HIGHLIGHTS: BROWN THRASHER, PINE GROSBEAK
With the recent cold and near total freezing of Presqu’ile Bay things remain very quiet. Most bird activity is near feeders and the woods in general are very quiet (but still lovely to walk around in).
Apart from the “usual” winter waterfowl like COMMON GOLDENEYE, LONG-TAILED DUCK and smaller numbers of BUFFLEHEEAD AND RED-BREASTED MERGANSER, very few water birds are around. A small number of REDHEAD and GREATER SCAUP are mixed in as well as a few WHITE-WINGED SCOTER and flocks of CANADA GEESE that feed in area cornfields are sometimes roosting on Beach 1.
A RUFFED GROUSE seen on 20 Jan had flushed from a snow burrow where it spent the night avoiding the cold. Several BALD EAGLES were seen at various sites throughout the week. Similarly at least 2 RED-TAILED HAWKS are in the Park. A ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK was seen flying toward the Park from Huff Rd. on 21 Jan. SNOWY and BARRED OWL continue to be seen at various sites throughout the week. COMMON RAVENS are the only corvid being seen now!
A BROWN CREEPER was seen on 24 Jan. Several fairly large groups of AMERICAN ROBINS are still in the park with as many as 45 seen in the Calf Pasture on 19 Jan. More unusual was a single bird in the heart of the Fingers woods the same day. With the bitter cold the usually elusive overwintering BROWN THRASHER has become a little more frequent at the feeder. The only sparrows reported were AMERICAN TREE and DARK-EYED JUNCO. One bright spot has been PINE GROSBEAKS, 15 of which were seen in the Calf Pasture on 19 Jan. The only other finches reported have been small parties of AMERICAN GOLDFINCHES mostly at feeders.
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).