Presqu'ile Birding Report for Week Ending March 6, 2003.

Fred Helleiner fhelleiner at
Thu Mar 6 20:57:25 EST 2003

Although winter keeps its grip on Presqu'ile Provincial Park, there is a
trickle of new bird arrivals, and the variety that has been here for
most of the winter continues to offer good birding to those with the
patience to spend a day checking out all of the likely areas.

The highlight of the week has been a Red-necked Grebe that swam to and
fro along the edge of the ice in Presqu'ile Bay near the lighthouse on
March 3 and 4.  On one of the milder days when the bay was partly open
(March 2), four Tundra Swans, a Gadwall, eight Canvasbacks, and 150
Redheads were visible from Salt Point.  A small number of White-winged
Scoters can usually be spotted with the help of a scope, between the
Nature Centre and Salt Point.  Both Common and Red-breasted Mergansers
are also to be seen in that area.  The annual Waterfowl Viewing Weekends
are scheduled for March 15/16 and 22/23 at Presqu'ile Park.  There will
certainly be plenty of ducks to be seen, but a change in the weather
will be needed before then for the bay to open up as far inland as the
calf pasture, where viewing conditions are usually very good.  On March
8, a workshop is available at Presqu'ile for $15 to persons 14 years of
age or older to
provide training and assistance in the identification of waterfowl as
well as instruction in their habits.  To register 'phone 613-475-1688.

An immature Bald Eagle was sighted on March 1 and 6, and an adult
Cooper's Hawk was visiting the bird feeder at 83 Bayshore Road on the
latter date.

If the duck watching proves too bone-chilling, a walk through Newcastle
Woods (behind the Nature Centre) offers good prospects of finding one or
more Pileated Woodpeckers.

Some of the American Robins that appeared late last week may have been
new arrivals.  They were single birds in places where they had not been
throughout the winter and were not associating with Cedar Waxwings, as
was the wintering flock.  A Song Sparrow at 38 Bayshore Road on March 4
was also there for the first time this winter, in contrast with the
White-throated Sparrow putting in almost daily appearances at the feeder
at 186 Bayshore Road.

Blackbirds have begun to move around, with a Rusty Blackbird showing up
at a feeder a short distance outside the Park and two Brown-headed
Cowbirds at 85 Bayshore Road on February 27 and 28.

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.  The channel separating Gull Island
from the mainland has almost disappeared, making the island almost a
peninsula.  The channel is only a few metres wide and about 10-15
centimetres deep.  However, when the channel between the island and Owen
Point is frozen, as it has been recently, the ice may be unsafe to walk
on without breaking through.  From March 10 onwards, Gull Island will be
off limits to protect the colonial nesting birds there.

Questions and comments about bird sightings at Presqu'ile may be
directed to: FHELLEINER at TRENTU.CA.

Fred Helleiner

186 Bayshore Road,
R.R. #4,
Brighton, Ontario, Canada, K0K 1H0
VOICE: (613) 475 5309
If visiting, access via Presqu'ile Provincial Park.

Fred Helleiner <fhelleiner at>

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