Presumably because birders have been preoccupied with celebrations of one sort or another during the past week, there has been a paucity of bird reports from Presqu'ile Provincial Park. Most of the interesting sightings have been in Presqu'ile Bay, where residents keep an eye on what there is to see when otherwise not occupied. The ice margin has retreated to the calf pasture, allowing waterfowl to avoid the hunters at Salt Point.
Late last week about 600 MUTE SWANS and at least a dozen TRUMPETER SWANS were in Presqu'ile Bay. Yesterday the numbers of the former had dwindled somewhat and a dozen or so TUNDRA SWANS accompanied them. The first CANVASBACKS usually show up at about this time. This week there have been only a couple of dozen REDHEADS, as well as a lone male RING-NECKED DUCK for a few days. WHITE-WINGED SCOTERS are there in single digits. A surprising concentration of about 120 COMMON MERGANSERS on Tuesday was the only sighting of that species in over a week. Seven WILD TURKEYS were along Bayshore Road near Lilac Lane yesterday. Three AMERICAN COOTS were off the government dock on Friday but have not re-appeared. Two ICELAND GULLS and one GLAUCOUS GULL have been on the edge of the ice in Presqu'ile Bay.
The big news among Bayshore Road residents has been the BALD EAGLES sitting on the ice of Presqu'ile Bay and in adjacent trees. On most days several have been seen at once, and two observers mentioned counting ten or eleven at a time. Two observers found a NORTHERN GOSHAWK along Paxton Drive, and a ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK was on Gull Island. The only owl of the past week was a BARRED OWL. A flock of CEDAR WAXWINGS was seen on Friday. After spending over a week at 186 Bayshore Road, the SAVANNAH SPARROW mentioned in last week's report disappeared after Thursday of last week.
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 (a couple of metres of water with a depth of a centimetre or two separated it from Owen Point on Tuesday) may encounter a slippery coating of ice on the rocks. Ice cleats are recommended.
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@TRENTU.CA.