In anticipation of the Waterfowl Festival taking place at Presqu'ile Provincial Park this weekend, an interesting variety, if not huge numbers, of ducks, geese, and swans entertained birders in the past few days. As well, a good many other new arrivals have made for interesting birding.
Among the thousands of CANADA GEESE that passed overhead on Monday and Tuesday were SNOW GEESE (one on Monday and 40 on Tuesday) and one CACKLING GOOSE (on Monday, probably the earliest date for Presqu'ile).
Seven TUNDRA SWANS were in Presqu'ile Bay on Tuesday. The highlight of the week was a EURASIAN WIGEON in Presqu'ile Bay on March 17. Many of the ducks had thinned out by the next day, however, and that bird could not be re-located. Perhaps it will show up for the expected crowds of visitors on the weekend. A flock of 25 NORTHERN PINTAILS on March 14 was exceptionally large. GREEN-WINGED TEALS made their first appearance yesterday, and NORTHERN SHOVELERS may be next among the waterfowl.
A COOPER'S HAWK flew over on March 16. The long-staying WILD TURKEY was seen at least three times in the past week. There were three sightings of AMERICAN WOODCOCK in the Park in the past week. A SNOWY OWL was at Owen Point on March 16. BARRED OWLS are being seen much less frequently than earlier in the year. A BELTED KINGFISHER was at the causeway leading into the Park on March 17. A NORTHERN SHRIKE was still present on March 16 and 17. A COMMON RAVEN was in the Park on March 16.
Several BROWN CREEPERS and GOLDEN-CROWNED KINGLETS were in Jobes' woods yesterday. Many AMERICAN TREE SPARROWS, SONG SPARROWS, and at least one DARK-EYED JUNCO arrived this morning.
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. 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.