The presence of many experienced birders at Presqu'ile Provincial Park during the weekend resulted in some interesting sightings.
Even with the early spring, it seems likely that the mass migration of CANADA GEESE, sometimes accompanied by SNOW GEESE, that normally occurs in late March has not yet taken place. The past week has seen the arrival of the first WOOD DUCKS. Most of the other anticipated ducks, except BLUE-WINGED TEAL and RUDDY DUCK, have now put in an appearance. PIED-BILLED GREBES have returned to the marsh, and two HORNED GREBES, one in winter plumage and one in breeding plumage, did their mating dance far offshore from the picnic area. Both RED-NECKED GREBE and GREAT BLUE HERON have been reported, along with several sightings of early DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANTS and of BALD EAGLES. A PEREGRINE FALCON made a pass at the ducks in the marsh on Sunday. A record early date was established for SANDHILL CRANES, two of which were seen by several observers. Both SNOWY OWL and BARRED OWLS (several) were seen this week.
The first BELTED KINGFISHER of the spring showed up on Sunday. Five woodpecker species included RED-BELLIED WOODPECKER, NORTHERN FLICKER, and PILEATED WOODPECKER. COMMON RAVENS were again in evidence. A HORNED LARK flew overhead. PURPLE FINCHES were seen on two different days.
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 from March 10 onward 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.