At least twenty new species, mostly songbirds, returned to Presqu'ile Provincial Park since the latest weekly report was posted a week ago. One observer who spends part of each day birding in the Park saw six species new to him on April 9, a very good birding day here.
April 6 saw another good flight of Canada Geese, among which were two or three Cackling Geese. Two unmarked Trumpeter Swans were close to shore in Presqu'ile Bay on April 8, and a Tundra Swan was present on April 6. Ducks have begun to move on, but dabbling ducks have been along the shore near Owen Point, including a pair of Northern Shovelers. There are fewer Gadwalls than there have been for several recent weeks. The Eurasian Wigeons reported last week have not been seen for a week. Green-winged Teals are the most numerous dabbling ducks these days. A decrease in the number of Canvasbacks, Redheads, and Common Goldeneyes has been accompanied by an increase in Ring-necked Ducks, over 100 of which have been seen at one time. There were three Ruddy Ducks at Salt Point on April 5.
Although only one Red-throated Loon was sighted in Popham Bay this week, it is likely that more will soon be gathering there. Likewise, the spring flight of Common Loons that takes place in the early mornings should be taking place very soon. In the meantime, individuals of that species can be found in the waters around the peninsula, as can Horned Grebes. A single Red-necked Grebe was in Presqu'ile Bay today. One each of Great Egret (April 7) and Black-crowned Night-Heron
(April 5) was observed in the past week, but more should soon be arriving, along with American Bitterns.
Single Ospreys were seen in different parts of the Park on April 6 and single Merlins on several days. The first Ruffed Grouse were heard drumming on April 6. A Wilson's Snipe was seen on April 5, and American Woodcocks have been seen and heard on several occasions. Bonaparte's Gulls and Caspian Terns first appeared on April 6 and are now being seen regularly. Little Gulls sometimes pass through Presqu'ile in the latter half of April. A Glaucous Gull on the beach on April 6 was a late surprise.
A Common Raven flew over on April 10. April is also the month when most of the few spring records of Tufted Titmouse at Presqu'ile have been recorded. Two Carolina Wrens have been vocal in the east end of the peninsula. An early Ruby-crowned Kinglet was at 38 Bayshore Road on April 9, the same day as the first Hermit Thrush sighting (in the High Bluff campground). It seems likely that the first warbler will appear in the next week, but whether it will be a Yellow-rumped Warbler or a Pine Warbler remains to be seen. The big influx of sparrows has barely begun, with sightings of Field Sparrows, a Savannah Sparrow, Fox Sparrows, a Swamp Sparrow, and Eastern Towhees. Only one Rusty Blackbird has been found (at the lighthouse on April 9). The first Purple Finch of the spring was patronizing the feeders at 83 Bayshore Road on April 10. A few Common Redpolls are still coming there too.
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.
Questions and comments about bird sightings at Presqu'ile may be directed to: FHELLEINER@TRENTU.CA.