Spring bird migration at Presqu'ile Provincial Park continues to be on the early side. The Waterfowl Viewing Festival in the coming weekend will likely feature thousands of ducks, but they may not be in the traditional locations because of the extensive open water.
Among the thousands of REDHEADS in Presqu'ile Bay there are several dozen AMERICAN WIGEONS. Although it is a little early for EURASIAN WIGEONS to appear, birders have been assiduously but unsuccessfully scanning the flocks for that rare species and will likely continue to do so in the days ahead. A female GREEN-WINGED TEAL was a consolation prize. A female SURF SCOTER was spotted yesterday. A HORNED GREBE was seen on two consecutive days near Salt Point. The first DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANT of the year was perched on a rock off Gull Island this morning, a record early date. Both TURKEY VULTURE and COOPER'S HAWK flew over the Park this week. AMERICAN WOODCOCK have already begun their crepuscular performance. A BARRED OWL was seen in Jobes' woods.
RED-BELLIED and PILEATED WOODPECKERS are present all year but are seen only sporadically, including sightings this week. An adult shrike was in the calf pasture on Friday, but it could not be established whether it was a LOGGERHEAD SHRIKE or a NORTHERN SHRIKE, both of which are possibilities at this time of year. There have been no sightings of the latter at Presqu'ile since late fall. COMMON RAVENS were seen on two different days. Two very early TREE SWALLOWS flew past the lighthouse on Sunday. EASTERN MEADOWLARKS and BROWN-HEADED COWBIRDS are among the birds that have returned in the past week. One observer saw a flock of 15 or more COMMON REDPOLLS, and PINE SISKINS have been visiting a feeder irregularly.
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 from March 10 onward 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.