March 19th and 20th marked the annual Presqu'ile Provincial Park Waterfowl Festival, the second one that I've had the pleasure of volunteering at. Unlike last year, this year it was incredibly warm and lacked the vast amount of ice usually at Presqu'ile this time of year.
Since the entire bay and lake was open water, ducks were not in as concentrated numbers as people were used to seeing the last few years. Mind you, it didn't mean that they weren't there; they were just not concentrated into tiny patches of open water as usual.
A group of my labmates and I were stationed at Calf Pasture where there was a fairly close group of Lon-tailed Ducks to look at. Once in a while a Goldeneye or Bufflehead would join the mix, but usually they would fly off just as quickly as they arrived. It was really nice to be able to give many visitors, young and old, a look at these beautiful ducks before they start to head north again for the summer. In the far (and I mean far!) distance we could spot some Scaup, Redheads, Canvasback, and a few American Widgeon. Quite a few times throughout the day boaters would scare all the ducks up creating amazing flying clouds to look at. It was always fun when this would happen since most people wouldn't believe us when we said there were thousands of ducks out on the lake!
Once the day ended we spend a bit of time birding in the marsh and other nearby areas at Presqu'ile. I saw my very first Golden-crowned Kinglet of the year and also a Pied-billed Grebe out in the marsh! Song sparrows all over were also in full singing mode.
Also floating around in the marsh were Mute Swans (what a surprise!) and a few Buffleheads!
April is just a few hours away now and I couldn't be more excited! Take advantage of all the amazing bird festivals and outings that will be going on in your local areas...there will be plenty to see!