huronfringefest

One of Canada's Premier Birding and Nature Festivals

Posts Tagged ‘Bird Blind

ARE WE IN YOUR CALENDAR?

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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.

 

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.

THEY’RE BAACK!!!

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Eastern Phoebe - a Bonnie Patterson Collins Photograph

Eastern Phoebe – a Bonnie Patterson Collins Photograph

Lots of open events remain. 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. But events are filling up fast because the snow is gone and the birds are back.

Register now at: www.friendsofmacgregor.org

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 – limit 20)

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)

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

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.

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 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)

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)

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)

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. (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)

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)

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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

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.

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

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.

WEEKEND 2 – HFBF – ITS GOING TO BE A BIG ONE!

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Word is that the second weekend of the Huron Fringe Birding Festival promises to be one for the birds – i.e. – there will be lots and lots of them.

That’s what the local birders are all excited about. Why? Well, remember that frigid ‘Arctic Vortrex’ that made the winter of 2014 a thing of legend? It delayed everything spring such that the migration should be ramping up for the first HFBF weekend and the second should be busier than usual bird-wise.

All the more reason to visit: http://www.friendsofmacgregor.org and check out our second weekend event availabilities. There are lots of hikes available designed to give you a most satisfying birding experience. It will be a peak time for birds that you won’t want to miss.

Two optimal viewing spots to see what is incoming are the Tower Trail and the Ducks Unlimited pond. The viewing tower and the bird blind are perfect for sightings. The habitat, a mix of wetlands and hardwood forests is just what the birds are looking for.

And, it so happens, that Justin Peter is leading a hike called BIRDING THE TOWER TRAIL’ (B32) on SUNDAY JUNE 1 at 6:30 AM and there are 16 OPENINGS AVAILABLE .

Come see what he is looking at. Justin counting raptors at the Strait of Gibraltar.

Come see what he is looking at. B32 – Birding the Tower Trail. June 1.

You’ll want to take advantage of this because Justin truly lives “for the birds”. In fact, he cannot remember a time when he was not interested in birds and nature.

He spent much of his childhood consulting his considerable nature book collection. At age 14, a family friend invited Justin to attend the birding course he was teaching for adults as part of the local school board’s continuing education program. He soon assumed the role of unofficial assistant in the classroom as well as co-leader and, later, leader of the field excursions.

After university he eventually landed work as a seasonal, and then full-time interpretive naturalist at Gatineau Park. Three years later, he began full-time work as Senior Park Naturalist at Algonquin Park, where spent 7 years, organizing the park’s educational programming based at the Visitor Centre, recruiting and mentoring promising young interpretive naturalists, and assisting with various park management activities.

Justin joined Quest Nature Tours in 2013 as Director of Programs, where he continues to apply and expand his interests in wildlife (including birds, of course!). Justin has participated in various bird-related projects. He married his interests in birds and in languages by participating in a migration-monitoring program at the Strait of Gibraltar in Spain.

He did a stint as a bird-banding assistant at the Observatoire d’oiseaux de Tadoussac in Quebec.

His very favourite thing will always be leading bird walks. He is particularly interested in bird behavior and vocalizations, and enjoys raising others’ awareness of these aspects in the field.

That’s why Justin Peter is the perfect guide to a unique birding experience. REGISTER NOW FOR ‘BIRDING THE TOWER TRAIL’ (B32) on SUNDAY JUNE 1 AT: http://www.friendsofmacgregor.org

Follow Justin Peter on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/justin.peter.75

And on Ontario Birds: https://www.facebook.com/groups/377736792291721/

For an up-close look at your Huron Fringe Birding Festival experience

click on: http://youtu.be/0_vvcLJdE74

https://www.facebook.com/HuronFringeBirdingFestival

Recognized as One of Ontario's Top 100 Festivals

Recognized as One of Ontario’s Top 100 Festivals

HURON FRINGE BIRDING FESTIVAL – MAY 23 to MAY 26 & MAY 29 to JUNE 1

MacGREGOR POINT PROVINCIAL PARK, PORT ELGIN, ONTARIO

Email: birdfest@rogers.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

2014 HURON FRINGE SCHEDULE OF EVENTS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 SCHEDULE OF EVENTS

 FRIDAY MAY 23                                                                                                                                                                                                              

All Day

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

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

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

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

Morning

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

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

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

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

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

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

Afternoon

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Evening

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

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

SATURDAY MAY 24                                                                                                                                       

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

All Day

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

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

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

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

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

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

Morning

6:00 am to noon – LIVE BIRD BANDING DEMONSTRATIONS 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Afternoon

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 (Easy, car-pool) (Limit 20)

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

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

Evening

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

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

SUNDAY MAY 25

All Day

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

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

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

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

Morning

6:00 am to noon – LIVE BIRD BANDING DEMONSTRATIONS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Afternoon

