[Ontbirds] Presqu'ile Birding Report for Week Ending March 12, 2009.

Fred Helleiner fhelleiner at trentu.ca
Thu Mar 12 20:55:27 EDT 2009

At Presqu'ile Provincial Park this week, in anticipation of the 
Waterfowl Viewing Festival on the next two weekends, all eyes have been 
on the location of the ice margin in Presqu'ile Bay, which is where the 
bulk of the waterfowl are concentrated.  With southerly winds predicted 
for Friday afternoon and evening, there may well be an influx of both 
water birds and land birds this coming weekend.

The most recent sighting of a Trumpeter Swan, an adult, was on March 8 
in Presqu'ile Bay with the ubiquitous Mute Swans.  Several species of 
dabbling ducks have arrived, including Wood Ducks (two on March 7 and 
five on March 8), Gadwalls (first seen on March 7 and up to fifteen on 
most subsequent days), American Wigeons (maximum of four), and Northern 
Pintails (first seen on March 7 and 8 - five on each day).  Ring-necked 
Ducks and Hooded Mergansers are also being seen in small numbers almost 
every day now.  One or two White-winged Scoters have been spotted in 
Presqu'ile Bay from time to time.  Two sightings of a Horned Grebe 
(March 7 and 12, at the government dock and at the calf pasture, 
respectively) were both earlier than the previous earliest spring 
arrival at Presqu'ile.

There were two sightings in the past week of the Cooper's Hawk that has 
been patrolling Bayshore Road for some weeks.  A single American Coot 
was in Presqu'ile Bay on March 7 and 8 and may still be there but beyond 
the range of spotting scopes.  The first American Woodcock of the season 
should be among the next new arrivals.  A Glaucous Gull was on the ice 
of Presqu'ile Bay on March 9.  The Snowy Owl seen near Owen Point may be 
a different bird from the one that has been seen repeatedly as recently 
as March 10 on the ice of Presqu'ile Bay. 

A Northern Shrike was seen on March 7.  A Brown-headed Cowbird appeared 
at 186 Bayshore Road on March 12.  Hoary Redpolls in one's and two's 
have been at that address every day this month.  Their appearance is 
sporadic, the redpoll flock is very flighty, and patience is required if 
one expects to see one of them.

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.

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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