[Ontbirds] Presqu'ile Birding Report for Week Ending February 23, 2017.

Fred Helleiner fhelleiner at trentu.ca
Thu Feb 23 18:33:34 EST 2017

In an abrupt change from earlier this month, the bird life at Presqu'ile 
Provincial Park has changed day by day.  Not surprisingly, given the 
unusually warm weather, early migrants are appearing daily and ice 
conditions are more like what one would expect in mid- to late March.

The elderly TRUMPETER SWAN known to many eastern Ontario birders as K29 
(its wing tag designation) was present near the calf pasture on 
Tuesday.  Although there have not yet been any sightings of WOOD DUCKS, 
many of the other early dabbling ducks have appeared in small numbers: 
which are somewhat earlier than normal.  There are thousands of diving 
ducks in Presqu'ile Bay these days, mostly REDHEADS and GREATER SCAUP, 
but with a sprinkling of other ducks in the /Aythya/ genus: CANVASBACKS, 
RING-NECKED DUCKS, and LESSER SCAUP.  This afternoon, opposite 123 
Bayshore Road, one observer saw all three scoter species within the 
field of his scope.  The female SURF SCOTER was the first of the spring 
at Presqu'ile, the WHITE-WINGED SCOTERS have been there all winter, and 
the female BLACK SCOTER may be the same individual that was seen twice 
in mid- to late January as well as yesterday.  A few minutes later, the 
same observer saw all three merganser species near the calf pasture.  
The pair of HOODED MERGANSERS were pre-dated by two males in the same 
area on Tuesday, and the COMMON and RED-BREASTED MERGANSERS have been 
present in small numbers all winter.

The regular group of WILD TURKEYS again crossed the road, this time near 
42 Bayshore Road.  With a KILLDEER being seen this afternoon just 
outside the Park, it is not too much of a stretch to expect that species 
and/or an AMERICAN WOODCOCK to show up in the Park before the end of the 
month, the record early dates for those two species being February 23 
and 26, respectively.  Both ICELAND GULL and GLAUCOUS GULL were off Gull 
Island on Monday.  Apart from the BALD EAGLES that have been seen almost 
every day in the past week, there were no other raptors reported.

The previously reported injured COMMON RAVEN has taken to flying around 
and is being seen regularly near the government dock.  A GOLDEN-CROWNED 
KINGLET, an uncommonly seen but known-to-be-present winter bird at 
Presqu'ile was seen this morning.  Two  PINE SISKINS have made 
infrequent brief visits to the feeders at 186 Bayshore Road, including 
yesterday and today.  Yesterday the first RED-WINGED BLACKBIRDS of the 
season descended on local feeders, with 14 at 83 Bayshore Road.  Among 
them this afternoon was a BROWN-HEADED COWBIRD.

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 may
encounter water a few centimetres deep on approach.
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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