Thursday, March 28, 2013

March 26, 2013 Presqu'ile Birding

Another great day birding at Presqu'ile and nice weather conditions too! With Presqu'ile Bay now open the waterfowl are dispersed but there was a good concentration along Bayshore Drive. As the remaining ice was melted Redheads, Canvasback, Ring-necked Ducks were in a feeding frenzy as more of the shallow waters were exposed. The most common scaup was Greater Scaup with a few 1000 but only a handful of Lesser Scaup were located off the Government Dock. At Owen Point new arrivals included 6 Double-crested Cormorant on Gull Island along with the 1000's of Ring-billed Gulls and 2 Great Blue Heron on High Bluff Island sitting up inspecting a old nest.
Land birds were still scarce with a few more Song Sparrows singing, numerous American Robins and very vocal resident Red-bellied Woodpecker near the Lighthouse. There were still 100's of Long-tailed Duck, Red-breasted Merganser, Bufflehead, Common Goldeneye, and smaller numbers of White-winged Scoter and Lesser Scaup.  

Direction: To reach Presqu'ile Provincial Park, follow the signs from Brighton. Locations within the Park are shown on a map at the back of a tabloid that is available at the Park gate. Access to the offshore islands is restricted at this time of year to prevent disturbance to the colonial nesting birds there. 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.

Male Canvasbacks pursue a female while a pair of Redhead look on. 

Redheads. Note the difference in head shape of the males. 

A great comparison of head shape of Redheads, Canvasback and Ring-necked Duck. 

There was a nice selection of diving ducks in Presqu'ile Bay. 

Redheads and American Wigeon take to the air.

A flock of American Wigeon  over Presqu'ile Bay.

A mixed flock of Redhead and American Wigeon take flight. 

Northern Pintails were on the move with many flocks landing in the now open marsh. 

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