By Doug McRae
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.
OVERVIEW: There wasn’t much coverage this week so the report is slim. Birds are settling into the winter mode with most waterfowl being seen around the islands and south shore, and to a lesser extent in Presqu’ile Bay. Some waterfowl are still in the marsh but will relocate once that freezes for good. Until we get snow cover driving birds to feeders, it is hard to tell how many lingering songbirds might be trying to hang in. Wild food crops like grape etc. seem rather poor and the woods seem correspondingly quiet. Might be a long winter!
HIGHLIGHTS: GREAT EGRET, PURPLE SANDPIPER, HERMIT THRUSH
TRUMPETER SWAN – 2 were reported on 27 Nov.
GREEN-WINGED TEAL – 2 are still frequenting the Camp Office marsh, being last reported on 3 Dec.
RING-NECKED DUCK – 7 were still in the marsh on 29 Nov.
CANVASBACK – 1 was reported on 1 Dec. Although once much more common, this is now a fairly rare species in fall.
SURF SCOTER – just one report this week of a single bird on 27 Nov.
BLACK SCOTER – the flock that has been off the north shore of Gull Is. for several weeks peaked at 7 on 29 Nov.
HORNED GREBE – 1 on 1 Dec was the only report.
GREAT EGRET – a very late bird was seen on 27 Nov and an undated picture on a local Facebook page suggests it may still be in the marsh.
SHARP-SHINNED HAWK – 1 was seen on 29 Nov.
DUNLIN – 3 birds were seen on 27 Nov and 4 were on Beach 1 on 29 Nov.
PURPLE SANDPIPER – 3 spent the day on the north shore of Gull Is. on 29 Nov.
MERLIN – 1 was seen on 29 Nov.
HORNED LARK – 3 were on Gull Is. on 29 Nov.
HERMIT THRUSH – a late bird was on the road at Paxton Dr. and Atkins Lane on 2 Dec.
CEDAR WAXWING – 12 on 3 Dec was the only report for this species that has been unusually scarce over the past month or two.
WHITE-THROATED SPARROW – up to 5 visited one feeder on 2 Dec.
RED-WINGED BLACKBIRD – a handful are still lingering with the high being 6 on 2 Dec.
COMMON GRACKLE – 1 on 2 Dec was the only report.
COMMON REDPOLL – small numbers through the week with a big spike on 29 Nov when 115 in small flocks were seen moving west over Gull Is. These were the only finches reported other than American Goldfinch and House Finch.
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.
Birders should be aware that duck hunting is permitted in the Park on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays and access restrictions are in place on hunting days. This means that the islands, marsh, and Calf Pasture Point are off limits. Owen Pt. and the High Bluff Campground are also now closed until late December. Closed areas are signed.
Doug McRae Shrew Solutions Inc. 240 Presqu’ile Parkway Brighton, Ontario K0K 1H0 613-475-5014 H 613-243-4161 C