huronfringefest

One of Canada's Premier Birding and Nature Festivals

Archive for January 2014

FROM FOOTBALL TO BIRDING

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 Anyone familiar with his Sparrow Workshops has experienced Fred Jazvac and his love for learning. Sparrows presented him with a problem-solving situation. Who were these little brown creatures and how to identify them? Given his background, it wasn’t long before he had most of the answers. And that quest for knowledge grew from a passion that, initially, had little to do with birds.

Photo courtesy Jim Punnet.

Photo courtesy Jim Punnet.

In reality, Fred Jazvac wouldn’t be the birder he is today if it weren’t for football. Looking back over his career, though, it’s easy to see how he carries the disciplines of coaching and teaching into his passion for birds.

True, the seeds of his love for the outdoors were planted early. As a young boy he says he, “rambled a lot, getting lost in nature.” He and his friends would be dropped off around the Grand River where they camped. At 16 he got his first pair of binoculars and that started a life-long interest in birds.

But before birding his passion was football, to which he owes his education and successful career as a lauded coach, teacher and much-awarded contributor to the community.

Football fever hit him in grade nine while playing for the Delta Secondary School ‘Red Raiders’. When he realized that the only way to continue was to keep his grades up, he buckled down. At the end of his high school career, he was asked to play for the McMaster Marauders. The Dean realized that his ability more than made up for his lack of academic entrance requirements and the door was opened.

While with the Marauders, Fred often followed his teammates to the library. With nothing to do there, he discovered studying. That year he also made a career decision: he wanted to be a football coach and to do that he would become a teacher. By the time he was done, he earned a B.A. and a B.P.E. from McMaster and a Master of Science in Education from Niagara University.

Fred coached football while teaching at Central, Delta, H.C.I., and Westdale.  He was head of physical education at H.C.I. and Westdale. Along the way he also coached touch football, wrestling, field events in track, and girls’ basketball — the latter because his twin daughters played at Westmount. In all Fred coached high school sports for thirty-seven years.

His Delta teams, for a time, were the most successful of any school in Hamilton. They made the playoffs almost every year. In 1972, he coached the Hamilton Hurricanes to a Canadian Junior Football championship, the only junior team from the Hamilton area to win that event.

Head Coach Fred Jazvac and the winning Hamilton Hurricanes in Saskatoon Saskatchewan, 1972. Hamilton Spectator photo.

Head Coach Fred Jazvac and the winning Hamilton Hurricanes in Saskatoon Saskatchewan, 1972. Hamilton Spectator photo.

When asked to be the head coach of Mount Allison University he said no. Fred had discovered that coaching was teaching, and he was happier as a teacher coaching high school football.

For Fred, the transition from coaching and teaching to birding was never a big leap. His interest in birds and nature was always there. And it grew stronger during his final five years of teaching. Those days, he and his friends would spend a weekend a year in Point Pele.

“These guys showed me what birders really do. We were up in the dark and ready. It was an intense time. We always got over 150 birds. They knew where to go, where to look, who should be there and who was coming through,” says Fred. “It was problem solving, thinking in patterns, the same as preparing for a game. Learn as much as you can and react accordingly.” Sound familiar?

Today, Fred is coaching and teaching on the bird hikes he leads and the presentations he gives for the Owen Sound Field Naturalists where he served as Vice-President, President and Past President for 6 years, the Huron Fringe Birding Festival where he’s been a committee member for about 13 years and the Bruce Birding Club which he organized.

Besides birds and football Fred is also an educational innovator, a cyclist, a naturalist, a gardener, a writer and a lover of opera. He still loves to teach and that’s the direction he likes to take with his birding. To him birding is problem solving and a social activity. The festival and the BBC are where his most of his friends are. Unlike football, “in this kind of sport,” he says, “there are only winners.”

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Fred Jazvac – IDENTIFYING HAWKS IN FLIGHT – A10 – 7:15 PM – Friday, May 23.

Improve your raptor identification skills by sorting through shapes, sizes, structures and behaviour of the flying predators we see above.  (Indoors – Limit 60)

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http://www.friendsofmacgregor.org 

 Email: birdfest@rogers.com

http://www.facebook.com/HuronFringeBirdingFestival

HURON FRINGE BIRDING FESTIVAL

MAY 23 to MAY 26 – MAY 29 tor JUNE 1 -2014

MCGREGOR POINT PROVINCIAL PARK, PORT ELGIN

2014 HURON FRINGE SCHEDULE OF EVENTS

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NOW IS THE TIME TO START PLANNING YOUR EXPERIENCE AT THIS YEAR’S HURON FRINGE BIRDING FESTIVAL.

WHAT FOLLOWS IS A COMPLETE LIST OF EVENTS SO YOU CAN START SELECTING AND FILLING IN YOUR WEEKENDS WITH THE EVENTS YOU WANT TO ATTEND. MAKE YOUR SELECTIONS NOW, SO WHEN REGISTRATION OPENS FEBRUARY 1 – YOU CAN BOOK IMMEDIATELY AND AVOID MISSING OUT. WE GIVE YOU THE CONVENIENCE OF ONLINE REGISTRATION AND PAYMENT AT www.friendsofmacgregor.org

Registration inquiries: birdfest@rogers.com or 519-389-6231

For your enjoyment we restrict the number of participants on each event.  Should the need arise, additional events may be added and will be incorporated into the registration process on the website.

