huronfringefest

One of Canada's Premier Birding and Nature Festivals

Archive for March 2013

COUNT DOWN – HURON FRINGE BIRDING FESTIVAL

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redstart

It may be hard to imagine given the weather we’re experiencing, but Festival Opening Day isn’t that far away, nor is the spring-like weather we all crave. As  May 24 draws closer events are filling up fast. But there is still room and time to register in a lot of others.

ON-LINE REGISTRATION IS EASY AT:

 http://friendsofmacgregor.org/page/schedule-of-events

 Here is a brief list of some of the open activities you might be interested in. Check us out.

REGISTER NOW TO GUARANTEE YOUR PLACE

ON THE EVENT OF YOUR CHOICE

 May 24

A4 – MacGregor Tower Trail – Birding – with Bruce Edmunds. Hike the Tower Trail and check the Ducks Unlimited Pond from both the viewing tower and the bird blind.

A6 – Tree Walk & Talk – with Bob Gray. Hike the Lake Ridge Trail along the lakebed of two former glacial lakes to identify various trees. Learn how species associate with different site types.

 May 25

A12 – Birding the Saugeen First Nations Amphitheatre – with Joy Albrecht. Walkways and gardens are the backdrop to the Saugeen River. Visit the Southampton Pioneer Cemetery and Denny’s Dam on the far shore.

 A17 – The Wonderful World of Weeds – with Richard Aaron. Learn the “good side” of weeds – how they have been used for food, medicine and inspired inventions.

A18 – Managing Water – with Adrienne Mason. Join Adrienne on a hike through nearby river restoration projects where the interface of man, water and nature will be explored.

 May 26

A26 – “Ears On” Birding – with Judith King. The emphasis is on listening to the songs of MacGregor Point Park birds.

A30 – Bird Watching from Soup to Nuts – with Fred Jazvec. Many of the fundamentals in a birder’s journey through the stages of beginner, intermediate and advanced, are covered in this workshop.

A32 – Holy Hogweed! A Rogues Gallery of Nettlesome & Poisonous Plants – with Richard Aaron. From stings and blisters, to cuts and comas, learn about some of Ontario’s wild plants to avoid and what might happen if you don’t.

 May 30

B4 – Relaxed Nature Walk – with Minerva Cook. A walk past Pitcher Plant Marl to the Day Use area north of the Visitor Centre to explore plant and bird diversity.

B5 – Identifying MacGregor’s Tree Species – with Joe Watson. You visit Turtle Pond and Algonquin Campground to learn about tree species and identification ‘keys’ in various habitats common to the Huron Fringe.

B7 – Gardening for Wildlife – with Larry Lamb. Learn how to design your garden or backyard to attract insects, reptiles and butterflies.

 May 31

B9 – My Camera and Me – Focusing on Nature – with Jen O’Reilly. Discover the magic of light while taking dynamic, scenic, wildlife and close up photography. Learn and practice techniques professionals use.

B12 – Relaxed Nature Walk – Old Shore Road Trail – with Kim Toews. Enjoy a casual morning stroll along the Old Shore Road Trail in search of spring birds and wildflowers.

B13 – Plants, Legends and Folklore of MacGregor – with Heather Starrs. Heather’s walk introduces you to the legends, stories and superstitions attached to many common and not so common plants found at MacGregor.

June 1

B18 – Bayview Escarpment – Coffin Ridge Vineyard and Winery – with Mark Wiercinski. (See our Blog “Hiking & Wine Tasting – The Perfect Day”, March 8.) Crevice caves, Hart’s Tongue Fern and Barred Owls are all found within this Nature Reserve Provincial Park. And wine tasting after an invigorating hike is a great way to end the day.

 B20 – Legends of the Forest – with Heather Carscadden. The stories, legends and myths from around the world about the wonderful world of trees, which surround us.

B22 – How and Where to Photograph Frogs and Toads – with Kerry Jarvis. (See our Blog “A Conversation with Kerry Jarvis”, February 1.) Learn where to find elusive frogs and toads, along with tried and true techniques that will help you capture these amazing, miniscule creatures.

 B25 – GPS Scavenger Hunt – with Heather Carscadden. (See our Blog “And Now For Something Completely Different”, March 13.) Learn GPS basics and how GPS technology works; then use your knowledge to find hidden caches in a fun nature trivia scavenger hunt.

