huronfringefest

One of Canada's Premier Birding and Nature Festivals

Archive for February 2015

THE INTROSPECTIVE MARK WIERCINSKI

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Mark BinocsI try to contain myself around these festivals…but inevitably I get too darned excited and just get carried away…I am the bird geek extraordinaire y’know. There. You have been warned. If you want that kind of goofy on your bird hike…then pick me. Be quick though. My one open event – B31 – 6:30 AM – May 31 – DEBATING THE ISSUES – BIRDING BAYVIEW TO BOGNORonly has two spaces left. So, Two Key Words…Register Now: http://www.friendsofmacgregor.org.

Invasive species, forest fragmentation, hedgerow removal and wetland modifications are all happening at unparalleled speeds in Southern Ontario. You got questions? Concerns? What issues are affecting the bird populations in Ontario.? Need to know more? Curious about what consequences can be? Well I am too and have plenty of questions all the time. Keeps me up at night actually.

So this hike is going to be a work in progress and a dynamic sort of theme no matter what. The premise is to take on the issues and investigate the situations. Are there answers to all of the problems and questions? I doubt it.

Mr. W. being serious.

Mr. W. being serious.

Bayview Escarpment is a Provincial Park… Bognor Marsh is a public owned Conservation Area with a diverse working group that is involved with the management and access to it. The route between the two places is through farm country and privately owned areas. There are roads and wetlands and towers and fields and forests and waterways and lots of things to consider.

Do you wonder how the future of our environment is going to play out? Have you noticed changes you don’t like or understand? Are there successes in ecology and wildlife management? Or should we re-title that “human management?” Are parks good for you (?) or are they a pain in the butt? Do you like alternate energy? Should we be driving cars on bird friendly trips? Or maybe there is no such thing as eco-tourism!

Heck, if that doesn’t get you fired up a bit..then skip this one. (Did I mention that there are only two spaces left?) I really just want to make you think a bit beyond the identification and lists of birds and birding. Birds will be the background theme here for certain, but the bigger picture and the science and ecology of things will be the more interesting topic. I am not out to piss anyone off and I really don’t want to start any political debates…I just want you to know why birds are a good part of science. My mom taught me years ago not to get too involved in politics and religious differences. I took that to heart and I always do my best to keep an open mind. And we all need to listen to what our mothers taught us. Birds do give us insights into what happens in the natural world and really that is my hope here. Let’s talk about the birds ‘n all that.

Mr. W. practicing his snake charming technique.

Mr. W. practicing his snake charming technique.

 

The complete schedule of events is available at: http://www.friendsofmaccgredor.org.

Huron Fringe Birding Festival Registration: www.friendsofmacgregor.org

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

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Follow us on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/HuronFringeBirdingFestival.

twitter: @HuronBirdfest

Email: birdfest@rogers.com.

 

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HURON FRINGE BIRDING FESTIVAL – UPDATE!

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Registration is open at: www.friendsofmacgregor.org

More birders than birds

HFBF SCHEDULE OF EVENTS – FIRST WEEKEND

 FRIDAY MAY 22                                                                 

 All Day

SOLD OUT – A1 – 6:00 AM – BIRDING THE 45TH PARALLEL – Michael Carlson

Bruce Road 9 is known as the 45th Parallel Road. Michael will explore the Bruce Peninsula from the Lake Huron to the Georgian Bay coast; concentrating on birding opportunities found near this latitude. (easy, car-pool, bring lunch – limit 20)

A2 – 6:30 AM – LOVING LAGOONS IN LOWER BRUCE – Judith King

Explore the Ripley and Kincardine lagoons, and then continue up the shore of Lake Huron. The emphasis will be on warblers, with as many as 20 species possible at the lagoons. Pockets of migrating warblers may be found along the shore. (easy, car-pool, bring lunch – limit 20)

A3 – 6:30 AM – BIRDING INVERHURON & SURROUNDING AREA – Marshall Byl

During this birding adventure we will stop at various habitats along the shoreline to Inverhuron Provincial Park including the Tiverton lagoons. In the park explore the ancient dunes, riverbanks and varied forest types. (easy, car-pool, bring lunch – limit 20)

Morning

A4 – 7:00 AM – BIRDING MacGREGOR’S BOUNDARY – Mike Burrell

Join Mike for a morning of birding some of the hotspots around the edge of MacGregor Point. We will rack up a surprising list without going too far. Several warbler species, Indigo Bunting, Rose-breasted Grosbeak as well as a few grassland species are all possibilities. (easy, car-pool – limit 20)

A5 – 7:30 AM – BIRDS OF WOODLAND, WETLAND & FOREST EDGE: TOWER TRAIL – Justin Peter

Diverse habitat along the Tower Trail makes it a mecca for an eclectic mix of warblers, flycatchers, and thrushes. Justin will help us find these birds using his fine-tuned hearing skills, and will share tips for the interpretation of bird behaviour. (easy, car-pool – limit 20)

 Afternoon

SOLD OUT – A6 – 1:30 AM – BIRDING OLD SHORE ROAD TRAIL SOUTH – Mike Burrell

Join Mike for a leisurely walk in search of songbirds, waterbirds and probably a few reptiles and amphibians. There will be a special stop on the new boardwalk at Watersnake pond. (easy – limit 20)

A7 – 1:30 PM – NATURE RAMBLE – TOWER TRAIL – Terry Crabe

Ramble along the Tower Trail to the Ducks Unlimited wetland. This event is geared for a wide level of birders who simply want to enjoy the MacGregor Point landscape. There is always an abundance of species to discover along this trail. (easy – limit 20)

A8 – 1:30 PM – PHOTOGRAPHING THE MacGREGOR POINT SHORELINE – Kerry Jarvi

This photography workshop will explore various areas of the park shoreline. Join Kerry as he shares photographic tips and techniques used to capture the beauty of MacGregor Point. Open to all skill levels. Tripods are recommended. (easy, car-pool, bring compact and/or digital SLRlimit 12)

Evening

SOLD OUT – A9 – 7:15 PM – TIPS & TECHNIQUES ON WATERFOWL IDENTIFICATION – Fred Jazvac

Headaches caused by difficult waterfowl identification can’t be solved with aspirin.  Fred will present tips and techniques that can be used to deal with the complications that waterfowl present to the birder. (indoors – limit 60)

SATURDAY MAY 23

All Day

A10 – 6:00 AM – CAPE CROKER – FROM BLUFFS TO SHORES – Joy Albrecht

Explore the seldom-birded Cape Croker peninsula with its abandoned fields, Georgian Bay shoreline and wetlands. As a special added treat we will visit the bird rich woodlands of Malcolm Bluff Shores Nature Reserve. (moderate, car-pool, bring lunch – limit 20)

A11 – 6:30 AM – HURON SHORE TO MALCOLM BLUFFS – Mike Burrell

We’ll cover all the birding bases – stops for shorebirds, ducks, grassland and forest birds. You’ll be amazed at the incredible diversity. We may even find a Cerulean Warbler on territory. (easy, car-pool, bring lunch – limit 20)

A12 – 6:30 AM – BIRDING SOUTH BRUCE PENINSULA – Todd Pepper

The southern Bruce Peninsula boasts a number of landform features found both within the Huron Fringe and along the Niagara Escarpment. Wetlands and lakes, hardwood forests, fields and hedgerows all provide varied habitats for you to discover. Participants will benefit from Todd’s knowledge of birdsong and breeding bird behaviour. (easy, car-pool, bring lunch – limit 20)

Morning

6:00 AM to Noon – BIRD BANDING – Brendan Toews

SOLD OUT – A13 – 6:00 AM -BIRDING BY EAR – Michael Carlson

Do you have difficulty remembering songs/calls and which birds make them, no matter how often you have heard them? Michael is a natural at mnemonics. This field workshop will give you tools that you can use to solve the mysteries of birdsong. (easy, car-pool – limit 20)

SOLD OUT – A14 – 6:00 AM – SEX & THE SINGLE WARBLER – Mark Wiercinski

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)

SOLD OUT – A15 – 7:00 AM – BIRDING MacGREGOR’S BOUNDARY – Justin Peter

Join Justin as he explores old fields, edge habitat and abandoned orchards. As we travel around the edges of MacGregor Point, we will employ the soundscape (birdsong) to help us find birds most effectively. (easy, car-pool – limit 20)

A16 – 8:00 AM – BIRDING THE EDGE – Terry Crabe

Bird the Lake Huron shoreline on a leisurely walk along the Old Shore Road Trail. We will walk through a variety of habitats that should enable us to view a variety of birds. (easy – limit 20)

11:00 AM – EAGLE OPTICS

During the lunch break Eagle Optics will have binoculars and telescopes on display and for sale.

