One of Canada's Premier Birding and Nature Festivals

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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.


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.


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.


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

Follow us on Facebook:

twitter: @HuronBirdfest




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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:


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)


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)


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)


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)


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)


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)


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)


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)



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.


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!


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


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)

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:

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:

Registration inquiries: or 519-389-6231

Follow us on Facebook:

twitter: @HuronBirdfest



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  A Special Presentation by Justin Peter – B29 – Saturday May 31 – 7:15 PM


The Strait of Gibraltar and Morocco beyond.

Each autumn, millions of birds that breed in Europe migrate to Africa to spend the winter. The trip is not necessarily a direct one, since many birds will avoid crossing the Mediterranean Sea at all costs. The Strait of Gibraltar in between Spain and Morocco represents the shortest distance between the western half of Europe and Africa and consequently Spain acts as a ‘funnel’ for hundreds of thousands of these birds.

Snake Eagle

Short-toed Snake Eagle

The Strait is an ideal location to study migratory patterns of European birds as well as changes in their populations. In 2010, Justin Peter volunteered for a non-profit organization that monitors bird migration there, with a particular interest in raptors and other soaring birds. In his illustrated talk, he will shed some light on the mysteries of bird migration across the Strait of Gibraltar and on his experiences there.

Justin truly lives “for the birds”. In fact, he cannot remember a time when he was not interested in birds and nature.

Justin & Snowy

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 studies that saw his interest in nature fall temporarily to the wayside, he soon re-directed his interests to the outdoors, landing work as a seasonal, and then full-time interpretive naturalist at Gatineau Park, a federally managed park in Quebec near Ottawa.

Three years later, he began full-time work as Senior Park Naturalist at Algonquin Park, where spent almost 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!) On the side, 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 also 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.

Justin Peter – The Strait of Gibraltar: A Bird Migration Hotspot – B29 – Saturday May 31 – 7:15 PM

ALSO – B32 – Birding the Tower Trail – Sunday, June 1 – 6:30 AM.  Justin guides you on a hike along the Tower Trail and the Ducks Unlimited Pond from both the viewing tower and the bird blind. The habitat is a mixture of wetlands and hardwood  forests.


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

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


Huron Fringe Birding Festival  - Recognized as One of the Top 100 Festivals in Ontariobrdfest2

MAY 23 to MAY 26  & MAY 29 to JUNE 1




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This year’s not-to-be-missed Keynote Speaker is Master Bird Bander David Lamble. And the evening’s festivities will recognize a long-time, key HFBF contributor Bette Jean Martin with the Norah Toth Award. It all happens at St. Joseph’s Parish Hall in Port Elgin beginning with a social ‘meet and greet’ at 4:30 PM, followed by a buffet dinner from Harrigan’s Catering.


Consider the varied interests of this year’s HFBF Keynote Speaker David Lamble. For 35 years a high school chemistry teacher, now a singer, actor and TV host in his retirement, but more importantly for us, a Master Bird Bander – one of only 100 in Canada.

Bird Bander

Since 1978 he has banded 171,759 birds of 193 species (as of this writing), but who’s counting. As David says, “I am not good at keeping track…the totals are really personal goals/achievements…banding is not a competitive sport.”

David will be at St. Joseph’s Parish Hall in Port Elgin on May 24 evening to inform, entertain and enlighten us. He has titled his presentation: BIRDS AND SOME OF THEIR MYSTERIES. He’ll be talking about bird intelligencebird vision and of course bird banding and how it all contributes to our understanding of birds.

hero_DavidLamble-300x250David’s love of birds began in 1978 with a banding study of Tree Swallows. He received his Master Bander Permit in 1986. By 1999 he had banded some 60,000 birds and received the Grand River Conservation Authority Watershed Award. His interest in our feathered friends expanded to include all species found in Southern Ontario. His major studies have now branched out to include Bobolinks, Snow Buntings, Ducks as well as his all-time favourite – the Tree Swallow.

He spends about 200 days a year in the Luther Marsh Wildlife Management Area north of Grand Valley where he meticulously documents each banding to better understand the habitat and needs of birds.

David’s banding goals are simple: find out where they go – try to ascertain if they return to the same place and measure a bird’s longevity.

“Banding opens us a range of things for research,” says David. “I think there are 286 species in Ontario. I’ve banded 193 so far. There are lots more areas in which I can still experience something new.”

