For the first time in many years (perhaps ever), the Waterfowl Festival at Presqu'ile Provincial Park was partially aborted last weekend because of horrendous weather conditions. Nevertheless, one intrepid birder was able to find a rare duck. The forecast for the coming weekend is much more favourable, and the festival promises to be a great way to spend a few hours birding in the Park.
On at least three days in the past week, small numbers of Tundra Swans have been spotted in Presqu'ile Bay. Gadwalls, American Wigeons, Northern Pintails, and Hooded Mergansers have all been present in small numbers there in the past week and should be arriving in larger numbers with the predicted shift in the wind direction scheduled for tonight. Although it is a little early, it is worth watching for American Coots, which often appear in late March and early April. There are more and more Ring-necked Ducks and Canvasbacks every day. A Barrow's Goldeneye was found among the Redheads along the south shore of the peninsula on March 8.
On March 12, an adult and an immature Bald Eagle were unwilling to share a small ice floe on which they took turns resting. Both Sharp-shinned Hawk and Cooper's Hawk were present in the Park in the past three days. Twice in the past week a Glaucous Gull was seen on the ice of Presqu'ile Bay.
A Carolina Wren was singing at 115 Bayshore Road on March 7. A Golden-crowned Kinglet was nearby four days later. A Brown Creeper was seen on March 9. Both Bohemian Waxwings and Cedar Waxwings have been present this week, the former in flocks as large as 22 birds. American Robins, Red-winged Blackbirds, and Common Grackles are the most obvious of the recent land bird arrivals. The Song Sparrow at the feeder at 85 Bayshore Road on March 11 may be the same individual that was there all winter, but others of that species should be returning soon. There have regularly been one or two Hoary Redpolls among the Common Redpolls that have been making frequent visits to the feeders at 186 Bayshore Road in the past few days.
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.
Questions and comments about bird sightings at Presqu'ile may be directed to: FHELLEINER@TRENTU.CA.