All events start promptly at the Visitor Centre in MacGregor Point Provincial Park.  Please meet 15 minutes prior to their start so that groups can depart on time.  Morning events usually return to the Visitor Centre by 11:30 am; afternoon events by 4:30 pm.  Field Trip Information is found at the end of the Schedule of Events.                                                                                                                                    

Viewing scopes will be available at the Viewing Tower on the Tower Trail 8:30 am to noon on weekends.

Coffee and pastries are available in the Visitor Centre every morning. 

The Southampton Rotary will host a BBQ from 11:30 am to 1:00 pm daily.

 SCHEDULE OF EVENTS

 FRIDAY MAY 23                                                                                                                                                                                                              

All Day

A1 – 6:30 am – HOT SPOTS OF THE LOWER BRUCE – Alfred Raab.

Areas we will visit are: Sauble Beach for a chance to see Piping Plover, Rankin River forest, Boat Lake, Isaac Lake, Sky Lake and grassland around Mar.  (Easy, car-pool, bring lunch) (Limit 20)

 A2 – 8:00 am – ROCK STARS OF THE CITY – Peter Middleton.  

Fifty species of fern are found in Grey/Bruce and many of them can be seen in and around Owen Sound.  With Peter as your guide, you will be certain to meet a good number of these “rock stars”.  (Moderate, car-pool, bring lunch) (Limit 20)

Morning

A3 – 6:00 am – BIRDING MacGREGOR – OLD FIELDS & TRAILS – Judith King.

A morning walk through the varied habitats along the Deer Run and Rotary Way trails in the northeast corner of the Park.  These are infrequently birded areas.  (Easy, car-pool) (Limit 20)

A4 – 6:30 am – BIRDING MacGREGOR’S SOUTHERN BOUNDARY – James Turland.

This road trip explores the forest, wetlands and abandoned farms along the park’s southern boundary.  A walk to Ducks Unlimited pond includes visits to the viewing tower and bird blind.  (Easy, car-pool) (Limit 20)

A5 – 7:00 am – BIRDING MacGREGOR – Marilyn Ohler.

Learn more about birding and MacGregor Point Provincial Park by joining festival veteran, Marilyn Ohler, on a morning walk in the park.  (Easy, car-pool) (Limit 20)

Afternoon

A6 – 1:30 pm  – WONDERS OF THE WETLAND – Matthew Cunliffe.

Ever wonder how to study the ecology of a wetland?  Join Matt as he takes a look at the Ducks Unlimited wetland.  Participants will have the opportunity to evaluate invertebrate populations.  (Easy, car-pool, waterproof boots) (Limit 20)

A7 – 1:30 pm – TREE IDENTIFICATION USING LEAVES & NEEDLES – Jim Coles.

We will identify conifers and hardwoods in the vicinity of the Visitor Centre by leaf and needle characteristics. The use of botanical keys will differentiate between species.  (Easy) (Limit 12)

A8 – 1:30 pm – THE GEOLOGY & GEOMORPHOLOGY OF THE HURON FRINGE – Norbert Woerns.

This driving and walking field trip will include stops at the Algonquin and Nipissing bluffs and a walk along the Detroit River Group outcrops to Gunn Point at Inverhuron Park.  (Easy, car-pool) (Limit 20)

A9 – 1:30 pm – GETTING INTIMATE WITH NATURE: RE-DISCOVER NATURE THROUGH VIDEOS – Kerry Jarvis.

Living in a “YouTube” generation creates exciting opportunities for naturalists to capture and preserve their experiences through video.  In this new workshop, Kerry will share nature video vignettes that he has created from outings and from his gardens.  (Indoors) (Limit 30)

Evening

A10 – 7:15 pm – IDENTIFYING HAWKS IN FLIGHT – Fred Jazvac.

Improve your raptor identification skills by sorting through shapes, sizes, structures and behaviour of the flying predators we see above.  (indoors) (limit 60)

SATURDAY MAY 24                                                                                                                                       

BBQ lunch is available for purchase at MacGregor Point Visitor Centre.  During the lunch break, Eagle Optics will have binoculars and telescopes for sale.  Various nature organizations will have information booths set up.  Daylong programs return to the Visitor Centre for lunch break.  All programs return to the park by 3:30 pm to day.

All Day

A11 – 6:30 am – SOUTH SHORELINE TOUR – Marshall Byle.

Marshall will follow the Lake Huron shoreline and include stops at varied habitats between MacGregor Point and Inverhuron.  Species may include Common Moorhen and Orchard Orioles.  (Easy, car-pool) (Limit 20)

A12 – 7:00 am – SAUGEEN HIGH – Joy Albrecht.

The Amphitheatre gardens, high above the Saugeen River, will be the setting for this hike. We will be observing spring migrants, nesting species, shore birds, and raptors.  (Easy, car-pool) (Limit 20)

A13 – 8:30 am – UNIQUE HABITATS ALONG THE LAKE HURON SHORELINE  – Judith Jones.

