[Ontbirds] Presqu'ile Birding Report for Week Ending February 19, 2015.

Fred Helleiner fhelleiner at trentu.ca
Thu Feb 19 21:38:46 EST 2015

To borrow an ornithological metaphor, birders have been as scarce as 
hen's teeth at Presqu'ile Provincial Park in recent days.  Thus, the 
following observations come from a few hardy souls willing to brave some 
of the coldest days of the winter.

With almost 80 % of Lake Ontario frozen over, it is perhaps surprising 
that so many water birds have recently found their way into Presqu'ile 
Bay, which itself has most of the time only a few small patches of open 
water.  It may be an awareness that a wind change can temporarily open 
things up even more, as has happened a few times this week.  Although 
geese and swans have almost totally evacuated the bay, two TRUMPETER 
SWANS flew in on Tuesday.  One or two REDHEADS can sometimes be spotted 
among the hundreds of GREATER SCAUP, a number that has been growing 
steadily.  One might expect a HOODED MERGANSER to be among new arrivals, 
and one was seen nearby this week.  Normally a HORNED GREBE would be a 
real surprise in February, there being no previous records at Presqu'ile 
in that month, but the freeze-up throughout the area makes the one that 
was at the lighthouse yesterday almost predictable.  Both adult and 
immature BALD EAGLES have been seen repeatedly in the general vicinity 
of the ducks, whose sudden flight draws attention to the flying eagle.  
A COOPER'S HAWK flew past near the lighthouse.   Two eagle-eyed, nay, 
owl-eyed, observers spotted two BARRED OWLS along Bayshore Road on 
Tuesday, as well as a PILEATED WOODPECKER.  They also encountered the 
wintering flock of AMERICAN ROBINS on that day.

The resilient PINE WARBLER keeps showing up at the feeder near the camp 
office, as do the two COMMON GRACKLES near the Bayshore Road/Langton 
Avenue intersection.  COMMON REDPOLLS and the occasional HOARY REDPOLL 
have been devouring the seeds 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” can walk 
the gap from Owen Point without special footwear. Ice conditions may
make for slippery walking. 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

Fred Helleiner
186 Bayshore Road
Brighton, Ontario
K0K 1H0
If visiting, access via Presqu'ile Provincial Park

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