Plan to joins us for the banquet and discover for yourself why David Lamble is no ordinary bird lover.


The Huron Fringe Birding Festival has grown from a one-day event where people just “showed up” and hoping for room on events, to eight days of events within a 14-day period than now requires a pre-registration process. This transition would never have been possible without the commitment for excellence and customer service demonstrated by Bette Jean Martin (BJ).


As Mary Rapati retired from her duties with the Festival, BJ moved in. For a couple of years she worked with paper registration – the final year for this involved learning how to develop a fillable form. With determination, she did it! However, this involved a lot of volunteer time, BJ’s time; and she was still working full-time as an audiologist at the Kitchener hospital and had children at home. A stickler for detail and with a desire to develop a system that would make life less hectic, BJ worked with the Friends of MacGregor internet provider to create the automated registration program that we use today.

Many people will know BJ as the person on the other end of the phone answering questions about the program or registration process. She has also been one of the common denominators at the registration desk, where, in recent years, she has committed many hours to being there before you arrive for your day to ensure that each registrant has a positive Festival experience. More recently, BJ has accepted the challenge of helping with the program committee where she has followed up on guest leader recommendations. Several years ago she even shared her profession by talking about hearing loss and birding; a topic many of us find challenging as we get older.

It is with pride and thanks that the Norah Toth Award will be presented to BJ Martin at the Festival Banquet on May 24.



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 *(With notes and photography courtesy of Jeff Rollings (In The Hills) and Janet Baine (Grand Actions)


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 Anyone familiar with his Sparrow Workshops has experienced Fred Jazvac and his love for learning. Sparrows presented him with a problem-solving situation. Who were these little brown creatures and how to identify them? Given his background, it wasn’t long before he had most of the answers. And that quest for knowledge grew from a passion that, initially, had little to do with birds.

Photo courtesy Jim Punnet.

Photo courtesy Jim Punnet.

In reality, Fred Jazvac wouldn’t be the birder he is today if it weren’t for football. Looking back over his career, though, it’s easy to see how he carries the disciplines of coaching and teaching into his passion for birds.

True, the seeds of his love for the outdoors were planted early. As a young boy he says he, “rambled a lot, getting lost in nature.” He and his friends would be dropped off around the Grand River where they camped. At 16 he got his first pair of binoculars and that started a life-long interest in birds.

But before birding his passion was football, to which he owes his education and successful career as a lauded coach, teacher and much-awarded contributor to the community.

Football fever hit him in grade nine while playing for the Delta Secondary School ‘Red Raiders’. When he realized that the only way to continue was to keep his grades up, he buckled down. At the end of his high school career, he was asked to play for the McMaster Marauders. The Dean realized that his ability more than made up for his lack of academic entrance requirements and the door was opened.

While with the Marauders, Fred often followed his teammates to the library. With nothing to do there, he discovered studying. That year he also made a career decision: he wanted to be a football coach and to do that he would become a teacher. By the time he was done, he earned a B.A. and a B.P.E. from McMaster and a Master of Science in Education from Niagara University.

Fred coached football while teaching at Central, Delta, H.C.I., and Westdale.  He was head of physical education at H.C.I. and Westdale. Along the way he also coached touch football, wrestling, field events in track, and girls’ basketball — the latter because his twin daughters played at Westmount. In all Fred coached high school sports for thirty-seven years.

His Delta teams, for a time, were the most successful of any school in Hamilton. They made the playoffs almost every year. In 1972, he coached the Hamilton Hurricanes to a Canadian Junior Football championship, the only junior team from the Hamilton area to win that event.

Head Coach Fred Jazvac and the winning Hamilton Hurricanes in Saskatoon Saskatchewan, 1972. Hamilton Spectator photo.

Head Coach Fred Jazvac and the winning Hamilton Hurricanes in Saskatoon Saskatchewan, 1972. Hamilton Spectator photo.

When asked to be the head coach of Mount Allison University he said no. Fred had discovered that coaching was teaching, and he was happier as a teacher coaching high school football.

For Fred, the transition from coaching and teaching to birding was never a big leap. His interest in birds and nature was always there. And it grew stronger during his final five years of teaching. Those days, he and his friends would spend a weekend a year in Point Pele.

