[Ontbirds]Presqu'ile Birding Report for Week Ending March 23, 2006.
fhelleiner at trentu.ca
Thu Mar 23 20:47:07 EST 2006
Normally at this time of year, new spring birds would be arriving at
Presqu'ile Provincial Park almost every day, but for the past ten days
or more, unfavourable winds have delayed migration. For the past few
hours, however, a change has occurred, with winds coming from the
south-west. That raises the prospect of a large influx of birds
overnight tonight and into the morning (if the winds continue in that
direction), as birds that have been held back suddenly begin to move in.
Up to this point the only members of the loon and grebe family that have
shown up at Presqu'ile are a few Pied-billed Grebes. Before the end of
the month, there should be a few loons and other grebes, most likely in
Popham Bay. There have been only three reports this spring of Great
Blue Herons in the Park, but they too, along with Double-crested
Cormorants, will soon be here in numbers. When flocks of Canada Geese
resume their flights overhead, there could be a Snow Goose among them. A
few Tundra Swans have been with the conspicuous Mute Swans in Presqu'ile
Bay this week.
Since the ice has cleared out of Presqu'ile Bay, the ducks, still
numbering over a thousand, are widely scattered and often out of range
of binoculars. It is almost two weeks since a male Eurasian Wigeon was
discovered at the calf pasture, and throughout that time speculation has
continued as to whether that bird had left the area or was merely out of
sight somewhere in the bay. There have been hardly any days in that
period with ideal viewing conditions: no wind, no waves, no distortion
by "heat haze". Today, March 23, was one such day, and indeed a male
Eurasian Wigeon was spotted far out in the bay off 42 Bayshore Road,
barely within range of a good spotting scope. This species is a rare
but regular (almost annual) visitor to Presqu'ile in late March and
early April, so that bird may well be seen again, especially if it moves
closer to one of the viewing lookouts along Bayshore Road. Only 16
other species of ducks were present in the past week, down by three from
the week before. White-winged Scoters can be found at various locations
on most days.
Two Northern Harriers over the marsh on March 23 and a Barred Owl along
Lighthouse Lane on March 22 were the only two raptor species reported
this week. However, a pseudo-raptor, a Northern Shrike, was still at
the calf pasture on March 17 or 18. Most of the bird feeders along
Bayshore Road have been taken over by blackbirds, including a
Brown-headed Cowbird on March 23. A few Pine Siskins, and, regrettably,
two female and one male House Sparrow have been frequenting the area
near the end of Bayshore Road. If the latter species stays to breed, it
would be an unfortunate addition to the resident Presqu'ile avifauna.
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.
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