huronfringefest

One of Canada's Premier Birding and Nature Festivals

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CHECK OUT OUR SCHEDULE AND DECIDE WHICH EVENTS YOU WANT TO ATTEND, THEN LOG ON TO:

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AND REGISTER

FRIDAY MAY 27                                                              

All Day

A1 6:00 am BIRDING THE 45TH PARALLEL – Michael Carlson – Bruce Road 9 is known as the 45th Parallel Road. Michael will bird the Bruce Peninsula from coast to coast – Lake Huron to Georgian Bay up to this latitude. (easy, car-pool, bring lunch) (limit 20)

A2 6:00 am BRUCE BACKCOUNTRY BIRDING – John Haselmayer – Visit the upper Peninsula’s best known birding spots such as Dyer’s Bay, Cabot Head, the sparrow fields and Crane Lake. This outing combines great birding and outstanding scenery. (easy, car-pool, bring lunch) (limit 20)

A3 8:00 am NORTH OF THE SAUGEEN – Joy Albrecht – Explore the backroads north of the Saugeen River. You will travel through the Chippewas of Saugeen Ojibway territory and inland habitats at the base of the Bruce Peninsula. (easy, car-pool, bring lunch) (limit 20)

Morning

A4 6:30 am KINCARDINE LAGOONS – James Turland – Hike the trails of this premier birding hotspot, locally known as “Pelee North”. If you missed seeing birds at Pelee, chances are you’ll find them here. (easy, car-pool) (limit 20)

A5 7:30 am BIRDING THE EDGE OF MacGREGOR – Terry Crabe – The MacGregor landscape offers a variety of habitats that provide the right niches for a good number of different species. Travelling by car to these areas, we will seek them out on short walks into each habitat. (easy,car-pool) (limit 20)

Afternoon

A6 (NEW) 1:30 pm LET THERE BE LIGHT – Fran Sanagan – Learn how lighting influences your photographs. In this workshop, you will learn a variety of natural lighting techniques, and how to get the most out of outdoor flash photography. There will be an opportunity to share your photos and discuss the results. (easy) (limit15)

A7 1:30 pm ARE YOU A PLOVER LOVER? – Stew Nutt – If you’re not already, you will be after spending time on the beach with these charismatic, endangered birds. (easy, car-pool) (limit 20)

A8 1:30 pm SHRUB & TREE ID IN MacGREGOR – Jim Coles – Using leaf and twig keys, we will identify the conifers and hardwoods in the vicinity of the Visitor Centre and learn about the role of site (soil characteristics) in determining species composition. (easy) (limit 20)

Evening

A9 (NEW) 7:15 pm BIRDING BY IMPRESSION & ALL THAT JIZZ – Fred Jazvac – Join Fred for his annual Festival kickoff ‘tips and techniques’ presentation. We all bird by JIZZ (birding by impression, GISS, right-brain birding, holistic birding, gestalt birding). Explore insights into how using impression applies to bird identification. (indoors) (limit 60)

A10 (NEW) 8:15 pm SUNSET AT THE HURON SHORE – Willy Waterton – Most people go inside after the sun sets but 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 your smartphone to DSLR. If you have a tripod, bring it along. (moderate, hiking along shore, car-pool, bring compact and/or digital SLR) (limit 12)

SATURDAY MAY 28

All Day (end by 3:30 pm)

A11 6:00 am HURON SHORES TO MALCOLM BLUFFS – Mike Burrell – We’ll cover all the birding bases – shorebirds, ducks, grassland birds and forest birds. You’ll be amazed at the diversity. We may even find a Cerulean or Hooded Warbler on territory. (easy, car-pool, bring lunch) (limit 20)

A12 7:00 am INVERHURON BIRDING & BOTANY – Dr. 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 songbirds and unique plants. Join us for this exploration of the forest and shoreline habitats. (easy, car-pool, bring lunch) (limit 20)

A13 (NEW) 9:00 am MONARCH FRIENDLY HABITAT – Audrey Armstrong – Learn how to nurture monarch butterfly populations by growing your own easy to maintain monarch waystation garden. Following a slide show in the morning, the afternoon will be outdoors, making seed balls, looking for monarchs, eggs and larvae along the Lake Huron shore and visiting local waystations. (easy, car-pool, bring lunch) (limit 20)

Morning

6:00 am to noon BIRD BANDING – weather permitting

A14 6:00 am BIRDING BY EAR – Michael Carlson – Do you have difficulty remembering bird songs and calls no matter how often you hear them? Michael is a natural at mnemonics. This field workshop will give you tips and tools you can use to sort out bird songs. (easy, car-pool) (limit 20)

A15 6:00 am SEX & THE SINGLE WARBLER – Mark Wiercinski – In spring, love is in the air. Let Mark explain the unseen action in the trees. It’s always fun when Mark tackles this topic. (easy, car-pool) (limit 20)

A16 6:30 am BIRDING THE 4 CORNERS OF MacGREGOR – James Turland – Visit wetlands, shorelines, forests and fields along the margins of MacGregor Park. You will enjoy James’ relaxed style and his ability to locate the birds. (easy, car-pool) (limit 20)

A17 7:00 am BIRDING THE EDGE – Todd Pepper – Back by popular request, Todd will bird the Lake Huron shoreline along the Old Shore Road Trail. He will lead us through habitats including fens, forests and wet beaches. (easy, car-pool) (limit 20)

