huronfringefest

One of Canada's Premier Birding and Nature Festivals

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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 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.

AND

BIRDING 102 FOR FAMILIES – Doug Pedwell – This hike will take place at the Duck’s Unlimited wetland where we will use the bird blind and the tower to see what is in the wetlands. (car required)

FAM5 – 1:30 PM – BIRDS OF PREY – Wild Ontario – Enthusiastic, knowledgeable staff and volunteers are supported by non-releasable birds of prey during a program that is loaded with fantastic facts, a healthy dose of humour, an inspiring message and lots of “WOW” moments. (outdoors)

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.

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.

AND

BIRDING 102 FOR FAMILIES – Doug Pedwell – This hike will take place at the Duck’s Unlimited wetland where we will use the bird blind and the tower to see what is in the wetlands. (car required)

FAM5 – 1:30 PM – BIRDS OF PREY – Wild Ontario – Enthusiastic, knowledgeable staff and volunteers are supported by non-releasable birds of prey during a program that is loaded with fantastic facts, a healthy dose of humour, an inspiring message and lots of “WOW” moments. (outdoors)

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.

EVERYTHING YOU’VE EVER WANTED TO KNOW ABOUT BIRDING – AND MORE!

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BEGINNING BIRDING FOR ADULTS WITH DOUG PEDWELL- Thursday, May 28 – B5 – 8:30 AM 

Doug Pedwell has designed this event for those who wish to learn about BIRDING – the world’s number one hobby. After a short indoor session, you’re off on a bird hike to learn even more…in the field –  just like a Birder.

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We begin with how to adjust a pair of binoculars for your eyes.

 You’ll learn about topics such as how to use field guides (both paper and electronic) to help identify birds,

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You’ll get familiar with the terminology used by birders when identifying birds as well as what to look for. Most importantly – where to find birds and what birds are associated with which type of habitat. You can’t always see them but you can hear them. Learn the importance of a bird’s song and how to tell someone where the bird you are looking at is located.

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Birding 101 begins with a brief PowerPoint presentation, followed by a walk to look for and identify birds in the field. Our walk begins at the Visitor Centre, HFBF Headquarters. in MacGregor Point Part and wanders along the paths in the area. 

Common birds in this area can be viewed quite closely like Sandhill Crane.

SANDHILLIMG_7108 (1)Red Breasted Nuthatch

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 Chipping Sparrow

Beginning Birding for Adults will give participants a solid beginning to a life long hobby which can be done anywhere in the world with a minimum of cost in equipment. 

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A word of warning, Birding can become quite addictive and can lead to traveling to exotic locations in search of more and more species.

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Since retiring from teaching Doug Pedwell has indulged his lifelong passions of nature study, photography and travel. He can often be found wandering the back roads of Grey and Bruce Counties, camera in hand, searching for that perfect shot of flora, fauna, birds and landforms. You will definitely feel that a day with Doug in the field is informative, rewarding and a whole lot of fun. A member of the Bruce Birding Club, the Saugeen Shores Camera Club and a past president of The Friends of MacGregor, Doug has also participated in the Huron Fringe Birding Festival as an event leader and committee member for quite a few years now. Doug will also be leading B37 – A SUNSET WALK at 8:00 PM. Join Doug for 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.

 

Doug recently made a presentation on behalf of HFBF to Saugeen Shores Council. The following article appeared in the recent issue of The Shoreline Beacon:

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COURTING THE “INVISIBLE TOURIST” 

http://www.shorelinebeacon.com/2015/04/02/court-the-invisible-tourist

SAUGEEN SHORES – If Doug Pedwell has his way, the Huron Fringe Birding Festival would not be one of Canada’s best kept secrets.

Pedwell’s efforts to boost interest in the “world’s fastest growing activity” of wild life watching continued when he briefed Saugeen Shores councillors on some of this year’s 47 Festival events on May 22 to 25, and May 28 to 31.

At the March 23 committee of the whole meeting, Pedwell said birders are “The invisible Tourist” and while they may be low key, wild life watching is a $60-billion a year world-wide business, and is a “big-time growth” industry, particularly in Bruce County

Based at MacGregor Point Provincial Park, the Festival has twice made the list of top 100 Ontario festivals, and Pedwell said that’s because they reach beyond birding.

“We are also a nature festival. We do photography, astonomy, sketching and more,” he said, adding they made a deliberate decision to keep all of their events small with limited participation.

Usually recognizable by their Tilly hats, Pedwell said Festival participants slip into town quietly to eat and take bathroom breaks, and spend a lot of money.

One study said the average camper spent $545 per weekend, and local attendees spent $258.

He said a survey showed Festival participants visited 29 local restaurants, bought gas and gift shops items, and that 70 percent would come back for a longer stay, and are a “real economic benefit” to the community.

The Festival is named for the migration corridor along the Bruce Peninsula that offers birders, naturalists and photographers opportunities to discover nature with two shorelines – rocky and sandy – and all types of habitats that draw thousands of visitors each year to see the 340 documented species of birds.

Activities include guided hikes for wildflowers, butterflies and insects, workshops on bird identification and nature photography, and other natural interests.

Pedwell asked council for some input to help the Festival run more smoothly, including temporary parking provisions along Miramichi Bay Road, a birding “hot spot” where there are no parking areas.

“If we pull off the road on Miramichi Bay we’re on to the bike trail,” Pedwell said, adding habitat retention is also key.

