Highlights: RING-NECKED DUCK, DUNLIN, ICELAND GULL, BROWN THRASHER
It was a quiet week for birders with the Belleville CBC and Christmas so observations are limited. The general sense is that most expected species are around but numbers are low and feeders can be quite quiet so it takes some work to find things.
Three CANVASBACKS were in Presqu’ile Bay on 23 Dec, and a RING-NECKED DUCK continues just outside the park, offshore from the Whistling Duck restaurant on Harbour St. WHITE-WINGED SCOTERS were seen several times with 3 on 23 Dec and 8 on 25 Dec. The Ruffed Grouse population seems to have tanked in the Park with none found on the CBC but two were spotted this week, including one feeding on the roadside by the Beach 1 Rd on 26 Dec. Unfortunately the introduced WILD TURKEY seems to be flourishing with multiple sightings in various locations.
BALD EAGLES were seen on several dates with 2 on 24 Dec. A RED-TAILED HAWK was over the Camp Office on 27 Dec. A MERLIN was seen coming in from the Islands on 24 Dec. The long-staying DUNLIN was still on Gull Is. on 24 Dec. The only scarce gull seen was a near adult ICELAND GULL at Salt Pt. on 25 Dec. SNOWY OWLS were reported from Presqu’ile Bay and Gull Is. this week, and BARRED OWLS were seen at various sites in the Park this week.
AMERICAN ROBINS are being seen regularly, especially in the Calf Pasture area. 30 were seen on Bayshore Rd lawns hopping about like it was spring on 26 Dec. The long-staying but now very elusive BROWN THARSHER was seen on 26 Dec for the first time in a week. A SONG SPARROW was seen at Salt Pt. on 25 Dec and a WHITE-THROATED SPARROW was at the Camp Office feeder on 22 Dec. Finally 2 male RED-WINGED BLACKBIRDS are frequenting the feeders at the Birdhouse Nature Store just outside the park gate.
Directions: Presqu’ile Provincial Park is located on the north shore of Lake Ontario, just south of the town of Brighton. It can be reached from either Hwy. 401, or Cty. Rd. 2 and is well signed. A Park map can be found in the information tabloid available at the Park gate. Presqu’ile’s two offshore islands – Gull and High Bluff – support a large multi-species colonial bird nesting area and access is not permitted during the breeding season (10 March-10 September).