[Ontbirds] Presqu'ile Birding Report for Week Ending January 19, 2012.

Fred Helleiner fhelleiner at trentu.ca
Thu Jan 19 15:14:11 EST 2012

This has been a typical winter week for birding at Presqu'ile Provincial 
Park, with hardly any day-to-day or week-to-week changes.  Every species 
seen in the past week, even the rare or semi-rare ones, has been seen 
this month at least twice before.  The sad news of the week concerns Don 
Shanahan, who died on Tuesday after struggling with cancer for over a 
year.  Don was a pillar of the Presqu'ile birding community, a leader of 
birding trips at home and abroad for the Ontario Field Ornithologists 
and Quest Nature Tours, a regular contributor to, and occasional author 
of, these weekly birding reports, a great birding companion, and a fine 
individual.  He will be greatly missed.

With both Popham Bay and Presqu'ile Bay largely free of ice, there are 
thousands of ducks at Presqu'ile.  The most noteworthy is the male 
BARROW'S GOLDENEYE that is around the lighthouse all the time.  Its 
annoying habits of diving repeatedly for food and bouncing between one 
wave trough and the next make it a challenge to find, but persistence 
usually pays off.  An immature BALD EAGLE has been around Presqu'ile Bay 
off and on all week.  A female NORTHERN HARRIER was coursing over Gull 
Island this morning.  On January 15, a PEREGRINE FALCON was around the 
outer part of Presqu'ile Bay, sitting on the ice and in the trees of 
Salt Point and at one point contesting possession of a LONG-TAILED DUCK 
with a BALD EAGLE.  The only uncommon gull this week was an ICELAND GULL 
on the ice of Presqu'ile Bay.  At least two attempts to find SNOWY OWLS 
at Owen Point were unsuccessful, but that part of the Park has had even 
less coverage from birders lately than the rest of Presqu'ile

There have been sightings of  PILEATED AND RED-BELLIED WOODPECKERS, 
CAROLINA WREN, and multiple AMERICAN ROBINS in the past week.  The 
SAVANNAH SPARROW that has been seen infrequently for the past month was 
at 102 Bayshore Road on January 16, the latest date on record for that 
species at Presqu'ile.  Apart from HOUSE FINCHES and AMERICAN 
GOLDFINCHES, no other finches have been seen this week, but WHITE-WINGED 
CROSSBILLS could appear this month.

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 can be 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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