HIGHLIGHTS: “Oregon” Junco
OVERVIEW: Birds really started to move in this week, especially with the very warm day on 6 Mar. Waterfowl are building up nicely with somewhere between 5000-10000 birds present, most being either Redhead and Greater Scaup. The number varies greatly depending upon ice conditions. The warm weather predicted for the coming week should ramp the waterfowl flight up into full gear. A few shorebirds came in as well, and early migrants like American Robins and Red-winged Blackbirds became obvious.
Trumpeter Swan: Four were seen among the Mutes on 10 Mar.
Gadwall: Two on 9 Mar.
American Wigeon: Four on 6 Mar were the first.
Northern Pintail: Five were seen on 6 Mar.
Canvasback: Seen through the week mixed with Redheads and scaup with a high count of 30 on 10 Mar.
Redhead: Large numbers are now gathering in Presqu’ile Bay with the peak count being 3500 on 10 Mar. An interesting individual was off Calf Pasture showing a bright orange head.
Ring-necked Duck: This species arrived in force with a high count of 180 on 6 Mar.
Greater Scaup: Along with Redhead, the most common duck right now with a high of 3500 on 10 Mar.
Lesser Scaup: A few noted through the week with a high of four on 10 Mar.
White-winged Scoter: Numbers are starting to build again with a high of 14 on 10 Mar.
Hooded Merganser: Seen through the week with a high of 50 on 10 Mar.
Common Merganser: Numbers building through the week with a peak of 79 on 10 Mar.
Rough-legged Hawk: One was seen 0on 5 Mar.
American Coot: One was seen on 10 Mar.
Killdeer: Two on 6 Mar were then first of spring!
American Woodcock: The second shorebird to arrive this week was seen on 8 Mar.
Northern Shrike: Two were reported on 5 Mar and a single on 10 Mar.
Horned Lark: Two overhead on 6 Mar are the first of spring.
Eastern Bluebird: A male was singing from a box just outside the Gate on 6 Mar.
Cedar Waxwing: This species has been scarce all winter so 80 on 6 Mar was a big jump.
Pine Siskin: Small numbers reported through the week with a high of three on 5 Mar.
Song Sparrow: Three on 6 Mar were the first of spring.
Common Grackle: Ten on 4 Mar were the first of spring.
Dark-eyed (Oregon) Junco: A brilliant male appeared at a Bayshore Rd. feeder on 10 Mar. This western form of junco gets reported every few years but very few records are of distinctive males or get adequately documented.
Directions: Presqu’ile Provincial Park is located south of Brighton on the north shore of Lake Ontario. It is well signed from either Hwy. 401 or Cty. Rd. 2.
Please Note: Gull and High Bluff Island are closed to visitors from 10 March to 10 September. Large numbers of colonial nesting birds breed there and are greatly disturbed when people go into the colonies.
A seasonal or daily permit is required when visiting Presqu’ile. You can purchase a daily vehicle permit online in advance of your visit online or by phone. Ontario Parks recommends you make a reservation during periods of high visitation to guarantee entry. Reserve here: https://reservations.ontarioparks.com or by calling 1-888-668-7275