Although the annual Waterfowl Festival at Presqu'ile Provincial Park is still over a month away (March 13/14 and 20/21), the ice in Presqu'ile Bay has opened up considerably, and hundreds of ducks are now visible there.
The largest numbers consist of Greater Scaup, Long-tailed Ducks, and Redheads, but there are at least six other species, including three White-winged Scoters. With this build-up, it is likely just a matter of days until the first Canvasbacks, and perhaps Ring-necked Ducks and Hooded Mergansers, will be appearing. At Barcovan on the opposite side of the bay but outside the Park, two drake Northern Pintails have joined the flock of American Black Ducks, possibly newly arrived migrants.
A Bald Eagle flying around over the bay on February 11 was likely one of the same individuals that have been present sporadically for weeks. An Iceland Gull was sitting at the edge of the ice in the bay on February 9, and a Snowy Owl spent the afternoon on an ice floe in the bay two days later.
A Northern Flicker near the Park entrance on February 11 was the first reported at Presqu'ile this year, but has probably been present but out of sight throughout the winter. The two Golden-crowned Kinglets at the government dock on February 9 were also likely just beginning to move around from the more sheltered parts of 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. Although the channel separating Gull Island from Owen Point appears to be frozen over, the thickness of the ice is probably unreliable because of the underlying currents.
Questions and comments about bird sightings at Presqu'ile may be directed to: