Presqu'ile Birding Report for Week Ending December 24, 2015.
Almost all of the bird sightings at Presqu'ile Provincial Park in the past week were made by a team of birders who covered much of the Park in small groups as part of the annual Christmas Bird Count (CBC). As expected, their efforts yielded a few good sightings.
A GREEN-WINGED TEAL was the first in over two weeks. A female RING-NECKED DUCK off 42 Bayshore Road has been seen on three occasions in the past ten days, most recently on Sunday. A LESSER SCAUP was also seen on Sunday. Small groups of WHITE-WINGED SCOTERS were seen on three days. Ten HOODED MERGANSERS that flew past on Sunday were a surprise. Three RUFFED GROUSE were found on the CBC. The five WILD TURKEYS on Lilac Lane on Tuesday were likely the same birds that were seen at the calf pasture two weeks earlier. Two HORNED GREBES were in Popham Bay on Sunday. A ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK was again seen on High Bluff Island. An AMERICAN COOT was in the reeds off 38 Bayshore Road.
The only two shorebirds on the CBC were a SANDERLING and a DUNLIN on Gull Island, where they have been for some time. The former is close to being a late record for the Park. BONAPARTE'S GULLS are lingering in good numbers. Both ICELAND GULL and GLAUCOUS GULL were at Owen Point on Sunday. Twice in the past an IVORY GULL was recorded on a CBC at Presqu'ile, so that species might appear again. The SNOWY OWL and the BARRED OWL on the CBC were not unexpected.
As recently as yesterday, a BELTED KINGFISHER has been frequenting the cove at Salt Point. Two RED-BELLIED WOODPECKERS and two PILEATED WOODPECKERS were tallied on the CBC, none at a feeder. A MERLIN was found on the CBC, as were a WINTER WREN and 26 AMERICAN ROBINS and 40 SNOW BUNTINGS. A FOX SPARROW at a feeder on Sunday was unexpected. Single PINE SISKINS were at widely separated feeders on Friday and Sunday.
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. Visitors to Gull Island not using a boat should be prepared to wade through water that is knee-deep, not taking into account any wave action, in which there is often a swift current and a substrate that is somewhat uneven and slippery. 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