Whereas in a normal year early spring migrants would be arriving at Presqu'ile Provincial Park in good numbers by this late in March, this has not happened since late February. Instead there has been a trickle of new arrivals. The good news is that there are still thousands of ducks in Presqu'ile Bay that will likely provide visitors to this weekend's Waterfowl Viewing Festival with an opportunity to see what they came for and perhaps something unexpected, like the Harlequin Duck that appeared during the festival two years ago.
Two WOOD DUCKS were seen along Bayshore Road this morning. Other dabbling ducks seen this week (all from Bayshore Road) were GADWALLS, AMERICAN WIGEONS, AMERICAN BLACK DUCKS, MALLARDS, NORTHERN PINTAILS,TUNDRA SWAN (2 on Sunday) and GREAT BLUE HERON . Among diving ducks, the most interesting ones were two SURF SCOTERS seen several times, several WHITE-WINGED SCOTERS, and a female BLACK SCOTER seen again on March 17 and 21. Ten WILD TURKEYS were still present, and a RUFFED GROUSE by the roadside, a species which has been scarce this winter, perhaps at the low point in its cycle. The first PIED-BILLED GREBE of the year appeared on March 19. An AMERICAN WOODCOCK posed for a number of birders on Sunday, and another was flushed at the lighthouse on Tuesday.
Single BALD EAGLES were seen on three different days. Other raptors seen this week were SHARP-SHINNED HAWK, ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK (soaring over the "fingers"), and SNOWY OWL (on beach 3 from Monday to Wednesday). PILEATED WOODPECKERS were seen on three different days. One has been attacking a tree at 126 Bayshore Road. There were again sightings of COMMON RAVEN. Yesterday three SNOW BUNTINGS were off Owen Point and a RUSTY BLACKBIRD visited 83 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.