Considering that Presqu'ile Provincial Park has been closed for most of this week (re-opening at noon on Friday, January 14), the variety of birds found is quite respectable.
Presqu'ile Bay offers a good variety and huge numbers of waterfowl, the margin of the ice remaining farther up the bay than usual on most days. There are hundreds of Canada Geese and Mute Swans and about 30 Tundra Swans, which normally vacate this area in winter. One Canvasback has been seen among the Redheads (the commonest duck in the bay these days) almost every day. A male Hooded Merganser was present just west of the government dock on January 13. Red-breasted Mergansers can usually be found in Lake Ontario off Owen Point.
A Cooper's Hawk was seen chasing a flock of waxwings on January 7, and another large accipiter made a quick foray past the bird feeders at 186 Bayshore Road on January 12. A Ruffed Grouse can often be found (as it was on January 9) among the cedars behind the Park store. Two Glaucous Gulls were sitting among the Herring Gulls on the ice of Presqu'ile Bay on January 9. As yet there have been no Iceland Gull sightings at Presqu'ile this winter, which is somewhat unusual. A dark Snowy Owl, reported earlier on Gull Island, was still there on January 9. Great Gray Owls are still in the Park, but not as easily found as they were a week or two ago.
Single Pileated Woodpeckers were seen on two consecutive days recently. It can now be taken for granted that the Tufted Titmouse at 186 Bayshore Road will appear several times a day. The flock of American Robins on Paxton Drive was another easily detected sighting as long as the Park was open. Among about 80 Cedar Waxwings seen on January 9, there was one Bohemian Waxwing, the first of the winter at Presqu'ile. As long as the feeders at 83 and 85 Bayshore Road are kept stocked, it seems likely that the White-throated Sparrow(s) there will remain for the rest of the winter. A flock of 24 Common Redpolls spent several hours at a feeder at 38 Bayshore Road on January 8, and a lone Pine Siskin stopped briefly at 186 Bayshore Road on the next day.
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 appears 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.