The ice storm that hit Presqu’ile Provincial Park, among other areas, has caused so much tree damage and problems with driving on ice-covered and tree-covered roads that much of the Park has been closed for most of the past week. Thus the only birds seen have been those on that part of the Presqu’ile peninsula that lie outside the Park, and even sightings of those birds have been limited by difficulty in getting around and by the fact that Presqu’ile Bay froze over completely for a few days. Although there are still a few copies left, the book that has been advertised in these reports for the past few months will no longer be featured here after this report (new year’s resolution?), but word of mouth advertising is still encouraged, so that The Friends of Presqu’ile Park can reap more benefits for the Environmental Fund that was established this year. Thanks to those who have responded so generously. A second printing of a book entitled For the Birds: Recollections and Rambles, by Fred Helleiner, is available from the author (see below) for $20 plus $2.50 for postage. It is also being sold at Out on a Limb and Lighthouse Books in Brighton. All profits are being donated to the Friends of Presqu’ile’s 25th Anniversary Environmental Fund, which sponsors long-term projects like the eradication of invasive species. This message is authorized by the Ontbirds Coordinator.
In Presqu’ile Bay today there were six TRUMPETER SWANS and two other swans with black bills that were too far to identify. There are still a few REDHEADS among the GREATER SCAUP, but the only WHITE-WINGED SCOTERS were five on December 21. The waterfowl situation varies dramatically from day to day in response to ice conditions, so the possibility exists that a lingering duck like a RING-NECKED DUCK or HOODED MERGANSER might appear. A RUFFED GROUSE has been visiting the feeders at 83 Bayshore Road. A RED-TAILED HAWK was seen twice. Two SNOWY OWLS were on the ice of Presqu’ile Bay on December 21, and one has been there almost daily since then. It sat briefly on the Salt Point lighthouse today.
A RED-BELLIED WOODPECKER has been a regular feature at 186 Bayshore Road for the past two months. On December 23, a NORTHERN SHRIKE was at 182 Bayshore Road. A GOLDEN-CROWNED KINGLET was flushed from the roadside at the calf pasture. A flock of 25 AMERICAN ROBINS was flying around the calf pasture after the ice storm had passed. A flock of SNOW BUNTINGS was at Salt Point on December 22. A SONG SPARROW and one or two WHITE-THROATED SPARROWS are patronizing the feeders at 186 and 83 Bayshore Road, respectively. Three COMMON GRACKLES and a BROWN-HEADED COWBIRD have been seen at the latter address this week.
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 should exercise
extreme caution. The crossing to the island is probably covered
with ice that is not quite capable of supporting the weight of an adult birder. 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.