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Warblers in the Park

Warblers and Whimbrels Weekend at Presqu'ile

May 22 and 23

The Friends of Presqu'ile Park are pleased to announce that spring is here! And with spring comes the return of tens of thousands of smaller birds and shorebirds that migrate through Presqu'ile Provincial Park on their way north. While spring has been early for us here in Canada, the birds migrating from the Caribbean and South America are right on time and will passing through the park in May. These are some of the most beautiful and sought after birds for birdwatchers and this weekend is packed with activities designed to introduce visitors to these birds and the fine art of bird watching.


On both Saturday May 22nd and Sunday May 23rd we will start out with an ultra early bird walk for the ultra keen at 6:30am from the Lighthouse Centre. Want to sleep a bit longer? From 8 am to 10 am, knowledgeable staff and volunteers will be available in the lighthouse area, a prime warbler haunt, to point out and discuss these and other migrating birds. We will also offer a repeat bird walk starting at 10 am from the Lighthouse Centre.

"Warblers are often called the ?jewels of the forest' for their varied and beautiful colours? says Park Naturalist David Bree, "but they can be a challenge to see. Our experts can help you find and identify some of the 20+ species likely present in the park this weekend. While bird watching is best in the early morning, there is usually some activity all day during migration and we should see birds on our later walks as well as the early ones. ?


There will be a guided walk starting from the Owen Point Trail parking lot at 2 pm to seek out shorebirds. Bree goes on to say "Sandpipers and plovers come in all shapes and sizes. Ten to fifteen species could be present on the beach at one time. They can be a challenge to identify, but having a guide with a spotting scope will help visitors get a good look at these fascinating creatures. These are true long-distance migrants; many are travelling from southern South America to the Canadian Arctic and are only stopping a few days at Presqu'ile to refuel.?


The highlight for many will be a bird-banding demonstration at the Owen Point Trail parking lot from 8 am until noon, courtesy of Elizabeth Kellogg and Roger Frost, licensed bird-banders. This will allow visitors an unprecedented chance to see birds up close and learn how and why birds are banded. This activity is weather dependent for the safety of the birds.


The Lighthouse Centre and Friends' Shop will be open 8 am to 4 pm and this will be the last chance to get in on our raffle for Bushnell optics. The draw will be held at 4 pm on Sunday for these great binoculars and scope/tripod package generously donated by Bushnell.


The Friends will host a fund-raising BBQ on both days at the Lighthouse Centre from 11 am onwards, until the burgers run out.

The Friends invite everyone to share in this event. It makes a great outing for those that appreciate nature, families and individuals alike. The only cost involved is a $13.00/vehicle park entrance fee. We hope to see you there.

For more information call 613 475 4324 ext. 225 or email david.bree@ontario.ca