“These guys showed me what birders really do. We were up in the dark and ready. It was an intense time. We always got over 150 birds. They knew where to go, where to look, who should be there and who was coming through,” says Fred. “It was problem solving, thinking in patterns, the same as preparing for a game. Learn as much as you can and react accordingly.” Sound familiar?

Today, Fred is coaching and teaching on the bird hikes he leads and the presentations he gives for the Owen Sound Field Naturalists where he served as Vice-President, President and Past President for 6 years, the Huron Fringe Birding Festival where he’s been a committee member for about 13 years and the Bruce Birding Club which he organized.

Besides birds and football Fred is also an educational innovator, a cyclist, a naturalist, a gardener, a writer and a lover of opera. He still loves to teach and that’s the direction he likes to take with his birding. To him birding is problem solving and a social activity. The festival and the BBC are where his most of his friends are. Unlike football, “in this kind of sport,” he says, “there are only winners.”


Fred Jazvac – IDENTIFYING HAWKS IN FLIGHT – A10 – 7:15 PM – Friday, May 23.

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





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



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Sandhill Cranes in grass marsh. Photo Barbara Paterson Collins

Sandhill Cranes in grass marsh. Photo Bonnie Paterson Collins

Thank you to everyone who participated in the Huron Fringe Birding Festival (HFBF), and to most of you, thanks for coming back year after year.

Below is some information that you may be interested in and some that you may already be aware of…its a compilation and summary of the birds seen at the Festival this year.

The number appearing after the bird species name designates the number of days the species was seen on our hikes.* Please understand that our hikes cover most of Bruce County and some of the areas where the species were seen were not covered everyday.

The HFBF just completed its sixteenth year. Next year’s events will be announced on February 1, 2014. Take note that you can register online. Remember to register early as some of our events fill quickly. Our boat trip to Flower Pot Island was completely booked by noon hour on the first registration day. Some of our bird hikes were full after 2 weeks.

We keep our hikes small. Twenty for birding events, twelve for wild flower hikes and for some of our events we allow only eight people. Our prices are very low if you take the weekend packages.  We have some very generous corporate sponsors that enable us to do that.

184 species were seen during the festival.

