The many visitors who came to Presqu'ile Provincial Park for the first of the two Waterfowl Viewing weekends were not disappointed. There are thousands of ducks and other waterfowl scattered all over Presqu'ile Bay and out in Lake Ontario.
A Trumpeter Swan bearing a numbered wing tag was near the calf pasture on March 15 and may still be around. The first two American Wigeons of the year were also in that area on the following day, and at least one Gadwall was there today. Among the Canvasbacks, Redheads, and Greater Scaup which make up the bulk of the duck population in the inner bay, one can usually find a small number of Ring-necked Ducks with a bit of careful searching. At Salt Point up to five White-winged Scoters can usually be spotted. Up to four Hooded Mergansers have been counted on one day, with at least one being found almost every day.
An Iceland Gull was off the calf pasture on March 13, and a Glaucous Gull was there on the following day. For three successive days, a Snowy Owl that was perched on the ice could also be seen there. Although it has been some time since any Great Gray Owls have been seen in the Park, the one that was earlier frequenting the area around the Park gate was seen again just outside the gate on March 15.
Although the majority of the land birds at Presqu'ile this week (including the long-staying Tufted Titmouse at 186 Bayshore Road) are still those that have wintered here, their numbers have been augmented by a few newly arrived American Robins, European Starlings, and a lone Red-winged Blackbird that has taken a liking to the feeder at 85 Bayshore Road. An influx of other blackbirds and perhaps some sparrows is expected to redress that imbalance within the next week or so. A Common Redpoll has been making infrequent but daily visits to the feeder at 186 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. Access to the offshore islands is restricted at this time of year to prevent disturbance to the colonial nesting birds there.
Questions and comments about bird sightings at Presqu'ile may be directed to: FHELLEINER@TRENTU.CA.