety 
of species.

A Rock Pigeon flew over the lighthouse on August 16.  The most recent 
Barred Owl sighting was on August 14.  Three Common Nighthawks flew over 
the lighthouse at dusk on August 10.  Ruby-throated Hummingbirds are 
appearing in greater numbers than during the earlier part of the 
summer.  /Empidonax /flycatchers and Eastern Phoebes have begun showing 
up here and there.  The last two weeks of August are one of two brief 
periods of the year when Olive-sided Flycatchers can be expected.  A 
small Blue Jay migration appeared to be taking place at the lighthouse 
on August 16.  Blue-Gray Gnatcatchers have been seen twice at the 
lighthouse and once at the calf pasture this week.

Ten species of warblers reached Presqu'ile this week, nine of them on 
August 14.  Among others, there were Nashville Warblers, Chestnut-sided 
Warblers, Black-throated Green Warblers, Blackburnian Warblers, 
Black-and-white Warblers, Mourning Warblers, Canada Warblers, and one 
that was likely a Bay-breasted Warbler.  Scarlet Tanagers have been at 
the lighthouse on two different days.

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.

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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