Judith is an expert on dune ecology and many local species at risk.  Your morning will be spent learning about the plants along the sand dunes at Inverhuron; in the afternoon you will check out the near-shoreline and forest habitats at MacGregor Point.   (Easy, car-pool) (Limit 20)

Morning

6:00 am to noon – LIVE BIRD BANDING DEMONSTRATIONS 

Join our on-site bird bander Brendan Toews as he captures and bands festival birds.  Observe handling and recording techniques and hear Brendan explain the value of this important activity.  For the safety of the birds, bird banding is weather dependent.

A14 – 6:00 am – SEX & THE SINGLE WARBLER – Mark Wiercinski.

Varied habitats at MacGregor Point provide a perfect backdrop for the dawn chorus.  In nature, spring is all about sex and Mark is the right one to make sure you know what it’s all about.  (Easy, car-pool) (Limit 20)

A15 – 6:30 am – AROUND THE EDGE OF MacGREGOR – Mike Burrell.

Join Mike from Bird Studies Canada for a morning of birding some of the hotspots near MacGregor Point.  Several warbler species, Indigo Bunting, Rose-breasted Grosbeak as well as several other unique species are likely finds.  (Easy, car-pool) (Limit 20)

A16 – 7:00 am – BIRDING THE TOWER TRAIL – Richard Tofflemire.

Campground areas, dune habitat and the Lake Huron shoreline will be featured on this morning hike.  (Easy, car-pool) (Limit 20)

A17 -7:30 am – THE TALE OF THE PIPING PLOVER – Stewart Nutt.

Piping Plover behaviors including: courtship, feeding, life history, territorial displays and fierce protection will be observed and/or explained during your time with these birds.  Become a ‘Plover Lover’.  (Easy, car-pool) (Limit 20)

Afternoon

A18 – 1:30 pm – BIKING MacGREGOR – Doug Martin.

Follow Doug along a variety of the extensive biking trails in the park, with a bit of park history, natural history and birding thrown in!  (Moderate, hybrid or mountain bike) (Limit 12)

A19 – 1:30 pm – SPRING’S INSECT AWAKENING – Andalyne Tofflemire.

Insects are awakening from their winter dormancy; but how do they cope with the extremes of spring temperatures?  Andalyne will help you understand the various strategies used.  (Easy) (Limit 20)

A20 -1:30 pm – MAKE YOUR SIGHTINGS COUNT – Mike Burrell.

The Citizen Science project eBird is a comprehensive online bird database that is revolutionizing how birders go about their business. Contributing is simple.  Other Citizen Science projects will also be discussed.  (Indoors) (Limit 20)

A21 – 1:30 pm – O’KEEFE GRANGE – A HERITAGE APPLE FARM – Bill & Lynne O’Keefe.

The modern monoculture style of agriculture threatens heritage varieties of plants.  Find out how one local grower is propagating apples that were popular 100 years ago and keeping them from extinction.

 (Easy, car-pool) (Limit 20)

A22 – 1:30 PM – TIPS & TECHNIQUES ON SUCCESSFULLY PHOTOGRAPHING TREES – Kerry Jarvis.

Trees are often seen as a backdrop to a scene.  Join Kerry in this new photography workshop hike, as he explores and inspires photographers to look at trees differently.  (Moderate) Intermediate to experienced DSLR camera users. Tripod & zoom/close-up lenses. (Limit 20)

Evening

A23 – 4:30 pm – SOCIAL.  5:30 pm – BANQUET & PRESENTATION – BIRDS & SOME OF THEIR MYSTERIES – David Lamble.

David is no ordinary bird lover.  He will talk about bird intelligence – bird vision and his passion, bird banding, and how they all contribute to our understanding of birds.  (St. Joseph’s Parish Hall, Port Elgin, Chicken Buffet, Harrigan’s Catering) (Early bird price $35 extra per person; after April 15 or for banquet/presentation only $45 extra per person)  Casual. Bar available. Pre-registration required. Silent auction. Contact registrar by May 1 with dietary restrictions.  (Limit 110)

SUNDAY MAY 25

All Day

A24 – 7:00 am – FLOWERPOT ISLAND – A REMOTE GEORGIAN BAY HABITAT – Don Wilkes.

This excursion will take you to one of Canada’s remarkable islands; famous for its rock flowerpots, caves and rare orchids.  Water birds and late migrants may be seen.  If Georgian Bay is too rough, a mainland tour will focus on the national park escarpment shore near Cyprus Lake.  (Difficult, car-pool, jet boat, bring backpack & lunch) ($45 extra per person – includes National Park admission) (Limit 22)

A25 – 7:00 am – HIDDEN TREASURES OF THE HURON COAST – Peter Middleton.

This outing will explore Lake Huron coastlines, both present and past, north of Sauble Falls.  You will visit Ontario Nature’s oldest reserve, Petrel Point, and their newest, Sauble Dunes.  (Moderate, car-pool, bring lunch, sturdy footwear) (Limit 20)

Morning

6:00 am to noon – LIVE BIRD BANDING DEMONSTRATIONS

Join our on-site bird bander Brendan Toews as he captures and bands festival birds.  Observe handling and recording techniques and hear Brendan explain the value of this important activity. For the safety of the birds, bird banding is weather dependent.

A26 – 6:00 am – WRESTLING WITH WARBLERS – Mark Wiercinski.

Warblers are very annoying to identify!  They move too much and hide behind the most inconvenient leaves and branches.  Mark’s humour and tips about habitat and sounds will definitely keep you interested.  (Easy, car-pool) (Limit 20)

A27 – 6:30 am – BIRDING THE J/I LINE – James Turland.

