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Friday, May 20, 2016

Warblers and Whimbrels Weekend at Presqu’ile – May 21-22

(News Release)

Parula Warbler singing during its stop at Presqu'ile.
 BRIGHTON, Ontario -- The Friends of Presqu’ile Park are pleased to announce that after a very unusual up and down winter and cool April (I saw snow!) that we are finally rounding into a real spring.

And with Spring comes the return of tens of thousands of songbirds and shorebirds that migrate through Presqu’ile Provincial Park on their way north.

These are some of the most beautiful and sought after birds for birdwatchers and we host this special weekend with activities designed to introduce visitors to these birds and the fine art of bird watching.

On both Saturday May 21st and Sunday May 22nd we will start out with an ultra-early bird walk for the ultra-keen at 6:30am from the lighthouse. Want to sleep a bit longer?

From 8am to 10am, 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. Then at 10am a second walk will head out to see what new birds may be moving through.

“While early morning is usually the best time to find birds, during migration birds often keep active all day long so we are sure to see something good on all our walks” says David Bree, Park Naturalist. Bree goes on to say, “Warblers are often called the jewels of the forest for their varied and beautiful colours, but they can be a challenge to see. Our experts can help you find and identify some of the 15+ species likely present in the park this weekend.” 

There will also be a guided walk starting from the Owen Point Trail parking lot at 2pm to seek out shorebirds. “Sandpipers and plovers come in all shapes and sizes. Ten to fifteen species could be present on the beach at one time” says Bree. “We have already seen a half-dozen species including the rare Piping Plover this year.” 
Whimbrels are a chicken-size shorebird with an impressive bill that are only at Presqu'ile for a few days in May.

The highlight for many will be a bird banding demonstration at the Owen Point Trail parking lot from 8am 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 Friends of Presqu’ile will be running their fund-raising BBQ both days, starting at 11am. A burger or hot-dog is the perfect antidote to the hunger of an early-morning walk. The Lighthouse Centre and Friends’ store will be open 10am to 4pm and this will be the last chance to get in on our raffle for Bushnell optics. The draw will be help at 4pm on Sunday for these great binoculars and a scope/tripod package generously donated by Bushnell. 

New this year, we will have an optics display with binoculars, camera lens and spotting scopes from Vortex and Tamron, with a chance at discount purchases. 

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 $14.50/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

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