At Presqu'ile Provincial Park this week, the bird life has been typical of late fall conditions, with one sighting being a record late date for the species.
TUNDRA SWANS have continued to move through the Park. On Friday a flock of 25-30 flew over, and on Sunday two flocks totalling 28 birds were seen. A female WOOD DUCK was in the marsh on Saturday and Sunday. The highest count of WHITE-WINGED SCOTERS was 25 on Sunday. A female BLACK SCOTER has been lingering off Owen Point. WILD TURKEYS continue to be seen in the calf pasture. Three HORNED GREBES were in Popham Bay on Sunday. In the far distance a SANDHILL CRANE could be heard bugling on December 2. For the first time since spring, no typical shorebirds were reported, but a record late (by 12 days) AMERICAN WOODCOCK was flushed on the Owen Point trail on December 5. Somewhat surprisingly, the first GLAUCOUS GULL of the season has yet to appear. A late DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANT flew past High Bluff Island on Sunday. Two NORTHERN HARRIERS were seen on Sunday. At least eight SNOWY OWLS were on the offshore islands and one was in the residential area. An AMERICAN KESTREL was seen on Sunday. Scarcely worth mentioning are the COMMON RAVENS being sighted almost daily.
Visitors to Gull Island not using a boat should be prepared to wade through water that is knee-deep when it is absolutely calm; this does not take into account any wave action. There is often a swift current and a substrate that is somewhat uneven and slippery. It should also be noted that, because duck hunting is given priority on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, Gull Island, High Bluff Island, Owen Point, and part of the calf pasture are not available for bird-watching on those days. Birders are encouraged to record their observations on the bird sightings board provided near the campground office by The Friends of Presqu'ile Park.
Questions and comments about bird sightings at Presqu'ile may be directed to: FHELLEINER@TRENTU.CA