With spring having officially arrived at Presqu’ile Provincial Park today, it is not surprising that the Park has been swamped (well, not quite) with newly arrived bird migrants, both in the water and on the land. Things are still delayed compared to recent years, but there are surely many more to come in the next week.
A SNOW GOOSE was reported flying past the causeway leading to the Park on March 14. The skeins of geese passing overhead have yet to appear. On Saturday, a TRUMPETER SWAN put in a brief but noisy appearance before flying off, and two more flew past the lighthouse on Sunday. Dabbling ducks have been trickling in, with small numbers of WOOD DUCKS, GADWALLS, AMERICAN WIGEONS, AMERICAN BLACK DUCKS, and MALLARDS being seen on most days. The vast majority of the ducks in Presqu’ile Bay are REDHEADS and GREATER SCAUP. Three HOODED MERGANSERS were there on Saturday. A big surprise was a female RUDDY DUCK at Salt Point on both Saturday and Sunday. A HORNED GREBE was sighted on Saturday. PIED-BILLED GREBES should be appearing soon. A BALD EAGLE flew past on Saturday. The first AMERICAN COOT of the season was found on Tuesday. An ICELAND GULL was present on Friday and Saturday. Single SNOWY OWLS put on a good show on two of the past five days.
A RED-BELLIED WOODPECKER has been a regular near the Government Dock. The CAROLINA WREN at 40 Bayshore Road continues to put in irregular appearances, even singing occasionally. Birders looking for that bird are reminded that the property owners welcome birders but only if they remain on the west side of the property. In addition to the wintering American Robins, individuals have showed up all over Presqu’ile, and flocks were migrating over the lighthouse yesterday. A SNOW BUNTING flew over the Government Dock. A few new SONG SPARROWS have appeared in the last couple of days. RED-WINGED BLACKBIRDS and COMMON GRACKLES are ubiquitous in the past two or three days, especially around feeders.
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.
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.