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Waterfowl – and watchers – return to Presqu’ile Park

By Brendan Burke [1]

BELLEVILLE – For years, waterfowl and birdwatchers alike have flocked to Presqu’ile Provincial Park [2] in big numbers.

For Friends of Presqu’ile Park [3], the return of geese, ducks and swans to Lake Ontario’s north shore means the end of winter – and a chance to observe what park naturalist David Bree calls a “world-class natural spectacle.”

Up to 25 bird species arrive each spring to rest and feed at the park before moving further north and west. Presqu’ile Park’s accessible viewing locations, coupled with the large concentrations of migrating waterfowl, make the area a prime spot for birdwatching.

On the weekend of March 19 and 20, Friends of Presqu’ile Park host the 40th annual Waterfowl Weekend.

Seasoned volunteers will be on site to help visitors find and identify the many different returning bird species. But Bree notes that the feathered phenomenon is not the only attraction.

The park’s historic Presqu’ile Lighthouse has drawn tourists for years, and the Lighthouse Interpretive Centre [4] now stands in its shadow.

Presqu’ile Park is also home to the Nature Centre, where an art showcase will feature bird photography and carvings from Gary McPherson, with children’s crafts and a taxidermy display also planned.

Along with the festivities, a barbecue is scheduled for 11 a.m., with proceeds going to the various Friends projects in the park.

Presqu’ile Waterfowl Weekend begins at 10 a.m. both days, with birdwatching wrapping up at 4 p.m. A $10 parking fee applies.