[Ontbirds] Presqu'ile Birding Report for Week Ending February 26, 2015.

Fred Helleiner fhelleiner at trentu.ca
Thu Feb 26 15:34:36 EST 2015

On Sunday at Presqu'ile Provincial Park there was a flurry (nasty word) 
of bird sightings, including the remote possibility that some of them 
might actually reflect an end to winter.

Waterfowl have been coming and going as the wind moves the ice into and 
out of Presqu'ile Bay.  For the first time in many weeks, a dabbling 
duck, a lone male MALLARD, showed up yesterday at Salt Point.  Among the 
hundreds of GREATER SCAUP, a few birders have spotted a male CANVASBACK, 
a few REDHEADS, and a male RING-NECKED DUCK.  After being absent since 
late January, the first returning WHITE-WINGED SCOTER arrived on 
Saturday, and up to six have been present on most days since then.  The 
first HOODED MERGANSER of the year, a female, was found on Sunday.  A 
remarkable showing of BALD EAGLES on Sunday generated a lot of interest 
from birders and non-birders.  Several reported seeing seven or eight 
and one birder counted ten, a number that was quite unprecedented at 
Presqu'ile in winter.  Since numbers from one or two to three or four 
have been the norm for most of the winter, one wonders whether that 
influx was in part an early migration since BALD EAGLES are among the 
first spring arrivals in places like the Northwest Territories.  Smaller 
counts later this week have revealed no more than four in sight at any 
one time.  A COOPER'S HAWK was at Salt Point on Sunday and RED-TAILED 
HAWKS have been seen a few times.  To my knowledge, no one has had the 
ambition (a euphemism for foolhardiness) to visit Gull Island recently, 
but in a normal year the RING-BILLED GULLS that nest there would be 
milling around by this date searching for a patch of bare ground on 
which to establish their territories.  A GREAT BLACK-BACKED GULL this 
morning was the first in a few weeks. A BARRED OWL was seen on February 20.

COMMON RAVENS continue to appear here and there.  AMERICAN ROBINS have 
managed to find buckthorn and other berries to survive.  On the other 
hand, there have been no reported sightings of the wintering PINE 
WARBLER for over a week.  WHITE-THROATED SPARROWS have been frequenting 
feeders at the camp office and at 85 Bayshore Road.  Two COMMON GRACKLES 
were at the latter address on Sunday.  A HOARY REDPOLL accompanied a 
flock of several dozen COMMON REDPOLLS at 186 Bayshore Road this morning.

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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