We will view grasslands from the roadside and take a few short hikes.  In the past Upland Sandpiper, Bobolink, Grasshopper and Clay-colored Sparrow have been seen.  (Easy, car-pool) (Limit 20)

A28 – 8:00 am – UP WITH THE BIRDS – Doug Martin.

Continue the tradition that pre-dates the birding festival with this morning walk along the Tower Trail to the Ducks Unlimited pond and the viewing tower.  (Easy, car-pool) (Limit 20)

A29 – 8:30 am – THE LONGEST, SHORTEST WALK YOU WILL EVER TAKE – Richard & Andalyne Tofflemire.

It’s more than just identifying what you see.  We will focus on how birds and bugs interact with each other.  But don’t expect to cover a lot of distance because there’s so much to see right at your feet and above your head!  (Easy) (Limit 20)

Afternoon

A30 – 1:30 pm – NATURE RAMBLE – MacGREGOR POINT SOUTH – Norah Toth.

Norah will take you to one of her favourite areas in MacGregor Point.  Wildflowers and birds seen along the route will be highlighted.  (Easy) (Limit 20)

A31 – 1:30 pm – NATURE RAMBLE – OLD SHORE ROAD TRAIL – John Reaume.

A leisurely walk along the Old Shore Road Trail near the Visitor Centre.  Plants, flowers, dragonflies, birds – let’s see what we find.  (Easy) (Limit 20)

A32 – 1:30 pm – MEET THE BEES – Sheila Colla.

Come for a short walk to learn how to harmlessly catch and identify bumblebees and other native bees with Dr. Sheila Colla, Co-author of A Guide to the Bumblebees of North America (Easy) (Limit 20)

A33 – 1:30 pm – FUN, FROG FROLIC AT MacGREGOR POINT – Kerry Jarvis.

Join Kerry on this fun frog frolic to listen to, locate and observe several species of frog and the American Toad at MacGregor Point.  If you have them, bring camera and close-up binoculars.  (Easy, car-pool) (Limit 20)

Evening

A34 – 7:15 pm – THE PLIGHT OF THE BUMBLEBEE – Sheila Colla.

Come learn about the status of Canadian bumblebees and what you can do to help wild populations of these important native pollinators.  Tools for identification to species level and a new Citizen Science project will also be discussed.  (Indoors) (Limit 60)

MONDAY MAY 26                                                                                                                                          

All Day

A35 – 6:00 am – BIRDING SOUTH BRUCE PENINSULA – Judith King.

Explore the mixed habitats along the back roads of the southern Bruce Peninsula.  (Easy, car-pool, bring lunch) (Limit 20)

A36 – 6:00 am – NORTHERN BRUCE PENINSULA – John Haselmayer.

Visit some of the Upper Peninsula’s best known birding spots, such as Dyer’s Bay, Cabot Head, the sparrow fields and Crane Lake.  (Moderate, car-pool, bring lunch) (Limit 20)

A37 – 1:30 pm – BOTANY & BIRDING IN SOUTH BRUCE PENINSULA – Doug Pedwell.

We will be observing a variety of ecosystems including forest, escarpment, rocky shorelines, marshes, lakes, sandy shorelines, and pasturelands.  (Moderate, car-pool, bring lunch, snacks and water)  (Limit 20) This all day event returns by 8:45 pm.

Morning

A38 – 6:30 am – BIRDING THE PERIPHERY OF THE PARK – Mike Burrell.

Grab your binoculars AND notebooks!  While we are out enjoying the birds we will also be contributing to one of the biggest Citizen Science projects ever – eBird.  After the hike we’ll have a quick demo of how simple it is to really make your observations count.  (Easy, car-pool) (Limit 20)

A39 – 7:00 am – BIRDING THE TOWER TRAIL – James Turland.

Walk the Tower Trail from the park road to the Ducks Unlimited pond.  Habitat is a mixture of wetlands and hardwood forests.  (Easy, car-pool) (Limit 20)

Afternoon

A40 – 1:30 pm – NATURE RAMBLE – OLD SHORE ROAD TRAIL – Laura Cook.

Laura will take you along one of her favourite trails in MacGregor Point.  Wildflowers, insects and birds seen along the route will be highlighted.  (Easy) (Limit 20)

A41 – 1:30 pm – A TREE-BORDERED POND – Marshall Byle.

This outing will explore a private 100-acre rural property with trout stream, pond and woodlot.  Approximately 2 km walk, good boots required.  (Moderate, car-pool) (Limit 20)

Evening

A42 – 7:15 pm – IMPORTANT BIRD AREAS – Mike Burrell.

Come hear about some of Ontario’s most important sites for bird conservation and how your help can make a difference on a global scale.  (Indoors) (Limit 60)

A43 – 9:00 pm – AN EVENING OF ASTRONOMY – THE NIGHT SKY – John Hlynialuk & Bluewater Astronomical Society.

