[Ontbirds] Presqu'ile Birding Report for Week Ending January 5, 2012.

Fred Helleiner fhelleiner at trentu.ca
Thu Jan 5 15:32:47 EST 2012

Birding at Presqu'ile Provincial Park has, as usual, been productive for 
the time of year.  Of particular interest is the build-up of waterfowl 
that takes place in January as a first "sign of spring."

A concentration of thousands of CANADA GEESE and hundreds of swans has 
been present this week at the ice margin in Presqu'ile Bay.  In addition 
to about 400 MUTE SWANS, there are also two TRUMPETER SWANS and up to 
Point on January 1.   A few CANVASBACKS have been trickling in, as they 
normally do early in January, on each of the past two days.  An 
estimated 500 REDHEADS appear in Presqu'ile Bay whenever the ice permits 
it, which depends on the wind direction.  It is worth scanning the 
flocks for an early RING-NECKED DUCK.  WHITE-WINGED SCOTERS are at 
Presqu'ile in small numbers.  Every day since December 29, a male 
BARROW'S GOLDENEYE has been near the lighthouse, and will likely stay 
until early March.  Except on the rare days when the water is calm, it 
takes a good deal of patience to find it between dives.

Several interesting hawks have been seen this week.  On Monday, two 
immature BALD EAGLES were sharing a meal on the ice of Presqu'ile Bay, 
and one was there two days later.  On December 30, four NORTHERN 
HARRIERS were spotted, three near Owen Point and one at the lighthouse.  
Both SHARP-SHINNED and COOPER'S HAWKS have been on the mainland and two 
ROUGH-LEGGED HAWKS on High Bluff Island.  A MERLIN was at the calf 
pasture on January 3 and a PEREGRINE FALCON on the ice of Presqu'ile Bay 
yesterday and today.  Three RUFFED GROUSE again wandered into the back 
yard at 83 Bayshore Road in search of food dropping from the feeders.  
Six SNOWY OWLS were present on December 30, three on the beach, one at 
Owen Point, one on Gull Island, and one on the ice of Presqu'ile Bay.  
Three were seen on January 1 and today three could be seen from Owen 
Point on the offshore islands.

RED-BELLIED WOODPECKERS are seen at various places along Bayshore Road.  
A HAIRY WOODPECKER drumming on a pole today made a spring-like sound.  
NORTHERN SHRIKES  are seen at Owen Point and the calf pasture.  The only 
CAROLINA WREN sighting was at 83 Bayshore Road.  The SAVANNAH SPARROW 
first noticed on December 18 continues to establish new record late 
dates each time it is seen.  This morning it was at 102 Bayshore Road 
and this afternoon at 83 Bayshore Road, where two WHITE-THROATED 
SPARROWS and a RED-WINGED BLACKBIRD were seen on December 29.  The only 
PINE SISKIN of the past week was in a flock of AMERICAN GOLDFINCHES at 
186 Bayshore Road.

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. Moreover, there is a great deal of ice on the surrounding 
shore.  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 
listed 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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