There has been little change in the bird life at Presqu'ile Provincial Park in the past week. Ducks continue to occupy Presqu'ile Bay in large numbers, and land birds continue to be concentrated around bird feeders.
In Presqu'ile Bay, CANVASBACKS in double-digit numbers are among the thousands of REDHEADS and GREATER SCAUP, which evacuate the bay only during those brief periods when it freezes over, only to offer a spectacular return flight as soon as there are patches of open water again. A scrutiny of those flocks often pays off with a RING-NECKED DUCK and a few WHITE-WINGED SCOTERS. More COMMON GOLDENEYES than in recent weeks are also present and are engaged in their courtship displays.
BALD EAGLES have been seen on most days, including a group of five that were soaring high overhead yesterday. Outside the Park at Gosport across the bay from Presqu'ile, twelve of them were videotaped last Friday squabbling over a dead fish on the ice. On calm evenings this month or in the pre-dawn, it may be possible to hear GREAT HORNED OWLS in "the fingers". The only other owls seen in the past week were SNOWY OWLS, one on the breakwall at 172 Bayshore Road on Friday and another (or the same one) at the day use area on Monday. A COMMON RAVEN, perhaps injured, was parading on a lawn on Sunday. Two PINE SISKINS visited the feeders at 186 Bayshore Road on Monday, and one was there again on Tuesday. Two stalwart individuals who trekked out to Gull Island in the wind this morning photographed a flock of SNOW BUNTINGS. WHITE-THROATED SPARROWS were visiting the feeders at 83 Bayshore Road and at the campground office.
Locations within the Park are shown on a map at the back of a tabloidthat is available at the Park gate. Visitors to Gull Island (a few metres of ankle-deep water separate it from Owen Point) may encounter a slippery coating of ice on the rocks and drifts of snow obscuring water below. Ice cleats are recommended.
Birders are encouraged to record their observations on the bird sightingsboard 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.