A18 7:30 am PAISLEY BIRDING – Joy Albrecht – Join Joy birding the back roads from MacGregor to Paisley, with a stop at the Old Mill, Schmidt Lake and some roadside birding in the swamp on the way back to the Park. (easy, car-pool) (limit 20)

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

Afternoon (end by 3:30 pm)

A19 (NEW) 1:30 pm ETHICS OF BIRD PHOTOGRAPHY – Terry Crabe – The Tower Trail provides many opportunities to view birds but what are the challenges for the casual or professional photographer who wants to get the best shot. A birder and photographer, Terry will share the principles he follows. (easy, car-pool) (limit 20)

A20 1:30 pm AROUND THE EDGE OF MacGREGOR – Ken Burrell – Ken is among the top birders in Ontario. With Ken leading, you may be surprised at the birds you can find on a lazy afternoon. (easy, car-pool) (limit 20)

A21 1:30 pm BIRDING BRUCEDALE TO MacGREGOR – Joy Albrecht – Wooded and open areas beside the shore from Brucedale Conservation Area to MacGregor Point’s Koehler Pasch property provide great birding opportunities. (easy, car-pool) (limit 20)

A22 1:30 pm FROG FROLIC – Kerry Jarvis – Listen to, enjoy and locate the frogs who call MacGregor Park home. Our frolic will take us to several ponds to revel in the sights and sounds of these amazing creatures. If available, bring cameras and close-focus binoculars. (easy, car-pool) (limit 20)

Evening

A23 4:30 pm SOCIAL 5:30 pm BANQUET & PRESENTATIONLust & Domain: An Exploration into Why Birds Sing – Dr. Lyle Friesen – Recent advances in the field of bioacoustics have revealed that birds communicate in highly sophisticated ways. The mysteries of the dawn chorus, a sublime avian phenomenon, will be highlighted. Champion singers, those with the most complex songs, the largest repertoire or that are marathon singers, will be identified. (St. Joseph’s Parish Hall, Port Elgin, Roast Beef Buffet, vegetarian option available). (Early Bird Price $40 extra per person – after April 15 or for banquet/presentation only $50 extra per person). Casual, bar available, pre-registration required, silent auction. Contact registrar by May 1 with dietary restrictions. (limit 110)

SUNDAY MAY 29

All Day

A24 6:00 am BIG DAY ON THE BRUCE – Michael Carlson – Are you a lister? Do you tick? From warblers at dawn to Whip-poor-will at dusk, you will keep tallying up your numbers. Your day’s list could be over 100 species. (moderate, car-pool, bring lunch & walking supper) (limit 20)

A25 6:00 am FLOWERPOT ISLAND – Doug Pedwell – 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 an equally worthy substitute! (difficult, car-pool, jet boat, bring backpack & lunch) ($45 extra per person) (limit 22)

A26 (NEW) 6:30 am WILDFLOWER WALK – Nature Conservancy of Canada Staff – Experience a section of a recently secured 1000 acre NCC property near the Johnson Harbour Road. You will see an array of wildflowers, many of which are rare elsewhere in Southern Ontario. (moderate, car-pool, bring lunch) (limit 20)

A27 7:30 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, providing a variety of bird habitat. 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 – weather permitting

 A28 6:00 am WRESTLING WITH WARBLERS – Mark Wiercinski – Warblers are very annoying. They move around a lot and hide behind the most inconvenient leaves and branches. Mark’s humour and tips about habitat and song will definitely keep you interested. (easy, car-pool) (limit 20)

A29 6:30 am BIRDING BEYOND THE J/I LINE – Ken Burrell – The Burrell brothers rank among the top birders in Ontario. Take your pick of either expert for a great morning of birding. Join Ken on a driving tour which will focus on the threatened and declining birds of the grasslands in nearby Bruce County. (easy, car-pool) (limit 20)

A30 7:00 am eBIRDING THE PARK – Mike Burrell – Mike will take you birding, then introduce you to eBird, the amazing online repository of bird sightings, abundance, distribution and seasonal occurrence. You’ll find out how easy it is for you to become a citizen scientist and contribute your sightings to this awesome database. (easy) (limit 20)

A31 8:00 am UP WITH THE BIRDS – Doug Martin – This hike takes you on a not-so-early morning walk along the Tower Trail to the Viewing Tower. Past experience on this event has resulted in a species list that will rival many other events. Can we do it again? (easy, car-pool) (limit 20)

Afternoon

A32 (NEW)1:30 pm BIRDING & BIRD RESEARCH – Dr. Scott Taylor – Join Scott in a walk to the Ducks Unlimited wetland and hear about some of his research projects at Cornell while looking for late migrants and resident birds settling in to nest. (easy, car-pool) (limit 20)

A33 1:30 pm DRAGONFLIES & DAMSELFLIES – John Reaume – Damselflies and dragonflies are members of the order Odonata meaning “toothed ones” which reference their awesome mouth parts. We will attempt to capture some of them in butterfly nets for closer examination. (easy, car-pool, bring binoculars/cameras/butterfly nets/field guides if you have them) (limit 20)

A34 (NEW) 1:30 pm SAUGEEN SHORES BUTTERFLY TRAIL – Kerry Jarvis – Want to know the best plants, trees and shrubs to attract wildlife? Join Kerry as he showcases various gardens throughout Saugeen Shores. Learn about the “magic plants” that are magnets for birds, butterflies, caterpillars and mammals. (easy, car-pool) (limit 20)