John will take you on a tour through the deep reaches of the universe.  Program will feature astronomical highlights of 2014 as well as Saturn, Mars and more distant objects like nebula, clusters and galaxies. Outdoor viewing through telescopes is weather permitting.  (Indoors/outdoors) (Limit 60)

BETWEEN FESTIVAL WEEKENDS                                                                                                                  

The Bruce Peninsula Bird Observatory is providing HFBF participants the opportunity to  observe banding at the banding station on Tuesday, May 27 from dawn to 11 am only.  Please park outside the gate and walk the 1.2 kilometres (20 minutes) in to the station.  Directions to the banding station can be found at www.bpbo.ca (Directions/Maps).  For those visiting, a donation to support migration monitoring will be appreciated.

THURSDAY MAY 29                                                                                                                                       

All Day

B1 – 6:30 am – ESCARPMENT BLUFFS TO GEORGIAN BAY – Joy Albrecht.

Explore the Cape Croker Peninsula where abandoned fields, Georgian Bay shoreline and wetlands provide excellent birding opportunities.  You will also visit the bird rich woodlands of Malcolm Bluffs, high above the Georgian Bay shores.  (Moderate, car-pool, bring lunch) (Limit 20)

B2 – 7:00 am – BIRDING THE HURON FRINGE NORTH – James Turland.

Huron Fringe refers to the sand and gravel lowlands adjacent to Lake Huron.  This driving tour explores the fringe between MacGregor Point and Sauble Falls to the north.  (Easy, car-pool, bring lunch) (Limit 20)

B3 – 7:30 am – TIPS & TECHNIQUES ON PHOTOGRAPHING WATERFALLS – Kerry Jarvis.

Participants will get an opportunity to capture several local waterfalls by experimenting with a variety of photographic techniques.  (Moderate, car-pool, bring lunch)  Intermediate to experienced DSLR camera users.  Bring tripod & zoom/close-up lenses. (Limit 20)

Morning

B4 – 7:30 am – DOWN & DIRTY – WILDFLOWER PHOTOGRAPHY – Doug Pedwell.

Participants will take their cameras and equipment to photograph wildflowers at a variety of locations in the park.  (Easy, car-pool) (Limit 15)

Afternoon

B5 – 1:30 pm – BOTANY OF THE “FRINGE” – Barbara Palmer.

Many unique shoreline plants, including Dwarf Lake Iris, are found in MacGregor Point.  Barbara will help you learn to identify them.  (Easy) (Limit 12)

B6 – 1:30 pm – TREE & SHRUB IDENTIFICATION – Bob Gray.

Take a leisurely walk in the interior of the park to identify trees and shrubs and to see how species associate with different site types.  (Moderate, car-pool, uneven terrain) (Limit 15)

Evening

B7 -7:15 pm – ONTARIO’S BIRD SURVEYS – WHAT ARE THEY TELLING US? – Mike Cadman.

Citizen scientists provide a wealth of data on the size and trends of Ontario’s bird populations.  This presentation will outline surveys, methods and findings.  Special attention will be given to the decline of aerial insectivores (swallows, swifts, nightjars).  (Indoors) (Limit 60)

FRIDAY MAY 30                                                                                                                                                          

All Day

B8 – 6:00 am – CABOT HEAD/DYER’S BAY – A BIRDING AREA OF IMPORTANCE – Rod Steinacher.

Visit some of the Peninsula’s best-known birding spots, such as Dyer’s Bay, the sparrow fields near Larkwhistle and Crane Lake.  You will have the opportunity to observe migration monitoring and bird banding at the Cabot Head Research Station.  (Easy, car-pool, bring lunch) (Limit 20)

B9 – 6:30 am – BIRDING THE HURON FRINGE SOUTH – James Turland.

Huron Fringe refers to the sand and gravel lowlands adjacent to Lake Huron.  This driving tour explores the fringe between MacGregor Point and Point Clark to the south.  (Easy, car-pool, bring lunch) (Limit 20)

B10 – 6:45 am – NATURE & LANDSCAPE PHOTOGRAPHY IN SOUTH BRUCE PENINSULA – Doug Pedwell.

We will photograph some of the unique plants and rugged landscapes that the Niagara Escarpment has created.  (Difficult, car-pool, bring lunch)  Bring DSLR camera & accessories. (limit 20)

Morning

B11 – 6:00 am – IS IT A BIRD OR YOUR MNEMONIC? – Michael Carlson.

A field workshop on how to listen to and identify bird vocalization.  Michael will use the Tower Trail where you will listen for orioles, woodpeckers, warblers, flycatchers and waterfowl.  (Easy, car-pool, for experienced birders only) (Limit 20)

B12 – 7:00 am – BIRDING THE MacGREGOR BOUNDARY – Mike Cadman.

Join Mike as he visits some hot spots including the Day Use beach, the Park Office, the old cottage entry road and along the Townline.  (Easy, car-pool)  (Limit 20)

Afternoon

B13 – 1:30 pm – WILDFLOWERS: HISTORICAL FACTS & FICTION – Heather Starrs. 

Legends and superstitions are attached to many common, and not so common, plants found at MacGregor Point.  Heather’s walk will introduce you to some plants’ stories.  (Easy) (Limit 20)

B14 – 1:30 pm – ROADSIDE BOTANY RAMBLE – Larry Lamb.

Explore various roadside habitats in the vicinity of the Visitor Centre.  Learn to use identification keys and Newcomb’s Wildflower Guide (bring yours along!).  (Easy, car-pool) (Limit 12)

B15 – 1:30 pm – IDENTIFYING DRAGONFLIES IN THE FIELD – Glenn Richardson.

