[Ontbirds] Presqu'ile OFO outing, September 9th: Major passerine fall-out

Ian Shanahan r.ian.shanahan at gmail.com
Mon Sep 10 11:01:26 EDT 2018

Hello birders:

A group of 22 participants enjoyed a dizzying fall-out of passerines to
begin Sunday's annual OFO outing at Presqu'ile Provincial Park in Brighton.
The northeast wind gradually shifted to an east wind and steadily gained
strength throughout the day beneath partly cloudy skies. The core group
amassed 78 bird species, while off-shoot sub-groups contributed another 7
species for a total of 85.

*Lighthouse and area (8:00am–mid-morning)*
Warblers and other passerines were cascading from tree to tree around the
Lighthouse parking lot and a small section of adjacent Paxton Drive. 16
warbler species were spotted, including Black-and-white, Tennessee,
Nashville, American Redstart, Cape May, Northern Parula, Magnolia,
Bay-breasted, Blackburnian, Chestnut-sided, Blackpoll, Black-throated Blue,
Yellow-rumped, Black-throated Green, Canada, and Wilson's. Red-eyed Vireos,
a singing Warbling Vireo, both nuthatch species, a small flock of Cedar
Waxwings, Easter Wood-Pewees, Alder/Willow Flycatchers, Blue Jays, American
Goldfinches, Rose-breasted Grosbeaks, and Ruby-throated Hummingbirds were
also in the mix. Singles of Common Raven and Northern Harrier (immature)
circled overhead briefly.

*Owen Point Trail / Owen Point / beach (mid–late morning)*
Many more passerines fed in the cedars, and both Palm and a late Yellow
Warbler foraged in the willows at Owen Point. From the point, we scoped two
Caspian Terns, one 1st-cycle Great Black-backed Gull, and a distant group
of Sanderlings (part of a larger groups of shorebirds on the north shore of
Gull Island — accessible as of tomorrow). One Sharp-shinned Hawk and at
least one Merlin put in appearances, which kept the shorebirds scattered
and flighty. We did, however, eventually enjoy close views of a flock
containing many Least Sandpipers and Semipalmated Plovers and two
Semipalmated Sandpipers. A juvenile Black-bellied Plover flew past as well.

*Calf Pasture (early afternoon)*
After a quick lunch by the Park Store, we stopped by Calf Pasture, but it
was too windy for much bird activity, save for a resident Belted Kingfisher
and a family group of Eastern Phoebes.

*The Birdhouse Nature Store (early afternoon)*
Winds were unfavourable for raptor viewing, but many passerines were on the
move here. A distant Northern Flicker offered satisfactory views.

*Brighton Constructed Wetland (BCW) / Brighton Sewage Lagoon
After seeing four juvenile Common Gallinules en route, we encountered six
juvenile Lesser Yellowlegs and one adult Greater Yellowlegs at the BCW.
Several Green-winged Teal, many Wood Ducks, and two Marsh Wrens were other
notables here. We finished the outing around 2:50 p.m. at the entrance to
the gated Brighton Sewage Lagoon where two adult Bonaparte's Gulls, two
Blue-winged Teal, and one Spotted Sandpiper completed our day's tally.

Thanks again to the local birders who offered their assistance and to Keith
Lee of the Municipality of Brighton for granting group access to the BCW.
We hope to see you next year.

Good birding!

Ian and Sofia Shanahan

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