Mild weather has made for pleasant birding at Presqu'ile Provincial Park for the past week, and has resulted in a steady influx of waterfowl and other spring birds.
The first migrant flocks of Canada Geese passed over the Park on March 10, and a number of flocks followed on the next morning. In the past, close examination of such flocks has sometimes revealed one or more Snow Geese among them. Although as many as 10,000 ducks can usually be spotted along the north shore of Presqu'ile Bay, they are too far away to allow for a positive identification, even with a spotting scope.
Those within range during the past week have been the following (numbers are conservative estimates):
American Wigeon 6
American Black Duck 5
Northern Pintail 2
Ring-necked Duck 50
Greater Scaup 4,000
Lesser Scaup 1
Long-tailed Duck 500
Common Goldeneye 70
Hooded Merganser 7
Common Merganser 100
In addition, some White-winged Scoters were reported at Owen Point, and up to three American Coots have been seen almost every day between Salt Point and the calf pasture.
At dusk on March 9, an American Woodcock flew across the road a short distance inside the Park gates.
Glaucous Gulls have been seen recently both in Presqu'ile Bay and at Owen Point.
Among land birds, the big change from a week ago is the abundance of American Robins, Red-winged Blackbirds, and Common Grackles. A Song Sparrow living up to its name on March 10 was also the first of its species exhibiting this behaviour this year.
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.