[Ontbirds] Presqu'ile Birding Report for Week Ending May 31, 2012.

Fred Helleiner fhelleiner at trentu.ca
Thu May 31 20:44:53 EDT 2012

Two birds that are seen at Presqu'ile Provincial Park on a less than 
annual frequency appeared this week, along with most of the species that 
are expected in the last week of May.  Because of the full foliage in 
the forest canopy, most birds now are being detected and identified by 
sound, except in the more open areas of the Park.

A BRANT has been frequenting the south-east corner of Gull Island for 
the past two days, perhaps the same bird that was seen on May 25.  An 
AMERICAN BLACK DUCK off Gull Island on May 26 was the first in over a 
week.  Several large groups of WHITE-WINGED SCOTERS have been seen this 
week, including about 160 off the lighthouse on May 27.  Up to four 
COMMON LOONS in one day lead one to hope that they may again nest in 
Presqu'ile Bay.  A LEAST BITTERN was beside the marsh boardwalk on May 
27.  The leaves on High Bluff Island are making it more difficult to see 
the GREAT EGRETS on their nests, but individuals are often seen flying 
to and from the island.  Four BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT-HERONS were doing the 
same on May 27.

The focus of most birding activity this week has been on shorebirds.  
Some days, like May 26, have been productive while others have been less 
so.  On that date, a highlight was a flock of 50 BLACK-BELLIED PLOVERS, 
among which were two AMERICAN GOLDEN-PLOVERS, which are very rare in 
spring at Presqu'ile.  The much sought after WHIMBRELS have been around 
through most of the week in ones and twos.  The flock of eight on May 25 
was the largest of the spring, an unusually low number for Presqu'ile.  
Up to 50 RUDDY TURNSTONES and four RED KNOTS that have been seen on 
three different days but have eluded most observers have added colour to 
the mix of shorebirds.  Hundreds of DUNLINS on May 26 have been the most 
prolific shorebirds this week.  Six SHORT-BILLED DOWITCHERS were at Owen 
Point on May 25.  An AMERICAN WOODCOCK has been flushed several times on 
the Owen Point trail.  On May 27, several birders watching another rare 
bird on the beach (see below) were treated to a surprise visit from a 
WILSON'S PHALAROPE, the first at Presqu'ile in many months.  It was seen 
again on the next day.  It would not be too late in the spring for a 
RED-NECKED PHALAROPE to be added to the shorebird tally, which now 
stands at 22 species this spring.  A  few BONAPARTE'S GULLS and a GREAT 
BLACK-BACKED GULL were the only unusual gulls, but a rare FORSTER'S TERN 
that sat on the beach preening between short flights was an unexpected 
larid on May 27 and 28. 

Anywhere except at Presqu'ile, a ROCK PIGEON would not be worth a second 
look, but one was seen flying over this week.  BARRED OWLS continue to 
make their presence known.  A COMMON NIGHTHAWK on May 26 was the only 
one of the spring to date.  RED-BELLIED WOODPECKERS appear to have gone 
silent but continue to patronize feeders at 83 Bayshore Road.  An 
OLIVE-SIDED FLYCATCHER was conspicuous on May 27.  Both ALDER and WILLOW 
FLYCATCHERS have been recorded this week.  BLUE JAYS were still 
migrating over the lighthouse on May 29.  A lone CLIFF SWALLOW flew past 
Owen Point.  Two BLUE-GRAY GNATCATCHERS were found on May 27.  The 
NORTHERN MOCKINGBIRD reported last week was seen again on May 25.  At 
least fifteen warbler species were in the Park in the past week, but in 
much smaller numbers than before.  ORCHARD ORIOLES are fairly easy to 
find at this time of year.  No longer rare at Presqu'ile but still 
uncommon are HOUSE SPARROWS, of which one was seen.

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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