[Ontbirds]Presqu'ile Birding Report for Week Ending March 2, 2006.
fhelleiner at trentu.ca
Thu Mar 2 17:48:30 EST 2006
The hoped-for break in the winter weather at Presqu'ile Provincial Park
has not yet taken place, but a few clear signs of spring are evident in
the bird world.
Given decent viewing conditions, birders looking out over Presqu'ile Bay
from Bayshore Road or the calf pasture are almost certain to find both
Mute Swans (the vast majority) and Tundra Swans, as well as a few
Gadwalls and lots of Canvasbacks, Redheads, and Greater Scaup. A
Ring-necked Duck was spotted as recently as February 24, and there
probably are still a few of them among the scaup. Two White-winged
Scoters were near Salt Point on March 2. A few Red-breasted Mergansers
have paired up in the open waters of Lake Ontario near Owen Point and
Although Presqu'ile is not noted for its raptor migrations, a few
noteworthy sightings occurred this week. An immature Bald Eagle was
seen twice over Presqu'ile Bay, and a very early (perhaps record early)
Merlin was at 111 Bayshore Road on March 2. On the same day, a Barred
Owl was sitting directly over the main road in the Park just east of the
bird sightings board parking lot. Unquestionably the biggest surprise
of the week was the smallest raptor, a Northern Saw-whet Owl hopping
around in a deciduous shrub at the calf pasture on February 28, another
Hundreds, perhaps thousands, of Ring-billed Gulls are fully in
possession of Gull Island these days. A Glaucous Gull was on the ice
of Presqu'ile Bay on February 24.
A Northern Flicker was spotted outside the Park Superintendent's office
this afternoon. A few American Robins and Cedar Waxwings can usually be
seen in or near a crab apple tree opposite the government dock (73?
Bayshore Road). Perhaps they will be joined by Eastern Bluebirds in the
next few weeks. A Song Sparrow was on the beach east of Owen Point on
March 2, and a White-throated Sparrow was in the thicket at the base of
Salt Point on February 26. Both of those birds were likely present all
winter, as were the two Common Grackles around 116 Bayshore Road. Again
this week, the only finches found at Presqu'ile were small numbers of
House Finches, Pine Siskins, and American Goldfinches, mostly at feeders
between the government dock and Salt Point.
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 Owen Point is probably less than a metre deep but treacherous to
wade across because of the swift currents. If it is ice-covered, the
ice is probably unsafe. There is only one more week before Gull Island
becomes off limits for the summer months (another sign of spring).
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.
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