Afternoon

A17 – 1:30 PM – Keeping the Birds & the Bees on the Farm – Art Wiebe & Janice McKean

You will see both wetland and grassland birds on the farm that Art and Janice manage. They will point out farming practices that enhance wildlife habitat as you walk the trails around their ponds and pastures. (easy, car-pool – limit 20)

SOLD OUT – A18 – 1:30 PM – A LOT TO NATURALIZE: HOW TO ATTRACT CRITTERS TO YOUR YARD – Kerry Jarvis

Interested in turning your yard into a natural wildlife paradise? Not sure what are the best plants, shrubs and trees to attract critters? Join Kerry as he showcases his recently converted property, “Casita de Mariposa”. (easy, car-pool – limit 20)

SOLD OUT – A19 – 1:30 PM – WOULDN’T IT BE PLOVERLY – Stewart Nutt

Join Stew to visit endangered Piping Plover at their nesting grounds located nearby. You will observe courtship (Plovers) as well as other behaviours and learn about the perils these birds face, and how local involvement has helped this species recover. (easy, car-pool – limit 20)

A20 – 1:30 PM – Being a Bluebird Landlord – Dennis & Gwen Lewington

Bluebirds are cavity nesters and natural cavities are not very abundant. Dennis and Gwen will take you on their “Bluebird Trail” which they have been maintaining and monitoring for over 32 years. (easy, car-pool – limit 20)

Evening

A21- 4:30 PM – SOCIAL – 5:30 PM – BANQUET & PRESENTATION – LESSONS FROM LOONS: WHAT OUR WILDERNESS SYMBOL IS TELLING US – Doug Tozer

The Common Loon is a popular indicator of the state of the environment. This presentation will overview revolutionary discoveries of how loons survive and reproduce and whether human activities are negatively influencing the loon’s unique way of life. (St. Paul’s Anglican Church Hall, Southampton, 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 90)

 SUNDAY MAY 24

All Day

A22 – 6:00 AM – A BIG DAY ON THE BRUCE – Michael Carlson

Are you a ‘lister’? Do you ‘tick’? From warblers just after dawn to Whip-poor-will at dusk, you will keep tallying up your numbers. Your day’s list could be over 100 species. Michael found a Kirkland’s Warbler in 2014 and plans to revisit that spot. (moderate, car-pool, bring lunch – limit 20)

A23- 6:30 AM – FLOWERPOT ISLAND – A REMOTE GEORGIAN BAY HABITAT – Don Wilkes

An exhilarating open-air jet boat will take you from Tobermory to the showcase island of Fathom Five National Marine Park. Flowerpot Island is famous for shoreline flowerpots, perched caves, rare orchids and birdwatching. If Lake Huron is too rough, a “Tip of the Bruce” tour will be a worthy … no amazing …substitute! (difficult, car-pool, jet boat, bring backpack & lunch – $40 extra per personlimit 22)

A24 – 8:00 AM – INVERHURON – BIRDING & BOTANY HIKE – Scott Taylor

Inverhuron Provincial Park may be small, but the diversity of habitat and its shoreline location make it an excellent place to look for migrating songbirds and unique plants. Join us for a day-long exploration of the forest and shoreline habitats. (easy, car-pool – limit 20)

Morning

6:00 AM to Noon – BIRD BANDING – Brendan Toews

SOLD OUT – A25 – 6:00 AM – WRESTLING WITH WARBLERS – Mark Wiercinski

Warblers are very annoying to identify! They move around a lot 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)

A26 – 7:00 AM – AROUND THE EDGE OF MacGREGOR – Ken Burrell

Birding enthusiast and expert Ken will lead us around the periphery of MacGregor Point. We will look for Indigo Bunting, Rose-breasted Grosbeak and many other bird species. (easy, car-pool – limit 20)

A27 – 7:30 AM – BIRDING THE J/I LINE – Todd Pepper

Grasslands are in decline and grassland bird species are in jeopardy. Bruce County provides a community pasture where Upland Sandpiper, Bobolink, Grasshopper and Clay-coloured sparrows can still be found. Todd’s experience and hearing skills make him an excellent choice to take you on this driving tour. (easy, car-pool – limit 20)

A28 – 8:00 AM – UP WITH THE BIRDS – Doug Martin

This hike has been a tradition since before the beginning of the Huron Fringe Birding Festival –a morning walk along the Tower Trail to the Viewing Tower. Past experience on this hike has resulted in a species list that will rival many other events. Can we do it again? (easy, car-pool – limit 20)

Afternoon

A29 – 1:30 PM – WOULDN’T IT BE PLOVERLY – Stewart Nutt

Join Stew to visit endangered Piping Plover at their nesting grounds located nearby. You will observe courtship (Plovers) as well as other behaviours and learn about the perils these birds face. You will find out how local involvement has helped this species recover. (easy, car-pool – limit 20)

A30 – 1:30 PM – TREE IDENTIFICATION USING LEAVES & NEEDLES – Jim Coles

We will identify the conifers and the hardwoods in the vicinity of the Visitor Centre by leaf and needle characteristics. The use of botanical keys will help differentiate between species. (easy – limit 20)

A31 – 1:30 PM – O’KEEFE GRANGE – A HERITAGE APPLE FARM – Bill & Lyn O’Keefe

We will visit O’Keefe Grange, a heritage apple and pear farm. Bill and Lyn O’Keefe have spent many years collecting and growing these fruit trees. These citizen scientists will share their knowledge and passion as you browse their farm store and taste apple cider donuts. (easy, car-pool – limit 20)

A32 – 1:30 PM – DOWN & DIRTY – WILDFLOWER PHOTOGRAPHY – Doug Pedwell

Participants will explore, through photography, the wildflowers growing along the Old Shore Road Trail. All types of cameras welcome. Be prepared to get down and dirty. (easy, car-pool, bring camera – limit 15)

A33 – 1:30 PM – NATURE SKETCHING & JOURNALING – Sarah Rupert

Nature journaling documents your adventures and helps you to hone your observation skills. Everyone can keep a nature journal, even if you think you can’t draw. Sarah will show you some easy tricks to start sketching and really observing nature in the field. (easy, bring pencil & notebook – limit 20)

Evening

SOLD OUT – A34 – 7:15 PM – WARBLERS – Sarah Rupert

Warbler identification in the field is often obscured by brief and obstructed views. Sarah will talk about the identification features that are often missed and how we can enhance our observations. (indoors –limit 60)

MONDAY MAY 25                                                                                                                                          

All Day

A35 – 6:00 AM – HOTSPOTS OF THE LOWER BRUCE – Alfred Raab

Habitats will be varied on this outing. We will visit Sauble Beach for a chance to see Piping Plovers; inland lakes including Boat, Isaac and Sky lakes; grasslands around Ferndale and Black Creek Provincial Park. Alfred is a favourite leader for local birding outings. (easy, car-pool, bring lunch – limit 20)

A36 – 6:30 AM – CABOT HEAD – A BIODIVERSITY HOTSPOT – Rod Steinacher

This driving tour will take us to the Bruce Peninsula Bird Observatory (BPBO), the Bruce Alvar Nature Reserve, and a nearby Nature Conservancy property. Rod is a retired science teacher and President of the BPBO.  He is always eager to share his expertise. (easy, car-pool, bring lunch – limit 20)

A37 – 8:00 AM – THE BRUCE RE-BECKONS – Willy Waterton

Join Willy in a quest to rediscover Sherwood Fox’s Bruce Peninsula, based on his landmark 1952 book “The Bruce Beckons”. You will spend the day exploring Fox’s Bruce to see what still exists after 63 years. (easy, car-pool, bring lunch – limit 20)

Morning

A38 – 6:00 AM – BRANT TRACT, PAISLEY & BLIND LINE – Judith King

Explore the Brant Tract with its mixed woods and stream by travelling along an old road to the bottom of the valley. Paisley will showcase bird feeders and several species of swallows. The Blind Line parallels the Saugeen River and passes through fields and mixed forest. (easy, car-pool, bring waterlimit 20)

A39 – 7:00 AM – BIRDING MacGREGOR – Scott Taylor

A late spring walk around the Ducks Unlimited wetland is sure to turn up migrants. Join Scott to hear about the importance of wetlands for migrating birds. You will also identify some of these spring beauties. (easy, car-pool – limit 20)

Afternoon

A40 – 1:30 PM – FUN FROG FROLIC: OBSERVING FROGS AT MacGREGOR POINT – Kerry Jarvis

Searching for frogs in the park can be a lot of fun! Join Kerry as he looks and listens for several species of frogs, and of course the American Toad. If you have them, bring close-up binoculars and camera. (easy, car-pool – limit 20)

A41 – 1:30 PM – BIRDING & EBIRD ENTRY – Mike Burrell

Grab your binoculars AND your notebooks. We’ll go for a short walk to find some birds around the Visitor Centre. Then Mike will introduce you to eBird. You’ll find out how easy it is to contribute your everyday bird observations to this massive citizen science project. (easy – limit 20)

