Because of unfavourable winds for the past week, the migration at Presqu'ile Provincial Park can not be characterized as more than a trickle. Yet, most of the expected arrivals have been reported at least once, and the shift in wind direction to the south in the past few hours bodes well for a break in the log jam that must surely be holding birds back.
Three Wood Ducks flew out of the Owen Point marsh on April 14, the first of that species in several weeks. Gadwalls and American Wigeons are still in Presqu'ile Bay in small numbers. A lone Northern Pintail was in Popham Bay on April 10. Red-throated Loons can usually be found in Popham Bay with the aid of a scope, and nine were counted on April 13.
Several observers have heard an American Bittern in the marsh since April 13. Great Egrets are already on their nests on High Bluff Island. Three Black-crowned Night-Herons were on Sebastopol Island on April 16.
An Osprey was seen on April 11, and a Cooper's Hawk on that day and the next. On April 12 a Peregrine Falcon was dive-bombing something in the water off the lighthouse while simultaneously fending off an attack by a gull. On April 13 a Merlin was at the lighthouse. A Wild Turkey crossed Bayshore Road and entered the woods on April 10. Both Wilson's Snipe and American Woodcock were seen near the start of the Owen Point trail access road. The first of several Bonaparte's Gulls were over Presqu'ile Bay on April 10, and on the following day the first Caspian Terns arrived. One of the resident Barred Owls in Jobes' Woods was spotted on April 10.
Recent arrivals have included Belted Kingfisher, Barn Swallows, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Hermit Thrushes, Field Sparrow, and Swamp Sparrow. The White-throated Sparrow that has been frequenting 83 and 85 Bayshore Road for several days may be the same individual that was at nearby feeders early in the winter, and the Eastern Towhee at 83 Bayshore Road may be the same one that was there late in March. Several feeders along Bayshore Road are still being patronized by up to a dozen Pine Siskins. Within the next week, we can expect other species of swallows, Brown Thrashers, the first of the warblers, and Chipping Sparrows.
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.
Questions and comments about bird sightings at Presqu'ile may be directed to: FHELLEINER@TRENTU.CA.