[Ontbirds] Presqu'ile Birding Report for Week Ending November 10, 2011.

Fred Helleiner fhelleiner at trentu.ca
Thu Nov 10 17:05:04 EST 2011

The customary mid-November lull in birding activity at Presqu'ile 
Provincial Park has set in, but, as is also customary, there are rare 
species that do show up in November.  The past week has been no exception.

A small goose, possibly a CACKLING GOOSE, was at the calf pasture 
yesterday, along with four TUNDRA SWANS.  Another four of the latter 
were at the camp office viewing platform this morning.  Every day this 
month the male EURASIAN WIGEON has been visible from that location, 
though sometimes swimming out of sight.  WOOD DUCKS and NORTHERN 
PINTAILS have also been there.  This is the time of year when HARLEQUIN 
DUCKS occasionally show up.  There have been a few BLACK SCOTERS off 
Sebastopol Island this week.  Loons and grebes have been much less 
plentiful this week than last, but the EARED GREBE north of Gull Island 
was seen on November 6 and 8.  DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANTS are reduced to 
single-digit observations. 

A few hawks have been migrating past Presqu'ile, including the first 
ROUGH-LEGGED HAWKS of the season and both MERLINS and PEREGRINE 
FALCONS.  If a GYRFALCON appeared this month, it would not be totally 
unheard of.  Three RUFFED GROUSE followed each other across a Park road 
busy with cars heading to Christmas at Presqu'ile.  Among the lingering 
the other hand, the PURPLE SANDPIPER that was on Gull Island on November 
8 was the first of what will likely be several more of this typically 
late-migrating shorebird.  A LITTLE GULL was at Owen Point on November 
8.  The rarest gull of the season was a BLACK-LEGGED KITTIWAKE that flew 
over Owen Point on November 6.  Only two owl species were found this 
week, a BARRED OWL seen twice in broad daylight and a SHORT-EARED OWL 
that was watched and photographed as it dodged the birders who were out 
on Gull Island on Sunday and they in turn were dodging it. 

So much for the bigger birds, which have been outnumbering the "dickey 
birds" all week.  A RED-BELLIED WOODPECKER continues to patronize the 
feeders at 83 Bayshore Road.  A NORTHERN SHRIKE was in that area late 
last week.  Two HORNED LARKS were on Gull Island on Sunday.  The elusive 
CAROLINA WREN at 83 Bayshore Road can be found, it seems, only by 
spending days at a time there and waiting for it to vocalize.   A late 
RUBY-CROWNED KINGLET was at the camp office viewing platform on November 
6.  A small flock of EASTERN BLUEBIRDS and a HERMIT THRUSH were on 
Paxton Drive on November 4.  AMERICAN PIPITS continue to frequent Gull 
Island and one was in the picnic area on November 5.  A late 
YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER was at the lighthouse on November 8.  An EASTERN 
TOWHEE and a FIELD SPARROW were still in the Park on November 6, and at 
least two SWAMP SPARROWS were at Owen Point two days later.  SNOW 
BUNTINGS have been seen regularly along the beach.  A PURPLE FINCH, two 
fly-over WHITE-WINGED CROSSBILLS, and a number of PINE SISKINS were the 
most interesting finches of the past week, after a period when almost 
none were around. 

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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