Despite the persistence of cold weather all week at Presqu'ile Provincial Park, new birds are arriving almost every day, albeit mostly single individuals rather than a surge of migrants. The next few days should change that.
Five species of ducks in the Aythya genus continue to gather in Presqu'ile Bay by the hundreds. Three WHITE-WINGED SCOTERS flew past today. A RUFFED GROUSE was eating tree buds yesterday. A highlight of the spring each year at Presqu'ile is the congregation of RED-THROATED LOONS, a species unfamiliar to many birders, in Popham Bay in late April. The first two were spotted there yesterday. OSPREYS have once again occupied the nest atop the lighthouse off Salt Point. On High Bluff Island this morning there was a NORTHERN HARRIER and a buteo that appeared to be a ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK. A WILSON'S SNIPE was winnowing yesterday, and an AMERICAN WOODCOCK was flushed from the roadside this morning. BONAPARTE'S GULLS were moving east past the point this morning in good numbers, raising hopes that a LITTLE GULL might appear in the next few days. CASPIAN TERNS have been seen on at least two occasions in the past week. Two MERLINS appear to have established a nest site in the campground, and another two (or perhaps the same ones) were seen near Atkins Lane.
A single PURPLE MARTIN was examining a nest box on Monday. EASTERN TOWHEES were seen at three different sites since Tuesday. The first SAVANNAH SPARROW of the year was on a lawn on that day, and the first FOX SPARROW appeared on Saturday. An influx of sparrows is probably imminent. Singles of PURPLE FINCH and PINE SISKIN have also been present.
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 from March 10 onward 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.