One of Canada's Premier Birding and Nature Festivals

Posts Tagged ‘Bayview Escarpment Provincial Nature Reserve


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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:

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.


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Hiking & Wine Tasting – The Perfect Day

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

Norah with Binos

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

Bayview Trail

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

Hart's Tongue Fern

Hart’s Tongue Fern

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

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

Dutchman’s Breeches

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

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


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

” And then we visited Coffin Ridge Boutique Winery.”


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

Interior coffin ridge

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


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

Canada Violet

Canada Violet





Some events are already full

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


MAY 24 – MAY 27

MAY 30 – JUNE 2



Green Spleenwort

*Photographs courtesy of Doug Pedwell