• Common Loon (COLO) – 3 (days seen)*

• Pied-billed Grebe (PBGR) – 6

• Horned Grebe (HOGR) – 1

• Double-crested Cormorant (DCCO) – 8

• American Bittern (AMBI) – 3

. Least Bittern (LEBI) – 4

• Great Blue Heron (GBHE) – 7

• Great Egret (GREG) – 6

• Green Heron (GRHE) -5

• American Coot (AMCO) – 5

• Virginia Rail (VIRA) – 4

• Sora (SORA) – 4

• Ruffed Grouse (RUGR) – 7

• Wild Turkey (WITU) – 7

• Sandhill Crane (SACR) – 5

• Black-crowned Night-Heron (BCNH) – 1

• Canada Goose – (CANG) – 8

• Wood Duck (WODU) – 6

• Mallard (MALL) – 8

• Gadwall (GADW) -1

• American Wigeon (AMWI) -1

• Northern Shoveler (NOSH) – 2

• Blue-winged Teal (BWTE) – 2

• Redhead (REDH) – 1

• Greater Scaup (GRSC) -1

• Lesser Scaup (LESC) – 1

• Ring-necked Duck (RNDU) – 2

• White-winged Scoter (WWSC) -1

• Common Goldeneye (COGO) -1

• Hooded Merganser (HOME) – 3

• Common Merganser (COME) – 5

• Red-breasted Merganser (RBME) – 6

• Ruddy Duck (RUDU) – 2

• Turkey Vulture (TUVU) – 8

• Northern Harrier (NOHA) -3

• Sharp-shinned Hawk (SSHA) – 1

• Cooper’s Hawk (COHA) – 1

• Red-shouldered Hawk (RSHA) -1

• Broad-winged Hawk (BWHA) – 4

• Red-tailed Hawk (RTHA) – 6

• Bald Eagle (BAEA) – 5

• Osprey (OSPR – 4

• Merlin (MERL) – 7

• American Kestrel (AMKE) – 2

• Great Horned Owl (GHOW) – 2

• Eastern Screech Owl (ESOW) -1

• Common Nighthawk (CONI) – 5

• Mourning Dove (MODO) – 8

• Rock Pigeon (ROPI) – 4

• Black-billed Cuckoo (BBCU) – 6

• Black-bellied Plover (BBPL) – 2

• Semipalmated Plover (SEPL) – 2

• Killdeer (KILL) – 7

• Spotted Sandpiper (SPSA) – 6

• Upland Sandpiper (UPSA) – 3

. Ruddy Turnstone (RUTU) – 4

• Dunlin (DUNL) – 3

• Semipalmated Sandpiper (SESA) – 2

• Least Sandpiper (LESA) – 1

. Long-billed Dowitcher -(LBDO) -1

• American Woodcock (AMWO) – 5

• Wison’s Snipe (WISN) – 5

. Wilson’s Phalarope (WIPH) -1

• Bonaparte’s Gull (BOGU) -1

• Ring-billed Gull (RBGU) – 8

• Herring Gull (HEGU) – 8

• Caspian Tern (CATE) -3

• Common Tern (COTE) – 5

• Black Tern (BLTE) – 3

• Belted Kingfisher (BEKI) – 5

• Red-headed Woodpecker (RHWO) -1

• Red-bellied Woodpecker (RBWO) – 3

• Yellow-bellied Sapsucker (YBSA) – 5

• Downy Woodpecker (DOWO) – 7

• Hairy Woodpecker (HAWO)  – 5

• Northern Flicker (NOFL) -8

• Pileated Woodpecker (PIWO) – 5

• Blue Jay (BLJA) – 8

• Common Raven (CORA) – 8

• American Crow (AMCR) – 8

• Chimney Swift (CHSW) – 3

• Ruby-throated Hummingbird (RTHU) – 8

• Purple Martin (PUMA) – 1

• N Rough-winged Swallow (NRWS) – 4

• Bank Swallow (BANS) – 4

• Tree Swallow (TRES) – 8

• Cliff Swallow ( CLSW) – 7

• Barn Swallow (BARS) – 8

• Olive-sided Flycatcher (OSFL) – 3

• Eastern Wood-Pewee (EAWP) – 6

• Yellow-bellied Flycatcher (YBFL) – 1

• Willow Flycatcher (WIFL) – 3

• Alder Flycatcher ALFL) – 4

• Least Flycatcher (LEFL) – 8

• Eastern Phoebe (EAPH) – 8

• Great Crested Flycatcher (GCFL) – 8

• Eastern Kingbird (EAKI) – 8

• Gray Catbird (GRCA) – 8

• Eastern Bluebird (EABL) – 8

• American Robin (AMRO) – 8

• Veery (VEER) – 7

• Wood Thrush (WOTH) – 7

•  Swainson’s Thrush (SWTH) – 1

• Gray-cheeked Thrush (GCTH) – 1

• Hermit Thrush (HETH) – 2

• Brown Thrasher (BRTH) – 8

• Cedar Waxwing (CEDW) – 6

• Black-capped Chickadee (BCCH) – 8

. Tufted Titmouse (TUTI) – 1

• Red-breasted Nuthatch (RBNU) – 7

• White-breasted Nuthatch (WBNU) – 2

• Brown Creeper (BRCR) – 3

• Carolina Wren (CARW) – 2

• House Wren (HOWR) – 8

• Winter Wren (WIWR) – 8

• Marsh Wren (MAWR) – 2

• Golden-crowned Kinglet (GCKI) – 1

• Ruby-crowned Kinglet (RCKI) – 1

• Blue-gray Gnatcatcher (BGGN) – 5

• Red-eyed Vireo (REVI) – 8

• Warbling Vireo (WAVI) – 8

•  Philadelphia Vireo (PHVI) – 2

• Yellow-throated Vireo (YTVI) – 2

• Blue-headed Vireo (BHVI) – 2

. Northern Parula (NOPA) -1

• Blue-winged Warbler (BWWA) – 7

• Golden-winged Warbler (GWWA) – 8

• Nashville Warbler (NAWA) – 4

• Yellow Warbler (YWAR) – 8

• Chestnut-sided Warbler (CSWA) – 7

