By Doug McRae
Photo: Andrea kingsley - Redheads
This report is primarily based on sightings gleaned from eBird, and those reported directly to me. I would be grateful to hear of any interesting sightings. You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Your observations are very much appreciated. If you are reporting something rare, please provide some details (exact location, ID features noted) or photographs if possible. Finally in order to try and keep the database as accurate as possible, eBird accounts submitted under false names or pseudonyms will not be used unless I know who the actual observer is.
HIGHLIGHTS: Glaucous Gull, Northern Shrike, Dark-eyed (Oregon) Junco
OVERVIEW: The big news was a huge influx of birds, especially Canada Geese, on 17 Mar which saw a big movement of waterfowl and several other first-of-years to appear. Presqu’ile Bay is full of ducks, with the majority still being Redhead and Greater Scaup but now with many more puddle ducks mixed in. The Oregon Junco continued at a Bayshore feeder through the week.
Canada Goose: A huge passage of eastbound birds was noted on the morning of 17 Mar with 7000 seen by one party in several hours and 2000 by another party in an hour.
Trumpeter Swan: Two were seen on 17 Mar.
Tundra Swan: Flocks of 26 and eight were reported on 17 Mar.
Wood Duck: Six on 16 Mar were the first of year.
American Black Duck: Big increase in numbers this week with a high count of 40 on 17 Mar.
Mallard: This species also increased drastically with a high count of 250 on 17 Mar.
Northern Pintail: Numbers moved in also with a high count of 70 on 17 Mar.
Green-winged Teal: Two arrived on 17 Mar.
White-winged Scoter: Seen through the week with a peak of 20 on 17 Mar.
Pied-billed Grebe: The first was a single on 12 Mar.
Killdeer: Eight migrants were found on 17 Mar.
Glaucous Gull: One was seen on 16 Mar.
Double-crested Cormorant: The first three birds were seen on 17 Mar.
American Kestrel: Two were reported on 16 Mar.
Northern Shrike: The Calf Pasture bird was seen on 11 and 12 Mar.
Eastern Bluebird: A male was investigating nest boxes just outside the gate on 17 Mar.
Dark-eyed (Oregon) Junco: The male first seen on 10 Mar was seen daily at a Bayshore Rd feeder through the week. This subspecies of Dark-eyed Junco is mainly found in and west of the Rockies and is a very rare (or well documented) visitor here.
Eastern Meadowlark: Two migrants were at the lighthouse on 17 Mar.
Directions: Presqu’ile Provincial Park is located south of Brighton on the north shore of Lake Ontario. It is well signed from either Hwy. 401 or Cty. Rd. 2.
Please Note: Gull and High Bluff Island are closed to visitors from 10 March to 10 September. Large numbers of colonial nesting birds breed there and are greatly disturbed when people go into the colonies.
A seasonal or daily permit is required when visiting Presqu’ile. You can purchase a daily vehicle permit online in advance of your visit online or by phone. Ontario Parks recommends you make a reservation during periods of high visitation to guarantee entry. Reserve here: https://reservations.ontarioparks.com or by calling 1-888-668-7275