Field study is the best way to learn how to identify dragonflies such as the meadowhawks and skimmers, which can be found throughout the wetlands in the park.  (Easy) (Limit 12)

Evening

B16 – 7:15 pm – A FLING WITH SHOREBIRDS: BILLS, BREASTS & A LITTLE TAIL – Mark Peck.

For many birders, shorebirds can be notoriously difficult to identify.  Join in the fun as we look at the important characteristics that help simplify common Ontario shorebirds.  (Indoors) (Limit 60)

SATURDAY MAY 31                                                                                                                                       

All Day

B17 – 6:00 am – BIG DAY ON THE BRUCE – Michael Carlson.

Are you ready for a full day of birding?  If so, you won’t want to miss this morning to night birding marathon on the Bruce Peninsula.  (Easy, car-pool, bring lunch, snacks and a walking dinner) (Limit 20)

B18 – 7:30 am – SECRETS OF THE GEORGIAN BAY FORMATION – Bob Gray.

This daylong excursion will explore several hidden features of the Niagara Escarpment.  Bob will share theories about how these features were formed.  (Difficult, car-pool, bring lunch) (Limit 20)

Morning

B19 – 7:00 am – ROAD BIRDING FOR GRASSLAND BIRDS – Brett Woodman.

Tour the local countryside looking for the elusive nesting grassland birds of Saugeen Shores.  (Easy, car-pool) (Limit 20)

B20 – 7:30 am – BIRDING BY NEST – Mark Peck.

Learn how to locate, identify and record nesting information for the Ontario Nest Records Scheme.  (Easy) (Limit 20)

B21 – 8:00 am – BIRDING MacGREGOR – OLD FIELDS & TRAILS – James Turland.

A morning walk through varied habitats along the Deer Run and Rotary Way trails in the northeast corner of the Park.  These are infrequently birded areas.  (Easy, car-pool) (Limit 20)

B22 – 9:00 am – DYNAMIC DIGITAL CAMERA TIPS – Jennifer O’Reilly.

Step by step instruction on how to take award-winning compositions using features on your camera!  Great for beginner or intermediate photographers.  (Easy, car-pool)  Suitable for point-and-shoot or DSLR cameras. (Limit 12)

Afternoon

B23 – 1:30 pm – THE TALE OF THE PIPING PLOVER – Stewart Nutt.

Piping Plover behaviors including: courtship, feeding, life history, territorial displays and fierce protection will be observed and/or explained during your time with these birds.  Become a ‘Plover Lover’.  (Easy, car-pool) (Limit 20)

B24 – 1:30 pm – WILDFLOWER DIVERSITY WITHIN THE FRINGE – Brett Woodman.

Here’s your chance to learn about and appreciate some of MacGregor Point’s varied wildflowers.  Brett will show you some of his favourite plants.  (Easy, car-pool) (Limit 12)

B25 – 1:30 pm – PLANT & WILDFLOWER RAMBLE – Larry Lamb.

Walk the trails and campground loops from the Day Use area to Pitcher Plant Marl.  Learn to use identification keys and Newcomb’s Wildflower Guide (bring yours along!).  (Easy, car-pool) (Limit 12)

B26 – 1:30 pm – BUTTERFLY WALK – Glenn Richardson.

Spring Azures and Mourning Cloaks are just two of the early spring butterflies Glenn will help you identify.  (Easy) (Limit 15)

B27 – 1:30 pm – ADVANCED DIGITAL CAMERA TECHNIQUES – Jennifer O’Reilly.

This workshop takes you out into the ‘field’ for hands on photography.  Learn pro techniques guaranteed to put the ‘wow’ factor into your photographs.  (Easy, car-pool)  Point-and-shoot or DSLR cameras. (Limit 12)

Evening

B28 -5:00 pm to 6:30 pm – BRUCE COUNTY BEEF DINNER – Harrigan’s Catering, Southampton. 

(MacGregor Point Provincial Park, additional charge of $17.  Dinner combined with B29 as a single event $23.  Pre-registration required.) (Limit 60)

B29 – 7:15 pm – THE STRAIT OF GIBRALTAR: A BIRD MIGRATION HOTSPOT – Justin Peter.

Each autumn, millions of birds that breed in Europe will go to Africa to spend the winter.  In this illustrated talk, Justin will shed some light on the mysteries of bird migration across the Strait of Gibraltar and on his experiences there.  (Indoors) (Limit 60)

SUNDAY JUNE 1                                                                                                                                            

All Day

B30 – 6:00 am – MALCOLM BLUFFS & CAPE CROKER – Alfred Raab.

Bird in a variety of habitats within the Cape Croker Peninsula and Malcolm Bluffs Nature Reserve.  The cliffs above Colpoy’s Bay shoreline provide spectacular vistas.  (Moderate, car-pool, bring lunch) (Limit 20)

B31 – 6:30 am – BIRDING ‘N BOTANY AT BOGNOR – Mark Wiercinski.

There is nothing like a good wetland to tip the curiosity metre to the high end; and who knows what you will stumble into.  This is one of the biggest wetland complexes in Grey Bruce.  You won’t regret joining Mark for a diverse adventure over varied terrain – field, wetland, forest and a bit of escarpment.  (Moderate, car-pool, bring lunch) (Limit 20)

Morning

B32 -6:30 am – BIRDING THE TOWER TRAIL – Justin Peter.

