Recent weather at Presqu'ile Provincial Park has discouraged the usual amount of birder activity. Nevertheless, there have been sightings of winter birds by hard-core birders that would justify a visit because of the variety that can be seen.
MUTE SWANS remain at below normal levels. Two CANVASBACKS were seen on Monday and four todaay. REDHEAD and GREATER SCAUP numbers have increased dramatically in the past 24 hours. WHITE-WINGED SCOTERS are most reliably seen around the Salt Point lighthouse. Six COMMON MERGANSERS that have been missing for almost a month have returned. The influx of ducks today raises hopes of finding the first HOODED MERGANSER of the season. Among the birds that have been present in small numbers all winter that have been seen again this week are WILD TURKEY, BALD EAGLE, and COOPER'S HAWK. SNOWY OWLS have been seen in several parts of the Park, including one in the day use area. A PILEATED WOODPECKER was seen yesterday and a MERLIN on Sunday. COMMON RAVENS are seen on most days. BROWN CREEPERS have been present all winter, and a group of three appeared on Sunday, one of which was feeding on bacon fat that had been smeared on the trunk of a tree. AMERICAN ROBINS, too, have been present all winter but this week flocks of them have showed up in three widely scattered parts of the Park in two of which they had not been noticed previously. Several intrepid observers have made their way to Gull Island, where a flock of SNOW BUNTINGS has been a reward. A WHITE-THROATED SPARROW was again patronizing the feeders at 83 Bayshore Road.
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. Visitors to Gull Island not using a boat should be aware that the ice between Owen Point and the island may or may not support the weight of a human. They may also 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.