[Ontbirds] Presqu'ile Birding Report for Week Ending November 29, 2007.

Fred Helleiner fhelleiner at trentu.ca
Thu Nov 29 16:58:28 EST 2007

While most normal people believe that winter begins on the winter 
solstice, there are some birders who insist on starting their winter 
bird list on December 1.  Those people could do worse than to visit 
Presqu'ile Provincial Park, where a number of interesting birds have 
appeared in the past week that will be difficult to find elsewhere 
during the winter and sixty species were recorded in that period.

A lone Brant was at the calf pasture on the very late date of November 
28.  Seven Tundra Swans and three Northern Pintails were in Presqu'ile 
Bay on November 24.  The large flocks of Green-winged Teal that were 
present through most of this month have dwindled to only a few 
individuals (three on November 29).  A Red-throated Loon was near the 
lighthouse on November 24 and Common Loons have been seen at the average 
rate of one a day for the past week.  Grebes and cormorants appear to 
have moved on altogether.

A Bald Eagle was over Presqu'ile Bay on November 25. The most recent 
Northern Harrier sighting was on November 29.  A Cooper's Hawk was near 
the Park entrance on November 24.  A Merlin, apparently the latest on 
record, was at Owen Point on November 25 and 29, carrying a smaller 
bird, perhaps a shorebird, on the latter date.

The previously reported group of four Wild Turkeys has been seen again 
on at least one occasion.  One observer indicated that there were two 
males and two females.  Although few in number, shorebirds have been the 
focus of much attention this week.  A Ruddy Turnstone remains out on 
Sebastopol Island as recently as November 29, a record late date.  A 
high count of seven Purple Sandpipers was noticed on November 25, all on 
Gull Island, and five were on a nearby gravel bar on November 29.  A 
single Dunlin accompanied those two species on November 27.  There are 
still several dozen Bonaparte's Gulls in Popham Bay. "White-winged" 
gulls have yet to put in an appearance.  A Barred Owl was seen on 
November 26.  Single Northern Shrikes were seen on each of the past two 

The Carolina Wren that has been present since August pays sporadic 
visits to the feeders at 186 Bayshore Road, and one was also at 115 
Bayshore Road.  No American Robins have been reported in the Park this 
week, which is unusual even in mid-winter.  Two or three American Pipits 
were still on Gull Island on each of the non-hunting days this week.  
The two seen today would be a record late date, were it not for a single 
bird in mid-January of 2000 and perhaps a few other late records  A Fox 
Sparrow, a White-throated Sparrow, and a Red-winged Blackbird at 83 
Bayshore Road on November 23 might still be around.  There were six Snow 
Buntings on Gull Island on November 27.  A Rusty Blackbird and two 
Common Grackles were at 83 Bayshore Road on November 28.  Pine Grosbeaks 
have been feeding regularly on a crab apple tree across from the 
government dock, as many as 22 at one time.  Common Redpolls have become 
commonplace, but Pine Siskins were last seen four days ago.

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. It should be noted that, because 
duck hunting is given priority on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and 
Saturdays, Owen Point, Gull Peninsula, Sebastopol Island, High Bluff 
Island, and part of the calf pasture are not available for bird-watching 
on those days.

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

Fred Helleiner

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

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