A42 – 1:30 PM – BOTANY ON THE FRINGE – Laura Cook

The Huron Fringe is made up of wave-cut terraces, gravel bars and sand dunes found adjacent to the Lake Huron shoreline. Within MacGregor Point, this habitat contains unique shoreline plants including Dwarf Lake Iris. Laura will introduce you to these plants and more. (easy – limit 20)

Evening

A43 – 7:15 PM – ONTARIO’S TRUE NORTH – Mike Burrell

Over the past several years Mike has had the chance to visit Ontario’s little known north coast at sites on James and Hudson bays. Come on this visual journey about these amazing landscapes. You will learn about the plants, animals and habitats that are found there. (indoors – limit 60)

SECOND WEEKEND

THURSDAY MAY 28

All Day

SOLD OUT – B1 – 6:30 AM – BACK ROADS OF SAUGEEN TOWNSHIP – James Turland

The back roads offer relaxed touring and good birding. We will visit the Saugeen River, Lake Huron shoreline and numerous trails around the township. (moderate, car-pool, bring lunch – limit 20)

B2 – 7:30 AM – GEOLOGY OF THE NORTHERN BRUCE PENINSULA – Bob Gray

Join Bob in exploring the unique geology of the Bruce Peninsula and Ontario’s Niagara Escarpment. (easy, car-pool, bring lunch – limit 20)

B3 – 9:00 AM – BUTTERFLY WORKSHOP – Audrey Armstro

This workshop will teach you how to nurture butterfly populations by learning about their lifecycle, threats to the monarch population and how to create monarch friendly habitat including growing your own butterfly garden. There will be a slide show in the morning. The afternoon will be outdoors looking for monarchs, eggs and larvae. (easy, car-pool, bring lunch – limit 20)

Morning

B4 – 7:30 AM – BIRDING THE SAUGEEN AMPHITHEATRE – Joy Albrecht

The beautiful amphitheatre gardens high above the Saugeen River will be the setting for this hike. Stone stairways and walkways provide access to locations where we can overlook the river and riparian habitat. We will be observing spring migrants, nesting species, shorebirds and raptors. (easy, car-pool – limit 20)

B5 – 8:30 AM – BEGINNING BIRDING FOR ADULTS – Doug Pedwell

This event is designed for those who wish to know about the world’s number one hobby – Birding. Topics include binoculars, field guides and identification marks of birds. There will be a short indoor session and a bird hike. (easy, car-pool – limit 20)

Afternoon

B6- 1:30 PM – BOTANY OF THE FRINGE – Barbara Palmer

The Huron Fringe is a physiographic unit between the former glacial Lake Algonquin shoreline and the present day Lake Huron shoreline. Former cobble beach ridges, swales and ancient miniature dunes each provide their own combination of plants. Barbara will help you identify them. (easy – limit 12)

B7 – 1:30 PM – WOULDN’T IT BE PLOVERLY – Stewart Nutt

Join Stew to visit endangered Piping Plover at their nesting grounds located nearby. You will observe their courtship as well as other behaviours and learn about the perils these birds face. You will find out how local involvement has helped this species recover. (easy, car-pool – limit 20)

Evening

B8 – 7:15 PM – THE WONDERS OF BIRD MIGRATION – Dave Brewer

Dave gets lost in Toronto but Bobolinks navigate to Argentina. Are they smarter than Dave? Dave’s talk about bird migration will emphasize their navigation. He will look at historical interpretations and recent techniques including satellite tracking and geolocators. (indoors – limit 60)

SOLD OUT – B9 – 7:45 PM – SUNSET PHOTOGRAPHY WORKSHOP – Willy Waterton

Most people go inside after the sun sets. This is when some of the most stunning light occurs. This workshop will give you tips on taking images of the setting sun and twilight using cameras from smart phones to DSLRs. If you have a tripod bring it along. (easy, bring camera or smart phone – limit 10)

FRIDAY MAY 29

All Day

SOLD OUT – B10 – 6:30 AM – MALCOLM BLUFFS & CAPE CROKER – Alfred Raab

Bird in a variety of habitats within the Malcolm Bluffs Nature Reserve and Cape Croker Peninsula. The cliffs above the shoreline provide spectacular vistas. (moderate, car-pool, bring lunch – limit 20)

SOLD OUT – B11 – 7:00 AM – PASTURES, STREAMS & WOODLOTS – James Turland

Pasturelands in Bruce County are home to a number of grassland species, some of which are species at risk. This driving tour will take you through varied habitat. The result will be an extensive birding list for the day. James is a favourite festival leader. (easy, car-pool, bring lunch – limit 20)

B12 – 8:30 AM – LANDSCAPE PHOTOGRAPHY – Kerry Jarvis

Grey and Bruce counties beckon all photographers to capture their raw beauty. Kerry will help you learn techniques which will enhance your landscape photography skills as you discover some of the majestic vistas in Grey Bruce. Tripods recommended. (easy, car-pool, bring lunch, compact or digital SLR – limit 20)

Morning

B13 – 7:30 AM – TOWER TRAIL – Joy Albrecht

Join Joy as she leads you along the Tower Trail, a favourite spot for local birders. You will see bird species that will nest in the boreal forest and you will spend some time on an observation tower and bird blind. (easy – limit 20)

Afternoon

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)

SOLD OUT – B15 – 1:30 PM – DRAGONS & DAMSELS – John Reaume

We will search for the ultimate insect predators – damselflies and dragonflies. The biology of these “toothed ones” and their proper handling techniques will be discussed. Should the weather not cooperate we will have an indoor presentation / slide show. Bring binoculars and butterfly nets if you have them. (easy – limit 12)

B16 – 1:30 PM – PHOTOGRAPHY WORKSHOP: LANDSCAPES & NATURE WALK – Fran Sanagan

Fran will facilitate this hands-on workshop. Participants will learn how careful observations of the environment around them will improve their photos of nature and landscapes. Bring tripod if you have one. (easy, bring camera – limit 15)

Evening

B17 – 7:15 PM – BIRDING BY EAR – John Reaume

This presentation will review tips used to study and identify birdsong. Using a technique popularized by the Peterson Field Guide’s Birding by Ear series, we will learn many of the common songs heard in the spring chorus. (indoors – limit 60)

SATURDAY MAY 30                                                                                                                                       

All Day

B18 – 6:30 AM – WINGED PURSUITS – HUNTING BIRDS, BUTTERFLIES, DRAGONFLIES & DAMSELFLIES – Nathan Miller

Join Nathan as he pursues the winged jewels of MacGregor Point Provincial Park and Bruce County. We will focus on finding birds during the morning and insects as the day warms up; although all of these creatures will be discussed as they are found! (easy, car-pool, bring lunch – limit 20)

SOLD OUT – B19 – 7:00 AM – BIRDING THE INLAND LAKES – Mike Cadman

Several inland lakes located between Lake Huron and Georgian Bay serve as a bird migration route for safe passage between these two large bodies of water. Mike is a songbird biologist and will share his knowledge of songbirds and their habitats. (easy, car-pool, bring lunch – limit 20)

B20 – 8:00 AM – WALKING FOR THE FERN OF IT – Brett Woodman

Brett will introduce you to natural areas along the escarpment where hunting for ferns will also lead you to a variety of interesting habitats. His birding and wildflower identification skills will help to enhance this all day field trip. (difficult, car-pool, bring lunch – limit 20)

Morning

6:00 am to noon – BIRD BANDING – Dave Brewer

SOLD OUT – B21 – 6:30 AM – GRASSLAND BIRDS OF THE J/I LINE – SPECIES AT RISK – Mark Peck

Pastureland along the J/I Line makes it possible to find Upland Sandpiper, Bobolink, Meadowlark, Grasshopper and Clay-coloured Sparrow. Join Mark to have great looks at these and other grassland specialties. (easy, car-pool – limit 20)

B22 – 8:00 PM – BIRDING THE OLD SHORE ROAD TRAIL – Bill Crins

The Lake Huron shoreline as well as fen and edge habitats are featured during this walk north from the Visitor Centre. Bill is an active birder and naturalist. We always benefit from his experience as an interpretive naturalist. (easy – limit 20)

B23 – 9:00 AM – SCOPING IT OUT – Andalynne & Richard 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 soo… much to see right at your feet and above your head! (easy, car-pool – limit 20)

Afternoon

B24 – 1:30 PM – PUZZLED BY SEDGES? – Bill Crins

“Sedges have edges, rushes are round and grasses are hollow right up from the ground.” Bill will provide you with tips about how to identify sedges and open your eyes to a whole new world on the forest floor. (easy, car-pool – limit 12)

B25 – 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)

B26 – 1:30 PM – O’KEEFE GRANGE – A HERITAGE APPLE FARM – Bill & Lyn O’Keefe

Bill and Lyn O’Keefe have spent many years collecting and growing over two hundred varieties of apple and pear trees. These citizen scientists will share their knowledge and passion. (easy, car-pool – limit 20)

