The mild weather of the past week has allowed Presqu'ile Bay to open up as far inland as the government dock, from which there has been excellent viewing of waterfowl and other species. Popham Bay is frozen close to shore, but with a spotting scope the waterfowl beyond the ice edge can be observed from Owen Point or Gull Island.
A few Tundra Swans can usually be seen and/or heard among the hundreds of Mute Swans in the bay. A large raft of several hundred Redheads has been off the government dock for the past four days. A surprisingly large number (several score) of Red-breasted Mergansers were seen in the vicinity of Gull Island on December 27.
Two Bald Eagles were perched high in the trees of High Bluff Island on December 27, barely visible from Owen Point. At least one of that species and one Snowy Owl have been seen on two or three occasions on the ice of Presqu'ile Bay or flying over. The other three owl species reported last week are likely still around but have not been reported. They are notoriously good at hiding. An adult Northern Shrike has become a regular sighting at the calf pasture.
Golden-crowned Kinglets are usually in the cedars around the park store parking lot. American Robins seem scarcer than they have been in recent winters, but a flock of about eight birds was at the calf pasture on December 24. The feeders at 83 Bayshore Road have been fairly productive this week, with a single White-throated Sparrow, some Common Redpolls, and a Pine Siskin having paid visits there. The Common Grackle in that vicinity has not been seen since December 26.
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. The ice between Owen Point and Gull Island may be unsafe depending on recent wind and temperature conditions, but was not a problem a few days ago.
Questions and comments about bird sightings at Presqu'ile may be directed to: FHELLEINER@TRENTU.CA.