Hike the Tower Trail and check the Ducks Unlimited pond from both the viewing tower and bird blind.  Habitat is a mix of wetlands and hardwood forests.  (Easy, car-pool) (Limit 20)

B33 – 7:00 am – BIRDING THE PERIPHERY – James Turland.

Woodland, lake shore, wetlands and abandoned fields are some of the habitats involved.  (Easy, car-pool) (Limit 20)

B34 – 8:00 am – SEARCHING FOR STRAGGLERS – MacGREGOR’S LATE MIGRANTS – Michael Carlson.

Join Michael as he searches select spots in MacGregor for breeding birds as well as late spring migrants, such as Yellow-bellied Flycatcher and Gray-cheeked Thrush.  (Easy, car-pool) (Limit 20)

Afternoon

B35 – 1:30 pm – EXPLORING KINGHURST FOREST – Tanya Pulfert & Catherine Jimenea.

Kinghurst Forest is a special place and Catherine and Tanya are keen to take you for a walk through this Ontario Nature property.  On this general nature walk you will be a Citizen Scientist and report your reptile and amphibian sightings.  (Easy, car-pool) (Limit 20)

B36 – 1:30 pm – FUN, FROG FROLIC AT MacGREGOR POINT – Kerry Jarvis.

Join Kerry on this fun frog frolic to listen to, locate and observe several species of frog and the American Toad at MacGregor Point.  If you have them, bring camera and close-up binoculars.  (Easy, car-pool) (Limit 20)

Evening

B37 – 7:15 pm – SUNSET WALK – John Cummings.

The Lake Huron shoreline offers some of the most spectacular sunsets in the world.  What a wonderful way to enjoy a sunset with friends.  (Easy) (Limit 30)

2014 FESTIVAL FEES

INDIVIDUAL: 8 Day Festival  $135     4 Day Weekend  $80

STUDENT:      8 Day Festival  $80       4 Day Weekend  $50

CHILD:*          8 Day Festival  $50      4 Day Weekend  $30

* 12 & under accompanied by an adult

SINGLE EVENT FEES

         Please Note:  Single Event Fees Only Apply If you are NOT Purchasing a Festival or 4 Day Weekend Pass.

HALF DAY EVENT:  Individual $20 / Student $15 / Child $9

EVENING EVENT: Individual $10 / Student $10 / Child $8

ALL DAY EVENT:  Individual $40 / Student $30 / Child $18

All additional fees are listed per event / Fees include Park entrance fee.

The Huron Fringe Birding Festival uses online registration and payment at www.friendsofmacgregor.org

        Contact the registrar at birdfest@rogers.com or phone 519-389-6231 for contact information

  

Difficulty levels

Easy –Walking leisurely on groomed and maintained trails. Walking shoes are recommended.  Participants should be able to walk up to 1.5 kilometres (1 mile) without any problems.

Moderate –Walking on maintained trails some of which may be rough or rocky.  Brisk walking may be required to get from one location to another in a timely manner.

Difficult – Walking on trails that have uneven terrain.  There may be some walking off trail.  Participants should be able to negotiate walking on slippery surfaces, where there is unsure footing or where they are climbing over rocks and logs.

 Car-pooling

Walkie-talkies enhance your birding experience while driving.  We encourage you to bring your own for the events.  We have some to share, but not enough for every vehicle.  To reduce our carbon footprint, we encourage car-pooling.  If you are a passenger, please consider giving a donation to the driver to help with expenses.

 The Huron Fringe Birding Festival is presented by the Huron Fringe Birding Festival Committee, the Friends of MacGregor Point and MacGregor Point Provincial Park.  Festival headquarters are at MacGregor Point Provincial Park, located approximately five kilometres south of Port Elgin, Ontario on the shore of Lake Huron.  The park address is: MacGregor Point Provincial Park, 1593 Bruce Road 33, Port Elgin, Ontario, Canada N0H 2C5

MacGREGOR POINT PROVINCIAL PARK

 MacGregor Point Provincial Park encompasses 1366 hectares of protected wetlands, forests and sand dunes along the shore of Lake Huron. This flyway for migrating birds sets the stage for our festival, which attracts hike and event leaders from across Ontario and beyond. Our backdrop for the festival includes Bruce and Grey counties and the beautiful Bruce Peninsula.

Participants from throughout North America, whether keen beginners or seasoned veterans, will be amazed by the variety of bird species present.  Sightings of Red-headed Woodpeckers, Blue-gray Gnatcatchers, Blue-winged or Golden-winged Warblers are possible.  Provincially rare plants such as Rose Pogonia, Dwarf Lake Iris and Purple Bladderwort thrive in our shoreline habitat.  The endangered Piping Plover may be present at nearby Sauble Beach.

