The last few days of 2017 and the first few days of this year have yielded a few interesting birds at Presqu'ile Provincial Park, despite the fact that surrounding water has been periodically frozen.
Eight vocal TRUMPETER SWANS flew by on December 30. The only dabbling duck observed this week was an AMERICAN BLACK DUCK this morning at Salt Point, where dabbling ducks are usually absent until the first late winter thaw. A female WHITE-WINGED SCOTER was near the lighthouse yesterday. WILD TURKEYS show up regularly these days. Both adult and immature BALD EAGLES have been seen this week. A COOPER'S HAWK on Monday and a large accipiter carrying what appeared to be a dove today were the only hawks noted, but SNOWY OWLS continue to frequent the offshore islands and the beach. An immature NORTHERN SHRIKE was seen on Tuesday. COMMON RAVENS have been regular. A flock of AMERICAN ROBINS has been moving around, and a flock of SNOW BUNTINGS has been on Gull Island. WHITE-THROATED SPARROWS have taken up residence at 83 Bayshore Road. It was in the first week of January three years ago that a PINE WARBLER discovered the feeders in the Park (or that the birders discovered the bird), so there is a lesson to be learned, - that unusual birds can show up even in the dead of winter.
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 aware that the ice between Owen Point and the island may or may not support the weight of a human. They may also encounter a slippery coating of ice on the rocks. Ice cleats are recommended. According to one observer, the snow is really deep and unpredictable.
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.