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Presqu’ile Bird Report for Week of 1-7 January 2021
OVERVIEW: Generally it is shaping up to be a fairly quiet winter with limited wild food sources but there are always surprises and this week it was a sudden influx of diving ducks, mostly Redhead.  Generally the number of wintering ducks is quite static but for some reason every now and then (often after warm spells) we get a huge influx of diving ducks.  Where they are coming from or going is a mystery (to me at least) as the movement occurs in what is usually thought of as a non-migration period. Winter finches continue to be reported but only American Goldfinch and Common Redpoll seem predictable.
HIGHLIGHTS:
NORTHERN PINTAIL,
DUNLIN,
BONAPARTE’S GULL,
HERMIT THRUSH,
WHITE-WINGED CROSSBILL

TRUMPETER SWAN – 7 were seen on 1 Jan and 3 on 7 Jan.  This species appears to be gaining a toehold here with a record 23 recorded on the Christmas Bird Count on 20 December.  They are often mixed in with the abundant Mute Swan (775 on the same bird count).

NORTHERN PINTAIL – a pair (likely the same birds seen on the Christmas Bird Count on Dec 20th) have relocated to the Price Street Canoe Launch in nearby Gosport and were seen there on 1 and 4 Jan.

REDHEAD – a huge mass of birds appeared on 1 Jan with 1800 seen flying in all directions around Gull Is. then later a flock of at least 3600 in a tight group swimming off the Government Dock. It’s not clear if they were the same birds or different ones.  Numbers varied through the week but 2500 were still present on 7 Jan.

GREATER SCAUP – An influx occurred alongside the Redhead with 700 on 1 Jan and 800 the next day.

LESSER SCAUP – a female was present off the Government Dock on 1 Jan.

WHITE-WINGED SCOTER – 9 birds were seen around Gull Is. and off the lighthouse on 1 Jan and 3 were still off the lighthouse on 4 Jan.

HOODED MERGANSER – 2 were off the Government Dock on 1 Jan.

BALD EAGLE – small numbers seen through the week on the ice of Presqu’ile Bay.

COOPER’S HAWK – singles were seen on 3 and 5 Jan.

DUNLIN – 2 birds were found along Beach 1 on 4 Jan and were seen again the next day.  The entire beach has unfrozen shoreline and offers good habitat for any shorebirds that might be lingering.  These are presumably the same two that were found on Gull Is. on the Christmas Bird Count on Dec 20th.

BONAPARTE’S GULL – the lingering immature was seen again off the Government Dock on 1 Jan – a very late date for this species.

MERLIN – singles were seen on High Bluff Is. on 1 Jan and Calf Pasture on 7 Jan.

WINTER WREN – 1 was found in the wet ditch along the west side of the Calf pasture field on 5 Jan.

HERMIT THRUSH – the continuing Paxton Rd bird was seen again on 1 Jan.

AMERICAN ROBIN – small flocks were seen through the week with a high count of 45 on 5 Jan.

CEDAR WAXWING – small flocks were seen through the week with a high of 24 on 4 Jan.  So far there have been no reports of Bohemian Waxwing but they are being seen in the northern part of the County and could move in at any time.

SNOW BUNTING – this Arctic breeder has been unusually scarce this winter so a flock of 100 on Gull Is. on 5 Jan was notable.

SONG SPARROW – 1 was seen with American Tree Sparrows at the east end of Gull Is. on 1 Jan.

WHITE-THROATED SPARROW – small numbers are wintering at feeders along Bayshore Rd. with a high of 6 on 2 Jan.

RED-WINGED BLACKBIRD – 2 remained at feeders along Bayshore Rd through till at least 5 Jan.

HOUSE FINCH – a few singles seen through the week but generally scarce.

WHITE-WINGED CROSSBILL – 8 on 5 Jan at the Group Campground was the only report.

COMMON REDPOLL – present throughout the week in small numbers with a high of only 18 on 5 Jan.

AMERICAN GOLDFINCH – present through the week with a high of 39 on 4 Jan.

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.