Why I Love Presqu’ile!

 

Good Morning Presqu’ile!   Oh how I love you!

IMG_7824There are so many reasons to love Presqu’ile Park, no matter when you visit.IMG_6889You can show up early on a hazy fall morning, and observe as Presqu’ile’s beaches and offshore islands start to come alive with sound and activity.

IMG_6964Migrating shorebirds start to wake up, and begin their daily search for food.

IMG_6070If you sit or lie down very still, the shorebirds will walk right past you as they are feeding.   It is endlessly entertaining to watch them.IMG_7691

A fall drive around the park may reveal a Ruffed Grouse, foraging at the side of the road for breakfast.  Look at those gorgeous feather patterns!

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As seasons change and the weather turns colder, the park becomes very quiet.    I think winter is when Presqu’ile really shows its magic.

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Little by little the lake freezes over.   Depending on the wind and the waves, the lakeshore looks different every time I visit in the winter, and each time is spectacular.IMG_9443Presqu’ile is famous for its ice volcanoes.   When the wind is just right, water from the waves will spray up through these holes in the ice.  I like them best at sunset, when they are lit up like some alien landscape.IMG_7838   Snowy owls love to use the offshore islands to hunt. Even in the dead of winter there is so much beauty to be found at Presqu’ile.IMG_4108Spring comes to Presqu’ile, and with it, the busiest time of year.IMG_4632A walk along the boardwalk in Jobes Woods reveals little sprouts of green, and some unexpected company.IMG_4647Look who’s watching you now!IMG_5170Early spring also brings the arrival of waterfowl, who are great show-offs for their potential mates.   What characters. As the ice moves out of Presqu’ile Bay, huge “rafts” of waterfowl can be seen feeding along the ice edge.IMG_8314Spring also brings bugs- lots of them!   But isn’t that perfect timing? The migratory birds are on their way back north.IMG_4061

Lots and lots and lots of them!.   How exciting to be at the park when the trees and bushes are just full of colourful birds singing and eating and flying about.  I am very grateful to have met some very experienced and knowledgeable birders at the park, who can help me learn about all these birds, their names, and their habits.     The diversity of species at Presqu’ile is amazing!

IMG_1540_2One day I got stuck out in a thunderstorm down by the lighthouse so went into the duck viewing shelter to get out of the rain.   In the tree next to me were so many different kinds of little birds I could barely keep track of them.   Above is a little Yellow Warbler shaking off the rain.IMG_6713Oh, and “fallouts!”   A fallout is when weather or wind conditions cause many thousands of birds to come to the same area all at once.   I will never forget being at Owen Point early on a May morning this year, and experiencing a fallout of shorebirds.   They were everywhere the eye could see, in flocks in the hundreds, soaring around, and feeding on the beaches.IMG_6710

I think I took over 1000 photographs that day!    It was so great because the Ontario Field Ornithologists Young Birders were at Owen Point that morning too, and this enthusiastic group of young people got to experience this spectacle as well. I don’t think any of us will ever forget it.

IMG_5088Did I mention you could see a fox at Presqu’ile?   And if that’s not enough for you…IMG_5094How about watching a fox walk down the road and then having a deer cross right in front of it, say “Good Morning” and carry on.   Is this the Bambi movie? I don’t know.    Presqu’ile is so cool.IMG_3566On the first hot hazy days of the year, the momma snapping turtles will come out of the mud and start to lay their eggs at the side of the roads.     A couple of years I have been down there on just the right day and seen 4 or 5 of these beauties all in the same trip.  I love their long sharp claws!10572318083_ed55b9c7f1_oOf course, Presqu’ile is for recreation too!   Walter loves to swim and run on the rocky beach.    The sandy beach is for the shorebirds, and of course all the campers and day trippers that flock to Presqu’ile in the summer.IMG_3526No matter when I visit, Presqu’ile always has something beautiful to offer.    I’m never disappointed.

Presqu’ile Provincial Park is located on the north shore of Lake Ontario, just south of Brighton.   Check it out!

8 Comments:

  1. There is so much to discover in Presqu’ile! But you certainly have the eye (and patience) for finding all these fantastic creatures! Hopefully we can go together soon!

  2. These pictures are wonderful and I really appreciate the conversation, too.

  3. Great story line Leslie !

  4. Lorraine Fargey MacDougall

    Your blog makes me want to jump in the car and go to Presqu’ile! I wonder how it get its’ name?

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