OVERVIEW: Coverage remains very low, resulting in another slim report. It is now the dead of winter at Presqu’ile. There is a considerable build-up of ice in Popham Bay off the beach and around part of Gull Is., and Presqu’ile Bay is frozen to the Government Dock on Bayshore Rd. There are still lots of waterfowl around but their location varies with ice conditions. Close to 800 Mute Swans are wintering in the area. Long-tailed Duck and Common Goldeneye are the most common ducks, with smaller numbers of Greater Scaup, Redhead and others mixed in. Bald Eagles are being seen daily on the ice of Presqu’ile Bay, and the odd Snowy Owl has also been reported there. The woods seem generally pretty quiet but a good effort will turn up birds like Brown Creeper, Golden-crowned Kinglet, both nuthatches, Downy, Hairy Pileated and Red-bellied Woodpecker, American Robin and Cedar Waxwing. Finches have been quite variable. House Finch is scarce and mostly at feeders. Common Redpoll and American Goldfinch are well distributed. All other finches are scarce and unpredictable.
TRUMPETER SWAN – 13 were seen on 24 Jan followed by 11 on 27 Jan. Trumpeter Swans are not yet common here and are usually mixed with a huge Mute Swan population that moves between Presqu’ile Bay and the Barcovan Channel to the east. The Trumpeters are usually at Barcovan so it is notable to see this many at Presqu’ile.
CANVASBACK – 1 was seen on 23 Jan.
WHITE-WINGED SCOTER – small numbers persist usually near the mouth of Presqu’ile Bay with a high of 6 on 25 Jan.
BALD EAGLE – several seen most days on the ice of Presqu’ile Bay with a high of 4 on 23 Jan.
WINTER WREN – 1 seen in Newcastle woods on 27 Jan demonstrates how tough these little wrens are.
WHITE-THROATED SPARROW – small numbers persist at Bayshore Rd. feeders with a high of 4 on 24 Jan.
NORTHERN CARDINAL – an impressive 18 birds (including 11 males) were at one feeder on 26 Jan.
RUSTY BLACKBIRD – 1 appeared briefly at a Bayshore Rd feeder on 24 Jan but has not been seen since.
COMMON REDPOLL – numbers seem to be increasing locally with a high count of 110 on 26 Jan.
HOARY REDPOLL – 1 was picked out of a Common flock on 26 Jan.
Directions: Presqu’ile Provincial Park is located south of Brighton on the north shore of Lake Ontario. It is well signed from either Hwy. 401 or Cty. Rd. 2.