By Doug McRae
Photo: Hermit Thrush- Andrea Kingsley
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 email@example.com. 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: King Eider, American Coot, Hermit Thrush
OVERVIEW: After noting how Presqu’ile Bay had frozen completely last week, wind broke it open this week with water right to the Government Dock on Bayshore Rd. so waterfowl sightings very much depend on the ebb and flow of ice. Otherwise it is pretty quiet in the woods and most songbirds are near feeders.
Trumpeter Swan: Five were reported on 25 Jan.
Canada Goose: In spite of the extensive ice and cold up to 75 birds were present on 23 Jan. (RDM)
Mallard: This species usually is absent during severe cold/freeze conditions but two males were on the ice off the Government Dock on Bayshore Rd. on 23 Jan.
White-winged Scoter: A single seen near the lighthouse on 23 Jan was the only report.
King Eider: A female appeared near the Lighthouse again on 21 Jan. Observers should watch for this bird that seems to be coming in and out of the Lighthouse area, perhaps in response to wind-driven ice movements.
Bald Eagle: Birds continue to be seen on and near the ice in Presqu’ile Bay with a high of four on 23 Jan.
Northern Harrier: One was seen on 25 Jan.
Rough-legged Hawk: One was noted on 25 Jan.
American Coot: Very surprising was the discovery of a coot swimming with Canada Geese in Presqu’ile Bay on 23 Jan. While this species sometimes stays into early December, a record this late is unprecedented.
Northern Shrike: The Calf Pasture bird was seen again on 22 Jan.
Hermit Thrush: Two different birds were seen on 23 Jan – one by the Lighthouse and another west of Calf Pasture. Others have been noted in the Brighton area this winter, making this the biggest year for overwintering Hermits ever.
White-throated Sparrow: Up to four were at one Bayshore Rd. feeder this week.
Red-winged Blackbird: The little flock that has been frequenting feeders along Bayshore Rd. grew slightly peaking at 10 birds on 22 Jan.
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 remember a permit is required at all times 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