[Ontbirds] Presqu'ile Birding Report for Week Ending October 13, 2016.

Fred Helleiner fhelleiner at trentu.ca
Thu Oct 13 15:49:44 EDT 2016

Once the log jam of birds waiting in points further north through much 
of last week finally broke on Sunday, Presqu'ile Provincial Park was 
suddenly inundated with hundreds of southbound migrants that had been 
held up by summer-like weather and southerly winds.

In addition to the long-staying TRUMPETER SWANS around Sebastopol 
Island, four TUNDRA SWANS were nearby on Tuesday.  A good variety of 
ducks is present to the west of the camp office lookout over the marsh.  
BLACK DUCKS, and MALLARDS, but the majority are GREEN-WINGED TEAL (275 
by one count). Today there were two NORTHERN PINTAILS, and on Tuesday 
the first RING-NECKED DUCK of the season showed up there, followed by 
four on Wednesday.  A female SURF SCOTER off Salt Point on Monday and a 
few WHITE-WINGED SCOTERS in Popham Bay were also of interest. A RUFFED 
GROUSE was seen on two different days and a WILD TURKEY on Sunday.  On 
Sunday and Tuesday, single RED-NECKED GREBES were seen.  Only six 
shorebird species were around this week.  Both BLACK-BELLIED PLOVER and 
two AMERICAN GOLDEN-PLOVERS have been present this week, including this 
morning.  A WHITE-RUMPED SANDPIPER on Tuesday and Wednesday and a rather 
late SEMIPALMATED SANDPIPER today were also seen.  At this time of year, 
observers should be on the lookout for RED PHALAROPES, which 
occasionally stop at Presqu'ile.  An AMERICAN WOODCOCK seen on Friday 
also qualifies technically as a shorebird.  A CASPIAN TERN was still 
lingering on Friday.  Although the GREEN HERONS that frequented the 
woodpile marsh for over seven weeks appear to have departed, the 
AMERICAN BITTERN that was also there was last seen on Friday.

Apart from numerous TURKEY VULTURES, hawks and owls have been scarce 
this week.  A GREAT HORNED OWL was calling late one night, and MERLINS 
and a PEREGRINE FALCON have been seen sporadically.  As usual, there 
have been a few sightings of RED-BELLIED and PILEATED WOODPECKERS.  The 
first NORTHERN SHRIKES of the season sometimes show up in mid-October.  
What may be the last RED-EYED VIREOS of the year were seen on Saturday 
and Sunday.  Although GRAY JAYS are rare at Presqu'ile (only one record 
in the past forty years), all of the autumn sightings have been in 
October, including one on October 16 six years ago.  COMMON RAVENS are 
again being seen on most days, including nine on Saturday.  A CAROLINA 
WREN was singing near the woodpile marsh on Friday, almost three weeks 
since another or the same one was also heard there.  HERMIT THRUSHES 
were ubiquitous on the weekend.  Half a dozen AMERICAN PIPITS were in 
the woodpile marsh on Tuesday and Wednesday.  The same observer who 
photographed the first LAPLAND LONGSPUR of the season last week also 
photographed the first SNOW BUNTING of the season on the beach 
yesterday.  Warblers have thinned out since the weekend, but up to and 
including the weekend eight species were seen, including a few 
BLACKPOLL WARBLERS.  Three FOX SPARROWS were among the hordes of other 
sparrows in the Park.

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 water that is ankle-deep,
not taking into account any wave action,.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, Owen Point, 
Gull Island,
High Bluff Island, 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

Fred Helleiner
186 Bayshore Road
Brighton, Ontario
K0K 1H0
If visiting, access via Presqu'ile Provincial Park

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