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: It was a quiet week with limited coverage so the report is a bit on the slim side. For the first time since March no shorebirds were reported, and a mid-week freeze may have forced out some lingering waterbirds from the marsh.
HIGHLIGHTS: PIED-BILLED GREBE, GREAT EGRET, SANDHILL CRANE, EVENING GROSBEAK
TUNDRA SWAN – 11 on 7 Dec was a large number this late in the season.
WHITE-WINGED SCOTER – present through the week with a high count of 40 on 10 Dec.
BLACK SCOTER – 10 on 6 Dec off Gull Is. was the only report.
HOODED MERGANSER – 2 on 6 Dec was the only report.
PIED-BILLED GREBE – one was still in the marsh off the Ontario St. Boat Launch on 4 Dec.
GREAT EGRET – presumably the same tardy bird reported in late November made it into Dec with three sightings this week on 6 Dec at the Camp Office viewing deck, on 8 Dec on the north side of Presqu’ile Parkway and at the Calf Pasture cove on 9 Dec.
SHARP-SHINNED HAWK – two sightings this week with singles on 6 Dec and on 10 Dec.
SANDHILL CRANE – a flock of 75 followed by 44 more flew west over Owen Pt. on 6 Dec. It was not long ago that this was considered a rare bird in this area, so it is incredible to see such numbers become the new “normal”.
ICELAND GULL – singles were reported on 6 Dec and 10 Dec.
SNOW BUNTING – 9 were on Gull Is. on 8 Dec.
COMMON REDPOLL – seen through the week with a high of 63 on 6 Dec.
PINE SISKIN – 1 on 6 Dec was the only report.
AMERICAN GOLDFINCH – present through the week with a high of 36 on 10 Dec.
EVENING GROSBEAK – 7 on 10 Dec were the first in several weeks.
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