Unlike last week, there has not been a day of sustained southerly winds and mild temperatures at Presqu'ile Provincial Park this week. Consequently, birding has not provided many surprises, though some of the uncommon birds that have been present all winter can still be found.
Perhaps because Presqu'ile Bay has been largely frozen for much of the week, there have been fewer swans than usual, only 100 or so Mute Swans and only two Tundra Swans. Except for two Mallards on February 14, no one has reported any other dabbling ducks. Canvasbacks, Redheads, and White-winged Scoters are among the more interesting diving ducks that are in Presqu'ile Bay every day. The re-appearance of a male Barrow's Goldeneye off the lighthouse makes one wonder where it has been since early January, when it disappeared from there. It was seen several times this week, most recently on February 14. Perhaps it is the same bird that was seen a few times in mid-January near Gull Island.
Single Bald Eagles were seen in the Park twice in the past week. A Northern Harrier was near the Park store. A Glaucous Gull was spotted from a helicopter near Gull Island on February 14. The only owl seen in the Park in the past week was a large one near the lighthouse, perhaps a Great Horned Owl. However, a Short-eared Owl spent much of February 13 behind a home just outside the Park before flying off. A Northern Shrike was near the calf pasture on February 9.
The Carolina Wren at 186 Bayshore Road seems to be staying close to that address every day. An American Robin was on Paxton Drive, and a flock of 25 birds that may also have been that species was seen from the air today. Other over-wintering song birds still present are a White-throated Sparrow at 83 Bayshore Road and a Common Grackle that moves to and fro between 83 and 186 Bayshore Road. Near the east end of Paxton Drive, there was a flock of Pine Grosbeaks on the past two days, numbering as many as 24 birds on one day. One Hoary Redpoll has been appearing at the feeder at 186 Bayshore Road from time to time, either by itself or with a small flock of Common Redpolls, to which it shows some aggressive tendencies.
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. Gull Island is no longer an island, the connection to the mainland having been established several months ago.
Questions and comments about bird sightings at Presqu'ile may be directed to: FHELLEINER@TRENTU.CA.