B27 – 1:30 PM – PHOTOGRAPHY WORKSHOP: LOOKING AT MacGREGOR CLOSE UP – Fran Sanagan

Fran will be facilitating this hands-on workshop where participants will learn how to look at nature close up, through a macro setting or lens. Bring a tripod if you have one. (easy, car-pool, bring camera – limit 20)

Evening

B28 – 5:30 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 – ONTARIO NEST RECORD SCHEME & PROJECT NESTWATCH – Mark Peck

Join Mark as he discusses the metamorphosis of the Ontario Nest Records Scheme into Project NestWatch and learn how as a citizen scientist you can both learn and have fun providing valuable information to conservation initiatives. (indoors – limit 60)

SOLD OUT – B30 – 9:15 PM – AN EVENING OF ASTRONOMY – WHAT’S UP IN THE NIGHT SKY FOR 2015 – John Hlynialuk

During an indoor astronomy talk, John will look at sky events for 2015. Outdoors, weather permitting; members of the Bluewater Astronomical Society will make available their telescopes for viewing the night sky. (indoors/outdoors – limit 30)

SUNDAY MAY 31                                                                                                                                           

All Day

B31 – 6:30 AM – DEBATING THE ISSUES – BIRDING BAYVIEW TO BOGNOR – Mark Wiercinski

Invasive species, forest fragmentation, hedgerow removal and wetland modifications are all happening at unparalleled speeds in southern Ontario. On this walking / driving tour Mark will talk about issues that are affecting the bird populations in Ontario. (difficult, car-pool, bring lunch – limit 20)

B32 – 8:00 AM – BIRDS & BEACHES: HOW DO OUR BEACHES LOOK FROM THE SKY? – Karen Alexander

During this shoreline tour of varied coastal areas, Karen will describe how different types of beach stewardship can influence the health and quality of coastal ecosystems. (easy, car-pool, bring lunch -limit 20)

Morning

6:00 am to noon – BIRD BANDING – Dave Brewer

B33 – 7:00 AM – BEYOND ID – FOREST BIRD MONITORING – Mike Cadman

You will visit several active monitoring stations along the Lake Ridge Trail where Mike will demonstrate the field protocol for conducting the Forest Bird Survey. Mike likes to go “beyond ID” by providing tidbits about signs of breeding birds. (easy, car-pool – limit 20)

SOLD OUT – B34 – 8:00 AM – BEYOND ID – NEST FINDING – Mark Peck

On a leisurely walk in the park, you will take your love of birding to the next level. Find out how citizen scientists provide valuable conservation information while improving their observation skills and learning about the behaviour of breeding birds. (easy, car-pool – limit 20)

Afternoon

B35 – 1:30 PM – BIRDS OF PREY – Wild Ontario

Enthusiastic, knowledgeable staff and volunteers are supported by non-releasable birds of prey during a program that is loaded with fantastic facts, a healthy dose of humour, an inspiring message and lots of “WOW” moments. (outdoors)

B36 – 1:30 PM – BEYOND ID – SHRUBS & TREES – Bob Gray

Bob will help you use identifying features, including bark characteristics and leaf shape, to identify trees and shrubs found in a variety of habitats within the park. (easy, car-pool – limit 12)

Evening

B37 – 8:00 PM – SUNSET WALK – Doug Pedwell

Join Doug for a leisurely stroll along the shore of Lake Huron to discover the sights, sounds and smells of a late May evening in MacGregor Point Provincial Park. (easy – limit 20)

FAMILY WEEKEND

One parent/guardian must accompany children from the same family. This person is allowed to participate in the event free of charge. See the website for parent/guardian registration details.

 SATURDAY MAY 30                                                                                                                                       

Morning

6:00 am to noon – BIRD BANDING – Dave Brewer

FAM1 – 9:00 AM – BIRDING 101 FOR FAMILIES – Doug Pedwell

Birding is a family-friendly hobby. Doug will talk about the equipment needed; how to recognize family friendly field guides and, of course, how to identify birds. (limit 40)

Afternoon

FAM2- 1:30 PM – AFTERNOON ADVENTURES (Children will be divided into two groups. Each child will attend both afternoon programs – limit 40)

BINO BOY & ELYTRA GIRL – Andalynne & Richard Tofflemire

Time to go on an outdoor adventure! With Bino Boy’s binocular vision and Elytra Girl’s power of magnifying, we’ll be out to discover all that can be found in an exciting, entertaining way!

AND

CHICKADEE NEST BOXES – Kerry Jarvis

Build a chickadee nest box. No carpentry skills are required. Participants will assemble their own boxes. Imagine the thrill of seeing a Black-capped Chickadee choose your nest box to raise its family! (Chickadee nest box kit – $10 extra per child)

Evening

FAM3 – 7:15 PM – DOWN WITH DR. ENTO – CAMPFIRE PROGRAM – Matt Cunliffe

Fascinated by the insect world? You can learn more about these incredible creepy crawlers from world renowned Dr. Ento…Mologist, through songs, games and trivia… 6 legs, 3 body parts, 1 campfire

SUNDAY MAY 31                                                                                                                                           

FAM4 – 9:00 AM – MORNING EXPLORATIONS (Children will be divided into two groups. Each child will attend both morning programs.) (limit 40)

POND EXPLORATION – Andalynne & Richard Tofflemire

Join Richard and Andalynne for an informal, hands-on look at the fascinating critters that make the pond their home. Dip nets, basins and hand lenses will help us look at the often-unseen animals that live in pond water.

AND

BIRDING 102 FOR FAMILIES – Doug Pedwell

This hike will take place at the Duck’s Unlimited wetland where we will use the bird blind and the tower to see what is in the wetlands. (car required)

FAM5 – 1:30 PM – BIRDS OF PREY – Wild Ontario

Enthusiastic, knowledgeable staff and volunteers are supported by non-releasable birds of prey during a program that is loaded with fantastic facts, a healthy dose of humour, an inspiring message and lots of “WOW” moments. (outdoors)


 

brdfest2

2015 FESTIVAL FEES

INDIVIDUAL:

8 Day Festival $140     4 Day Weekend $100     Saturday & Sunday/Family Weekend $75

STUDENT:

8 Day Festival $85       4 Day Weekend $60     Saturday & Sunday/Family Weekend $45

CHILD:*

8 Day Festival $55     4 Day Weekend $40     Saturday & Sunday/Family Weekend $30

* 5 – 12 accompanied by an adult

SINGLE EVENT FEES:

Please Note: Single Event Fees Only Apply if you are NOT Purchasing a Festival, 4 Day Weekend, Saturday & Sunday or Family Weekend Pass.

HALF DAY EVENT:

Individual $20 / Student $15 / Child $9

EVENING EVENT:

Individual $10 / Student $10 / Child $8

 


 

Huron Fringe Birding Festival Registration: www.friendsofmacgregor.org

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

Follow us on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/HuronFringeBirdingFestival.

Twitter: @HuronBirdfest

Email: birdfest@rogers.com.

TODD PEPPER – NEW TO HFBF. NOT TO BIRDING.

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Todd Pepper 2

Todd Pepper’s resume is two pages long. Thing is, only a few lines outline his academic achievements; he has a Masters of Public Administration from Western. The rest record his experiences and accomplishments as a Field Ornithologist, Birder, Bird Bander, Atllasser, Field Assistant, Doctoral Field Assistant, Official Raptor Counter, Research Assistant in Tibet, Visiting Naturalisit in Point Pelee National Park and Coordinator of the Ontario “Winter List” sightings…to name a few.

Now, Todd may be a first time event leader with HFBF but obviously he’s no stranger when it comes to expertise with our feathered friends.

First and foremost he describes himself as a “birder.”

Todd PepperI have an ABA list of 732 species, including all 687 “regular” breeding species in Canada and the United States, excluding Hawaii. I also have a World List of almost 5,365 species with field birding experience in Canada, United States, Central America, the Caribbean, South America, Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia the South Pacific and China. I also have several first or second confirmed sightings of species in various locations, i.e. first record of Black-faced Spoonbill for the Island of Palawan in the Philippines, and the first confirmed record for the species in the Philippines since 1904. Sighting fully documented submitted and accepted by BirdLife Asia…second recorded sighting of Black Kite on the Island of Luzon in the Philippines, and the first record since 1954. Fully documented, submitted and accepted by the Wild Bird Club of the Philippines. First record of Black-bellied Storm-Petrel for Sri Lanka. Sighting fully documented, submitted to and accepted by the Ceylon Bird Club and a peer reviewed article published in BirdingASIA magazine.

Todd will travel anywhere in search of birds. He is only 3 families away from seeing all 234 families of birds of the world.

He loves sharing knowledge of birds with one and all. You can share his enthusiasm by registering for these events.

BIRDING SOUTH BRUCE PENINSULA – Saturday, May 23 – A12 – 6:30 AM – The southern Bruce Peninsula boasts a number of landform features found both within the Huron Fringe and along the Niagara Escarpment. Wetlands and lakes, hardwood forests, fields and hedgerows all provide varied habitats for you to discover. Participants will benefit from Todd’s knowledge of birdsong and breeding bird behaviour.

