Any lingering doubts about the arrival of spring at Presqu'ile Provincial Park have been erased in the past few days, as overdue migrants of several species finally appeared, some in good numbers.
Most of the thousands of waterfowl are in Presqu'ile Bay and well seen from the calf pasture, but among the many flocks of Canada Geese that went overhead on March 27 were two flocks containing single Cackling Geese. It is worth watching those flocks for Snow Geese, that occasionally migrate with them. A Trumpeter Swan and a few Tundra Swans were seen during the past week. About 20 Wood Ducks were seen in the calf pasture area on March 25. Northern Shovelers first showed up there on that date too, and three were still there on the following day. A few Northern Pintails and Green-winged Teal have also been there.
The first two Red-throated Loons were in Popham Bay on March 24, and the first Common Loon was in Presqu'ile Bay on March 27, along with two Horned Grebes. The first five Double-crested Cormorants appeared on March 27. For several days, Great Blue Herons have been standing on the edge of the ice in Presqu'ile Bay, for lack of any better alternative short of turning around and going back south. An Iceland Gull seen on March 27 may prove to be the last of the season. The first Caspian Terns will soon be showing up. Greater Yellowlegs may be the next shorebird species to return to Presqu'ile, as one was seen outside the Park today.
One of the elusive Barred Owls in Jobes' Woods was found this week. Two Common Ravens apparently spent the night in the Park on March 23. They were seen flying in from the mainland on that day and flying back to the mainland on the following morning. One other was spotted on March 27.
One of the Carolina Wrens that has been present all winter can still be heard in the mornings between 83 and 131 Bayshore Road. Bohemian Waxwings and Cedar Waxwings were both in the Park this week, including a flock of 35 of the former. Song Sparrows descended on Presqu'ile with a vengeance last night and could be found in many places. Fox Sparrows will likely be next to arrive. Eastern Meadowlarks and Brown-headed Cowbirds have been seen on two separate days in the past week. Most of the Common Redpolls frequenting the feeders at 186 Bayshore Road, as well as the two Hoary Redpolls with them, disappeared after March 25, but a few of the former are still present.
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.