huronfringefest

One of Canada's Premier Birding and Nature Festivals

Posts Tagged ‘Grey Bruce

ROCK STARS AND HIDDEN TREASURES

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On Friday, May 23 at 8:00 AM, Peter Middleton is your personal guide to Rock Stars of the City (A2) – as he introduces you to the over 50 fern species found in Grey/Bruce. Here’s Peter’s account of what you can expect to see.

“The escarpment that surrounds Owen Sound is a focus for Rock Stars, although Rolling Stones have not yet done an article on them.  The secret is one of hidden clefts, cool faces, seeping bottomlands and rich woodlands, all aspects of the Niagara Escarpment.  In these places, ferns find a number of unique growing opportunities favouring a remarkable diversity of species.  The “west rocks” and “waterworks woods” are two areas of particular richness to search for rare and unusual species. Green Spleenwort (Asplenium trichomanes ramosum) is a tiny plant that hides itself in the darkest of crevices.  In contrast, Marginal Shield Fern (Dryopteris marginalis) forms stately sprays in full sunlight, but always with its feet in touch with the limestone substrate.  The provincially rare Hart’s Tongue Fern (Asplenium scolopendrium) adorns shaded woodland ridges with unique leaf-like fronds.  These are but three of the approximately twenty species that await discovery on an outing to the little known botanical treasure troves surrounding Owen Sound.”

Fern Habitat

Fern Habitat

Green Spleenwort

Green Spleenwort

Hart's Tongue

Hart’s Tongue

Then, on Sunday, May 25, Peter will show you The Hidden Treasures of the Huron Coast (A25 – 7:00 AM). On this outing Peter takes you on an exploration of Lake Huron coastlines, both present and past, north of Sauble Falls.  He’ll take you to Petrel Point, Ontario’s oldest reserve and balance that with a trip to their newest, Sauble Dunes.

As a naturalist, outdoor educator and a man with a true passion for all things natural, Peter Middleton has spent a lifetime in the field…literally. During that time he has always stressed the importance of teaching younger generations the value of the natural world around them. For Peter, outdoor education is a practical extension of what is learned in the classroom.

Peter with his Latornell Award

Peter with his Latornell Award

As proof of this lifelong commitment, his achievements were recently acknowledged with the Environmental Leadership Award. Peter was one of five recipients recognized for their profound impact on conservation in Ontario.

So note those dates and plan to spend some quality outdoor time with our award-winning leader, Peter Middleton.

THERE IS STILL PLENTY OF ROOM ON BOTH OF PETER’S EVENTS SO REGISTER ON-LINE – NOW

http://www.friendsofmacgregor.org

 Email: birdfest@rogers.com 

peter fernsPeter 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 was a leader for the endangered Piping Plover Protection Project at Sauble Beach.  He served as President of the Owen Sound Field Naturalists and has been a member of OSFN since its inception in 1989. In his spare time he serves as a Director on the Board of the Bluewater Association for Lifelong Learning (BALL) and on the Board of Ontario Nature.

 HURON FRINGE BIRDING FESTIVAL

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

MacGREGOR POINT PROVINCIAL PARK

PORT ELGIN, ONTARIO

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Hiking & Wine Tasting – The Perfect Day

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

Norah with Binos

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

Bayview Trail

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

Hart's Tongue Fern

Hart’s Tongue Fern

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

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

Dutchman’s Breeches

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

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

Defense

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

” And then we visited Coffin Ridge Boutique Winery.”

CR1

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

Interior coffin ridge

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

Vineyard

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

Canada Violet

Canada Violet

Bellwort

Bellwort

HURON FRINGE BIRDING FESTIVAL ON-LINE REGISTRATION IS NOW OPEN. 

 http://friendsofmacgregor.org/page/schedule-of-events

REGISTER NOW TO GUARANTEE YOUR PLACE ON THE EVENT OF YOUR CHOICE

Some events are already full

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

HURON FRINGE BIRDING FESTIVAL, 2013

MAY 24 – MAY 27

MAY 30 – JUNE 2

MCGREGOR POINT PROVINCIAL PARK

PORT ELGIN, ONTARIO

Green Spleenwort

*Photographs courtesy of Doug Pedwell