HIGHLIGHTS: BROWN THRASHER
It’s another slim week for birds. Feeders are busier but the woods are almost lifeless, something that can happen when the peninsula is exposed to extended deep cold and wind. Presqu’ile Bay opened up a bit this week with open water now to the Government dock, and most waterfowl clustered along the ice-edge. The predicted warm up early next week may bring an influx of diving ducks as sometimes happens in mid-winter.
There was nothing new to add to the wintering waterfowl, with the most unusual duck being WHITE-WINGED SCOTER with 3 on 26-27 Jan and one on 29 Jan. Hawks were limited to BALD EAGLES on 25 and 29 Jan and a single RED-TAILED HAWK on 25 Jan. At least one SNOWY OWL is frequenting Presqu’ile Bay and BARRED OWLS are being seen fairly regularly in various parts of the park.
Woodpeckers are down to a few RED-BELLIED as well as HAIRY, DOWNY and PILEATED. A NORTHERN SHRIKE – the first in several weeks – raided a Bayshore Rd feeder on 28 Jan. Single COMMON RAVENS were seen on 25 and 27 Jan. Several AMERICAN ROBIN flocks are still roaming the park, especially around Calf Pasture field. The long-staying BROWN THRASHER was a daily visitor at its Bayshore Rd feeder in this cold weather.
A WHITE-THROATED SPARROW – the first in several weeks – reappeared at a Bayshore Rd feeder on 28-31 Jan. An impressive 15 NORTHERN CARDINALS were seen at one feeder on 28 Jan. Finches included small numbers of AMERICAN GOLDFINCH plus a single COMMON REDPOLL on 29 and 31 Jan and a single PINE SISKIN on 29 Jan.
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).