BIRDING THE J/I LINE – Sunday, May 24 – 27 – 7:30 AM – Grasslands are in decline and grassland bird species are in jeopardy. Bruce County provides a community pasture where Upland Sandpiper, Bobolink, Grasshopper and Clay-coloured sparrows can still be found. Todd’s experience and hearing skills make him an excellent choice to take you on this driving tour.

REGISTER FOR BOTH OF TODD’S EVENTS AT: http//:www.friendsofmacgregor.org/page/registration

Follow us on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/HuronFringeBirdingFestival.

twitter: @HuronBirdfest

Email: birdfest@rogers.com.

Written by huronfringefest

February 19, 2015 at 5:45 pm

A CREATIVE BIRDING ALTERNATIVE

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Sarah1

Sarah Rupert talks about her event – Nature Sketching and Journaling – A33 – May 24 – 1:30 PM 

Sarah RupertOne the best things we can do to learn more about nature is to really take the time to observe what we are seeing in the field. This is where a nature journal becomes and invaluable tool. By taking the time to make careful observations and record these observations, we begin to really understand what we are seeing, rather than just checking a name off a list. Sketching what we see can take our observations to an entirely new level! Everyone can learn to sketch in the field – the quality of the final product is not important…it’s the process of observing and recording that really matters. Nature journaling documents your adventures and helps you hone your observation skills. Everyone can keep a nature journal, even if you think you can’t draw. Join me and I will show you some easy tricks to start sketching and really observing nature in the field.

We’ll take some time to talk about different types of journals, from field notebooks to sketch books, from digital notes to art journals. Then we’ll head out into the field and have some fun with the some easy sketching exercises – you’ll be surprised what you’ll be able to capture by the end of the session.

Sarah3

Sarah has been birding her entire life. She hasn’t missed a spring at Point Pelee since her first visit at two and half months old. Sarah has spent many years exploring the wonder of birds and nature, which she loves to share with others through interpretive programs, writing and mixed media art. She eagerly awaits the arrival of spring and birders to Pelee each spring.

Sarah4

Sarah2

Registration is open at: www.friendsofmacgregor.org for Nature Sketching and Journaling – A33 – May 24 – 1:30 PM 

Follow us on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/HuronFringeBirdingFestival.

twitter: @HuronBirdfest

Email: birdfest@rogers.com.

 

 

HAVE YOU REGISTERED YET?

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Big Bird

The complete schedule is also available at: http://www.friendsofmaccgredor.org. Download it. Print it. Study it. Then register. Because events are selling out.

Registration is open at: www.friendsofmacgregor.org

HFBF SCHEDULE OF EVENTS – FIRST WEEKEND

 FRIDAY MAY 22                                                                 

 All Day

SOLD OUT – A1 – 6:00 AM – BIRDING THE 45TH PARALLEL – Michael Carlson

Bruce Road 9 is known as the 45th Parallel Road. Michael will explore the Bruce Peninsula from the Lake Huron to the Georgian Bay coast; concentrating on birding opportunities found near this latitude. (easy, car-pool, bring lunch – limit 20)

A2 – 6:30 AM – LOVING LAGOONS IN LOWER BRUCE – Judith King

Explore the Ripley and Kincardine lagoons, and then continue up the shore of Lake Huron. The emphasis will be on warblers, with as many as 20 species possible at the lagoons. Pockets of migrating warblers may be found along the shore. (easy, car-pool, bring lunch – limit 20)

A3 – 6:30 AM – BIRDING INVERHURON & SURROUNDING AREA – Marshall Byle

During this birding adventure we will stop at various habitats along the shoreline to Inverhuron Provincial Park including the Tiverton lagoons. In the park explore the ancient dunes, riverbanks and varied forest types. (easy, car-pool, bring lunch – limit 20)

Morning

A4 – 7:00 AM – BIRDING MacGREGOR’S BOUNDARY – Mike Burrell

Join Mike for a morning of birding some of the hotspots around the edge of MacGregor Point. We will rack up a surprising list without going too far. Several warbler species, Indigo Bunting, Rose-breasted Grosbeak as well as a few grassland species are all possibilities. (easy, car-pool – limit 20)

 

A5 – 7:30 AM – BIRDS OF WOODLAND, WETLAND & FOREST EDGE: TOWER TRAIL – Justin Peter

Diverse habitat along the Tower Trail makes it a mecca for an eclectic mix of warblers, flycatchers, and thrushes. Justin will help us find these birds using his fine-tuned hearing skills, and will share tips for the interpretation of bird behaviour. (easy, car-pool – limit 20)

Afternoon

A6 – 1:30 AM – BIRDING OLD SHORE ROAD TRAIL SOUTH – Mike Burrell

Join Mike for a leisurely walk in search of songbirds, waterbirds and probably a few reptiles and amphibians. There will be a special stop on the new boardwalk at Watersnake pond. (easy – limit 20)

A7 – 1:30 PM – NATURE RAMBLE – TOWER TRAIL – Terry Crabe

Ramble along the Tower Trail to the Ducks Unlimited wetland. This event is geared for a wide level of birders who simply want to enjoy the MacGregor Point landscape. There is always an abundance of species to discover along this trail. (easy – limit 20)

A8 – 1:30 PM – PHOTOGRAPHING THE MacGREGOR POINT SHORELINE – Kerry Jarvis

This photography workshop will explore various areas of the park shoreline. Join Kerry as he shares photographic tips and techniques used to capture the beauty of MacGregor Point. Open to all skill levels. Tripods are recommended. (easy, car-pool, bring compact and/or digital SLR – limit 12)

Evening

SOLD OUT – A9 – 7:15 PM – TIPS & TECHNIQUES ON WATERFOWL IDENTIFICATION – Fred Jazvac

Headaches caused by difficult waterfowl identification can’t be solved with aspirin.  Fred will present tips and techniques that can be used to deal with the complications that waterfowl present to the birder. (indoors – limit 60)

SATURDAY MAY 23

All Day

A10 – 6:00 AM – CAPE CROKER – FROM BLUFFS TO SHORES – Joy Albrecht

Explore the seldom-birded Cape Croker peninsula with its abandoned fields, Georgian Bay shoreline and wetlands. As a special added treat we will visit the bird rich woodlands of Malcolm Bluff Shores Nature Reserve. (moderate, car-pool, bring lunch – limit 20)

A11 – 6:30 AM – HURON SHORE TO MALCOLM BLUFFS – Mike Burrell

We’ll cover all the birding bases – stops for shorebirds, ducks, grassland and forest birds. You’ll be amazed at the incredible diversity. We may even find a Cerulean Warbler on territory. (easy, car-pool, bring lunch – limit 20)

A12 – 6:30 AM – BIRDING SOUTH BRUCE PENINSULA – Todd Pepper

The southern Bruce Peninsula boasts a number of landform features found both within the Huron Fringe and along the Niagara Escarpment. Wetlands and lakes, hardwood forests, fields and hedgerows all provide varied habitats for you to discover. Participants will benefit from Todd’s knowledge of birdsong and breeding bird behaviour. (easy, car-pool, bring lunch – limit 20)

Morning

6:00 AM to Noon – BIRD BANDING – Brendan Toews

SOLD OUT – A13 – 6:00 AM -BIRDING BY EAR – Michael Carlson

Do you have difficulty remembering songs/calls and which birds make them, no matter how often you have heard them? Michael is a natural at mnemonics. This field workshop will give you tools that you can use to solve the mysteries of birdsong. (easy, car-pool – limit 20)

SOLD OUT – A14 – 6:00 AM – SEX & THE SINGLE WARBLER – Mark Wiercinski

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)

SOLD OUT – A15 – 7:00 AM – BIRDING MacGREGOR’S BOUNDARY – Justin Peter

Join Justin as he explores old fields, edge habitat and abandoned orchards. As we travel around the edges of MacGregor Point, we will employ the soundscape (birdsong) to help us find birds most effectively. (easy, car-pool – limit 20)

A16 – 8:00 AM – BIRDING THE EDGE – Terry Crabe

Bird the Lake Huron shoreline on a leisurely walk along the Old Shore Road Trail. We will walk through a variety of habitats that should enable us to view a variety of birds. (easy – limit 20)

11:00 AM – EAGLE OPTICS – During the lunch break Eagle Optics will have binoculars and telescopes on display and for sale.

