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Mike Pickup as photographed by Doug Pedwell

A short while back, local birding legend and author Mike Pickup had a vision. In his mind’s eye he imagined a structure that allowed people to be safely hidden while viewing birds in their natural setting. He was talking about building a Bird Blind to provide birders, naturalists, artist, photographers and the general public an up close view of the wetland species that inhabit and migrate through MacGregor Point Provincial Park.

That vision is now a reality as the Friends of MacGregor Point Park, with a great deal of labour and engineering from the Park staff and strong financial support from the Huron Fringe Birding Festival (HFBF), the local community and sponsors, completed the Bird Blind Project in the fall of 2011.

Come spring if you take part in a HFBF hike along the Tower Trail to the Ducks Unlimited Pond you will be able to experience an unimpeded view of songbirds and water fowl out through the viewing slits onto the D.U. Pond from the hidden comfort of the blind located off the same sideroad as the tower but on the eastern side of the pond. The Blind can be accessed by a short trail and lead-up ramp from the Tower Trail on the southern edge of the Park.

The Bird Blind – From Friends of MacGregor Point Park website.

Thanks go to the Friends Board of Directors for again demonstrating a leadership role in moving forward a project that enables every visitor yet another unique opportunity to enjoy and experience the natural jewel that is MacGregor Point Provincial Park.

The Friends of MacGregor Point Park reason for being is to assist the park with endeavours that fall outside normal park operations. Before the Bird Blind an observation tower was constructed to help highlight the role of the Huron Fringe as a migration corridor and important natural area for nesting birds along the Lake Huron shoreline.  Interpretive panels along the Huron Fringe, Lake Ridge and Tower trails; the construction of the Rotary Trail to link Port Elgin with the Park and the placement of information panels in the Park’s comfort stations are just some of their physical improvements to the Park.

Established in 1993 as a registered charity, the Friends of MacGregor Point Park are a group who are passionate about MacGregor Point Provincial Park. Led by a volunteer Board of Directors, they work cooperatively to support and enhance interpretive, educational and research projects and programs within the Park.  A legal agreement between the Friends and the Crown; provides formal parametres for this relationship and provides definition for the extent to which they become involved in Park Operations.

Program enhancements have varied from the annual support of student positions and guest speakers to larger festivals such as Sparkle in the Park (formerly Snowfest), Wild for the Arts and of course, the Huron Fringe Birding Festival.  All of these festivals bring varied interest groups into the Park and the Saugeen Shores area.

The volunteer Board of Directors of the Friends is a working board committed to finding ways to raise monies in order to honour their mandate of enhancing the interpretive, educational and research aspects of the park.  Revenue from the Friends Huron Fringe Shop, located in the Visitor Centre, and other fund raising ventures stay in the Park.

So Mike’s vision is now a reality. And when you take part in the Huron Fringe Birding Festival next spring, be sure to pay it a visit.

The birds will be waiting.


Online registration and a fee schedule will be available in February. So will more program updates. If you have questions regarding the Festival please contact the official registrar at or 

Written by huronfringefest

November 11, 2012 at 6:52 pm