• Magnolia Warbler (MAWA) – 6

• Cape May Warbler (CMWA) – 1

• Black-throated Blue (BTBW) – 5

. Cerulean Warbler (CERW) – 2

• Blackburnian Warbler (BLBW) – 6

• Yellow-rumped Warbler (YRWA) – 7

• Black-throated Green (BTNW) – 8

• Pine Warbler (PIWA) – 4

• Palm Warbler (PAWA) – 5

• Bay-breasted Warbler (BBWA) – 3

• Blackpoll Warbler (BLPW) – 2

• Black-and-white Warbler (BAWW) – 8

• American Redstart (AMRE) – 8

• Ovenbird (OVEN) – 8

• Northern Waterthrush (NOWA) – 8

• Mourning Warbler (MOWA) – 7

• Common Yellowthroat (COYE) – 8

• Wilson’s Warbler (WIWA) – 3

• Canada Warbler (CAWA) – 4

• Hooded Warbler (HOWA) – 1

. Yellow-breasted Chat – 1

• Horned Lark (HOLA) – 5

• American Pipit (AMPI) – 1

• Eastern Towhee (EATO) – 6

• Field Sparrow (FISP) – 7

• Clay-coloured Sparrow (CCSP) – 2

• Chipping Sparrow (CHSP) – 8

• Savannah Sparrow (SAVS) – 8

• Vesper Sparrow (VESP) – 1

• White-throated Sparrow (WTSP) – 8

• White-crowned Sparrow WCSP) – 1

• Grasshopper Sparrow (GRSP) – 2

• Fox Sparrow (FOSP) – 1

• Song Sparrow (SOSP) – 8

• Lincoln’s Sparrow (LISP) – 1

• Swamp Sparrow (SWSP) – 8

• House Sparrow (HOSP) – 4

• Purple Finch (PUFI) – 4

• House Finch (HOFI) -1

• Red Crossbill – 1

• Pine Siskin (PISI) – 4

• American Goldfinch (AMGO) – 8

• Northern Cardinal (NOCA) – 8

• Rose-breasted Grosbeak (RBGR) – 8

• Indigo Bunting (INBU) – 8

• Scarlet Tanager (SCTA) – 8

• Baltimore Oriole (BAOR) – 8

• European Starling (EUST) – 8

• Eastern Meadowlark (EAME) – 8

• Bobolink (BOBO) – 8

• Brown-headed Cowbird (BHCO) – 8

• Red-winged Blackbird (RWBL) – 8

• Brewer’s Blackbird (BRBL) – 3

• Common Grackle (COGR) – 8

Number of species seen – 184

Bruce and Grey Counties are a natural paradise containing 48 species of orchids and 50 species of ferns accounting for two thirds of Ontario’s totals. There are at least 78 species of butterflies in our area. A local expert claims that there are 19 species of warblers nesting here and perhaps the most nesting birds in Southern Ontario.The Huron Fringe Birding Festival is based out of MacGregor Point Provincial Park near Port Elgin, Ontario.

(Compiled by Fred Javac)

Tree Swallow. Thanks to Heather & Mimi

Tree Swallow. Thanks to Heather & Mimi

 The 2014 Huron Fringe Birding Festival runs from

May 23 to May 26 and May 29 to June 1.

Registration begins February 1, 2014 at:

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The Intrepid James Turland

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 Recently, James Turland led members of The Bruce Birding Club through some trying early spring weather in search of some good looks. It wasn’t a nice day, but James and Birders like him are a tough lot. Here’s Fred Jazvac’s account of the day.

James Turland

James Turland

“I would like to thank James Turland for his great effort in today’s bird hike. He led us to some excellent birds. The only flaw in his well-scouted plan was the weather. Arriving in Kincardine in the morning was like entering a different world. It appeared that winter was still at its peak.

Jamers and BBC die-hards

Jamers and BBC die-hards

Snow covered highways, high winds, squalls and snow everywhere.  For those of us who came from other areas, it was a surprise to discover what was happening in Kincardine. As the morning progressed the snow stopped and except for the high winds the world appeared normal again.”  

“Our journey started at Kincardine birding the sewage lagoons, the waterfront from Point Clarke to Kincardine and the harbor. Lunch was at the Erie Belle and from there to the southern boundary of Inverhuron Park, finishing at Baie Du Dor. In spite of the weather, James provided an enjoyable day for us. Thank you again, James and especially for filling in for Judith who broke a bone in her foot on a Caribbean Holiday. Our best wishes go to Judith on her operation tomorrow in Owen Sound.” 

