Under normal circumstances, there would already be a few landbird migrants at Presqu'ile Provincial Park by this date. Even an American Woodcock had returned by late February a few years ago. However, conditions have not been normal for the past week or two, in that there has been no break in the sub-normal temperatures and northerly winds. Consequently, only water birds have shown any sign of a spring migration, and even that appears to have slowed down.
There are still thousands of ducks in Presqu'ile Bay, but the majority of the Redheads and Canvasbacks that moved in a few weeks ago have moved out again, leaving fewer than 100 of each visible from the government dock on any given day. No doubt that will change by the time of the Waterfowl Viewing Festival on March 12, 13, 19, and 20.
A Barred Owl and a Snowy Owl were the only two owls reported during the past week, the latter eating something while resting on the ice of Presqu'ile Bay.
On at least two occasions during the week, the Northern Flicker that had not been reported since early January was observed again near 83 Bayshore Road, most recently on March 3. A Northern Shrike was on Gull Island on February 27. (After March 9, there will be no access to Gull Island until September 11.) The Tufted Titmouse has become a frequent visitor to feeders on Bayshore Road, especially at house number 186, where a Brown Creeper is an occasional visitor. Four Golden-crowned Kinglets were seen and one photographed near the Park store. A single American Robin was seen on February 26. There is at least one flock of Cedar Waxwings in the Park, numbering by one count about 90 birds. It now appears that there are three White-throated Sparrows at 83 Bayshore Road. The only noteworthy finches seen recently were a dozen Common Redpolls, also at 83 Bayshore Road.
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. Although the channel separating Gull Island from Owen Point may appear to be frozen over, the thickness of the ice is probably unreliable because of the underlying currents.
Questions and comments about bird sightings at Presqu'ile may be directed to: FHELLEINER@TRENTU.CA.