 The Friends of MacGregor Point

The Friends of MacGregor Point are dedicated to furthering the educational and interpretive programs of MacGregor Point Provincial Park.  As a non-profit, incorporated, charitable organization we present this Festival as one way to ensure the preservation of the natural legacy of MacGregor Point for future generations. For information about the Friends and events planned for 2014 visit our website www.friendsofmacgregor.org

 Park camping reservations – www.ontarioparks.com

Local tourist information – www.sunsets.com

 PARTNERS

Ontario Parks

Friends of MacGregor Point

 We thank our sponsors:

CORPORATE

Bruce Power

Ontario Power Generation

Eagle Optics             

 EVENT

 Colonial Motel, Port Elgin

Grey Sauble Conservation Authority, Owen Sound

Handy Andy Services, Southampton

Harrigan’s Catering, Southampton

Hills Insurance, Southampton

John King, Law Office, Port Elgin

Maplewood Motel, Port Elgin

Mildmay Tent Rentals, Mildmay

Nature’s Millworks, Paisley

Rotary Club, Southampton

Synergistic Solutions, Southampton

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Follow our Blog – https://huronfringefest.wordpress.com

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

Twitter – http://twitter.com/fompp

MEET MIKE BURRELL

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Photo by John Brunjes

Photo by John Brunjes

Mike Burrell will be a busy birder for his first venture at HFBF. He will be leading two hikes, making two presentations and organizing an information booth over his time at MacGregor Point. But that’s nothing new to him since birds have been an integral part of his life for quite a while.

Mike Burrell has been a keen naturalist ever since he was a boy. His parents introduced him to birds and all other aspects of the natural world at a young age. In high school Mike spent much of his spare time volunteering at Long Point Bird Observatory and working at Algonquin Park where he really got hooked. Since then he has completed a Bachelor of Science degree at Trent University and a Masters of Science in Forestry Degree from the University of Toronto, both while completing fieldwork and theses on bird ecology in Ontario. Since then he has worked for Long Point Bird Observatory, the Ministry of Natural Resources and several private consulting firms. Mike is the Ontario Important Bird Areas Coordinator for Bird Studies Canada on the Important Bird Area Program and devotes much of his spare time to Citizen Science projects like eBird.

Take advantage of his expertise and knowledge and become a better birder by putting these programs on your HFBF agenda.

AROUND THE EDGE OF MacGREGOR – A15 – May 24 –  @ 6:30 AM

Join Mike for a morning of birding some of the hotspots near MacGregor Point. Several warbler species, Indigo Buntings, Rose-Breasted Grosbeaks, as well as several other unique species are likely finds.

MAKE YOUR SIGHTINGS COUNT – A20 – May 24 –  @1:30 PM

Mike will present an overview of the Citizen Science project eBird, a comprehensive online bird database that is revolutionizing how birders go about their business. Contributing is simple and there are loads of fun tools that allow anyone to explore this huge database. Other Citizen Science projects will also be discussed.

Since its humble beginnings in 2002, eBird has captured the imagination of thousands of birders around the world. Birders are now flocking to the website to upload their bird sightings into the online database which is maintained by scientists and volunteers. Between 2006 (when the Canadian eBird portal was launched) and 2010, nearly 3000 users reported bird sightings to eBird in Ontario. During 2013 in Ontario volunteer eBirders submitted over ONE MILLION bird observations s! The growth of eBird is incredible and as membership increases so to does our understanding of bird distribution and abundance patterns. eBird is already an important tool for making bird conservation decisions and will continue to be in the future. On top of its conservation implications, it opens up this vast amount of data to anyone interested and will surely make us all better birders and record keepers. There are lots of incentives too, with a variety of user stats available. Come hear how you can get involved, and what eBird is already teaching us about Ontario’s birds.

For more information click here: http://ebird.org/content/canada/news/featured-ebirder-mike-burrell/

http://mikeburrell.blogspot.ca/2013/11/what-difference-year-makes.html

BIRD STUDIES CANADA BOOTH – Lunchtime on Saturday

Did you know that 70 sites in Ontario have been identified as Important Bird Areas? Stop in at the Important Bird Areas Booth to find out more about this and other programs that Bird Studies Canada offers and how you can be involved in helping to understand, appreciate and conserve our birds.

BIRDING THE PERIPHERY OF THE PARK  – A38 – May 26 –  @ 6:30 AM

Grab your binoculars AND notebooks! While we are out enjoying the birds we will also be contributing to one of the biggest Citizen Science projects ever – eBird. After the hike we’ll have a quick demo of how simple it is to really make your observations count.  (Easy, car-pool – Limit 20)

Ontario’s Important Bird Areas Program: Critical Sites for Birds and Biodiversity – A42 – May 26 –  @ 7:15 PM (indoors – limit 60)

Come hear about some of Ontario’s most important sites for bird conservation and how your help can make a difference on a global scale. Ontario’s Important Bird Areas Program is a global initiative to identify, monitor, and conserve the world’s most important sites for birds and biodiversity. Using scientific criteria, nearly 600 Canadian sites have been designated. IBAs are found throughout the country. Ontario’s 70 IBAs cover more than 23,000 km2, largely along the coasts of the Great Lakes and Hudson and James Bays. Most sites regularly host large concentrations of birds, or significant numbers of species at risk. Join Mike Burrell to find out more about these amazing sites and learn how you can help make a difference.

HFBF TITLE

MAY 23 to MAY 26 – MAY 29 tor JUNE 1 -2014

MCGREGOR POINT PROVINCIAL PARK, PORT ELGIN, ONTARIO

http://www.friendsofmacgregor.org – ON-LINE REGISTRATION 

 Email: birdfest@rogers.com

 Like us on facebook:

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