Day trip: Presqu’ile Provincial Park

Water levels in Lake Ontario have been approaching the devastating flood levels of 2017 (and still continue to rise) and with that in mind, last weekend I joined a group of photographers who headed out to Presqu’ile Provincial Park to try and spot (and photograph) a few of the many birds that migrate through the region every spring.

The park is on the north shore of Lake Ontario, less than two hours east of Toronto. It’s only a half hour from our home in Prince Edward County, yet this was my first visit! Don’t ask me why I waited so long – I’ve driven by the road signs pointing the way countless times, always saying to myself, “I should stop and visit!” Turns out, I shouldn’t have waited so long. Even in mid spring, before the trees are fully in leaf, the park is gorgeous. And my concerns about being flooded out were not realized, although friends have since told me that just a few days before our visit many of the pathways had been impassable.

The park has camping spots, picnicking areas, many kilometres of trails and pathways, flat roads perfect for exploring by bike, and several long sandy beaches that, later in the year when water levels recede, will be perfect for swimming. Here are just a few images (the ones that are in focus!) from this day trip.

There’s a one kilometre boardwalk that meanders through a marshy area, full of migrating birds in spring and fall.
Here’s the boardwalk again. Last weekend (and likely this weekend as well), parts of it were under water.
Sadly, many invasive species are threatening the shoreline and wooded areas of the park, but there are still lots of woodland areas, full, this time of year, with spring ephemerals in bloom, like this native yellow Dog’s Tooth Violet, also called a Trout Lily, aka Erythronium americanum
I’m not certain, but this catkin may be what happens to a pussy willow after it starts to expand and flower. I’m open to alternative suggestions!
Presqu’ile has the second oldest operating lighthouse in Ontario! Recently wonderfully restored.
This is the only half decent bird photo I was able to capture. I know. The bird is fuzzy. I kinda like the tall marsh grasses in the background.

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