The Waterfowl Weekend at Presqu'ile Provincial Park was a great success, with lots of birds seen, but those who waited until the following days to visit the Park were equally fortunate, as most of the ducks, plus a few more, have remained and are still easy to find from various locations along Bayshore Road. Away from the water, spring is progressing but still rather slowly, given the northerly winds of the past few days.
Among the twenty species of ducks seen on the weekend and still today the highlights, apart from sheer numbers, were WOOD DUCKS, two EURASIAN WIGEONS (of which only one remains, it seems), NORTHERN PINTAILS, and GREEN-WINGED TEAL. At Owen Point, one observer found a MALLARD/NORTHERN PINTAIL hybrid. Three RED-THROATED LOONS off Owen Point on March 22 were one day earlier than the previous record. PIED-BILLED and HORNED GREBES are both back, and RED-NECKED GREBES will likely be next.
DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANTS and GREAT BLUE HERONS have been in the Park since the weekend, and GREAT EGRETS should show up by the end of the month. AMERICAN WOODCOCKS have been both seen and heard along the entrance road near the beach 2 access road. A WILSON'S SNIPE was also heard there. ICELAND and GLAUCOUS GULLS have both been seen on more than one occasion in the past week.
Three species of owls were found in the Park in the past week: GREAT HORNED, BARRED, and NORTHERN SAW-WHET, the latter on two different evenings near the bird sightings board. A COMMON RAVEN was at the lighthouse. The first TREE SWALLOW of the season was at Owen Point on March 22. The BOREAL CHICKADEE that has been present for over two months was still present on March 20. COMMON REDPOLLS have dwindled in number, but a PINE SISKIN was found on the weekend.
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. Access to the offshore islands is restricted at this time of year to prevent disturbance to the colonial nesting birds there. Birders are encouraged to record their observations on the bird sightings board provided near the campground office by The Friends of Presqu'ile Park and to fill out a rare bird report for species not listed there.
Questions and comments about bird sightings at Presqu'ile may be directed to: FHELLEINER@TRENTU.CA.