[Ontbirds] Presqu'ile Birding Report for Week Ending December 29, 2011.
fhelleiner at trentu.ca
Thu Dec 29 18:27:36 EST 2011
In the aftermath of the Christmas Bird Count excitement at Presqu'ile
Provincial Park, birding has slowed down a bit, not because there are
fewer birds but likely because most birders have been pre-occupied with
Apart from the usual winter build-up of MUTE SWANS in Presqu'ile Bay, no
other swans have been reported in the Park in the past week, but a pair
of TRUMPETER SWANS was present for at least two days and photographed on
the north shore of Presqu'ile Bay at Gosport. There was still a
NORTHERN PINTAIL off Gull Island on December 27 and a few REDHEADS and
WHITE-WINGED SCOTERS in Presqu'ile Bay, much of which froze over last
night. The drastically altered ice conditions of the past twelve hours
may be responsible for an influx of a few dozen COMMON GOLDENEYES where,
unlike in Popham Bay, only a few have been present in recent weeks.
This morning, before the wind cleared a lot of the ice out of the outer
bay, a small patch of open water contained a few dozen ducks, including
a male BARROW'S GOLDENEYE that was still there in mid-afternoon. It is
over a month since that species was last seen at Presqu'ile, but now it
seems to be occupying the same patch of water near the lighthouse where
one has spent three of the last four winters. A COMMON LOON, a HORNED
GREBE, and a DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANT on December 27, 25, and 26,
respectively, may not be around to see the new year in if ice conditions
force them out. The small flock of AMERICAN COOTS that remained on
December 27 may also be the last of the season.
A BALD EAGLE and a COOPER'S HAWK were the most interesting hawks of the
past week. Without venturing out to Gull Island, three observers were
able to pick out six PURPLE SANDPIPERS and an ICELAND GULL from the tip
of Owen Point on December 26. No BONAPARTE'S GULLS have been reported
since December 23. Two of the four IVORY GULL records for Presqu'ile
have occurred within the coming seven-day calendar period, and it may
just happen that the current cold snap will have driven another of that
species into the Park from some point further north. As many as three
SNOWY OWLS could be seen from Owen Point at one time, one on the beach,
one on Gull Island, and one on Sebastopol Island.
A BELTED KINGFISHER flew past the government dock on December 27. A
RED-BELLIED WOODPECKER keeps visiting the feeders at 83 Bayshore Road.
One observer found three PILEATED WOODPECKERS in the space of a couple
of hours. A NORTHERN SHRIKE has been fairly reliable in the calf
pasture. The occupants of the cottage at 83 Bayshore Road have
repeatedly noticed the CAROLINA WREN that resides in that area. The
most recent sighting of the SAVANNAH SPARROW that was discovered at that
address on the Christmas Bird Count was on December 24.
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. Visitors to Gull Island not using a
boat should be prepared to wade through knee-deep water in which there
is often a swift current and a substrate that is somewhat uneven and
slippery. Birders are encouraged to record their observations on the
bird sightings board provided near the campground office by The Friends
of Presqu'ile Park and to fill out a rare bird report for species not
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