The long-awaited and overdue surge of spring migrants finally reached Presqu'ile Provincial Park on Sunday and Monday, and many birds that arrived during that wave are still lingering in the Park.
Both CANADA GEESE and MUTE SWANS are now on their nests, so the number of individuals in the usual resting spots has declined sharply. Other waterfowl are also more difficult to find than earlier in the month. A few each of WOOD DUCKS, GADWALLS, AMERICAN WIGEONS, AMERICAN BLACK DUCKS, NORTHERN PINTAILS, GREEN-WINGED TEAL, CANVASBACKS, REDHEADS, RING-NECKED DUCKS, GREATER SCAUP, LESSER SCAUP, WHITE-WINGED SCOTERS, and HOODED MERGANSERS, among others, have been seen this week. Both RED-THROATED and COMMON LOONS, as well as four HORNED GREBES, have also been seen since Monday. The first GREAT EGRET was seen on Sunday. Others in that family, AMERICAN BITTERNS and BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT-HERONS, may also have returned but have not yet been detected. TURKEY VULTURES, a BALD EAGLE, and a MERLIN are among the hawks in the Park this week. CASPIAN TERNS are resting on Owen Point and Gull Island and foraging over the marsh.
BELTED KINGFISHERS, YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKERS, NORTHERN FLICKERS, EASTERN PHOEBES, BARN SWALLOWS, and HERMIT THRUSHES are among the species that returned this week. An EASTERN BLUEBIRD was seen yesterday, after many of that species are already occupying nest boxes outside the Park. In the vanguard of the sparrow migration that will reach Presqu'ile in the next week, the following were spotted this week: FIELD, SAVANNAH, FOX, and WHITE-THROATED SPARROWS. There were still two COMMON REDPOLLS at 83 Bayshore Road on Monday.
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. Birders are encouraged to record their observations on the bird sightings board 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.