[Ontbirds] Presqu'ile Birding Report for Week Ending May 6, 2010.

Fred Helleiner fhelleiner at trentu.ca
Thu May 6 19:59:09 EDT 2010

If the definition of a rare bird, as applied in Presqu'ile Provincial 
Park, is one that has not been recorded in either the current or the 
preceding year, then several rare birds have appeared in the Park in the 
past week.  In fact, not only rarities but also those that might have 
been expected arrived with a vengeance on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.  
Migration has continued since then, with new species returning every day.

No RED-THROATED LOONS have been reported since the two that were present 
on April 30.  Six AMERICAN BITTERNS were counted in the marsh on Tuesday 
evening.  LEAST BITTERNS may already be back also, but they are more 
difficult to locate.  The nesting GREAT EGRETS on High Bluff Island are 
more conspicuous than ever before, perhaps because their numbers are 
up.  GREEN HERONS were seen at the lighthouse and at the calf pasture.  
BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT-HERONS roosting on Sebastopol Island are sometimes 
obscured by the foliage.  CANADA GEESE were migrating on May 2.  Given 
that several broods have hatched and fledged in the Park already, those 
flocks likely consisted of moult migrants.  Other waterfowl noted this 

This has been a good week for raptor sightings.  Among the eight species 
was a PEREGRINE FALCON that perched for a long time near the woodpile 
marsh on May 5.  It or another was seen at the marsh boardwalk on the 
following morning.  The long-staying and excessively tame WILD TURKEY 
has been seen again in the vicinity of two homes/cottages.  A SORA was 
found on May 3.  The shorebird scene has been mixed.  The beach has been 
almost empty, though a RUDDY TURNSTONE on May 5 was rather early.  On 
the other hand, low water in the marsh has exposed mudflats visible from 
the new viewing tower.  Twelve GREATER and three LESSER YELLOWLEGS have 
been there on at least two recent days.  Presumably it was that same 
flock that was also seen on the rocky lake shore at High Bluff 
campground.   AMERICAN WOODCOCKS were performing behind 83 Bayshore 
Road. A BARRED OWL was also calling there.  On May 1, two 
WHIP-POOR-WILLS were calling at that location and a short time later at 
least one was near the lighthouse.

have been conspicuous by their scarcity or absence, only three sightings 
of the latter having been noted and none of the former.  RED-BELLIED 
WOODPECKERS have also been scarce since the first one appeared on May 
1.  A WHITE-EYED VIREO was discovered on May 2.  This is not only a rare 
bird at Presqu'ile but is also the earliest spring arrival date.  BLUE 
JAYS have been migrating past the lighthouse every morning since the 
weekend.  A COMMON RAVEN has been seen or heard several times.  BANK 
SWALLOWS returned en masse to their colony at the day use area of the 
Park.  Twice this week, the CAROLINA WREN at 83 Bayshore Road put in an 
appearance.  BLUE-GRAY GNATCATCHERS are again building a nest beside 
Paxton Drive.  The warbler migration is slowly getting under way.  
Numbers are still low but the variety has been good (20 species).  Both 
BLUE-WINGED and GOLDEN-WINGED WARBLERS have been located by their 
songs.  An early TENNESSEE WARBLER was singing on May 6, and a record 
early AMERICAN REDSTART was at the lighthouse on April 30.  The best of 
them all, however, was a singing male HOODED WARBLER on May 5.  SCARLET 
TANAGERS were seen on May 4 and 5.  A CLAY-COLORED SPARROW appeared on a 
lawn at 186 Bayshore Road on May 2.  GRASSHOPPER SPARROWS are rare at 
any time at Presqu'ile but one was found on May 2.  ROSE-BREASTED 
GROSBEAKS and an early INDIGO BUNTING on May 2 have both begun to add 
colour to the bird scene.  A BOBOLINK was at the calf pasture on May 6. 
A RUSTY BLACKBIRD was still present on May 3.  ORCHARD ORIOLES have been 
seen on most days this month and will likely remain for the summer.

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.  Birders are encouraged to record their 
observations on the bird sightings board provided near the campground 
office by The Friends of Presqu'ile Park and to fill out a rare bird 
report for species not listed there.

Fred Helleiner

186 Bayshore Road,
Brighton, Ontario, Canada, K0K 1H0
VOICE: (613) 475 5309
If visiting, access via Presqu'ile Provincial Park.

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