The first real push of spring bird arrivals at Presqu’ile Provincial Park took place early this week, particularly on Tuesday. Since then, winter conditions have returned but a change in the wind direction this afternoon has cleared out much of the ice in Presqu’ile Bay, making for good waterfowl observing again at the Government Dock on Bayshore Road, which is one of the observation points planned for the coming waterfowl viewing weekend.
A single TRUMPETER SWAN was in Presqu’ile Bay on Saturday, and two were there on Sunday. On Monday four GADWALLS were there, and on the following day there were three WOOD DUCKS, two AMERICAN WIGEONS, two AMERICAN BLACK DUCKS, four NORTHERN PINTAILS, two GREEN-WINGED TEAL, five RING-NECKED DUCKS, five HOODED MERGANSERS, and about 1,000 other ducks. Although many of them were not in evidence this morning, the southerly winds that are forecast for tomorrow should change all that. Perhaps there will also be a PIED-BILLED GREBE or an AMERICAN COOT. If, as expected, skeins of geese begin moving past, there might be SNOW GEESE among them. A BALD EAGLE was seen on March 11 and another flew towards the lighthouse this morning. SNOWY OWLS have been seen on five of the last seven days, with three on March 7 and five by one observer on March 11. A MERLIN was also seen on March 11.
A RED-BELLIED WOODPECKER was seen on March 11. Two HORNED LARKS landed briefly on Bayshore Road before being flushed by an unsuspecting birder on a bicycle. The CAROLINA WREN at 40 Bayshore Road was still present today. The Pearsons, who "own” that bird (or at least the property that it frequents) are willing to let birders look at their feeder provided that they stay on the west side of the property, from which the feeder can be seen. AMERICAN ROBINS have been showing up in places where they have not been all winter. A SONG SPARROW has been paying irregular visits to the feeders at 186 Bayshore Road.
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.