You will have the opportunity to do some EARLY morning birding at 6 a.m. at Hurkett Cove on Saturday morning. Guides will meet you (you will be responsible for your own transportation) at the Cove parking area, and you will have a chance to experience the area as it "wakes" up in the morning. This is a wonderful opportunity to greet the day! We realize this isn't for everyone, but those that wish to attend are welcome to do so.
Early Morning Birders will still be asked to return to the Dorion Community Centre by 8 a.m. to register and enjoy a fine breakfast with the other birders and then begin the scheduled activities.
This location is one of the birding sites on Saturday. Buses will take birders to this location.
Situated on the shores of Black Bay on the eastern shore of Lake Superior, this area offers a variety of habitats such as hardwood and softwood forest, swampy areas, shallow shoreline, and sheltered bays. This environment provides shelter and foraging opportunities for many species of birds. Noted as a special place for birding, Hurkett Cove was cited by Andy Bezener in Birds of Ontario as one of the top birding sites in Ontario. This area is uniquely situated as many migrating species such as passerines and raptors travel along the Lake Superior shoreline avoiding the huge expanse of open water. Vast numbers of waterfowl will utilize Black Bay as a staging area in the early spring as they wait until inland lakes farther north are free of ice. Tundra Swans can be observed as they are enroute from Chesapeake Bay on the east coast of the U.S. to their breeding grounds in the high Arctic. Depending on water levels, a variety of shorebirds, such as Golden or Black Bellied Plovers, traveling from as far away as Venezuela, utilize the area. The provincially endangered American White Pelican can be seen throughout the summer as they breed locally. More than twenty species of warblers can be observed at Hurkett Cove. These warblers will use the area as a resting place after a long journey from South America before flying farther north, or will stay and establish breeding territories. Bald Eagles are a common sight as there has been a resident pair that has nested along the main walking trail at Hurkett Cove for many years.
This year on the second day of the Festival (May 25th) we will be visiiting the trails at The Eagle's Nest Conference Centre in Dorion. Situated on the shore of Black Bay and just a short drive from the Dorion Community Centre. There will be an opportunity to view birds within the forested area as well as along the shoreline.
Birders will meet here following a delicious breakfast at the Dorion Community Centre where lunch will be served once we leave the Eagle's Nest at noon.
Once again our expert guides will be with us to identiy the birds and answer our questions.