It’s not every day you get to see an endangered species in its natural habitat. Piping Plovers are little shorebirds that hide in plain sight on beaches, and Presqu’ile Park near Brighton Ontario has a significant Piping Plover nesting area. I visited Beach 1 on Wednesday afternoon. At first I thought the beach was desserted, save for some families of geese. That’s how well these birds can disappear on a beach. Then you detect movement and suddenly you’re watching this cute little shorebird scurrying around the beach.
When I returned the following morning at dawn, a football field-sized area on the upper part of the beach had been roped off, with signs asking visitors to respect the nesting Piping Plovers. I guess their nesting is just starting. A little later this month, I think there will be many more shorebird visitors to the beaches at Presqu’ile. The park is known to be the best place in Ontario to view shorebirds.
The reason these birds are endangered is that human beach activity interferes with plover nesting. At Presqu’ile, they make it clear that during nesting, the birds come first.