B28 – The Mysterious World of Moths – with Andalynne Tofflemire. An introduction to the ‘moth world’ as you become familiar with some of Ontario’s most commonly encountered moth species.

 June 2

B31 – Birding South Bruce – Kincardine and Point Clark – with James Turland. Enjoy a birding adventure looking for spring migrants along the side roads of Southern Bruce County.

B35 – Woodland Trail – with Sarah Martin. A walk through a maple forest dune complex system located north of the Park between Port Elgin and Southampton.

B36 – Wildflower Diversity Within the Fringe – with Brett Woodman. Here’s your chance to learn about and appreciate some of MacGregor Point’s varied wildflowers.

B37 – Sunset Walk – with John Cummings. The Lake Huron shoreline offers some of the most spectacular sunsets in the world. It’s the perfect ending for your Huron Fringe Birding Festival experience.

Visit and “like” us on facebook:

http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Friends-of-MacGregor-Point-Park/101912730956

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AN NOW FOR SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT! GEOCACHING!

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A GPS SCAVENGER HUNT AT THE HURON FRINGE BIRDING FESTIVAL

Heather Carscadden has worked in Outdoor Education for about 10 years at various centres including the Wye Marsh Wildlife Centre, Muskoka Wildlife Centre, Sciensational Snakes, The Arboretum at U of G, Mad Science of Toronto and Mansfield Outdoor Centre. She is currently Education Coordinator at the Kortright Centre for Conservation with the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority. Heather has a degree in Wildlife Biology from University of Guelph and is also a certified teacher. Her GPS SCAVANGER HUNT is a new event for the Huron Fringe Birding Festival and it promises to be educational, Entertaining and rewarding. So bring your own GPS unit or borrow one and join Heather in the hunt on Saturday, June 1, at 1:30 PM. We asked her how she got interested in “Geocaching” and to tell us what to expect.

Heather and Friend

Heather and Friend

“I grew up camping nearly every weekend in the summer at once a month in the winter, either with my family or with scouting groups. I love canoeing, hiking and biking and do those things as often as I can, which of course is never often enough.”

“I have taught map orienteering, compass orienteering and GPS orienteering to many school children over the years. I first developed my GPS scavenger hunt for the Algonquin Naturalists weekend, which runs out of Camp Arowhon every year in the fall. I have been a presenter there for a couple years now.

“This program mixes a short lesson about GPS basics with a scavenger hunt. We’ll start by looking at different GPS units and talk about the emerging sport of Geocaching (check out Geocaching.com for a neat introductory video). Next we’ll navigate to a couple different spots together to make sure that everyone knows what they are doing. Finally I’ll send you out on a scavenger hunt with a twist. You’ll get a list of nature trivia questions and each answer will have a different set of coordinates for your GPS unit. Guess the right answer and the coordinates will lead you straight to a box hidden in the woods, guess the wrong answer and you’ll find a note hanging in a tree saying “Try Again !” I’ll have different sets of questions for nature experts or for younger families and nature newbies. If you’re around on Friday you might see me sneaking around the park setting up the courses, say hello, but don’t move the boxes please! There will even be some prizes of “unbelievable value” for the winners.”

“One reason I really like Geocaching is that is gives my exploration a purpose. While I love walking in the woods, it’s even more fun when I get to walk in a new area and search for a hidden cache!”

This little gnome is my 'Travel Bug'. I placed it in a geocache years ago and its been around. When found people bring it to a new cache.They log in on-line geocashing.com so I can see its progress.

This little gnome is my ‘Travel Bug’. I placed it in a geocache years ago and its been traveling around the world. When people find it they bring it to a new cache. They then record where they’ve taken it at geocashing.com so I can see its progress.

Geocache once hidden at Mansfield Outdoor Centre.

Geocache once hidden at Mansfield Outdoor Centre.

Another travel bug found in a geocache north of Toronto and taken to a Niagara winery last summer.

Another travel bug found in a geocache north of Toronto and taken to a Niagara winery last summer.

This one's mission is to visit as many wineries as possible.

This one’s mission is to visit as many wineries as possible.

