HIGHLIGHTS: DUNLIN, BROWN THRASHER, FOX SPARROW, SWAMP SPARROW
It was a very quiet week with very few reports received, and very few birds by those that went out. Lingering birds have mostly gone and it’s feeling like winter now.
As the freeze continues most puddle ducks have left the park area, but diving and sea ducks are still about – mostly in Presqu’ile Bay or around the islands. An injured female NORTHERN PINTAIL was flushed from the grass on Gull Is. on 2 Dec. The only other notable waterfowl was a pair of HOODED MERGANSER at the causeway on 6 Dec. Hawks reported include a NORTHERN HARRIER on Gull Is. on 4 Dec and a SHARP-SHINNED and RED-TAILED on 6 Dec.
A DUNLIN seen on Gull Is. on 2, 4 and 6 Dec is our only remaining shorebird. A NORTHERN SHRIKE was seen on Dec 1. Twenty-five AMERICAN ROBINS were noted on 6 Dec and the long-staying BROWN THRASHER continues at a Bayshore Rd. feeder. A handful of SNOW BUNTINGS have been seen with the high count being 8 on 2 Dec.
A nice treat was a lingering FOX SPARROW that appeared at a Bayshore Rd. feeder on 6 Dec. A SWAMP SPARROW was seen at The Birdhouse Nature Store, just outside the gate on 6 Dec. RED-WINGED BLACKBIRDS have all but vanished except for a small group of 4 at The Birdhouse Nature Store feeders all week. Up to two COMMON GRACKLES frequented feeders along Bayshore Rd.
It was a quiet week for finches with only a small number of PINE SISKIN reported from various feeders.
The Presqu’ile Christmas Bird Count will be held on Sunday, 16 December. If anyone would like to take part, please contact me privately.
Note that fall waterfowl hunting in now occurring in the Park which means park users cannot go to Owen Pt., the islands, the marsh (boardwalk is open), or Calf Pasture Pt. on Saturdays, Mondays, Wednesdays or Fridays even if no one is hunting on those days. This restriction will last until mid December so plan your trip accordingly.
Directions: Presqu’ile Provincial Park is located on the north shore of Lake Ontario, just south of the town of Brighton. It can be reached from either Hwy. 401, or Cty. Rd. 2 and is well signed. A Park map can be found in the information tabloid available at the Park gate. Presqu’ile’s two offshore islands – Gull and High Bluff – support a large multi-species colonial bird nesting area and access is not permitted during the breeding season (10 March-10 September).