 Afternoon

A17 – 1:30 PM – Keeping the Birds & the Bees on the Farm – Art Wiebe & Janice McKean

You will see both wetland and grassland birds on the farm that Art and Janice manage. They will point out farming practices that enhance wildlife habitat as you walk the trails around their ponds and pastures. (easy, car-pool – limit 20)

SOLD OUT – A18 – 1:30 PM – A LOT TO NATURALIZE: HOW TO ATTRACT CRITTERS TO YOUR YARD – Kerry Jarvis

Interested in turning your yard into a natural wildlife paradise? Not sure what are the best plants, shrubs and trees to attract critters? Join Kerry as he showcases his recently converted property, “Casita de Mariposa”. (easy, car-pool – limit 20)

SOLD OUT – A19 – 1:30 PM – WOULDN’T IT BE PLOVERLY – Stewart Nutt

Join Stew to visit endangered Piping Plover at their nesting grounds located nearby. You will observe courtship (Plovers) as well as other behaviours and learn about the perils these birds face, and how local involvement has helped this species recover. (easy, car-pool – limit 20)

A20 – 1:30 PM – Being a Bluebird Landlord – Dennis & Gwen Lewington

Bluebirds are cavity nesters and natural cavities are not very abundant. Dennis and Gwen will take you on their “Bluebird Trail” which they have been maintaining and monitoring for over 32 years. (easy, car-pool – limit 20)

Evening

A21- 4:30 PM – SOCIAL – 5:30 PM – BANQUET & PRESENTATION – LESSONS FROM LOONS: WHAT OUR WILDERNESS SYMBOL IS TELLING US – Doug Tozer

The Common Loon is a popular indicator of the state of the environment. This presentation will overview revolutionary discoveries of how loons survive and reproduce and whether human activities are negatively influencing the loon’s unique way of life. (St. Paul’s Anglican Church Hall, Southampton, 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 90)

SUNDAY MAY 24

All Day

A22 – 6:00 AM – A BIG DAY ON THE BRUCE – Michael Carlson

Are you a ‘lister’? Do you ‘tick’? From warblers just after dawn to Whip-poor-will at dusk, you will keep tallying up your numbers. Your day’s list could be over 100 species. Michael found a Kirkland’s Warbler in 2014 and plans to revisit that spot. (moderate, car-pool, bring lunch – limit 20)

A23- 6:30 AM – FLOWERPOT ISLAND – A REMOTE GEORGIAN BAY HABITAT – Don Wilkes

An exhilarating open-air jet boat will take you from Tobermory to the showcase island of Fathom Five National Marine Park. Flowerpot Island is famous for shoreline flowerpots, perched caves, rare orchids and birdwatching. If Lake Huron is too rough, a “Tip of the Bruce” tour will be a worthy … no amazing …substitute! (difficult, car-pool, jet boat, bring backpack & lunch – $40 extra per personlimit 22)

A24 – 8:00 AM – INVERHURON – BIRDING & BOTANY HIKE – Scott Taylor

Inverhuron Provincial Park may be small, but the diversity of habitat and its shoreline location make it an excellent place to look for migrating songbirds and unique plants. Join us for a day-long exploration of the forest and shoreline habitats. (easy, car-pool – limit 20)

Morning

6:00 AM to Noon – BIRD BANDING – Brendan Toews

SOLD OUT – A25 – 6:00 AM – WRESTLING WITH WARBLERS – Mark Wiercinski

Warblers are very annoying to identify! They move around a lot 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)

A26 – 7:00 AM – AROUND THE EDGE OF MacGREGOR – Ken Burrell

Birding enthusiast and expert Ken will lead us around the periphery of MacGregor Point. We will look for Indigo Bunting, Rose-breasted Grosbeak and many other bird species. (easy, car-pool – limit 20)

A27 – 7:30 AM – BIRDING THE J/I LINE – Todd Pepper

Grasslands are in decline and grassland bird species are in jeopardy. Bruce County provides a community pasture where Upland Sandpiper, Bobolink, Grasshopper and Clay-coloured sparrows can still be found. Todd’s experience and hearing skills make him an excellent choice to take you on this driving tour. (easy, car-pool – limit 20)

A28 – 8:00 AM – UP WITH THE BIRDS – Doug Martin

This hike has been a tradition since before the beginning of the Huron Fringe Birding Festival –a morning walk along the Tower Trail to the Viewing Tower. Past experience on this hike has resulted in a species list that will rival many other events. Can we do it again? (easy, car-pool – limit 20)

Afternoon

A29 – 1:30 PM – WOULDN’T IT BE PLOVERLY – Stewart Nutt

Join Stew to visit endangered Piping Plover at their nesting grounds located nearby. You will observe courtship (Plovers) as well as other behaviours and learn about the perils these birds face. You will find out how local involvement has helped this species recover. (easy, car-pool – limit 20)

A30 – 1:30 PM – TREE IDENTIFICATION USING LEAVES & NEEDLES – Jim Coles

We will identify the conifers and the hardwoods in the vicinity of the Visitor Centre by leaf and needle characteristics. The use of botanical keys will help differentiate between species. (easy – limit 20)

A31 – 1:30 PM – O’KEEFE GRANGE – A HERITAGE APPLE FARM – Bill & Lyn O’Keefe

We will visit O’Keefe Grange, a heritage apple and pear farm. Bill and Lyn O’Keefe have spent many years collecting and growing these fruit trees. These citizen scientists will share their knowledge and passion as you browse their farm store and taste apple cider donuts. (easy, car-pool – limit 20)

A32 – 1:30 PM – DOWN & DIRTY – WILDFLOWER PHOTOGRAPHY – Doug Pedwell

Participants will explore, through photography, the wildflowers growing along the Old Shore Road Trail. All types of cameras welcome. Be prepared to get down and dirty. (easy, car-pool, bring camera – limit 15)

A33 – 1:30 PM – NATURE SKETCHING & JOURNALING – Sarah Rupert

Nature journaling documents your adventures and helps you to hone your observation skills. Everyone can keep a nature journal, even if you think you can’t draw. Sarah will show you some easy tricks to start sketching and really observing nature in the field. (easy, bring pencil & notebook – limit 20)

Evening

A34 – 7:15 PM – WARBLERS – Sarah Rupert

Warbler identification in the field is often obscured by brief and obstructed views. Sarah will talk about the identification features that are often missed and how we can enhance our observations. (indoors –limit 60)

MONDAY MAY 25                                                                                                                                                                                                                   

All Day

A35 – 6:00 AM – HOTSPOTS OF THE LOWER BRUCE – Alfred Raab

Habitats will be varied on this outing. We will visit Sauble Beach for a chance to see Piping Plovers; inland lakes including Boat, Isaac and Sky lakes; grasslands around Ferndale and Black Creek Provincial Park. Alfred is a favourite leader for local birding outings. (easy, car-pool, bring lunch – limit 20)

A36 – 6:30 AM – CABOT HEAD – A BIODIVERSITY HOTSPOT – Rod Steinacher

This driving tour will take us to the Bruce Peninsula Bird Observatory (BPBO), the Bruce Alvar Nature Reserve, and a nearby Nature Conservancy property. Rod is a retired science teacher and President of the BPBO.  He is always eager to share his expertise. (easy, car-pool, bring lunch – limit 20)

A37 – 8:00 AM – THE BRUCE RE-BECKONS – Willy Waterton

Join Willy in a quest to rediscover Sherwood Fox’s Bruce Peninsula, based on his landmark 1952 book “The Bruce Beckons”. You will spend the day exploring Fox’s Bruce to see what still exists after 63 years. (easy, car-pool, bring lunch – limit 20)

Morning

A38 – 6:00 AM – BRANT TRACT, PAISLEY & BLIND LINE – Judith King

Explore the Brant Tract with its mixed woods and stream by travelling along an old road to the bottom of the valley. Paisley will showcase bird feeders and several species of swallows. The Blind Line parallels the Saugeen River and passes through fields and mixed forest. (easy, car-pool, bring water – limit 20)

A39 – 7:00 AM – BIRDING MacGREGOR – Scott Taylor

A late spring walk around the Ducks Unlimited wetland is sure to turn up migrants. Join Scott to hear about the importance of wetlands for migrating birds. You will also identify some of these spring beauties. (easy, car-pool – limit 20)

Afternoon

A40 – 1:30 PM – FUN FROG FROLIC: OBSERVING FROGS AT MacGREGOR POINT – Kerry Jarvis

Searching for frogs in the park can be a lot of fun! Join Kerry as he looks and listens for several species of frogs, and of course the American Toad. If you have them, bring close-up binoculars and camera. (easy, car-pool – limit 20)

A41 – 1:30 PM – BIRDING & EBIRD ENTRY – Mike Burrell

Grab your binoculars AND your notebooks. We’ll go for a short walk to find some birds around the Visitor Centre. Then Mike will introduce you to eBird. You’ll find out how easy it is to contribute your everyday bird observations to this massive citizen science project. (easy – limit 20)

A42 – 1:30 PM – BOTANY ON THE FRINGE – Laura Cook

The Huron Fringe is made up of wave-cut terraces, gravel bars and sand dunes found adjacent to the Lake Huron shoreline. Within MacGregor Point, this habitat contains unique shoreline plants including Dwarf Lake Iris. Laura will introduce you to these plants and more. (easy – limit 20)

