[Ontbirds] Presqu'ile Birding Report for Week Ending December 22, 2005.
fhelleiner at trentu.ca
Thu Dec 22 20:50:18 EST 2005
Now that it is officially winter, one could expect to find fewer birds
at Presqu'ile Provincial Park, but the Christmas Bird Count last Sunday
proved that there are more birds to be found in the Park than one might
suspect, as long as there is a sufficient number of birders present to
To the dismay of those who recognize Mute Swans as a significant
environmental problem, the number of individuals of that species
continues to grow. This week, 320 were counted in Presqu'ile Bay. The
odd Tundra Swan can usually be found among them by scanning the flock
carefully with a spotting scope. Almost all the other waterfowl at
Presqu'ile are diving ducks, including a dozen or more Redheads. A
Hooded Merganser was near the government dock on December 19, and four
Red-breasted Mergansers were in various locations the day before.
Raptors, both diurnal and nocturnal, provided some interesting sightings
during the past week. At least two Bald Eagles and a Northern Harrier
have been seen flying around. On Sunday, a remarkable four species of
owls were found, all of which are likely still present. A Great Horned
Owl was seen at dusk near the Park entrance, and a Snowy Owl was sitting
on the ice off Owen Point. That bird, or another like it, was on the
ice of Presqu'ile Bay on three of the last seven days. Two Barred Owls
were located, one in Jobes' woods and the other across the road from 42
Bayshore Road. Another one was just outside the Park on Huff Road
today. The best find, certainly the most surprising, was a Long-eared
Owl in the cedars beside the Park Store parking lot. That bird was
re-discovered on December 21.
On December 19, a Northern Flicker was sitting in the middle of the road
near the marsh boardwalk entrance road. A young Northern Shrike
appeared near two feeders on Bayshore Road on consecutive days last
weekend. Three Winter Wrens were seen on December 18, perhaps the
largest one-day count for any winter day at Presqu'ile. A very late
American Pipit at Owen Point on December 18 may be the same bird that
was there a fortnight earlier. Also on December 18, two Swamp Sparrows
were behind the woodpile marsh, and, by a conservative estimate, six or
seven Song Sparrows were on Gull Island. Although proving somewhat
elusive, a White-throated Sparrow has been at 83 Bayshore Road, where
there are also two Common Grackles. One Common Redpoll put in a brief
appearance there on December 18.
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. Visitors to Gull Island should be
prepared to wade through shin-deep water in which there is often a swift
current, plenty of heavy ice floes, and a substrate that is somewhat
uneven. The ice between Owen Point and Gull Island is considered unsafe
Questions and comments about bird sightings at Presqu'ile may be
directed to: FHELLEINER at TRENTU.CA.
186 Bayshore Road,
Brighton, Ontario, Canada, K0K 1H0
VOICE: (613) 475 5309
If visiting, access via Presqu'ile Provincial Park.
More information about the ONTBIRDS