A35 1:30 pm SONGBIRDS & SALAMANDERS ON THE FARM – Art Wiebe & Janice McKean – All living things need water to survive. Let Art and Janice introduce you to their backyard pond as they explain “natural habitat” and what it means to migrating birds, and the little critters who call it home. They will also talk about conservation programs that have assisted them in enriching these habitats. (easy, car-pool) (limit 20)

Evening

A36 (NEW) 7:15 pm SPIDERS OF EASTERN NORTH AMERICA – John Reaume – Spiders have a bad reputation but in reality they are fascinating creatures. John will talk about their unique anatomy and interesting behaviours. Webs are not just for catching prey! Learn how to observe them. Understanding spiders will make you appreciate them more – it’s true! (indoors) (limit 60)

MONDAY MAY 30

All Day

A37 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 Plover; inland lakes including Boat, Isaac and Sky lakes; grasslands around Ferndale and Black Creek Provincial Park. (easy, car-pool, bring lunch) (limit 20)

A38 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 “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

A39 6:30 am BACKROADS OF SAUGEEN – James Turland – Saugeen’s rural landscapes are a peaceful backdrop for Bobolinks and other grassland birds. This is James’ back yard and he is one of our favourite local leaders. (easy, car-pool) (limit 20)

A40 7:30 am BIRDING IN AN AMPHITHEATREJoy Albrecht – The elevated steps of the Saugeen amphitheatre provide viewpoints over the river and riparian habitat. Here you will get a bird’s-eye view. (moderate, car-pool) (limit 20)

Afternoon

A41 (NEW) 1:30 pm RIVER WALK – Marshall Byle – Enjoy a walk through beautiful habitats ranging from cedars to mixed hardwood, all the while following a trout stream. Observe spawning rainbows and spring migrants including Scarlet Tanagers and warblers. (moderate, car-pool) (limit 20)

A42 1:30 pm DOWN & DIRTY 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)

Evening

A43 (NEW) 7:15 pm WHAT’S THE FLAP ALL ABOUT? – Paloma Plant – The Fatal Light Awareness Program is sustained by a terrific group of volunteers. FLAP was the first organization in the world to raise concerns about bird collisions. They have instigated many changes to building design and lighting in urban areas. (indoors) (limit 60)

THURSDAY JUNE 2

All Day

B1 6:00 am MALCOLM BLUFFS & AREA BIRDING – Alfred Rabb – Bird in a variety of habitats within the Malcolm Bluffs Nature Reserve and area. The soaring Escarpment cliffs provide spectacular vistas of Colpoys Bay. (moderate, carpool, bring lunch) (limit 20)

B2 (NEW) 8:00 am MORE OF THE BRUCE RE-BECKONS – Willy Waterton – Join Willy in a continuing quest to rediscover Sherwood Fox’s Bruce Peninsula, based on his landmark 1952 book “The Bruce Beckons”. You will spend the day hiking and exploring Fox’s Bruce to see what still exists after 63 years. This trip involves more hiking than A38. (difficult, car-pool, bring lunch) (limit 20)

Morning

B3 6:30 am BIRDING KINCARDINE & AREA – James Turland – Hike the trails of Kincardine’s premier birding hotspot, locally known as “Pelee North”. You will see a variety of warblers, ducks and other migrants. (easy, car-pool) (limit 20)

B4 8:30 am THE BIG SIT – Margaret Anderton – Join Margaret to see what can be seen from the comfort of a sitting position overlooking a pond, a field, forest and feeders. (easy, car-pool, bring a lawnchair) (limit 20)

Afternoon

B5 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. (easy) (limit 12)

B6 (NEW)1:30 pm WHAT’S YOUR QUESTION? – Fran Sanagan – Bring your photographic questions to Fran. With his many years of experience, he will offer insights into how to get the photos you’re after. From raw images to photo editing, Fran can help you improve your technique with his tips of the trade. (easy) (limit15)

Evening

B7 (NEW) 7:15 pm TICK TALK: LYME DISEASE IN ONTARIO – Dr. Andrew Peregrine – Lyme disease is an infection that primarily occurs in wildlife. However, infections also occur in people. This talk will review current information on the importance of identifying Lyme disease in wildlife and people across Ontario. Practices to prevent infection in people and pets will also be discussed. (indoors) (limit 60)

FRIDAY JUNE 3

All Day

B8 (NEW) 6:00 am BIRDING NEYAASHIINIGMIING – Jarmo Jalava & Anthony Chegahno – Blending Aniishinaabe culture and traditions with the many interesting ecosystems found in Neyaashiinigmiing (Cape Croker) will be the highlight of this all day trip. This is the height of the breeding season and we will definitely find birds singing on territory. (easy, car-pool, bring lunch) (limit 20)

B9 6:30 am BIRDING SOUTH BRUCE – Marshall Byle – This is car birding at its best. We will follow a scenic route in Southern Bruce County, stopping to bird various habitats. (easy, car-pool, bring lunch) (limit 20)

B10 7:30 am A GEOLOGICAL JOURNEY – Bob Gray – Join Bob in exploring spectacular caves, deep gorges and a scenic broad glacial re-entrant valley along the Niagara Escarpment in eastern Grey County. (difficult, car pool, bring lunch) (limit 20)

Morning

B11 6:30 am BIRDING THE 4 CORNERS OF MacGREGOR – James Turland – Visit wetlands, shorelines, forests and fields along the margins of MacGregor Park. You will enjoy James’ relaxed style and his ability to locate the birds. (easy, car-pool) (limit 20)

