Presqu'ile Birding Report for Week Ending April 24, 2003.

Fred Helleiner fhelleiner at
Thu Apr 24 19:50:23 EDT 2003

Although bird migration at Presqu'ile Provincial Park is still several
weeks away from its spring peak, many birders who visited the Park over
the Easter weekend expressed satisfaction with the variety of migrants
that could be found with a bit of searching.  Below normal temperatures
and northerly winds for the past two days have slowed things down a bit,
but in general migration is close to being on schedule.

The first American Bittern of the year appeared in the marsh on April
18.  That is also the best location for finding Great Egrets at this
time of year, with six in view at one time on April 23.  Birders with a
spotting scope can see up to nine Black-crowned Night-Herons around
their nests on Sebastopol Point, but several also show up at dusk in the
marsh, where no scope is needed.

Two Northern Shovelers were in the woodpile marsh on April 20, and eight
Northern Pintails were also seen on that day.  Approximately 50
Green-winged Teal are regularly frequenting the beach area.  There still
are two Canvasbacks among the Redheads, Ring-necked Ducks, and Scaup in
the inner part of Presqu'ile Bay.  About 15 White-winged Scoters were
off the lighthouse on April 23.

Ruffed Grouse began drumming along Paxton Drive on April 19.  Evening
sounds along the marsh boardwalk from now on will make for interesting
bird listening, with Common Moorhens, Wilson's Snipe, and Marsh Wrens
likely to join the chorus of bitterns and woodcocks that are already

Two very early Dunlins that appeared off Owen Point on April 19 raised
speculation that they may have been the same individuals that were
present until January 1, having possibly over-wintered undetected on
nearby High Bluff Island.  A Little Gull accompanied a procession of 49
Bonaparte's Gulls flying towards the lighthouse on April 18.  On April
24, a Glaucous Gull was sitting on the gravel bar off Owen Point.

Five species of swallows were huddling in the cold on the morning of
April 23 near the lighthouse, the only regular species missing being
Purple Martin.  Other newly arrived migrants during the past week at
Presqu'ile included large numbers of Ruby-crowned Kinglets, several each
of Hermit Thrushes, Brown Thrashers, Yellow-rumped and Pine Warblers,
Eastern Towhees, and Chipping, Field, Swamp, and White-throated
Sparrows.  Six Savannah Sparrows on the Owen Point trail on April 19
represented an unusually high concentration. There was also a
significant migration this week of Eastern Meadowlarks, with ten being
seen near the lighthouse on April 19 and 4, 2, and 1 on the next three

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 at this time of year to prevent disturbance to 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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