huronfringefest

One of Canada's Premier Birding and Nature Festivals

Fall Migration is Starting as is Planning for Next Years Festival!

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Its hard to believe that summer is almost gone, and we had no Huron Fringe Birding Festival to even welcome the start of it. It has been and continues to be a very different year as well as a very different world out there. While people’s lives have changed immensely the birds continue their lives oblivious to the change. The birds migrated north in the spring and now are heading back with their new offspring to spend some time in a more southerly climate. Birding was one pastime that we could still enjoy on our own or with small groups and more people did seem to take up the activity.

As we make our way through the rest of this year planning has to be done to see if we can run the festival in 2021 with possibly new formats that fit better into the restrictions that Covid could dictate to us even next year. Stay tuned as we work through the logistics and keep May 28-31 and June 3-6 ready as we hopefully plan for our 2021 Huron Fringe Birding Festival.

Even with the festival being cancelled some presentations were still carried out, one of these being the Norah Toth Award presentation. The Norah Toth Award is presented annually to someone who has made a significant difference in Bruce Grey counties either through the Huron Fringe Birding Festival or due to their involvement in other local nature activities.  The award was set up by the Festival Committee to honour Norah’s contributions to MacGregor Point Provincial Park and in particular to the Huron Fringe Birding Festival. Norah has been a leading figure in maintaining and building the festival since its beginnings, over 23 years ago. This year the Huron Fringe Birding Festival Committee felt that Gwen and Dennis Lewington would be very worthy recipients of the Norah Toth Award and therefore, even though the 2020 Festival was cancelled, Dennis and Gwen were presented with their award.

Gwen and Dennis

* They have both been active and long-time volunteers in the birding community; volunteering with the Piping Plover program at Sauble Beach in the past and maintaining Eastern Bluebird nesting boxes in the Amabel/Sauble area.

* They donated property which now makes up the 51-hectare Ontario Nature Sauble Dunes Nature Reserve which sets aside unique Huron Fringe features including plants, animals, habitats and landforms.

* They have been involved with the Ontario Eastern Bluebird Society for many years. Their first Eastern Bluebird nest boxes were put in place in 1982, 38 years ago.

* They continue to check 100 boxes on their Bluebird Trail and their records, which have been maintained by Gwen since the beginning, show that their boxes have fledged 3,008 Eastern Bluebirds as of early July, 2020.

* They are listed as participants in the Ontario Bird Atlasing Project from 1981 – 1985 and 2001 – 2005.

* Since 2015, they have shared their passion for the Eastern Bluebird to participants of the Huron Fringe Birding Festival.

Eastern Bluebirds

Here are some of the results that Gwen and Dennis have noted this year.

  OUR RESULTS FOR 2020  ON OUR EASTERN BLUEBIRD TRAIL UP IN

                                               BRUCE COUNTY ARE AS FOLLOWS:

                           EASTERN BLUEBIRD                  95 EGGS          83 YOUNG          78 FLEDGED

                           TREE SWALLOW                      168 EGGS         155 YOUNG         132 FLEDGED

                            HOUSE WREN                            62 EGGS          62 YOUNG          62 FLEDGED

                            THE GREAT-CRESTED FLYCATCHER’S NEST FAILED THIS YEAR.

                             THIS YEAR WE HAD 74 BOXES ON OUR TRAIL, WHICH, WITH TWO AT EACH

                             STOP, MAKES FOR 37 SITES, AS WE ALWAYS PUT 2 BOXES WITHIN 12 FEET,

                             AS A BLUEBIRD WOULD TAKE ONE, AND A TREE SWALLOW THE OTHER.

                            THIS NOW MAKES A GRAND TOTAL OF 3,050 EASTERN BLUEBIRDS THAT

                            WE HAVE FLEDGED IN THE 35 YEARS WE HAVE BEEN INVOLVED IN HOPING

                            TO INCREASE THE POPULATION OF THE EASTERN BLUEBIRD.

                              WE PROBABLY HAVE FLEDGED WELL OVER 7,000 TREE SWALLOWS IN THE

                              35 YEARS.

                                                                         DENNIS & GWEN LEWINGTON

Many thanks for the time and effort these two have put into helping both the Eastern bluebirds and the Tree swallows keep their numbers increasing in this area.

During this fall migration finches have been showing up in numbers not seen for several years. Many people in this area as well as far to the south have had Evening grosbeaks at their feeders to use up their winter supply of sunflower seeds. Common redpolls as well as several Hoary redpolls have been visiting weeds along the side of many of Bruce County’s sideroads. Pine siskins and both Red and White-winged crossbills have been heard by many while zipping overhead this year.

Evening Grosbeaks

Other northern birds have arrived as many have had the good fortune of seeing the rusty undertail covert and beautiful plumage of Bohemian waxwings as they forage on the many berries that the trees grew over the summer.

Bohemian Waxwing

Before I get carried away talking about all the birds now coming through I’ll get this blog posted and see if I can give a few more details on the upcoming format for the Huron Fringe Birding Festival for 2021 in our next post.

Written by huronfringefest

November 28, 2020 at 3:15 pm

Posted in BIRDING

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