huronfringefest

One of Canada's Premier Birding and Nature Festivals

Posts Tagged ‘ecotourism

A GOOD TIME WAS HAD BY ALL

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THE FOLLOWING IS A PREVIEW OF THE ARTICLE THAT WILL APPEAR IN THE JUNE 4 ISSUE OF THE SHORELINE BEACON SERVING SAUGEEN SHORES, PAISLEY, TARA AND TIVERTON

THE HURON FRINGE BANQUET AND PRESENTATION

A unique award, a silent auction, special presentations by Bradley Fauteux and Peter Middleton, recognition of sponsors and volunteers plus a generous gift from Bruce Power, highlighted the Huron Fringe Birding Festival Banquet on May 25. Over time The Festival itself has grown substantially and is recognized as one of North America’s premier Birding Festivals.

The banquet paid tribute to original and present volunteers, leaders, sponsors and participants who have helped make the Festival what it is today. A sub-committee of The Friends of MacGregor Point Provincial Park, the Festival is now known for new and innovated programs and events featuring first-class leaders.

Organized and operated totally by a volunteer committee, the Festival’s events showcase MacGregor Point Park and the Bruce Peninsula. All revenues go towards new initiatives by the Friends of MacGregor.

Bradley Fauteux, Managing Director, Ontario Parks

Bradley Fauteux, Managing Director, Ontario Parks

In his opening address, Bradley Fauteux, Managing Director of Ontario Parks, said, “…in environmentalism and conservation, I don’t think there is a higher calling than being part of a ‘Friends’ group. Nothing happens in Park infrastructure without volunteers…the ability and desire to volunteer is one of the most important things people can do. Ontario Parks is grateful for your time and support.”

The introduction of the new Norah Toth Award underlined Mr. Fauteux’s comments. This award carries Norah’s name because she represents the values that underlie its origin. Norah is an originator of the Festival as well as a leading and driving force in its successes.

North Toth presents the new award named after her to its first recipient Mary Rapati.

North Toth presents the new award named after her to its first recipient Mary Rapati.

This Award will be presented annually to the individual who has made a significant difference to the Huron Fringe Birding Festival or other local nature activities. The first and obvious recipient is Mary Rapati who for years has made unselfish service to and involvement in the Festival and the Friends of MacGregor a model for volunteerism.

Plaques were also presented to long-time volunteers Doug Martin, Joan Crowe, Mark Wiercinski and again, Norah Toth, for their help in driving the Festival forward.

Bruce Power present a big cheque to Norah and Jim

Bruce Power present a big cheque to Norah and Jim

Bruce Power acknowledged their important, long-term relationship with the Festival and Friends of MacGregor with a generous contribution of $4700.00. Their involvement and donation go a long way in the development of Festival programs and keeping registrations costs low.

Peter Middleton ended the evening with his entertaining answer to the question “Why Do Gulls Perch On White Rocks?”

Peter

Peter presented insights gleaned from a long career in Ecotourism that began in the early 60’s. In a striking, visual and often humorous presentation he showed how, “one ventures into the field with a sense of anticipation and discovery. No two days are alike and the wonders of a living planet unfold in remarkable and unpredictable fashion.”

120 people attended yet another successful Huron Fringe Birding Festival Banquet. The Festival ends June 2nd. Planning for the 2014 Festival begins shortly thereafter.

John Cummings was our usual masterful Master of Ceremonies

John Cummings was our usual masterful Master of Ceremonies

Norah Toth and Mark Wiercinski with their award for contributions to HFBF

Norah Toth and Mark Wiercinski with his award for contributions to HFBF

Doug Marti9n - founding president of The Friends of MacGregor Point Park and his award.

Doug Martin – founding president of The Friends of MacGregor Point Park and his award.

Joan Crowe and her award

Joan Crowe and her award

Doug Pedwell gives Norah Toth an award of her very own

Photos (except that of Peter Middleton) courtesy of Steward Nutt and Doug Pedwell

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THE PETER MIDDLETON PRESENTATION

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On the 25th of May, at 4:30 PM, the Huron Fringe Birding Festival Banquet begins at St. Joseph’s Parish Hall in Port Elgin. The highlight of the evening will be a presentation by Peter Middleton as he shares stories of his time as an ecotourism guide. Here, in his own words, is a brief snapshot of his sure to be humorous and intriguing presentation.

 

WHY DO GULLS LIKE TO SIT ON WHITE ROCKS?

By Peter Middleton

PeterWhen one ventures into the field, it is always with a sense of anticipation and discovery. No two days are alike and the wonders of a living planet unfold in remarkable and unpredictable fashion. Daily experiences build over the years into a remarkable range of information and knowledge. The ability to share with others is one of the greatest joys for a naturalist – and one of the greatest sources of surprise.

As a wilderness and naturalist guide for most of my life, I have had the pleasure and challenge of dealing with situations, both profound and preposterous, provided by those with whom I travel and those who one must deal with (police, customs agents etc.) to ensure a trip goes as planned, or not. You cannot leave because you have not arrived!. Situations encountered become the source of great and often amusing stories: from participants going walkabout in Polar Bear country, to spending a night under the stars on an Antarctic ice sheet surrounded by a posse of Wedell seal that emerged from the icy waters and hauled out to join our group, obviously mistaking us for their own kind. From dealing with gun toting security forces, to amassing a credit card debit that my wife found to be excessive. There are many memories.

Becoming friends with the largest land carnivore in the world is not a highly recommended activity at any time, but was the apparent desire of one of my trip participants, who rambled off into the arctic expanse one day without telling anyone. This wish caused her leader some considerable concern when a young male Polar Bear decided to visit. Fortunately the experience did not end up as a shared meal experience! She survived and to this day, I am sure, does not understand the concerns expressed about her behavior. She had paid good money to come and see Polar Bears! And then there was the Arctic Wolf! These and other tales will be the basis of my presentation and will take us from the two Polar Regions to Africa, Amazonia, India and other locations around the globe. The talk will be illustrated with images taken on my trips. I may even answer the question of why gulls sit on white rocks, but only for those who attend.

 

Peter7Peter Middleton is a retired outdoor education teacher and principal. He has guided groups, to many areas of the globe, to observe birds, animals and plants, and interpret natural environments. Throughout his life, Peter has had an overarching interest in birds. His passion for birds began as a young boy in northeast Scotland, and continued to develop in Canada when his family immigrated in 1952. He is a respected field ornithologist who, over the years, has contributed to many projects including the Ontario Breeding Bird Atlas, North America Breeding Bird Surveys, Grey-Bruce Records Committee and Endangered Species Recovery Programs. He served as president of the Owen Sound Field Naturalists.

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The Huron Fringe Birding Festival runs from May 24 to June 2, 2013. Full program is now available at www.friendsofmacgregor.org