Waves of spring migrants that swarmed Presqu'ile Provincial Park on Monday and Wednesday of this week are still present, having been dissuaded by adverse weather conditions from moving on. While there are still thousands of ducks in Presqu'ile Bay, the numbers have diminished somewhat, and many of the remaining ducks, especially the dabblers, are scarcely visible from the peninsular side of the bay but are congregating along the north shore and the adjacent corn fields.
Most of the expected species of ducks have been seen repeatedly during the past week, as well as a Surf Scoter on March 31 and a report of a Black Scoter (awaiting details) near the lighthouse on April 5. The flock of Ruddy Ducks off the foot of Langdon Avenue reached a high of eleven birds on April 3, and six were still there on the following day. It is now possible to see Red-throated Loons in Popham Bay almost every day as long as viewing conditions permit, - not always guaranteed as they are usually fairly far off shore. Seven were there on April 1. Common Loons are being sighted daily, most often in Presqu'ile Bay, but the early morning overhead migration of that species has not yet been observed this spring. Double-crested Cormorants in the hundreds are now ubiquitous at Presqu'ile.
An early Osprey flew over the Park on April 3. The first two Caspian Terns of the season arrived on April 2 and were followed by three on the next day.
A very early Yellow-bellied Sapsucker was near the Park store on March 31. Everywhere one looks these past few days there are Northern Flickers. Two shrikes were seen on April 3; one was the Northern Shrike that has been around the calf pasture all winter (including the previous day), but the other one, near the Park gate, flew off before it could be identified as to species. Brown Creepers were also numerous among the new arrivals, with about eight in one small clump of trees near the lighthouse. Golden-crowned Kinglets seem to be everywhere, including eight foraging on a lawn at 186 Bayshore Road. In the absence of readily available binoculars, the observer trained a spotting scope on them and saw five in the field of vision at once. Probably the most abundant song birds at Presqu'ile in the past two days are Dark-eyed Juncoes. In one flock on the lawn of 77 Bayshore Road on April 4 were two Field Sparrows (still there the next morning) and a very early Chipping Sparrow. Also on that date, at least one Fox Sparrow was in a huge flock of juncoes in Newcastle woods and a very early migrant White-throated Sparrow spent the day around 186 and 188 Bayshore Road. Savannah Sparrows or Swamp Sparrows, if they have not already arrived, are likely to be the next of that family to be detected in the Park.
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.