BBC scopes scoping things out

BBC scopes scoping things out

“Fourteen of us got to share some nice surprises. The winds and the cold provided an atmosphere that made our highlights of the day even more enjoyable when we saw the birds coping with the weather. The delights included the Fox Sparrows who gave us good looks at the lagoons, our first Eastern Phoebe of the year struggling while foraging in a stream and the Killdeer, who near the waterfront, also struggled. Many Great Black-Backed Gulls and the Golden- Crowned KInglets were the few birds that didn’t seem to mind the conditions.” 

“The weather varied from snow squalls in the early morning, to overcast, to mixed sun and cloud. The winds were high varying from 20 to 40 K. The temperatures ranged from minus 5 to minus 1 C.” 

“We saw 47 species of birds* and surprisingly, the wind and the cold made our laughs even more enjoyable.” (Fred Jazvac)

Fred Jazvac Jim Punnett, Kincardine Lagoons

Fred Jazvac Jim Punnett, Kincardine Lagoons

 Throughout the Huron Fringe James’ reputation as a Birder extraordinaire is well known and respected. His hikes are always fun, funny, productive and memorable. James will be leading five events at this year’s Huron Fringe Birding Festival. They are:

• A3 – Birding the MacGregor Boundary. • A14 – The J/I Line – A Grassland Drive. • A35 – Birding MacGregor (Bruce/Saugeen Town line plus Viewing Tower and Bird Blind). • B11 – Birding MacGregor (South end of the Park). • B31- Birding South Bruce – Kincardine and Point Clark.

If you looking for a positive birding experience – James is your man. Check our website to sign yourself:

American Coot Kincardine Harbour

Killdeer – Kincardine

Fox Sparrow

Fox Sparrow

All photographs courtesy of Doug Pedwell 

 *Number of species seen – 47        

• Double-crested Cormorant (DCCO)

• American Coot (AMCO)

• Wild Turkey (WITU)

• Mute Swan (MUSW)

• Tundra Swan (TUSW)

• Canada Goose -(CANG)

• Mallard (MALL)

• American Black Duck (ABDU)

• American Wigeon (AMWI)

• Northern Shoveler (NOSH)

• Greater Scaup (GRSC)

• Lesser Scaup (LESC)

• Ring-necked Duck (RNDU)

• Bufflehead (BUFF)

• Common Goldeneye (COGO)

• Hooded Merganser (HOME)

• Common Merganser (COME)

• Red-breasted Merganser (RBME)

• Turkey Vulture (TUVU)

• Sharp-shinned Hawk (SSHA)

• Red-tailed Hawk (RTHA)

• Bald Eagle (BAEA)

• American Kestrel (AMKE)

• Mourning Dove (MODO)

• Rock Pigeon (ROPI)

• Killdeer (KILL)

• Ring-billed Gull (RBGU)

• Herring Gull (HEGU)

• Great Black-backed Gull (GBBG)

• Downy Woodpecker (DOWO)

• Hairy Woodpecker (HAWO)

• Blue Jay (BLJA)

• American Crow (AMCR)

• Eastern Phoebe (EAPH)

• Black-capped Chickadee (BCCH)

• Red-breasted Nuthatch (RBNU)

• White-breasted Nuthatch (WBNU)

• Golden-crowned Kinglet (GCKI)

• Dark-eyed Junco (DEJU)

• White-throated Sparrow (WTSP)

• Fox Sparrow (FOSP)

• Song Sparrow (SOSP)

• House Sparrow (HOSP)

• Northern Cardinal (NOCA)

• European Starling (EUST)

• Red-winged Blackbird (RWBL)

• Common Grackle (COGR)






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It may be hard to imagine given the weather we’re experiencing, but Festival Opening Day isn’t that far away, nor is the spring-like weather we all crave. As  May 24 draws closer events are filling up fast. But there is still room and time to register in a lot of others.


 Here is a brief list of some of the open activities you might be interested in. Check us out.



 May 24

A4 – MacGregor Tower Trail – Birding – with Bruce Edmunds. Hike the Tower Trail and check the Ducks Unlimited Pond from both the viewing tower and the bird blind.

A6 – Tree Walk & Talk – with Bob Gray. Hike the Lake Ridge Trail along the lakebed of two former glacial lakes to identify various trees. Learn how species associate with different site types.

