This year we decided to book a week long camping trip at MacGregor Point Provincial Park after the great time we had last year at the same time of the year. If you’re not familiar with MacGregor, the park is located on the shores of Lake Huron, just south of Port Elgin. It’s a perfect location for swimming, biking, hiking and of course birding. It’s also a great home base to explore further up on the Bruce Peninsula. We were there from July 12 – July 20.
This trip was going to be the first true test of the ‘project’ tent trailer that my brother and I bought and worked on over the winter (more on this at another time). Sarah and I have always tented it when camping so this is going to be new to us. We’ll still do the wilderness camping, canoeing and backpacking, but we wanted a little more convenience for the car camping trips and it worked out absolutely perfectly. Emily loved sleeping and exploring and even checking out my handy work in the trailer.
Emily inspecting the tap
The weather was a bit cool most of the time, but was perfect for hiking and exploring. The songs and sounds of American Redstarts filled the entire park. I had forgotten about the huge numbers of Redstarts there! One thing I noticed within a few days was that the bird diversity seemed to be much lower compared to the same time last year. Not sure if it was the weather or just maybe last year was exceptional. I was expecting more evening calling birds but I only heard one Hermit Thrush, a few Veerys, and a faint Great Horned Owl. Last year, evenings were filled with singing Hermit Thrushes and Whip-poor-wills. But not this year. I’m not complaining – it was just something I noticed.
We did take a trip over to Port Elgin beach to see the reported nesting Piping Plovers. We saw both adults and 4 hatchlings (which I hear have done well). It was great to hear from the MNR person watching over the birds about the cooperation from the town and the people about closing off some of the beach to protect them. While we were watching the birds, several children came up and were genuinely excited that these endangered birds chose ‘their’ beach to nest. There is hope for the next generation after all!
Emily seemed to really enjoy herself on this trip. She loves the outdoors. Her daycare workers are always commenting on how she loves to be outside. We must be doing something right! She, like most toddlers her age, is so inquisitive and I find it fascinating just to watch her explore. When she’s touching a tree or a leaf, she needs to study every angle of it. When a Gull runs by on the beach, she points and says ‘bird’ I think just to make sure I noticed it too. This is going to come in handy when she’s spotting all the birds for me!
Exploring the leaves
Emily checking out Severus, the Milk Snake
What a fantastic park and a fantastic trip. During this vacation, we decided that we want to take Emily camping at every Ontario Parks location. We’ll probably start a little scrapbooking blog for her to keep track. So far 2 down and about 100+ to go!
Rather than bore you with more text, here are some pics of the trip. Excuse the poor quality of some as these are a mishmash of 3 cameras including an iPhone. Also, one rainy day, we took a trip up to Tobermory. Look for more on that little side trip soon! Click on a pic to bring up a larger image.
A Little Birding
Lots of these! American Redstarts
Probably a Redstart
Double-Crested Cormorants… why not?
That sign post didn’t stand a chance. Hairy Woodpecker
Scarlett Tanager carrying food
Not many of these.. Yellow Warbler
Leps and Stuff – still have to check the IDs. Please feel free to correct me or comment below , especially about the “What am I?” one!
Monarch on Milkweed
Swamp Milkweed I believe
What am I?
My teeth hurt but I still wanna play
Yeah I’m cute
She wants to stand all the time now
Yup, that’s your hair
Who needs a bathing suit
Family photo time
Piping Plover spot
“I wanna rock!”
Almost nap time
The Park / Scenery
Looking north of Sunset Point
Pond near Visitor Centre
Boardwalk near Visitor Centre