Vice-deputy Mayor Diane Huber suggested the festival stage one of its presentations in the council chamber so it could be televised, and asked staff if temporary “Caution, Birders” signage could be arranged for areas along Miramichi Bay Road for the Festival.


The complete Huron Frige Birding Festival schedule is available at: http://www.friendsofmaccgredor.org.

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.

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

 

BRING THE WHOLE FAMILY TO HFBF

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 “Children are born naturalists. They explore the world with all their senses…”Audubon Nature Preschool

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As one of Canada’s Premier Birding and Nature Festivals we are introducing an exciting new FAMILY WEEKEND PACKAGE parallel to our regular program. It features family-oriented programs and activities on the Saturday and Sunday of the 2nd weekend of the Festival.  

You and your children will witness Bird Banding and be able to Learn Birding 102 as a family friendly activity. There are Afternoon Outdoor Adventures for the children, Nest Box Building, Pond Exploration, Birds of Prey from Wild Ontarioa Campfire Program and so much more.

HURON FRINGE BIRDING FESTIVAL FAMILY WEEKEND

SATURDAY MAY 30

Morning

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

FAM1 – 9:00 AM – BIRDING 101 FOR FAMILIES – Doug Pedwell – Birding is a family-friendly hobby. Doug will talk about the equipment needed; how to recognize family friendly field guides and, of course, how to identify birds. (limit 40)

Afternoon

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

BINO BOY & ELYTRA GIRL – Andalynne & Richard Tofflemire –Time to go on an outdoor adventure! With Bino Boy’s binocular vision and Elytra Girl’s power of magnifying, we’ll be out to discover all that can be found in an exciting, entertaining way!

AND

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

Evening

FAM3 – 7:15 PM – DOWN WITH DR. ENTO – CAMPFIRE PROGRAM – Matt Cunliffe – Fascinated by the insect world? You can learn more about these incredible creepy crawlers from world renowned Dr. EntoMologist, through songs, games and trivia 6 legs, 3 body parts, 1 campfire

SUNDAY MAY 31

Morning

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.

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)

Afternoon

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)

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.

“Children have a natural affinity towards nature. Dirt, water, plants, birds and small animals attract and hold children’s attention for hours, days, even a lifetime.” Robin Moore & Herb Wong - A Joseph Nanni photograph

“Children have a natural affinity towards nature. Dirt, water, plants, birds and small animals attract and hold children’s attention for hours, days, even a lifetime.” Robin Moore & Herb Wong – A Joseph Nanni photograph

Huron Fringe Birding Festival Registration: www.friendsofmacgregor.org

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

 FESTIVAL FEES 

INDIVIDUAL: 

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

STUDENT:

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

CHILD: (5 – 12 – accompanied by an adult)

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

SINGLE EVENT FEES: (Single Event Fees Only Apply if your are NOT Purchasing a Festival, 4 Day Weekend, Saturday & Sunday or Family Weekend Pass. All additional fees are per listed event. Fees include Park entrance fee.)

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.

Park camping reservations – www.ontarioparks.com

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

twitter: @HuronBirdfest

Email: birdfest@rogers.com.

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

BIRDING WITH BURRELL

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Mike Burrell will be a busy birder at MacGregor Point during this year’s Festival leading three Events. But that’s nothing new to him since he’s been a keen naturalist ever since he was a boy.

MVB_BY_johnBrunjesHis parents introduced him to birds and all other aspects of the natural world at a young age. In high school Mike spent much of his spare time volunteering at Long Point Bird Observatory. He became a “serious” birder at the age of fifteen after learning from some great mentors during his time at the Observatory and working at Algonquin Park where he really got hooked. Since then he has completed a Bachelor of Science degree at Trent University and a Masters of Science in Forestry Degree from the University of Toronto, both while completing fieldwork and theses on bird ecology in Ontario. He has worked for Long Point Bird Observatory, the Ministry of Natural Resources and several private consulting firms. Mike is Ontario Important Bird Areas Co-coordinator for Bird Studies Canada on the Important Bird Area Program and devotes much of his spare time to Citizen Science projects like eBird. Mike is part of Bird Studies Canada and has quickly become one of Canada’s top birders as well as an avid advocate of using eBird to record sightings. His passion about keeping records accessible to everyone has driven his support for the use of eBird. Join Mike as he birds some of our areas prime birding areas and demonstrates the power behind the use of eBird. Since its humble beginnings in 2002, eBird has captured the imagination of thousands of birders around the world. Birders are now flocking to the website to upload their bird sightings into the online database which is maintained by scientists and volunteers. The growth of eBird is incredible and as membership increases so to does our understanding of bird distribution and abundance patterns. eBird is already an important tool for making bird conservation decisions and will continue to be in the future. On top of its conservation implications, it opens up this vast amount of data to anyone interested and will surely make us all better birders and record keepers. There are lots of incentives too, with a variety of user stats available.

Go birding with Mike and talk to him on how you can get involved, and what eBird is already teaching us about Ontario’s birds. Take advantage of his expertise and knowledge and become a better birder by registering for these events at HFBF.

Mike Burell

A7 – 7:00 AM – BIRDING MacGREGOR’S BOUNDARY – 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.

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

A41 – 1:30 PM – BIRDING & EBIRD ENTRY – 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.

 ON-LINE REGISTRATION http://friendsofmacgregor.org/page/schedule-of-events

brdfest2

MAY 23 to MAY 26 – MAY 29 tor JUNE 1 -2014

MacGREGOR POINT PROVINCIAL PARK

PORT ELGIN, ONTARIO

Email: birdfest@rogers.com

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

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

Photo by John Brunjes