B12 7:00 am BIRDING THE TOWER TRAIL – Ellen Smout – Join Ellen as she leads us along the Tower Trail, a favourite spot for local birders. We will see species that will nest in the boreal forest. We will scope the wetland from the observation tower and dyke. (easy, car-pool) (limit 20)

Afternoon

B13 (NEW) 1:00 pm CHANTRY ISLAND – Marine Heritage Society – Chantry Island, an international Important Bird Area, offers protection of colonial nesting species such as egrets, herons, gulls and cormorants. This boat trip includes a tour of the lighthouse and historic keeper’s cottage. (moderate, flip-flops not permitted, weather permitting, car-pool leaves the Park at 12:15 pm, $30 per person to be paid at the dock) (limit 9)

B14 1:30 pm WOULDN’T IT BE PLOVERLY – Stewart Nutt – Join Stew to visit endangered Piping Plovers at one of their few nesting sites in Ontario. You may observe courtship (Plovers) as well as other behaviours and learn about the many perils these birds face. You will find out how local involvement is helping this species recover. (easy, car-pool) (limit 20)

B15 (NEW) 3:00 pm CHANTRY ISLAND – Marine Heritage Society – Chantry Island, an international Important Bird Area, offers protection of colonial nesting species such as egrets, herons, gulls and cormorants. This boat trip includes a tour of the lighthouse and historic keeper’s cottage. (moderate, flip-flops not permitted, weather permitting, car-pool leaves the Park at 2:15 pm, $30 per person to be paid at the dock) (limit 9)

B16 1:30 pm SAUGEEN SHORES: WATERSCAPE PHOTOGRAPHY – Kerry Jarvis – Saugeen Shores is a treasure chest for photographers. Learn photographic waterscape techniques to enhance your photography skills and discover some of the majestic vistas in Saugeen Shores. (easy, car-pool, bring camera/accessories) (limit 15)

Evening

B17 (NEW) 7:15 pm SPARROWS – Rupert – Do little brown jobs have your head spinning? Join Sarah for a light-hearted presentation on sparrow identification. She’ll break the sparrows down into small groups, give you tips and tricks to figure out one of the more challenging groups of birds and show you some imposters that are often confused for sparrows. (indoors) (limit 60)

SATURDAY JUNE 4

All Day

B18 6:30 am BIRDING THE BEYOND – Mark Peck – Mark will travel backroads and byways beyond the Park boundaries searching for various habitats and their niche birds. Knowing Mark, an expert on “nidiology”, you’ll find a nest or two also. (easy, car-pool, bring lunch) (limit 20)

B19 7:00 am BIRDING THE HURON FRINGE – James Turland – A visit to Inverhuron Provincial Park and the Lake Huron shoreline will provide dune grassland as well as edge and shoreline habitats. (easy, car-pool, bring lunch) (limit 20)

B20 (NEW) 8:00 am BEACHES & BIRDS – Karen Alexander – During this shoreline tour of varied coastal areas north of Sauble Beach, 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 – weather permitting

B21 6:30 am BIRDING THE TOWER TRAIL – Justin Peter – Diverse habitat along the Tower Trail makes it a mecca for an eclectic mix of warblers, flycatchers, thrushes and more. Justin will help us find these birds by sight (and sound!) and will share tips about bird behaviour. (easy, car-pool) (limit 20)

B22 7:00 am ROAD BIRDING FOR GRASSLAND SPECIES – Brett Woodman – Tour the local countryside looking for elusive nesting grassland birds of Saugeen Shores. (easy, car-pool) (limit 20)

B23 7:30 am BIRDING HIDDEN SPOTS OF MacGREGOR – Ellen Smout – Travel some of the lesser known areas in the park looking for hidden gems. (easy, car-pool) (limit 20)

B24 8:00 am BEGINNING BIRDING FOR ADULTS – Doug Pedwell – This event is for those who wish to learn about the world’s number one hobby – birding. Topics include binoculars, field guides and apps, identification marks of birds and eBird. (easy, indoor/outdoor, car-pool) (limit 20)

Afternoon

B25 1:30 pm A BIT BAFFLED BY BOTANY? – Dr. Bill Crins – “Sedges have edges, rushes are round and grasses are hollow right up from the ground.” Bill helped compile the plant list for MacGregor Park; he can provide you with tips on how to identify any plant, including his specialty, sedges, and open your eyes to a whole new world on the forest floor. (easy, car-pool) (limit 12)

B26 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)

B27 1:30 pm FIELD SKETCHING &/or JOURNALING – Sarah Rupert – Field sketching helps you hone your identification skills. Everyone can do it. Sarah will show you how sketching can help you document your observations in the field. (easy, bring pencil & notebook) (limit 20)

B28 1:30 pm BLUEBIRD LANDLORDS – 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)

B29 1:30 pm ARE YOU A PLOVER LOVER? – Stew Nutt – If you’re not already, you will be after spending time on the beach with these charismatic, endangered birds. (easy, car-pool) (limit 20)

Evening

B30 5:30 pm to 6:30 pm BRUCE COUNTY CHICKEN DINNER(MacGregor Point Provincial Park, additional charge of $17. Dinner combined with B31 as a single event $23. Pre-registration required) (limit 60)

B31 (NEW) 7:15 pm STORIES FROM THE SUBCONTINENT: A NATURALIST’S RAMBLES IN INDIA – Justin Peter – Justin has visited India several times and will share some of his experiences and observations during this illustrated talk. Visit some of India’s signature sites, see the countryside and people, and of course, some of its amazing wild things and places! (indoors) (limit 60)

