Presqu'ile Provincial Park has been flooded with newly arrived migrant birds this week. For the first time in weeks, land birds seem to outnumber ducks, though the comparison is admittedly difficult to make.
Sightings of Red-throated Loons in Popham Bay are very much dependent on the degree of wave activity and other impediments to visibility, as the birds are usually far offshore. The only day this week when the species was seen there was April 5, when six birds were spotted with the aid of a scope. Three Red-necked Grebes were found on that same day, one in Presqu'ile Bay and two off the lighthouse. The first Great Egret of the season was at the calf pasture on April 1. Soon the Black-crowned Night-Herons
that nest on Sebastopol Island will be returning.
The last sighting of the Eurasian Wigeon that was present off Bayshore Road throughout last week was on April 1, but on the weekend it or another of that species was seen on the north side of Presqu'ile Bay. A pair of Northern Shovelers was at Owen Point on April 6. A handful of White-winged Scoters can usually be seen off Salt Point.
Ospreys were seen in the Park on April 5 and 6, and an immature Bald Eagle was seen on April 6. A Cooper's Hawk and a Merlin were seen on April 6 and 5, respectively. A lone Wild Turkey that has made High Bluff Island its home for the past year or two is demonstrating the effects of isolation by keeping close company with a pair of Canada Geese.
On April 6, two Bonaparte's Gulls flew past Owen Point, where an Iceland Gull had been seen on April 1 and a Glaucous Gull was seen on April 5. The first four Caspian Terns of the year were lounging on Gull Island on April 6.
The first Barn Swallow of the season was seen on April 2. Rough-winged Swallows will likely be the next to return. An early Ruby-crowned Kinglet was among the swarms of Golden-crowned Kinglets at the lighthouse on April 6. Eastern Bluebirds were at the lighthouse on April 5 (1) and 6 (3). A Hermit Thrush was in the campground on the latter date. A Vesper Sparrow, never a common bird at Presqu'ile, was seen on Bayshore Road on April 6. Fox Sparrows and an Eastern Towhee have also been present in small numbers. A Common Redpoll returned on April 3 and 4 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.