Evening

A43 – 7:15 PM – ONTARIO’S TRUE NORTH – Mike Burrell

Over the past several years Mike has had the chance to visit Ontario’s little known north coast at sites on James and Hudson bays. Come on this visual journey about these amazing landscapes. You will learn about the plants, animals and habitats that are found there. (indoors – limit 60)


 

SECOND WEEKEND – THURSDAY MAY 28

All Day

SOLD OUT – B1 – 6:30 AM – BACK ROADS OF SAUGEEN TOWNSHIP – James Turland

The back roads offer relaxed touring and good birding. We will visit the Saugeen River, Lake Huron shoreline and numerous trails around the township. (moderate, car-pool, bring lunch – limit 20)

B2 – 7:30 AM – GEOLOGY OF THE NORTHERN BRUCE PENINSULA – Bob Gray

Join Bob in exploring the unique geology of the Bruce Peninsula and Ontario’s Niagara Escarpment. (easy, car-pool, bring lunch – limit 20)

B3 – 9:00 AM – BUTTERFLY WORKSHOP – Audrey Armstrong

This workshop will teach you how to nurture butterfly populations by learning about their lifecycle, threats to the monarch population and how to create monarch friendly habitat including growing your own butterfly garden. There will be a slide show in the morning. The afternoon will be outdoors looking for monarchs, eggs and larvae. (easy, car-pool, bring lunch – limit 20)

Morning

B4 – 7:30 AM – BIRDING THE SAUGEEN AMPHITHEATRE – Joy Albrecht

The beautiful amphitheatre gardens high above the Saugeen River will be the setting for this hike. Stone stairways and walkways provide access to locations where we can overlook the river and riparian habitat. We will be observing spring migrants, nesting species, shorebirds and raptors. (easy, car-pool – limit 20)

B5 – 8:30 AM – BEGINNING BIRDING FOR ADULTS – Doug Pedwell

This event is designed for those who wish to know about the world’s number one hobby – Birding. Topics include binoculars, field guides and identification marks of birds. There will be a short indoor session and a bird hike. (easy, car-pool – limit 20)

Afternoon

B6- 1:30 PM – BOTANY OF THE FRINGE – Barbara Palmer

The Huron Fringe is a physiographic unit between the former glacial Lake Algonquin shoreline and the present day Lake Huron shoreline. Former cobble beach ridges, swales and ancient miniature dunes each provide their own combination of plants. Barbara will help you identify them. (easy – limit 12)

B7 – 1:30 PM – WOULDN’T IT BE PLOVERLY – Stewart Nutt

Join Stew to visit endangered Piping Plover at their nesting grounds located nearby. You will observe their courtship as well as other behaviours and learn about the perils these birds face. You will find out how local involvement has helped this species recover. (easy, car-pool – limit 20)

Evening

B8 – 7:15 PM – THE WONDERS OF BIRD MIGRATION – Dave Brewer

Dave gets lost in Toronto but Bobolinks navigate to Argentina. Are they smarter than Dave? Dave’s talk about bird migration will emphasize their navigation. He will look at historical interpretations and recent techniques including satellite tracking and geolocators. (indoors – limit 60)

B9 – 7:45 PM – SUNSET PHOTOGRAPHY WORKSHOP – Willy Waterton

Most people go inside after the sun sets. This is when some of the most stunning light occurs. This workshop will give you tips on taking images of the setting sun and twilight using cameras from smart phones to DSLRs. If you have a tripod bring it along. (easy, bring camera or smart phone – limit 10)

FRIDAY MAY 29

All Day

SOLD OUT – B10 – 6:30 AM – MALCOLM BLUFFS & CAPE CROKER – Alfred Raab

Bird in a variety of habitats within the Malcolm Bluffs Nature Reserve and Cape Croker Peninsula. The cliffs above the shoreline provide spectacular vistas. (moderate, car-pool, bring lunch – limit 20)

SOLD OUT – B11 – 7:00 AM – PASTURES, STREAMS & WOODLOTS – James Turland

Pasturelands in Bruce County are home to a number of grassland species, some of which are species at risk. This driving tour will take you through varied habitat. The result will be an extensive birding list for the day. James is a favourite festival leader. (easy, car-pool, bring lunch – limit 20)

B12 – 8:30 AM – LANDSCAPE PHOTOGRAPHY – Kerry Jarvis

Grey and Bruce counties beckon all photographers to capture their raw beauty. Kerry will help you learn techniques which will enhance your landscape photography skills as you discover some of the majestic vistas in Grey Bruce. Tripods recommended. (easy, car-pool, bring lunch, compact or digital SLR – limit 20)

Morning

B13 – 7:30 AM – TOWER TRAIL – Joy Albrecht

Join Joy as she leads you along the Tower Trail, a favourite spot for local birders. You will see bird species that will nest in the boreal forest and you will spend some time on an observation tower and bird blind. (easy – limit 20)

Afternoon

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)

SOLD OUT – B15 – 1:30 PM – DRAGONS & DAMSELS – John Reaume

We will search for the ultimate insect predators – damselflies and dragonflies. The biology of these “toothed ones” and their proper handling techniques will be discussed. Should the weather not cooperate we will have an indoor presentation / slide show. Bring binoculars and butterfly nets if you have them. (easy – limit 12)

B16 – 1:30 PM – PHOTOGRAPHY WORKSHOP: LANDSCAPES & NATURE WALK – Fran Sanagan

Fran will facilitate this hands-on workshop. Participants will learn how careful observations of the environment around them will improve their photos of nature and landscapes. Bring tripod if you have one. (easy, bring camera – limit 15)

Evening

B17 – 7:15 PM – BIRDING BY EAR – John Reaume

This presentation will review tips used to study and identify birdsong. Using a technique popularized by the Peterson Field Guide’s Birding by Ear series, we will learn many of the common songs heard in the spring chorus. (indoors – limit 60)

SATURDAY MAY 30                                                                                                                                                                                                                

All Day

B18 – 6:30 AM – WINGED PURSUITS – HUNTING BIRDS, BUTTERFLIES, DRAGONFLIES & DAMSELFLIES – Nathan Miller

Join Nathan as he pursues the winged jewels of MacGregor Point Provincial Park and Bruce County. We will focus on finding birds during the morning and insects as the day warms up; although all of these creatures will be discussed as they are found! (easy, car-pool, bring lunch – limit 20)

SOLD OUT – B19 – 7:00 AM – BIRDING THE INLAND LAKES – Mike Cadman

Several inland lakes located between Lake Huron and Georgian Bay serve as a bird migration route for safe passage between these two large bodies of water. Mike is a songbird biologist and will share his knowledge of songbirds and their habitats. (easy, car-pool, bring lunch – limit 20)

B20 – 8:00 AM – WALKING FOR THE FERN OF IT – Brett Woodman

Brett will introduce you to natural areas along the escarpment where hunting for ferns will also lead you to a variety of interesting habitats. His birding and wildflower identification skills will help to enhance this all day field trip. (difficult, car-pool, bring lunch – limit 20)

Morning

6:00 am to noon – BIRD BANDING – Dave Brewer

SOLD OUT – B21 – 6:30 AM – GRASSLAND BIRDS OF THE J/I LINE – SPECIES AT RISK – Mark Peck

Pastureland along the J/I Line makes it possible to find Upland Sandpiper, Bobolink, Meadowlark, Grasshopper and Clay-coloured Sparrow. Join Mark to have great looks at these and other grassland specialties. (easy, car-pool – limit 20)

B22 – 8:00 PM – BIRDING THE OLD SHORE ROAD TRAIL – Bill Crins

The Lake Huron shoreline as well as fen and edge habitats are featured during this walk north from the Visitor Centre. Bill is an active birder and naturalist. We always benefit from his experience as an interpretive naturalist. (easy – limit 20)

B23 – 9:00 AM – SCOPING IT OUT – Andalynne & Richard 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 soo… much to see right at your feet and above your head! (easy, car-pool – limit 20)

Afternoon

B24 – 1:30 PM – PUZZLED BY SEDGES? – Bill Crins

“Sedges have edges, rushes are round and grasses are hollow right up from the ground.” Bill will provide you with tips about how to identify sedges and open your eyes to a whole new world on the forest floor. (easy, car-pool – limit 12)

B25 – 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)

B26 – 1:30 PM – O’KEEFE GRANGE – A HERITAGE APPLE FARM – Bill & Lyn O’Keefe

Bill and Lyn O’Keefe have spent many years collecting and growing over two hundred varieties of apple and pear trees. These citizen scientists will share their knowledge and passion. (easy, car-pool – limit 20)

B27 – 1:30 PM – PHOTOGRAPHY WORKSHOP: LOOKING AT MacGREGOR CLOSE UP – Fran Sanagan

Fran will be facilitating this hands-on workshop where participants will learn how to look at nature close up, through a macro setting or lens. Bring a tripod if you have one. (easy, car-pool, bring camera – limit 20)