 May 25

A12 – Birding the Saugeen First Nations Amphitheatre – with Joy Albrecht. Walkways and gardens are the backdrop to the Saugeen River. Visit the Southampton Pioneer Cemetery and Denny’s Dam on the far shore.

 A17 – The Wonderful World of Weeds – with Richard Aaron. Learn the “good side” of weeds – how they have been used for food, medicine and inspired inventions.

A18 – Managing Water – with Adrienne Mason. Join Adrienne on a hike through nearby river restoration projects where the interface of man, water and nature will be explored.

 May 26

A26 – “Ears On” Birding – with Judith King. The emphasis is on listening to the songs of MacGregor Point Park birds.

A30 – Bird Watching from Soup to Nuts – with Fred Jazvec. Many of the fundamentals in a birder’s journey through the stages of beginner, intermediate and advanced, are covered in this workshop.

A32 – Holy Hogweed! A Rogues Gallery of Nettlesome & Poisonous Plants – with Richard Aaron. From stings and blisters, to cuts and comas, learn about some of Ontario’s wild plants to avoid and what might happen if you don’t.

 May 30

B4 – Relaxed Nature Walk – with Minerva Cook. A walk past Pitcher Plant Marl to the Day Use area north of the Visitor Centre to explore plant and bird diversity.

B5 – Identifying MacGregor’s Tree Species – with Joe Watson. You visit Turtle Pond and Algonquin Campground to learn about tree species and identification ‘keys’ in various habitats common to the Huron Fringe.

B7 – Gardening for Wildlife – with Larry Lamb. Learn how to design your garden or backyard to attract insects, reptiles and butterflies.

 May 31

B9 – My Camera and Me – Focusing on Nature – with Jen O’Reilly. Discover the magic of light while taking dynamic, scenic, wildlife and close up photography. Learn and practice techniques professionals use.

B12 – Relaxed Nature Walk – Old Shore Road Trail – with Kim Toews. Enjoy a casual morning stroll along the Old Shore Road Trail in search of spring birds and wildflowers.

B13 – Plants, Legends and Folklore of MacGregor – with Heather Starrs. Heather’s walk introduces you to the legends, stories and superstitions attached to many common and not so common plants found at MacGregor.

June 1

B18 – Bayview Escarpment – Coffin Ridge Vineyard and Winery – with Mark Wiercinski. (See our Blog “Hiking & Wine Tasting – The Perfect Day”, March 8.) Crevice caves, Hart’s Tongue Fern and Barred Owls are all found within this Nature Reserve Provincial Park. And wine tasting after an invigorating hike is a great way to end the day.

 B20 – Legends of the Forest – with Heather Carscadden. The stories, legends and myths from around the world about the wonderful world of trees, which surround us.

B22 – How and Where to Photograph Frogs and Toads – with Kerry Jarvis. (See our Blog “A Conversation with Kerry Jarvis”, February 1.) Learn where to find elusive frogs and toads, along with tried and true techniques that will help you capture these amazing, miniscule creatures.

 B25 – GPS Scavenger Hunt – with Heather Carscadden. (See our Blog “And Now For Something Completely Different”, March 13.) Learn GPS basics and how GPS technology works; then use your knowledge to find hidden caches in a fun nature trivia scavenger hunt.

B28 – The Mysterious World of Moths – with Andalynne Tofflemire. An introduction to the ‘moth world’ as you become familiar with some of Ontario’s most commonly encountered moth species.

 June 2

B31 – Birding South Bruce – Kincardine and Point Clark – with James Turland. Enjoy a birding adventure looking for spring migrants along the side roads of Southern Bruce County.

B35 – Woodland Trail – with Sarah Martin. A walk through a maple forest dune complex system located north of the Park between Port Elgin and Southampton.

B36 – Wildflower Diversity Within the Fringe – with Brett Woodman. Here’s your chance to learn about and appreciate some of MacGregor Point’s varied wildflowers.

B37 – Sunset Walk – with John Cummings. The Lake Huron shoreline offers some of the most spectacular sunsets in the world. It’s the perfect ending for your Huron Fringe Birding Festival experience.

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Steward Nut and Doug Pedwell tell us about their unique birding expedition to Tobago. It’s an indoor presentation focusing on the geography, people and wildlife of this Southern Caribbean island.’