9:00 pm to 10:00 pm ATTRACTING MOTHS – Andalyne Tofflemire

B32 9:15 pm STARRY STARRY NIGHT – John Hlynialuk – John will introduce you to the wonders of the night sky, and tell you about dark sky events for 2016. Weather permitting, members of the Bluewater Astronomical Society will have their telescopes available for viewing the evening sky. (easy, indoor, outdoor weather permitting) (limit 30)

SUNDAY JUNE 5

All Day

B33 6:00 am DEBATING THE ISSUES, & MORE, WITH MARK – Mark -Wiercinski This walking / driving tour travels between Bayview Escarpment and Bognor Marsh. Along the way, Mark will highlight issues affecting bird populations in Ontario. You will find out what this has to do with sex, which of course it does! (difficult, car-pool, bring lunch) (limit 20)

B34 6:30 am WINGED PURSUITS – 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 winged insects as the day warms up. All creatures found will be discussed. (easy, car-pool, bring lunch) (limit 20)

Morning

6:00 am to noon BIRD BANDING – weather permitting

7:00 am to 8:30 am MOTH ID – Andalyne Tofflemire

B35 7:00 am BIRDING THE PERIMETER OF THE PARK – Justin Peter – Driving the varied habitats along the edge of the park provides a mix of warblers, flycatchers and other possibilities. An opportunity to view wetlands and the shoreline will also enhance this outing. (easy, car-pool) (limit 20)

B36 (NEW) 7:30 am BIRDING & BOTANIZING – Dr. Bill Crins – The Lake Huron shoreline, fen and edge habitats are featured during this walk from the Visitor Centre. We always benefit from Bill’s broad experience as an interpretive naturalist. (easy) (limit 20)

B37 8:00 am NEST QUEST – 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 expanding their observation skills and learning about the nests of breeding birds. (easy, car-pool) (limit 20)

Afternoon

B38 1:30 pm SPEED, STRENGTH & STEALTH: ONTARIO’S RAPTORS – Wild Ontario – Ontario is home to some of the most amazing hunting birds on the planet! Come get nose-to-beak with these stunning predators, and learn about the incredible skills and abilities that help them do what they do. (outdoors)

B39 1:30 pm WITCHES & WILDFLOWERS – 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 stories about plants. (easy) (limit 20)

Evening

B40 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 scents of an early June evening in MacGregor Point Provincial Park. (easy) (limit 20)

2016 FESTIVAL FEES

ADULT: 8 Day Festival $140        4 Day Weekend $100         Saturday & Sunday $75

YOUTH**: 8 Day Festival $85      4 Day Weekend $60      Saturday & Sunday $45

** 11 to 17

(The above festival events are not suitable for children under 11.)

SINGLE EVENT FEES

Please Note:

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

HALF DAY EVENT: Adult $20 / Youth $15

EVENING EVENT: Adult $10 / Youth $10

ALL DAY EVENT: Adult $40 / Youth $30

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

The Huron Fringe Birding Festival uses online registration and payment at http://www.huronfringebirdingfestival.ca

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

Detailed refund information is available on the website.

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 JUNE 4

Morning

6:00 am to noon BIRD BANDING – weather permitting

FAM1 9 am PLUGGING KIDS INTO BIRDING – Richard Tofflemire – Birding with kids can start right in your own backyard or in a provincial park! It is a family friendly activity. Learn about the equipment needed, field guides and apps and the easiest ways to identify birds. Bring binoculars if you have them, we will have some for you to use if you don’t. (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 – Andalyne & Richard Tofflemire – Everyone already has the superpowers they need to explore nature! Come out for a dynamic exploration of the forest and learn how much fun discovering nature can be.

and

MONARCH MADNESS – Audrey Armstrong – Not only are monarchs beautiful, but their life cycle and migration is amazing! In this hands-on interactive workshop, children will learn about monarchs and create really cool crafts. To help foster habitat for this Species at Risk, you will make “seed bombs” to take home.

Evening

FAM3 7:15 pm ANIMAL DEFENCES – CAMPFIRE PROGRAM – Park Staff – Join    Park Naturalists for an evening of deception, camouflage and chemical warfare as they investigate the defensive nature of MacGregor’s wild inhabitants. (outdoors)

9:00 pm to 10 pm ATTRACTING MOTHS BESIDE VISITOR CENTRE – Andalyne Tofflemire

SUNDAY JUNE 5

Morning

6:00 am to noon BIRD BANDING – weather permitting

7:00 am to 8:30 am MOTH ID – Andalyne Tofflemire

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

BUILDING FOR THE BIRDS – Kerry Jarvis – Get in the birding spirit. Build your own structure for a nest or wildlife feeder. No carpentry skills are required; just bring your enthusiasm! (kit – $10 extra per child. All tools provided.)

and

POND EXPLORATION – Andalyne & Richard Tofflemire – Join Richard and Andalyne 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.

Afternoon

FAM5 1:30 pm SPEED, STRENGTH & STEALTH: ONTARIO’S RAPTORS – Wild Ontario – Ontario is home to some of the most amazing hunting birds on the planet! Come get nose-to-beak with these stunning predators, and learn about the incredible skills and abilities that help them do what they do. (outdoors)

2016 FAMILY WEEKEND FEES

CHILD:* Saturday/Sunday $30   YOUTH:** Saturday/Sunday $45

CHILD HALF DAY EVENT: $9   YOUTH HALF DAY EVENT: $15

 CHILD EVENING EVENT:  $8     YOUTH EVENING EVENT: $10

* 5 to 10 accompanied by an adult       ** 11 to 17

brdfest2The 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

 

Image 6The Friends of MacGregor Point present this Festival as one way to ensure the preservation of the natural legacy of MacGregor Point for future generations. The Huron Fringe Shop in the Visitor Centre provides 10% off “all things birds” during the Festival.

