Winter has not loosened its grip on Presqu'ile Provincial Park. Nor have there been many signs of spring in the bird life.
Four TRUMPETER SWANS, two adults and two immatures, were off Salt Point on Tuesday. GREATER SCAUP now outnumber by a large and growing number all other duck species. A few WHITE-WINGED SCOTERS can often be seen accompanying the other ducks in Presqu'ile Bay, where there is usually open water in the vicinity of Salt Point. WILD TURKEYS are being seen regularly, some visiting feeders and others becoming more visible in the deep snow. The edge of the ice in Presqu'ile Bay provides one of the better opportunities to view the few BALD EAGLES that remain in that area. A NORTHERN GOSHAWK was observed this morning flying out of the Park near the entrance. Twice in the past week a rather dark SNOWY OWL has been observed from the Salt Point area, most recently sitting atop the lighthouse there yesterday. There are likely more of that species on the offshore islands, but few people venture out there these days and no one has reported any to me. A BARRED OWL posed for four birders this morning.
At noon today a RED-BELLIED WOODPECKER was on the feeders at 186 Bayshore Road. A NORTHERN SHRIKE was at the calf pasture on the weekend and it, or another, was near the lighthouse this morning. Five COMMON RAVENS were seen the other day. An optimist might interpret a singing PURPLE FINCH at 83 Bayshore Road as a sign of spring.
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. 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