There have been more birders visiting Presqu'ile Provincial Park this week than there have been all winter. It is not surprising, then, that a good many interesting sightings were made.
The biggest flight of Canada Geese this spring occurred on April 1, with thousands passing overhead, including one Cackling Goose. There were still two Tundra Swans in Presqu'ile Bay today. The highlight of the week was the discovery of at least one and possibly three Eurasian Wigeons on April 2. The one male in Presqu'ile Bay was seen in good light on the following day by a number of observers. In the past, individuals of this species have lingered at Presqu'ile for long enough to allow many people to see them. Four Northern Shovelers were also at the calf pasture on April 3, but the first Blue-winged Teal has yet to appear. A few Ruddy Ducks have been seen on several recent days near Salt Point. Most of the other expected ducks can be found on any given day with little difficulty, given good viewing conditions.
Three Red-throated Loons were in Popham Bay on Sunday and five Common Loons were off the calf pasture this afternoon. There were at least two Horned Grebes at the calf pasture today, in various plumages, which caused some debate among the several observers as to whether one might be an Eared Grebe, a species of which there was also a report. More Double-crested Cormorants are appearing every day.
While Ospreys are showing up north of Presqu'ile, there has not yet been a sighting here this spring. After several possible sightings of Northern Goshawks in the woods over the past few weeks, there was one clearly seen today. There is always the possibility that this species is again nesting in the Park, as it did a few years ago. Two Merlins were seen together on March 30. This species has also nested in the Park in recent years.
Two flocks of Killdeer migrated past the peninsula on March 31, one containing three birds and the other numbering a surprising ten individuals. An American Woodcock was flushed near the lighthouse on March 28 and another was strutting on the snow near the Owen Point trail two days later.
A Northern Shrike was at the calf pasture on March 29. A Tree Swallow seen on March 29 and three more on April 2 were fewer than one would expect at this time of year. A Carolina Wren has put in a few vocal appearances at the lighthouse, most recently on April 2. A Ruby-crowned Kinglet was reported there on the same day. A few Common Redpolls are still visiting the feeders at 186 Bayshore Road, accompanied from time to time by a single Hoary Redpoll, most recently on April 3. A single Pine Siskin was at the feeders at 83 Bayshore Road on March 29.
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.