They’ll tell you the full story about, “Cows, Cayman, Mud, Mangroves: Amateur Birders Introduction to Tobago”, in person, Monday May 27 at 7:15 PM.  But here, in their own words, is a brief preview of ‘Doug and Stew’s Excellent Tobago Adventure.’


“If someone had told us that we might end up like Michael Douglas sliding down the muddy side of a mountain in “Romancing the Stone” the word “nuts” (or Nutts) might have been used. However, after struggling to stay on a slippery path of clay and mud there might have been agreement that was about to happen. We did not slip into the abyss but we did have to watch each step as we slogged through the rainforest on a sunny day. The effort was worth it as we saw many unique plants and animals in this unique habitat.”


“Although we are both familiar with Rattlesnakes on the Bruce and are attuned to them, Caimans lurking at the water edge were a new challenge for us, those pieces of wood poking out of the water were either eyes or nostrils, best to stay a good distance away as we didn’t know how far and fast they could run up to or on land. What you have to put up with to see shorebirds!”


“After we started to plan out evening presentation, there was a moment of epiphany as we realized that we could have called this chat “Birding at the Bar”. Struggling through the mangrove swamps of Tobago in search of the elusive Mangrove Cuckoo, we caught glimpses as it flitted away, but on return to the resort what is sitting sunning itself on the back of beach chair but a Mangrove Cuckoo. All we had to do was turn around on the barstool. A visit to Tobago is something we can easily recommend.”


“This excursion was not on our bucket list but in hindsight it should have been. It is a trip we will not soon forget.” 


 brdfest2The 2013 Huron Fringe Birding Festival Program is now posted on the Friends of MacGregor Point Park website.

On-Line Registration for the festival opens February 1, 2013.

Brochures are available at MacGregor Point Provincial Park.

Please share this information with anyone who might be interested.




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FringeCardFebruary 1, 2013 marks the opening of registration for this year’s Huron Fringe Birding Festival (HFBF). That’s when the complete program and on-line registration will be available to you at

If you want your own personal copy of our brochure just send us your request at: Huron Fringe Birding Festival Registrar – c/o Friends of MacGregor Point Park – 1593 Bruce Road 33, R.R. 1 – Port Elgin, ON – N0H 2CS. Or you can call us at: 519-389-6231 or 519-389-9056. We would love to chat with you about the Festival. In fact we would love to know how many years you’ve been attending. Let us know and we’ll highlight your accomplishment. Better still – bring in a new participant and we’ll have a gift waiting for you.

HFBF is highly regarded as “One of North America’s Premier Birding Festivals.” and one of the top festival values. Our prices are unchanged for 2013!  KW from Michigan says we give you “Great Quality and Price!” GT from British Columbia say we are, “Well organized. The hikes and workshops are worth it!” And SM from Ottawa thinks we are, “Friendly and welcoming!” Birders, photographers and nature lovers from all over Canada and the U.S. look forward to the festival each year. That, plus the fact that we keep our program sizes small for your maximum benefit, is precisely why early registration is important if there’s a program that you absolutely must be part of.

And here’s what you could expect to experience in the varied habitats of MacGregor Point Provincial Park and the Bruce Peninsula while at the HFBF • on the Grasslands – Bobolinks, Upland Sandpiper, Grasshopper Sparrow • Piping Plovers on the Huron Shoreline • Blue-Winged Warblers in Shrubby Habitats • Sora Rail, Green Heron and American Bittern in the Wetlands • American Redstart, Mourning Warbler, Scarlet Tanager in the Woodlands • and on the Alvars, Yellow Lady’s Slipper, Maidenhair Spleenwort, Eastern Massasauga Rattlesnakes.

PeterOn our first weekend we’ve secured a larger venue for our banquet. Peter Middleton is our keynote speaker at that event and his topic “Why Do Gulls Perch On White Rocks? And Other Insights From A Career In Ecotourism” is not to be missed. Not all of our programs are out-of-doors. There are afternoon and evening sessions with interesting topics and presenters who are experts in their fields along with birding and photography workshops.

So call, write or contact us on-line and make sure you’re part of it all. The Huron Fringe Birding Festival runs from May 24 to June 2, 2013. 

Registration begins February 1, 2013 at

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