[Ontbirds] Presqu'ile Birding Report for Week Ending May 5, 2011.

Fred Helleiner fhelleiner at trentu.ca
Thu May 5 20:22:33 EDT 2011

When April turns to May, expectations are high among birders that many 
wonderful sightings will materialize.  At Presqu'ile Provincial Park, 
those expectations have been only partly fulfilled because of weather 
conditions that were unfavourable for spring migration.  Nevertheless, 
some interesting reports have surfaced, especially, for the second week 
in a row, among shorebirds.  The forecast is for a change that is more 
conducive to typical May birding conditions.

Among birds that can soon be expected to pass through Presqu'ile are the 
flocks of BRANT that are more regular here than in other parts of 
southern Ontario.  Other waterfowl of interest in the past few days have 
included five NORTHERN SHOVELERS and three SURF SCOTERS.  Most 
RED-THROATED LOONS have likely moved on, but small numbers are still 
present in Popham Bay.  GREAT EGRETS are uncommon in much of Ontario but 
can be counted on at Presqu'ile, where several nests on High Bluff 
Island are visible from the mainland with the aid of a scope.  Given the 
preponderance of that species of egret in the Park and the extreme 
rarity of SNOWY EGRETS anywhere in Ontario, the report of one of the 
latter on May 1 requires the submission of a rare bird report form to 
the Park office.

Raptors have been scarce at Presqu'ile this week but both AMERICAN 
KESTREL and MERLIN  have been present at the calf pasture.  The beach 
from Owen Point north to the Park boundary has had several species of 
shorebirds in recent days.  The first BLACK-BELLIED PLOVER of the season 
was on the natural beach yesterday and today.  A banded PIPING PLOVER, 
an endangered species, was there on May 4 but could not be found the 
next morning.  A GREATER YELLOWLEGS was at Owen Point today.  For the 
second time in a week, a WILLET was at Presqu'ile, this time at Owen 
Point, a more logical place than last week's, on April 30.  One LEAST 
SANDPIPER and up to eight DUNLINS have also been present.

The first of a few RUBY-THROATED HUMMINGBIRDS arrived on May 1.  
RED-BELLIED WOODPECKERS are almost a daily observation.  The first 
EASTERN KINGBIRDS were sighted on April 29.  A record early RED-EYED 
VIREO was found on April 30.  BLUE-GRAY GNATCATCHERS are plentiful these 
days.  An AMERICAN PIPIT was at Owen Point today.  Two different 
BLUE-WINGED WARBLERS were in the Park for a couple of days.  An early 
NORTHERN PARULA was seen on April 30.  Two warblers reported in the past 
week by the same observer are sufficiently out of range or out of season 
to warrant documentation.  One, a YELLOW-THROATED WARBLER, was only the 
second ever at Presqu'ile and much earlier than the previous one.  The 
other, a female (!) CANADA WARBLER on May 5 was almost a week earlier 
than the earliest date on record for males, which usually arrive later 
in May and before the females.  Another warbler never before seen in 
April at Presqu'ile was an AMERICAN REDSTART on April 27.  The first of 
two LINCOLN'S SPARROWS appeared on May 2.  For a species reputed to be 
in serious trouble, the number of RUSTY BLACKBIRDS in the Park this week 
seems remarkable, though the amount of standing water in the forest is 
probably a factor.  Both ORCHARD and BALTIMORE ORIOLES have returned to 
those parts of the Park where they nest. 

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.

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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