HURON FRINGE BIRDING FESTIVAL ON-LINE REGISTRATION IS NOW OPEN. 

 http://friendsofmacgregor.org/page/schedule-of-events

 REGISTER NOW TO GUARANTEE YOUR PLACE ON THE EVENT OF YOUR CHOICE

Some events are already full

HURON FRINGE BIRDING FESTIVAL, 2013

MAY 24 – MAY 27

MAY 30 – JUNE 2

MCGREGOR POINT PROVINCIAL PARK

PORT ELGIN, ONTARIO

Hiking & Wine Tasting – The Perfect Day

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In 2012 the Huron Fringe Birding Festival introduced a new hike with a new twist…a bus trip to Bayview Escarpment Provincial Nature Reserve combined with a visit to the Coffin Ridge Boutique Winery. Wine tasting after an invigorating hike is a unique way to end the day. Based on last year’s response the event returns on June 1st with leader Mark Wiercinski. Norah Toth was there last year. Here’s what she had to say about the inaugural hike.*

Norah with Binos

“I love Bayview Escarpment. It is one of my favourite provincial parks in the Grey Bruce area. As a nature reserve class provincial park it is set aside to protect over 439 hectares for scientific and research purposes. It does not offer camping; just quiet enjoyment of a very special habitat.”

Bayview Trail

“What first attracted me to Bayview Escarpment were the large rocks that are covered with lush ferns. There are many species of fern, probably well over 15, found in the park; but the most visible fern is the globally rare Hart’s Tongue Fern.”

Hart's Tongue Fern

Hart’s Tongue Fern

In many locations it forms a mat of green on rock outcrops.  It is truly amazing!” 

“Crevice caves along the face of the escarpment are often hidden by old growth cedar. In June you might still see ice and snow at the bottom of some of the crevice caves. Large erratic boulders and shallow soils over the dolostone bedrock create many microhabitats. Maple, Butternut and Beech are common tree species. Jack in the Pulpit, White Trillium, Blue Cohosh and One-side Wintergreen are just some of the spring wildflowers that thrive in Bayview Escarpment.”

Dutchman’s Breeches

“An old road that was in place before this became a provincial park has been converted to a trail and it converges with the Bruce Trail to create a circle route, which is just the right length for a casual walk. This old road provides evidence of logging, as do several pine plantations in the park. The Bruce Trail travels through the park as part of the preferred route.”

“And yes, habitat does mean there are birds. A number of species of warblers, flycatchers and woodpeckers are some of the residents. 

Defense

Nearby, in the Land Force Central Area Training Centre, Bald Eagles have been nesting for several years.”

” And then we visited Coffin Ridge Boutique Winery.”

CR1

“Here you can look over the crystal clear waters of Georgian Bay. Since I don’t drink, it seems like a strange place to visit for me, but the winery and vineyards have several attractions. It is the first winery in Grey County and has already received Double Golds at the 2012 All Canadian Wine Championships. They serve wonderful tasting platters, which include local cheeses, pates and breads.” 

Interior coffin ridge

“Their vineyards are carefully tended using sustainable viticulture methods with no insecticide use and careful attention to soil management. And this leads to the best part – the birding in the vineyard itself is great!  It provides lots of hedgerow type habitat and you just can’t go wrong!”

Vineyard

“The HFBF Program Committee debated about providing this trip in a different format, but in order for participants to take full advantage of the features of this event and not get lost on the way to the park, bus travel works the best. Besides, this way the hike coordinator has a captive audience and can keep you entertained for the entire trip!”

Canada Violet

Canada Violet

Bellwort

Bellwort

HURON FRINGE BIRDING FESTIVAL ON-LINE REGISTRATION IS NOW OPEN. 

 http://friendsofmacgregor.org/page/schedule-of-events

REGISTER NOW TO GUARANTEE YOUR PLACE ON THE EVENT OF YOUR CHOICE

Some events are already full

Brochures are available at MacGregor Point Provincial Park plus a number of other locations

HURON FRINGE BIRDING FESTIVAL, 2013

MAY 24 – MAY 27

MAY 30 – JUNE 2

MCGREGOR POINT PROVINCIAL PARK

PORT ELGIN, ONTARIO

Green Spleenwort

*Photographs courtesy of Doug Pedwell