Although little has changed in the bird life at Presqu'ile Provincial Park since last week, the volume of spring migrants is still impressive for this early date.
There are dabbling ducks of several species just outside the Park, but identifying those within the Park is challenging because of the great distance involved. Likewise, diving ducks remain in Presqu'ile Bay by the thousands (mostly REDHEADS) but are so far from vantage points on the south side of the bay (i.e., along Bayshore Road) that they can scarcely be seen even with binoculars, let alone identified. CANVASBACKS, RING-NECKED DUCKS, WHITE-WINGED SCOTERS, HOODED MERGANSERS, and RED-BREASTED MERGANSERS have all been close enough to identify. Perhaps an AMERICAN COOT is out there among all the ducks.
Seeing the resident flock of WILD TURKEYS away from Bayshore Road has not been reported until yesterday, when 10-12 crossed one of the trails before disappearing into the underbrush. The only BALD EAGLE seen this week was an adult perched across from the government dock on Monday. A NORTHERN GOSHAWK landed for two or three minutes on a railing near the feeders at 186 Bayshore Road before flying off empty-taloned. A third-hand report indicates that a SNOWY OWL was on the beach recently. There was a report of a NORTHERN FLICKER yesterday. COMMON RAVENS have become a regular, almost daily, sighting, often detected by their vocalizations. Two PINE SISKINS were still at 186 Bayshore Road on March 4. A fuzzy photograph of a bird at another feeder nearby suggested the possibility of a female EVENING GROSBEAK. The bird has not returned. About ten SNOW BUNTINGS were on the beach yesterday. A SONG SPARROW was photographed under the camp office bird feeder yesterday. The most reliable location for finding a WHITE-THROATED SPARROW continues to be 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. 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.