Despite unfavourable weather conditions at Presqu’ile Provincial Park on Sunday, a fairly thorough coverage of the park for the Christmas Bird Count yielded 44 species. 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.
Three TRUMPETER SWANS were among the hundreds of Mute Swans in Presqu’ile Bay during the days when it was not completely frozen over. The number of REDHEADS there at the end of last week, about 30, has dwindled to three. Eleven WHITE-WINGED SCOTERS were off Salt Point today. Two surprises on the bird count were a WILD TURKEY and two GREAT BLUE HERONS. Four BALD EAGLES were together on the ice of Presqu’ile Bay on Saturday, and a total of five were seen here and there on Sunday. Four NORTHERN HARRIERS were counted on Sunday. A SHARP-SHINNED HAWK has been attracted to bird feeders on Bayshore Road, and was seen with a MOURNING DOVE that it could scarcely carry off the road when disturbed by a car. A single COOPER’S HAWK was found on Sunday and a ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK on Monday. The SNOWY OWL count on Sunday was six birds, and at least one has been on the ice of Presqu’ile Bay on five of the past six days.
RED-BELLIED WOODPECKERS have been seen in three different locations, and a PILEATED WOODPECKER was seen twice. There were infrequent sightings of the GRAY CATBIRD at 83 Bayshore Road up to December 14. Birders with a great deal of patience may still be rewarded by re-discovering that bird. No SNOW BUNTINGS could be found on the bird count but one was present on the next day. Five SONG SPARROWS were found on the bird count, including one that has been present at 186 Bayshore Road every day for the past two weeks and fairly regularly for the past month. Likewise, up to three WHITE-THROATED SPARROWS and three COMMON GRACKLES have been regular at 83 Bayshore Road.
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. This week the crossing to the island has been partly
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
Questions and comments about bird sightings at Presqu'ile may be directed to: FHELLEINER@TRENTU.CA.