Official tourism website of Bruce County
The Southampton shoreline is a recognized spring and fall migration route. Chantry Dune System: A unique and sensitive dune system along the Southampton shoreline not only prevents the erosion of the dunes, it is a haven for several species of birds. Caspian terns fish along the shore during breeding season, while gulls and other waterfowl gather on the shore during the spring and fall.
Check out the interpretative signs along the dune pathways for more info on this ecological project. Please stay on the pathway to protect the dune grasses.
Approximately 1 km off the shores of Southampton, lies Chantry Island, home to both an imperial lighthouse and a federal bird sanctuary. Here, double-crested cormorants, black-crowned night herons, great blue herons, great egrets, ring-billed and great black-backed gulls are among the species that nest, breed and feed in safety. The island can be viewed with binoculars from the foot of Beach Street.
To the south... Along the Miramichi Bay Road to Port Elgin, 3 kilometres south of Southampton, the mudflats of Miramichi Bay are superb places to view shorebirds and waterfowl during migrating season. Park along the shoulder and take in a sunset along with your birdwatching.
Hint: A great blue heron is a regular visitor to these mudflats during the summer months, often during the supper hour. A flock of migrating birds silhouetted against the backdrop of a vivid sunset is a classic Canadian image and a familiar one along the Lake Huron Shoreline. Each spring, birds of various species migrate north along this natural highway. In the fall, the Canadian geese honk their way south in a familiar V-formation.
Pack your binoculars and a bag lunch to catch a glimpse of Mother Nature's feathered community. Spring, fall, summer and winter... the birding is grand! More than 200 species of birds have been sighted in the Southampton area, including the black-crowned night heron and the American egret which find the wetlands in the park to be ideal feeding grounds.
Each spring naturalists' celebrate the return of songbirds during the Huron Fringe Birding Festival held at MacGregor Point Provincial Park. This festival has been developed to coincide with the arrival and the setting up of territories by these migrating birds. The park is really a 4 season destination, with great outdoor activities for winter as well, cross country skiing, snowshoeing, winter camping in a YURT, and you can go skating on an outdoor 400 m loop that is lit at night.
For more information about the Huron Fringe Birding Festival click here