For information about the Friends and events planned for 2016 visit their website www.friendsofmacgregor.org

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

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

twitter: @HuronBirdfest

THEY’LL BE BACK

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Most of them are gone now. Migrated to warmer climes. Only the hardy ones stay back to brave the winter. (Should there be any confusion we’re talking about birds, not the go-south-snowbirds who usually migrate via ships, planes and cars.)

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They’ll be back though. And if you’re a Birder of any sort, you’ll want to be around to witness and watch.

Trying to spot the Blackburnian Warbler.

Well, there’s no better venue than the Bruce Peninsula and environs…especially MacGregor Point Provincial Park. Being on a natural migration corridor it’s the ideal backdrop to catch their coming back. Which is why the eight day Huron Fringe Birding Festival (HFBF) operating out of the park and, one of Canada’s premier birding and nature festivals, gives you the best chance for the kind of “looks” you’re looking for, be you a casual or experienced birder.

HFBF features 58 birding events – nine botany events – two banquets – 12 evening lectures – boat trips to Chantry Island and Flowerpot Island – five photography hikes – field sketching and journaling events – butterfly and insect hikes – geology exploration – reptiles – raptors – amphibians – wildflowers and orchids – astronomy – a fun-filled family weekend and (of course) lots more.

ON JANUARY 15 we’ll be posting the full schedule on this blog.

Or you can log on to www.huronfringebirdingfestival.ca and check out all the events as well.

This gives you time to make your selections and get ready for on-line registration beginning February 1. It’s wise to pre-plan your choices because a good number of events fill up fast. Some even sell out within the first week of registration.

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

twitter: @HuronBirdfest

Email: birdfest@rogers.com.

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THAT WAS THE FESTIVAL THAT WAS

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The 18th Huron Fringe Birding Festival is now in the records.

And, what a record it is. Thanks to all our loyal and enthusiastic attendees, the Festival (without considering the Family Weekend) grew in attendance by 10%; with the addition of the Family Weekend the growth was 40%. All in all we welcomed 450 registrants to our home base in MacGregor Point Provincial Park situated at the base of Ontario’s Bruce Peninsula, which is a natural migration corridor.

A Liz Addison photograph.

A Liz Addison photograph.

The 275 regular program registrants were well above the 259 in 2014. An all-time high of 197 bird species were sighted.

The Festival held its first, highly successful, Family Weekend with 89 registrants…and will continue in 2016.

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We were selected as one of the Top 100 Festivals in Ontario for the second year in a row.

One of the 100 Festivals in Ontario for the second straight year. The Only Birding Festival in Ontario to earn this distinction

One of the 100 Festivals in Ontario for the second straight year. The Only Birding Festival in Ontario to earn this distinction

Nor can we forget our partners, corporate and community sponsors and our silent auction donors. Their support has helped HFBF immensely.

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Your Program Committee is well on its way with plans to make the 2016 Huron Fringe Birding Festival even better, so take note of the information below.

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This Blog will return with news of the upcoming HFBF program of events sometime in September. Stay linked in. Have a good summer.

www.friendsofmacgregor.org

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

twitter: @HuronBirdfest

Email: birdfest@rogers.com.

 

HFBF HAPPENINGS – PART 7 – SARAH RUPERT REPORTS IN

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SARAH RUPERT, (one of this year’s leaders), has spent many years exploring the wonder of birds and nature and she loves to share her knowledge with others through interpretive programs, writing and mixed media art. Here, she talks about her recent HFBF Event – Nature Sketching and Journaling – and sends along some photographs of her participants and what they saw.

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 natural 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. You’ll be surprised what you’ll be able to capture by the end of the session.

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Participants in the Nature Journaling workshop quickly became part of the environment, enjoying the sounds of a Song Sparrow and the gentle waves along the shoreline, while getting to know their subject matter.

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Dwarf Lake Iris in full bloom, much to the delight of the participants of the first weekend’s hikes.

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The view of from the Tower overlooking the DU Pond on Tower Trail is always a highlight for participants.

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A panoramic view of the Lake Huron shoreline from MacGregor Point Provincial Park.


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To Sarah Rupert, this windswept pine along the MacGregor Point shoreline is a classic symbol of the Lake Huron Shoreline…and more good memories.

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

twitter: @HuronBirdfest

Email: birdfest@rogers.com.

MARK THESE DATES IN YOUR CALENDAR FOR 2016

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HFBF HAPPENINGS – PART 6 – BIRD BANDING WITH THE KIDS

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Bird Banding was one of the highlights of our Family Weekend.

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It was the one place where children could actually see, touch and learn more about birds. And David Brewer was as attentive with the kids as he was with the birds. Probably because David started birding at their age; when he got his first bicycle, at about age eleven.

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He got his master bird-banding permit at seventeen. By profession he is an organic chemist, with degrees from Cambridge and Glasgow. Much of his spare time in Scotland was spent banding Gannets and has the scars to prove it. After graduation he did a years’ fellowship at the University of Arizona, from where he made many forays into Mexico, thereby starting one of his major interests, Neotropical birds. Since retirement from Uniroyal Chemical in Guelph he has spent his time travelling (to all seven continents), guiding on Polar cruises  (he’s been to Antarctica twenty-five times and the North Pole three) and writing bird books, including a birders’ guide to Central America. His main interests are bird conservation, banding and migration.

