[Ontbirds] Presqu'ile Birding Report for Week Ending January 29, 2009.

Fred Helleiner fhelleiner at trentu.ca
Thu Jan 29 16:10:13 EST 2009

Bird sightings at Presqu'ile Provincial Park in the past week have been 
typical of what one might expect under winter conditions, though fewer 
since the departure of a regular contributor to these weekly reports, a 
loss that has been partly compensated for by the temporary visit of two 
birders to a cottage on Bayshore Road and by the periodic visits of 
birders coming for a day at a time.

The ~400 Mute Swans in Presqu'ile Bay seem to manage to survive episodes 
of complete ice cover that sometimes last for a day or two, simply by 
hunkering down on the ice with their heads tucked under their wings.   
There is some (albeit faint) hope that the recently released draft 
document /Presqu'ile Mainland Implementation Plan/, which describes 
proposed resource management in the Park, will be a step towards the 
eventual control of that invasive species.  The first Canvasbacks in 
over two weeks returned to Presqu'ile Bay on January 23, when two were 
sighted, and up to three individuals have been seen periodically since 
then. Redheads and an increasing number of Greater Scaup have also been 
present all week.  Three White-winged Scoters and a Red-breasted 
Merganser were also present on January 23.

An adult Bald Eagle was seen on January 24, an immature was seen on 
January 25, and both were seen on the following day.  An adult Cooper's 
Hawk visited two different feeders on Bayshore Road on January 26.  Two 
Wild Turkeys were just inside the Park gate on January 24.  A Snowy Owl 
was sitting on the ice of Presqu'ile Bay on four of the past seven 
days.  Not mentioned in last week's report were a Barred Owl and a 
Boreal Owl near the entrance to Jobes' Woods on January 18. One has to 
wonder whether the Boreal Owl and perhaps a Long-eared Owl are lurking 
somewhere in the evergreen trees nearby.

Pileated Woodpeckers are among the more conspicuous forest birds at 
Presqu'ile, and two were seen on January 23.  A Brown Creeper, 20 Cedar 
Waxwings, and two White-throated Sparrows were at 83 Bayshore Road on 
January 26, and one of the latter was at 42 Bayshore Road a day or two 
earlier.  A Common Grackle continues to pay irregular visits to the 
feeders at 83 and 85 Bayshore Road.  Among the numerous Common Redpolls, 
Pine Siskins, and American Goldfinches at 186 Bayshore Road and 
elsewhere there was a Hoary Redpoll on two of the last seven days.

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 ice between Owen Point and Gull 
Island may be unsafe depending on recent wind and temperature 
conditions.  Beware of hidden ice patches.

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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