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Birding Report

So many spring birds have returned to Presqu段le Provincial Park this week, albeit a bit late in most cases, that it is difficult to do justice to the many sightings that have been reported.  The most surprising find was a remarkably early warbler.


Four SNOW GEESE sat on the ice of Presqu段le Bay all yesterday afternoon.  Thousands of CANADA GEESE have been passing noisily overhead for the past two days.  Dabbling ducks have returned in good numbers and variety, including three NORTHERN SHOVELERS on March 28.  Among those that have not yet been found are EURASIAN WIGEON and BLUE-WINGED TEAL.  In most years one or two of the former appear at about this date.  More LESSER SCAUP are being identified than earlier this year among the thousands of REDHEADS, GREATER SCAUP, and other diving ducks.  The hybrid COMMON/BARROW担 GOLDENEYE reported last week was seen again on March 29.  A female RUDDY DUCK was in the cove at Salt Point on March 30 and 31.  COMMON LOONS, PIED-BILLED GREBES, and HORNED GREBES have all been in Presqu段le Bay in recent days.  DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANTS, first seen on March 31, are now easy to find.  An OSPREY was seen on the first two days of this month.  A SANDHILL CRANE, not often seen at Presqu段le, flew over yesterday.  A KILLDEER flew over on March 31.  An AMERICAN WOODCOCK was seen on March 28.  Single ICELAND and GLAUCOUS GULLS have been in Presqu段le Bay this week.  SNOWY OWLS are still present, including one in the marsh this morning.  An AMERICAN KESTREL was at the calf pasture on Sunday.  One observer waited patiently at the calf pasture yesterday and was rewarded by sightings of both MERLIN and PEREGRINE FALCON. 


RED-BELLIED WOODPECKERS are being seen and heard in various parts of the Park.  The first EASTERN PHOEBE was at the calf pasture on April 1.  A NORTHERN SHRIKE was there on Sunday.  COMMON RAVENS have been sighted regularly, including two on Monday.  The first TREE SWALLOWS appeared this morning.  The CAROLINA WREN at 40 Bayshore Road has now been there for over a month.  A female YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER, well photographed along Atkins Lane on the remarkably early date of March 29, may actually have survived the winter in that area, which is rife with juniper berries, and which has been visited by very few birders during the winter.  An EASTERN MEADOWLARK was heard on March 29.


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.

Fred Helleiner