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He was asked if the bird was a “boy or girl”. He demonstrates a sure fire way to find the quick answer. Blow on its belly and see what you find.

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Give them a moment and they’ll be gone. No harm done.

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Take off time. See you all next year. You’ll recognize me by my band.

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MAY 27 – MAY 30 AND JUNE 2 – JUNE 5 – 2016

http://www.friendsofmacgregor.org

All photographs courtesy  of Norma Nanni and her IPad. 

HFBF HAPPENINGS – PART 5 – FAMILY TIME! AND MORE.

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New for 2015 – Parallel to our regular program we offered an new FAMILY WEEKEND PACKAGE that included Bird Banding, Birding 101, Afternoon Outdoor Adventures, Nest Box Building, Pond Exploration, Birds of Prey from Wild Ontario and a Campfire Program…all for the children. And it looks like they’re having a great time!

BINO BOY & ELYTRA GIRL – Andalynne & Richard Tofflemire – With Bino Boy’s binocular vision and Elytra Girl’s power of magnifying, the kids use their senses to discover what can be found in nature in an entertaining way!

Richard Tofflemire dons his giant binoculars to transform himself into BINO BOY!

Richard Tofflemire dons his giant binoculars to transform himself into BINO BOY!

Looking at the world through insect eyes…when he puts on Bino Boy's special glasses.

Looking at the world through insect eyes…when he puts on Bino Boy’s special glasses.

HAPPY CHICKADEE NEST BOXES BUILDERS. No carpentry skills required. 

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DAVE BREWER SET UP HIS NETS AND SPREAD SOME SEED TO ATTRACT BIRDS FOR HIS NEXT MORNING’S BIRD BANDING DEMONSTRATION. THIS WET AND HUNGRY CREATIVE WAS THE FIRST TO ARRIVE.

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KERRY JARVIS SENT IN THIS NOTE ABOUT SCOTT TAYLOR’S  BIRDING AND BOTANY HIKE AT INVERHURON PROVINCIAL PARK

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Scott is holding a water snake. Scott grew up in this area as a boy and is now working with Cornell University Ornithology. This interesting thing is that his dad, Bob Taylor was on the hike. It was nice to see father and son on an outing.

Scott and participants use Newcombe’s book to identify a plant.

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KERRY JARVIS ALSO CONDUCTED TWO PHOTOGRAPHY WORKSHOPS DURING THE FESTIVAL. HERE ARE SOME PICTURES OF HIS PARTICIPANTS PRACTICING THIER NEWLY LEARNED TIPS AND TECHNIQUES IN THE FIELD.

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 Landscape Photography along Southampton Beach

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“Landscape Photographyis a new photo workshop where we made 7 stops from the park to Southampton exploring and photographing the theme of water, nature and man’s intervention with nature. 

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Photographing the MacGregor Point shoreline was a new photo workshop at this year’s festival led by Kerry Jarvis. Participants had an opportunity to photograph the unique, rugged shoreline.

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“You really don’t need to travel the world to see beauty, its all here at MacGregor,” explained one enthusiastic photographer. 

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HFBF HAPPENINGS – PART THREE – BIRDS AND OTHER THINGS

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Jim Punnett sent in these pictures and brief synopsis of the hike with Rod Steinacher.

ROD STEINACHER - LEADING THE 'CABOT HEAD - A BIODIVERSITY HOTSPOT" HIKE

ROD STEINACHER – LEADING THE ‘CABOT HEAD – A BIODIVERSITY HOTSPOT” HIKE

“Our hike was in the Dyers Bay Road, Dyers Bay, Bruce Peninsula Bird Observatory, Sparrow Fields by Larks Whistle, and Crane Lake area.”

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“The 1st photos, Eastern Meadowlark, American Bittern & female Red-winged Blackbird on Dyers Bay road. The photos of Rod and participates were also on the road.”

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“Others were taken at the BPBO (Bruce Peninsula Bird Observatory). The shipwreck was taken in the bay at the BPBO.”

WILD COLUMBINE - SOMEWHERE ONE THE ROAD.

WILD COLUMBINE – SOMEWHERE ONE THE ROAD. 

“The last one is taken on Crane Lake Rd listening for sparrows.”

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And one of our young attendees sent in this invitation to all registrants of the Huron Fringe Birding Festival. Nice to see young folks developing a passion for birding. Could be a future HFBF leader in the making.

Please visit his site.

Hello,

Me and my grandpa where at the festival this past weekend.  Here is the link to my website: www.jacobspics.weebly.com.  I have uploaded all of my pictures (Macgregor Point > Huron Fringe Birding Festival 2015) I took of birds, reptiles/amphibians, mammals, and butterflies. Feel free to use any of these pictures for the park use or another use.

 Thanks,

Jacob Schumann


And Bob Taylor (out birding “Hotspots of the Lower Bruce” with Alfred Raab) sent us his shot of a Sandhill Crane and his Yellow-bellied Sapsucker.Bob Tylor -Sandhill crane Bob Taylor's Yellow-bellied sapsucker

THANKS TO ALL FOR YOUR CONTRIBUTIONS.

IF YOU’RE OUT AND ABOUT ON ANY OF THE HFBF HIKES OR IN A WORKSHOP AND HAVE A STORY, PICTURES, THOUGHTS OR WHATEVER, YOU WANT TO SHARE – PLEASE – FEEL FREE TO SUBMIT THEM TO: nanni_4@sympatico.ca – AND WE’LL GET THEM UP ON THIS, YOUR BLOG. THANKS.

