[Ontbirds] Presqu'ile Birding Report for Week Ending December 6, 2007.

Fred Helleiner fhelleiner at trentu.ca
Thu Dec 6 20:06:04 EST 2007

There is still plenty of open water around Presqu'ile Provincial Park, 
and that has served to concentrate most of the waterfowl in Presqu'ile 
Bay.  Likewise, most of the land birds are now concentrated around the 
various feeders in the Park and along Bayshore Road.

The annual assembly of Mute Swans has built up to over 260 birds, and 
two Tundra Swans were among them on December 6.  Two American Wigeons, a 
few dozen Redheads, and a Ring-necked Duck were in Presqu'ile Bay on 
December 6.  A female Harlequin Duck was seen repeatedly in the vicinity 
of the lighthouse on December 4.  A few White-winged Scoters can usually 
be found off the lighthouse.  A few lingering Hooded Mergansers were 
present this week, including four at Salt Point on December 6.  A 
Red-necked Grebe was in Presqu'ile Bay on December 4.

Only three species of raptors were found at Presqu'ile this week:  Bald 
Eagle, Sharp-shinned Hawk, and Red-tailed Hawk. Another eagle, 
unidentified as to species, was seen today. Two Wild Turkeys flew over 
the Park office.  Although only two species of shorebirds were seen in 
the Park this week, that is twice as many as one would expect in 
December.  The most surprising is a Ruddy Turnstone that was still seen 
on Gull Island today.  Although as many as five Purple Sandpipers were 
on Gull Island as recently as December 4, only three could be found 
there today.  Footing is treacherous there since the ice storm on the 
weekend.  November 30 was the latest date on which Bonaparte's Gulls 
were still observed.  An Iceland Gull was among the Herring Gulls on the 
ice of Presqu'ile Bay on December 6.  Perhaps a Glaucous Gull will be 
the next arrival.

For the first time in several weeks, not a single Northern Shrike was 
reported in the past week.  On the other hand, American Robins have 
re-appeared after going into hiding for a while, and Hermit Thrushes 
were spotted in two different parts of the Park on December 4 after a 
hiatus of almost a month.  The Carolina Wren continues to make daily 
visits to the feeders at 186 Bayshore Road.  The most frequent visits 
are at dawn.  Two American Pipits at Owen Point and Gull Island on 
December 4 and 6 were very late.

A Swamp Sparrow and a White-throated Sparrow were at the Park office on 
November 30.  Snow Buntings have been seen in a few locations in the 
south-western area of the Park.  The Rusty Blackbird at 83 Bayshore Road 
was still there on December 4, and a small group of Common Grackles has 
been patronizing several feeders along Bayshore Road.  Most of the crab 
apples on the tree across the road from the government dock have been 
consumed, with only the crimson stains remaining on the ground, but the 
flock of Pine Grosbeaks that has been there for over a week (maximum of 
22 birds) continues to visit in considerably reduced numbers. Small 
numbers of Common Redpolls and American Goldfinches can sometimes be found.

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,
R.R. #4,
Brighton, Ontario, Canada, K0K 1H0
VOICE: (613) 475 5309
If visiting, access via Presqu'ile Provincial Park.

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