Evening

B28 – 5:30 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 – ONTARIO NEST RECORD SCHEME & PROJECT NESTWATCH – Mark Peck

Join Mark as he discusses the metamorphosis of the Ontario Nest Records Scheme into Project NestWatch and learn how as a citizen scientist you can both learn and have fun providing valuable information to conservation initiatives. (indoors – limit 60)

SOLD OUT – B30 – 9:15 PM – AN EVENING OF ASTRONOMY – WHAT’S UP IN THE NIGHT SKY FOR 2015 – John Hlynialuk

During an indoor astronomy talk, John will look at sky events for 2015. Outdoors, weather permitting; members of the Bluewater Astronomical Society will make available their telescopes for viewing the night sky. (indoors/outdoors – limit 30)

SUNDAY MAY 31                                                                                                                                                                                                                     

All Day

B31 – 6:30 AM – DEBATING THE ISSUES – BIRDING BAYVIEW TO BOGNOR – Mark Wiercinski

Invasive species, forest fragmentation, hedgerow removal and wetland modifications are all happening at unparalleled speeds in southern Ontario. On this walking / driving tour Mark will talk about issues that are affecting the bird populations in Ontario. (difficult, car-pool, bring lunch – limit 20)

B32 – 8:00 AM – BIRDS & BEACHES: HOW DO OUR BEACHES LOOK FROM THE SKY? – Karen Alexander

During this shoreline tour of varied coastal areas, Karen will describe how different types of beach stewardship can influence the health and quality of coastal ecosystems. (easy, car-pool, bring lunch -limit 20)

Morning

6:00 am to noon – BIRD BANDING – Dave Brewer

B33 – 7:00 AM – BEYOND ID – FOREST BIRD MONITORING – Mike Cadman

You will visit several active monitoring stations along the Lake Ridge Trail where Mike will demonstrate the field protocol for conducting the Forest Bird Survey. Mike likes to go “beyond ID” by providing tidbits about signs of breeding birds. (easy, car-pool – limit 20)

SOLD OUT – B34 – 8:00 AM – BEYOND ID – NEST FINDING – Mark Peck

On a leisurely walk in the park, you will take your love of birding to the next level. Find out how citizen scientists provide valuable conservation information while improving their observation skills and learning about the behaviour of breeding birds. (easy, car-pool – limit 20)

Afternoon

B35 – 1:30 PM – BIRDS OF PREY – Wild Ontario

Enthusiastic, knowledgeable staff and volunteers are supported by non-releasable birds of prey during a program that is loaded with fantastic facts, a healthy dose of humour, an inspiring message and lots of “WOW” moments. (outdoors)

B36 – 1:30 PM – BEYOND ID – SHRUBS & TREES – Bob Gray

Bob will help you use identifying features, including bark characteristics and leaf shape, to identify trees and shrubs found in a variety of habitats within the park. (easy, car-pool – limit 12)

Evening

B37 – 8:00 PM – SUNSET WALK – Doug Pedwell

Join Doug for a leisurely stroll along the shore of Lake Huron to discover the sights, sounds and smells of a late May evening in MacGregor Point Provincial Park. (easy – limit 20)


 

FAMILY WEEKEND

One parent/guardian must accompany children from the same family. This person is allowed to participate in the event free of charge. See the website for parent/guardian registration details.

SATURDAY MAY 30                                                                                                                                                                                                                

Morning

6:00 am to noon – BIRD BANDING – Dave Brewer

FAM1 – 9:00 AM – BIRDING 101 FOR FAMILIES – Doug Pedwell

Birding is a family-friendly hobby. Doug will talk about the equipment needed; how to recognize family friendly field guides and, of course, how to identify birds. (limit 40)

Afternoon

FAM2- 1:30 PM – AFTERNOON ADVENTURES (Children will be divided into two groups. Each child will attend both afternoon programs – limit 40)

BINO BOY & ELYTRA GIRL – Andalynne & Richard Tofflemire

Time to go on an outdoor adventure! With Bino Boy’s binocular vision and Elytra Girl’s power of magnifying, we’ll be out to discover all that can be found in an exciting, entertaining way!

AND

CHICKADEE NEST BOXES – Kerry Jarvis

Build a chickadee nest box. No carpentry skills are required. Participants will assemble their own boxes. Imagine the thrill of seeing a Black-capped Chickadee choose your nest box to raise its family! (Chickadee nest box kit – $10 extra per child)

Evening

FAM3 – 7:15 PM – DOWN WITH DR. ENTO – CAMPFIRE PROGRAM – Matt Cunliffe

Fascinated by the insect world? You can learn more about these incredible creepy crawlers from world renowned Dr. Ento…Mologist, through songs, games and trivia… 6 legs, 3 body parts, 1 campfire

SUNDAY MAY 31                                                                                                                                                                                                                     

FAM4 – 9:00 AM – MORNING EXPLORATIONS (Children will be divided into two groups. Each child will attend both morning programs.) (limit 40)

POND EXPLORATION – Andalynne & Richard Tofflemire

Join Richard and Andalynne for an informal, hands-on look at the fascinating critters that make the pond their home. Dip nets, basins and hand lenses will help us look at the often-unseen animals that live in pond water.

AND

BIRDING 102 FOR FAMILIES – Doug Pedwell

This hike will take place at the Duck’s Unlimited wetland where we will use the bird blind and the tower to see what is in the wetlands. (car required)

FAM5 – 1:30 PM – BIRDS OF PREY – Wild Ontario

Enthusiastic, knowledgeable staff and volunteers are supported by non-releasable birds of prey during a program that is loaded with fantastic facts, a healthy dose of humour, an inspiring message and lots of “WOW” moments. (outdoors) 


 

Huron Fringe Birding Festival Registration begins February 1, 2015: www.friendsofmacgregor.org

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

Follow us on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/HuronFringeBirdingFestival.

twitter: @HuronBirdfest

Email: birdfest@rogers.com.

 

DONT WAIT FOR SPRING.

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Redstart2

On our first day of registration we received 34 bookings in the first 30 minutes.

By the end of the day 117 had signed up not wanting to miss securing their favourite events and leaders. Seven events were fully booked on day one.

Barely a full week later and we’ve logged 166 registrations and 13 Sold Out events.

This puts us way ahead of our last two years and suggests that registrations will continue to fill up fast. So, if you are biding your time thinking you’ll take care of registration later…you might want to take another look at our list of hikes on http//:www.friendsofmacgregor.org/page/registration and make some decisions…now.

Judith on a recen wintery Bruce Birding club outing.

Judith on a recen wintery Bruce Birding Club outing. If there are birds out there Judith can find them…in any weather.

Some of you may not want to miss Judith King’s two excellent birding hikes…excellent because Judith brings a lifelong interest in birds to her outings. She has taken personal trips throughout Canada, the United States and New Zealand searching out new and different birds and habitats. She has participated in bird atlasing in many Provinces and States across North America. Judith is a regular trip leader with the Bruce Birding Club. Her knowledge of the local area makes her a favourite leader during the birding festival.

Judith’s event, LOVING LAGOONS IN LOWER BRUCE (A2), takes you exploring the Ripley and Kincardine lagoons. Then you’ll continue up the shore of Lake Huron. The emphasis will be on warblers, with as many as 20 species possible at the lagoons. Pockets of migrating warblers may be found along the shore. There are 8 spots left on this event, at this posting, so register soon.

Or you can register for her BRANT TRACT, PAISLEY & BLIND LINE (A38) event which has you exploring the Brant Tract with its mixed woods and streams. You’ll travel along an old road to the bottom of the valley. Paisley will showcase bird feeders and several species of swallows. The Blind Line parallels the Saugeen River and passes through fields and mixed forest. Judith will help you find Grasshopper Sparrows, Clay-coloured Sparrows, Cliff Swallows, Bobolinks and Yellow-bellied Flycatchers. Only 6 spots remain on this event, at this posting, so don’t miss out.

Follow us on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/HuronFringeBirdingFestival.

twitter: @HuronBirdfest

Email: birdfest@rogers.com.

 

 

 

BETTER BOOK FAST!

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MarkFull

Its the morning of Day One. Registration is open.

People are logging on to http://www.friendsofmacgregor.org and booking the events they want. As you can see from above, perennial favourite Mark Wiercinski is ALREADY SOLD OUT. But he always gets snapped up the first day of registration. So, if you want to be entertained while birding by Mark…you better move fast…he still has a couple of other hikes open.

And Mark isn’t the only one selling like hotcakes…MICHAEL CARLSON, MARK PECK, KERRY JARVIS, and nature hikes like JOHN REAUME’S ‘Damselflies and Dragonflies’ event are close to full.

There is always a rush on Day One as folks zero in on their favourite leaders, hikes, workshops, evening presentations, of course the Banquet/Keynote Speaker evening.

So a word (or two) to the wise…

2Openhttp://www.friendsofmacgregor.org