HFBF HAPPENINGS – PART TWO – BIRDS AND OTHER THINGS.

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Bill O’Keefe explains why the apples at the O’Keefe Grange are so special. After years of collecting and growing over 200 varieties of apples and pears trees, he has a lot to talk about. And the blossoms behind him testify to another great year.

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This was Todd Pepper’s first experience as a HFBF Leader and he was happy with what he found on his Friday hike…an Acadian Flycatcher at Isaac Lake. (Correction…A mistake was made on the photo of the bird and it was determined by some that it was a Least Flycatcher. The Acadian was heard according to the hike leader but that is not the picture of the Acadian Flycatcher that was heard. )

Todd Flycatcher

This little tidbit (as it were) from Fred Jazvac:

ploverWe opened our day at with Alfred Raab at Sauble where the Piping Plovers are. A Merlin flew within feet of us, made an abrupt turn and picked up a brown small bird right off the ground and began eating it on a near by post in full view.  He ate the bird in minutes. The agility and speed of this bird was amazing as it plucked the bird from the ground.  The bird didn’t have a chance.  The Merlin was not intimidated by our presence. This is worrying news as the brown bird was taken about 100 feet from the Piping Plover cage.  Thanks for the great day, Alfred.  We saw 81 species of birds on an all day hike with Alfred starting at 6:00 AM.  We started at Sauble and finished at Sky Lake.

 The Bruce Re-Beckons with Willy Waterton and Audrey Armstrong.

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Willy took us on a tour rediscovering the Peninsula based on the 1952 book The Bruce Beckons by Sherwood Fox. While we covered many sites of historical interest, this gem stood out.  

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Heading up the 40 Hills Road we stopped at St. Margaret’s Chapel.

It’s a beautiful little church, “built of the stones of its own hills and valleys,” in true turn of the century Anglican tradition.The dolomite limestone blocks are cut large and thick giving the small building a stance that says it will stand for ages.

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 The interior is finished in dark timber with oak pews.

church 2church 4 The stain class windows, some with a local wildflower motif, glimmer in the dim interior as the light seeps through. A guest book revealed pages and pages of visitors from all parts of the globe.


THERE WILL ME MORE HFBF HAPPENINGS AS THEY HAPPEN AS THE SECOND HURON FRINGE LONG WEEKEND IS ABOUT TO BEGIN. KEEP US LOGGED IN.


There are still lots of open events.

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Take a look and you’ll see there are plenty of opportunities left for great birding, hikes, wildflowers, photography and more. Reserve the events you want now.

Space is available

Register now at: www.friendsofmacgregor.org

Big Bird

FRIDAY MAY 22

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)

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)

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)

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)

SATURDAY MAY 23

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)

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

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

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)

SUNDAY MAY 24

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)

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

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)

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)

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)

MONDAY MAY 25

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)

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)

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)

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

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)

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)

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)

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)

FRIDAY MAY 29

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)

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)

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)

SATURDAY MAY 30

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)

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

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)

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)

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. 

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)

SUNDAY MAY 31

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)

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

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)

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

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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

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)

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)

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.

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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)

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

IMG_1418One of the Top 100 Festivals in Ontario for the second straight year. The Only Birding Festival in Ontario to earn this distinction

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.

MIKE PICKUP – NORAH TOTH AWARD WINNER

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It comes as no surprise that Mick Pickup is set to receive this year’s Norah Toth Award. After all, the Norah Toth Award recognizes people who have contributed to the Huron Fringe Birding Festival in ways that makes a difference. Through his writings, his serving the Festival, the Friends of MacGregor, the Bruce Birding Club, the OFO and the inspiration for the Bird Blind – to name just a few – Mike’s contributions make him an obvious choice.

“It’s an honour to be able to get the award and the recognition from your peers and associates,” said Mike. “I feel very humble.” Which is perfectly in character for this gentle man that birders know and respect.

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Mike was just 9 years old when birds first began to interest him. His father would take him for walks pointing out birds on the moors in Lancashire. He came to Canada via England and Ireland when he was thirteen. He spent many days hiking and exploring the Bruce Trail near his Georgetown home. Then came the cottage in Sauble Beach, and the eventual move to Port Elgin. It was here that he met his mentor, Martin Parker, a naturalist and ‘big birder’. Martin rekindled Mike’s interest in birding. And the rest is local history.

Mike volunteered for Bird Studies Canada doing Nocturnal Owl Surveys, Breeding Bird Surveys, and Forest Monitoring Surveys; as well he has worked on both the first and second Atlas of the Breeding Birds of Ontario projects and in 2009 received the OFO’s Award of Distinction. Mike loves to share his knowledge with others. After he retired he carried this a step further writing books to give people ideas of where to go and what to expect in certain birding areas. He’s published three helpful books to date and is currently working on a fourth.

When he isn’t out in the field or writing you’ll find him with his other love…Mike, the model train enthusiast, has a layout in his basement that occupies most of his winter hours.

When asked what it takes to be a successful birder, Mike’s advice is simple…”get a good pair of binoculars, a field guide, get outdoors and enjoy yourself.” That’s something Mike has been doing for over 50 years.

The Huron Fringe Birding Festival honours and celebrates Mike Pickup’s Outstanding Volunteer Contributions with this year’s North Toth Award, Saturday, May 23 at their annual Banquet and Presentation.

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Huron Fringe Birding Festival Event 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.