[Ontbirds] Presqu'ile Birding Report for Week Ending April 23, 2009.
fhelleiner at trentu.ca
Thu Apr 23 20:08:51 EDT 2009
A variety of avian families was represented among the migrant birds that
surged into Presqu'ile Provincial Park at the end of last week. At
least one unexpected migrant was among them.
Wood Ducks have settled in at the Park and are being seen in the depths
of the woods almost every day. Other dabbling ducks seen in the past
week include a single American Black Duck and a pair of Northern
Pintails in the marsh and a flock of Green-winged Teal along the beach.
A few White-winged Scoters are around and a diminishing number of Common
Goldeneyes. Hooded Mergansers were seen twice on the weekend. The
Red-throated Loons which are a Presqu'ile specialty are visible (barely
and through a scope) in Popham Bay whenever the waves and other
distorting factors permit it. On April 17, two Horned Grebes and a
Red-necked Grebe were swimming close to shore at the lighthouse. With
the aid of a scope, Great Egrets are visible on a nest on High Bluff
Island and are sometimes seen elsewhere in the Park. As many as five
Black-crowned Night-Herons are using the bush on Sebastopol Island as a
perch during the day and may be considering re-establishing that as a
nesting site after a hiatus of a couple of years. A Turkey Vulture
soared over the calf pasture on April 19, and an Osprey was eating a
fish there on April 23.
A call of the first Virginia Rail of the season was heard on April 22
off the new viewing tower at the marsh. A Dunlin appeared on the beach
on April 19 and was joined by five others on April 21. All six have
been present every day since then. Although these dates are not the
earliest on record at Presqu'ile, a group of this size is unusual in
April, the peak migration of that species occurring around the beginning
of June. While a few Bonaparte's Gulls flew by in the past week,
including eleven in one flock, the big numbers (and perhaps an
accompanying Little Gull) have yet to arrive.
Although Red-bellied Woodpeckers are uncommon winter birds in the area
around Presqu'ile, there are no known winter records for the Park, and
spring arrivals usually occur late in April. This year, the first two
were found on April 17, one just inside the Park gate and the other in
Newcastle Woods, where it was still present on the following day. The
only regular swallow that has not yet returned to the Park is Cliff
Swallow. Mid- to late April is when most of the few spring records of
Tufted Titmouse have occurred, and feeder watchers should be alert for
that possibility. A very early House Wren was on High Bluff Island on
April 21. A Ruby-crowned Kinglet has been in the same clump of trees
near the lighthouse on four of the past five days. Not unexpectedly,
Hermit Thrushes have been seen in various parts of the Park all week.
The biggest surprise was a Northern Mockingbird near the lighthouse on
April 17, that was heard again on the following day. A Brown Thrasher
was also there and singing. The first warbler of the spring was a Pine
Warbler (predictably in "The Pines" campground) on April 18 and
repeatedly since then in the same location. Two days later, the first
of several Yellow-rumped Warblers and a Palm Warbler were at the
lighthouse. At least ten of the former were on High Bluff Island on
April 21. An Eastern Towhee was also there. What may be the last
American Tree Sparrow until October was at the lighthouse on April 18,
along with two Field Sparrows. Chipping Sparrows have also returned on
time. Numerous Fox Sparrow sightings have been noted in various parts
of the Park all week, but especially in "The Pines" campground. The
only Rusty Blackbird this spring was found in Newcastle Woods on April
17. Some of the highest counts of Pine Siskins since mid-winter have
been recorded at 186 and 187 Bayshore Road in recent days: 21 on April
21 and 20 on April 22.
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