Dunlin on the transfer
It’s late Could on the shores of jap Lake Ontario and with a synchronized flash of wings, a flock of Dunlin alight at Charwell Level in picturesque Prince Edward County. Lengthy distance migrants, these sandpipers are heading from their wintering grounds within the southern U.S. and Mexico to nest on Canada’s Arctic coast. Charwell Level’s uniquely distant and undeveloped seashores present an ideal place for these birds to peacefully relaxation and feed earlier than persevering with north.
Dunlin will not be the one shorebirds to cease at Charwell Level. Guests vary from tiny Least Sandpipers to the charismatic and crow-sized Whimbrel.
As probably the most distinguished characteristic on the in any other case gently curving southern shore of Prince Edward County, the purpose is a magnet for migrants crossing Lake Ontario. Songbirds equivalent to sparrows and warblers discover shelter within the windblown maple and cedars on the tip. For shorebirds, it’s the distant and undisturbed seashores, habitat uncommon elsewhere within the County, which can be the attraction. In actual fact, after current survey work, twenty-six species of shorebirds have now been documented at this location. Amongst this quantity is a Ruddy Turnstone named 1332-27918 FELG8UN RUTU, or “RUTU” for brief. Captured in New Jersey in 2012 and marked with a subject readable tag, the chook has been recurrently resighted alongside the jap US coast – all the time in the previous couple of days of Could. Then, on June 4, 2020, RUTU was photographed at Charwell Level. This particular file supplies perception into the timing and trajectory of the Turnstone’s travels and underlines the purpose’s significance as a migration stopover website.
Whereas Charwell Level’s lonely seashores are important spring and fall shorebird habitat, its offshore waters are equally necessary to wintering waterfowl. Better Scaup arrive from the north and west in October and kind large, densely packed rafts of resting, preening and feeding birds. A good portion of the world’s Lengthy-tailed Geese additionally winter right here, down for the season from the Arctic. On chilly January days, the air rings with their distinct and delightful calls; put to flight by the resident Bald Eagles, their huge swirling flocks resemble clouds of smoke on the horizon. For these hardy northern waterfowl, the windswept and distant waters of jap Lake Ontario present a chilly however hospitable residence for nearly six months of the yr.
Trying to the longer term
Charwell Level sustains a exceptional variety of life, illustrating the wonders of nature, and likewise its fragility. The shorebirds which can be such an necessary side of the place are a unprecedented household of birds, however their future isn’t safe. With habitat destruction lowering their populations, safeguarding areas equivalent to Charwell Level is a high precedence. Happily, initiatives are underway to guard the lands and waters of jap Lake Ontario, and there’s a sturdy likelihood that future generations of birds – and people – will proceed to get pleasure from this particular location.
Making a Nationwide Marine Conservation Space (NMCA) in Lake Ontario’s jap basin will safeguard chook populations, shield 243 species in danger, and contribute in direction of the federal government’s purpose of defending 30 % of land and waters by 2030.
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After a profession working at social justice/labour rights NGOs, Paul has retired to Prince Edward County in southeastern Ontario the place he devotes his time to birdwatching and nature pictures.