At Presqu'ile Provincial Park, spring bird migration has been held back for most of the past week by northerly winds and unseasonably cold temperatures. However, an influx of birders on the weekend resulted in a number of interesting sightings.
The big push of CANADA GEESE, often accompanied by a few SNOW GEESE, has yet to occur. A few TUNDRA SWANS have been in the inner part of Presqu'ile Bay for the past week. Two or three WOOD DUCKS have also been there yesterday and today. While most of the dabbling ducks that were there last week are still present in somewhat smaller numbers, the only NORTHERN PINTAILS seen in the past week were three at Owen Point on Sunday. Likewise, the composition of diving ducks remains largely unchanged from last week, but a RUDDY DUCK has been seen twice and three SURF SCOTERS flew in and joined the WHITE-WINGED SCOTERS at the lighthouse on March 17, a record early date for Presqu'ile. An early COMMON LOON was near Owen Point on March 18. The first PIED-BILLED GREBE of the season was at the calf pasture on March 15.
A TURKEY VULTURE was seen from the calf pasture on March 20, and a BALD EAGLE flew over the calf pasture on March 16. On March 20, a KILLDEER was near the lighthouse and three were at Owen Point. Yesterday, AMERICAN WOODCOCKS were seen at patches of open water surrounded by snow in two different locations. The RED-BELLIED WOODPECKER that has been wintering near Langdon Lane was seen again on Sunday. A surprising report of a record early YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKER (March 17) should be backed up with a rare bird report. A MERLIN was near the lighthouse on March 18 and a PEREGRINE FALCON was photographed over Gull Island on the previous day. A WINTER WREN was seen (again) on Monday. There were two sightings of single EASTERN BLUEBIRDS, one on Saturday at the day use area and one on Sunday at the calf pasture. SNOW BUNTINGS were still at Owen Point on Sunday. The SAVANNAH SPARROW at 186 Bayshore Road has completed the fifth week of its stay there today. Twice this weekend a HOARY REDPOLL was among the dozens of COMMON REDPOLLS at 186 Bayshore Road. There was an anonymous report of a PINE SISKIN, which would be the first since early December.
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.
Questions and comments about bird sightings at Presqu'ile may be directed to: FHELLEINER@TRENTU.CA.