[Ontbirds] Presqu'ile Birding Report for Week Ending October 14, 2010.

Fred Helleiner fhelleiner at trentu.ca
Thu Oct 14 16:14:32 EDT 2010

Mid-October birding at Presqu'ile Provincial Park is characterized by 
seeking out late shorebirds and warblers, while encountering a few newly 
arrived winter birds or species that typically pass through late in the 
season, such as ducks, gulls, and owls.

The marsh opposite the campground office has been full of dabbling ducks 
this week, mostly MALLARDS and GREEN-WINGED TEAL but also featuring 
of which can easily be seen from the road.  This is also the area where 
RING-NECKED DUCKS normally show up at this time of year.  Far greater 
numbers of ducks (in the thousands) are off shore in Popham Bay.  Most 
are GREATER SCAUP, but their numbers will soon be challenged by 
RED-BREASTED MERGANSERS, which have begun to show up in the past week.  
COMMON GOLDENEYES have also begun to show up, both there and off the 
lighthouse.  WHITE-WINGED SCOTERS are also there but more typically off 
the day use area, far out in the open lake.  A SURF SCOTER was at Salt 
Point on October 10.  A RED-THROATED LOON was near the raft of scaup in 
Popham Bay on October 10.  Good numbers of HORNED GREBES are there every 
day, and the surprise of the week was an EARED GREBE among them on 
October 12.  A late GREAT EGRET was at High Bluff Island on October 10.  
A BALD EAGLE  flew over Bayshore Road on October 10, and MERLINS and 
PEREGRINE FALCONS have been harassing the shorebirds near Owen Point.

While shorebirds have largely departed from other places, the 
traditional areas at Presqu'ile continue to attract dozens of them, 
including AMERICAN GOLDEN-PLOVERS and exceptionally large numbers of 
WHITE-RUMPED SANDPIPERS.  A LITTLE GULL was off the nature centre on 
October 12.  A COMMON TERN was patrolling the waters off Owen Point and 
the beach for three consecutive days up to a record-tying late date of 
October 12.  Three BARRED OWLS and a NORTHERN SAW-WHET OWL were located 
on October 12, including one of the former calling late at night at the 

A COMMON RAVEN was flying around the lighthouse area, being chased for a 
while by a small falcon.  Almost every day since October 8, huge 
numbers, probably in the hundreds, of BLACK-CAPPED CHICKADEES have been 
migrating around the lighthouse in the early mornings, often so high as 
to be barely visible.  As yet, no BOREAL CHICKADEES have been detected 
among them.  A CAROLINA WREN showed up at 186 Bayshore Road on October 
13, almost certainly a different bird from the one that has been at 83 
Bayshore Road for months.  As recently as October 12, four species of 
warblers were at the lighthouse, including ORANGE-CROWNED, NASHVILLE, 
and two NORTHERN PARULAS.  On the day before, the same area had a 
EASTERN TOWHEES were on High Bluff Island and one behind 81 Bayshore 
Road.  The minor influx of PURPLE FINCHES last week seems to have 
petered out, with none being reported for the past several 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.  Visitors to Gull Island not using a 
boat should be prepared to wade through shin-deep water in which there 
is often a swift current and a substrate that is somewhat uneven and 
slippery.  It should also be noted that, because duck hunting is given 
priority on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, Gull Island, 
High Bluff Island, Owen Point, and part of the calf pasture are not 
available for bird-watching on those days. 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.

Questions and comments about bird sightings at Presqu'ile may be 
directed to: FHELLEINER at TRENTU.CA.

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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