[Ontbirds] Presqu'ile Birding Report for Week Ending January 12, 2017.

Fred Helleiner fhelleiner at trentu.ca
Thu Jan 12 16:03:58 EST 2017

Highly variable weather conditions at Presqu'ile Provincial Park have 
given rise to highly variable success rates for visiting birders.  On 
good days, many species, including some that are uncommon, can be found.

MUTE SWANS now number well over 400, approaching the numbers that were 
present in late December.  A TRUMPETER SWAN and two TUNDRA SWANS have 
been among them as recently as yesterday.  A male CANVASBACK was seen on 
January 7.  REDHEADS come and go more than any other species, reaching a 
high of about 350 on January 6 and almost disappearing on other days.  
There have been sightings of single RING-NECKED DUCK and LESSER SCAUP.  
Up to five WHITE-WINGED SCOTERS continue to be seen on most days near 
the lighthouse.  The flock of WILD TURKEYS at the west end of the calf 
pasture has become more conspicuous, being seen by a number of 
observers. Birders with a scope have had some success in scanning the 
huge flock of gulls that spends the day on the ice of Presqu'ile Bay. In 
addition to the predominant HERRING GULLS, there have been a single 
RING-BILLED GULL (as well as another at Owen Point), at least three 
GULLS.  It would not be out of the question if a LESSER BLACK-BACKED 
GULL were among them, but the distance involved in finding and 
identifying such a bird would be a challenge.

BALD EAGLES have been seen on four of the last seven days, as many as 
five at a time, either sitting on the ice of Presqu'ile Bay or soaring 
overhead.  Three NORTHERN HARRIERS were on High Bluff Island this 
morning, in addition to at least one ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK.  A COOPER'S HAWK 
sat watching the bird feeders at 186 Bayshore Road yesterday.  On 
Sunday, two SNOWY OWLS were on Gull Island.  Yesterday one was sitting 
on a duck blind in the marsh and today one was on Sebastopol Island.  On 
Friday evening a NORTHERN SAW-WHET OWL was photographed outside 54 
Bayshore Road. A RED-BELLIED WOODPECKER was attracted to the pocket of 
birds consuming food that had been put out for chickadees on Paxton 
Drive.  One or two COMMON RAVENS were seen this week.  Eight HORNED 
LARKS were on Gull Island on Sunday.  AMERICAN ROBINS are in the Park in 
flocks of up to 250 or more.  A probable AMERICAN PIPIT flew over Owen 
Point yesterday.  About 200 SNOW BUNTINGS were on Gull Island on Sunday, 
but today only about 30 could be found.  Two SONG SPARROWS and two 
WHITE-THROATED SPARROWS patronize feeders on Bayshore Road.

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 (a couple of 
metres of water
with a depth of a centimetre or two separated it from Owen Point 
recently) may
encounter a slippery coating of ice on the rocks and drifts of snow

obscuring water below.  Ice cleats are recommended.
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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