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Evening

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

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

MONDAY MAY 26                                                                                                                                          

All Day

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

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

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

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

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

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

Morning

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

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

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

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

Afternoon

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

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

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

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

Evening

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

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

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

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

BETWEEN FESTIVAL WEEKENDS                                                                                                                  

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

THURSDAY MAY 29                                                                                                                                       

All Day

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

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

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

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

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

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

Morning

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

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

Afternoon

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

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

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

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

Evening

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

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

FRIDAY MAY 30                                                                                                                                                          

All Day

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

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

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

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

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

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

Morning

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

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

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

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

Afternoon

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

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

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

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

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

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

Evening

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

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

SATURDAY MAY 31                                                                                                                                       

All Day

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

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

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

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

Morning

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Afternoon

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Evening

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

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

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

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

SUNDAY JUNE 1                                                                                                                                            

All Day

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

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

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

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

Morning

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

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

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

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

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

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

Afternoon

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

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

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

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

Evening

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

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

2014 FESTIVAL FEES

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

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

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

* 12 & under accompanied by an adult

SINGLE EVENT FEES

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  

Difficulty levels

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

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

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

 Car-pooling

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

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

MacGREGOR POINT PROVINCIAL PARK

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

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

 The Friends of MacGregor Point

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

 Park camping reservations – www.ontarioparks.com

Local tourist information – www.sunsets.com

 PARTNERS

Ontario Parks

Friends of MacGregor Point

 We thank our sponsors:

CORPORATE

Bruce Power

Ontario Power Generation

Eagle Optics             

 EVENT

 Colonial Motel, Port Elgin

Grey Sauble Conservation Authority, Owen Sound

Handy Andy Services, Southampton

Harrigan’s Catering, Southampton

Hills Insurance, Southampton

John King, Law Office, Port Elgin

Maplewood Motel, Port Elgin

Mildmay Tent Rentals, Mildmay

Nature’s Millworks, Paisley

Rotary Club, Southampton

Synergistic Solutions, Southampton

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

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

Twitter – http://twitter.com/fompp

FRIENDS

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Mike Pickup as photographed by Doug Pedwell

A short while back, local birding legend and author Mike Pickup had a vision. In his mind’s eye he imagined a structure that allowed people to be safely hidden while viewing birds in their natural setting. He was talking about building a Bird Blind to provide birders, naturalists, artist, photographers and the general public an up close view of the wetland species that inhabit and migrate through MacGregor Point Provincial Park.

That vision is now a reality as the Friends of MacGregor Point Park, with a great deal of labour and engineering from the Park staff and strong financial support from the Huron Fringe Birding Festival (HFBF), the local community and sponsors, completed the Bird Blind Project in the fall of 2011.

Come spring if you take part in a HFBF hike along the Tower Trail to the Ducks Unlimited Pond you will be able to experience an unimpeded view of songbirds and water fowl out through the viewing slits onto the D.U. Pond from the hidden comfort of the blind located off the same sideroad as the tower but on the eastern side of the pond. The Blind can be accessed by a short trail and lead-up ramp from the Tower Trail on the southern edge of the Park.

The Bird Blind – From Friends of MacGregor Point Park website.

Thanks go to the Friends Board of Directors for again demonstrating a leadership role in moving forward a project that enables every visitor yet another unique opportunity to enjoy and experience the natural jewel that is MacGregor Point Provincial Park.

The Friends of MacGregor Point Park reason for being is to assist the park with endeavours that fall outside normal park operations. Before the Bird Blind an observation tower was constructed to help highlight the role of the Huron Fringe as a migration corridor and important natural area for nesting birds along the Lake Huron shoreline.  Interpretive panels along the Huron Fringe, Lake Ridge and Tower trails; the construction of the Rotary Trail to link Port Elgin with the Park and the placement of information panels in the Park’s comfort stations are just some of their physical improvements to the Park.

Established in 1993 as a registered charity, the Friends of MacGregor Point Park are a group who are passionate about MacGregor Point Provincial Park. Led by a volunteer Board of Directors, they work cooperatively to support and enhance interpretive, educational and research projects and programs within the Park.  A legal agreement between the Friends and the Crown; provides formal parametres for this relationship and provides definition for the extent to which they become involved in Park Operations.

Program enhancements have varied from the annual support of student positions and guest speakers to larger festivals such as Sparkle in the Park (formerly Snowfest), Wild for the Arts and of course, the Huron Fringe Birding Festival.  All of these festivals bring varied interest groups into the Park and the Saugeen Shores area.

The volunteer Board of Directors of the Friends is a working board committed to finding ways to raise monies in order to honour their mandate of enhancing the interpretive, educational and research aspects of the park.  Revenue from the Friends Huron Fringe Shop, located in the Visitor Centre, and other fund raising ventures stay in the Park.

So Mike’s vision is now a reality. And when you take part in the Huron Fringe Birding Festival next spring, be sure to pay it a visit.

The birds will be waiting.

 

Online registration and a fee schedule will be available in February. So will more program updates. If you have questions regarding the Festival please contact the official registrar at birdfest@rogers.com or www.friendsofmacgregor.org 

Written by huronfringefest

November 11, 2012 at 6:52 pm