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Birding Report

Presqu’ile Bird Report for 5-11 April 2019

HIGHLIGHTS: BLACK SCOTER, RUDDY DUCK, CAROLINA WREN

Birds continue to show up but the big numbers have yet to arrive.  They, and us, are still waiting for a big southerly push of warm air.  Waterfowl numbers are now dropping and most diving ducks are usually well-out in Presqu’ile Bay making viewing difficult in all but calm conditions.  Most expected landbirds are arriving on schedule but numbers are still low.

An immature TRUMPETER SWAN was seen from the causeway on 6 Apr.  An early female BLACK SCOTER was seen at the lighthouse on 7 and 9 Apr.  Four RUDDY DUCKS, scarce here, were seen at Salt Pt. on 6 Apr.  Very likely the same birds were relocated on 7-8 Apr on the north shore of Presqu’ile Bay in the newly acquired Nature Conservancy Property, as viewed from the Price St Canoe Launch in Gosport.

Two RED-NECKED GREBES were seen, one at the Lighthouse and one at Owen Pt.  on 6 Apr.  GREAT EGRETS arrived on 9 Apr with one on Huff Rd, just NW of the Park, then 2 on 11 Apr in the marsh.  Ospreys are back at their area nests.  An adult BALD EAGLE flew over the gate on 7 Apr.  The first GREATER YELLOWLEGS was reported from Huff Rd on 7 Apr.  An evening drive located 8 AMERICAN WOODCOCK displaying on 7 Apr.  The first CASPIAN TERN was seen on 7 Apr. 

BARRED OWL sightings dropped this week, suggesting the winter migrants may have left.  YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKERS arrived on 7 Apr.  An AMERICAN KESTREL was over Bayshore Rd on 6 Apr and MERLINS are being seen regularly, especially around the Beach 2 road.  A late-ish NORTHERN SHRIKE was at Calf Pasture on 7 Apr and the same observer had another on Huff Rd. the same day.  TREE SWALLOWS are present in small numbers and a BARN SWALLOW was seen at the Price St Canoe Launch in Gosport across the Bay on 8 Apr.

A CAROLINA WREN was again reported, this time from the Lighthouse, on 6 Apr.  This is the third report in a little over a month suggesting this bird is still skulking around. A pair of EASTERN BLUEBIRDS were scouting nest boxes all week at the Birdhouse Nature Store, just outside the gate.  The first HERMIT THRUSH was reported on 8 Apr.  The overwintering BROWN THRASHER still makes infrequent visits to its feeder, but a migrant one was also seen on 7 Apr.  Soon it will be impossible to tell when the wintering one leaves.

Most of the expected sparrows have already been seen but numbers remain very low.  The first SWAMP SPARROW was singing by the gate on 11 Apr.  Two RUSTY BLACKBIRDS were noted on 11 Apr.  Two COMMON REDPOLLS were seen on 6 Apr and a PINE SISKIN was seen the same day.

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).