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Below is a complete list of the Huron Fringe Birding Festival events that still have openings as of this posting. Have a look. Then register your choice on our website: Sign up today.

It won't be long now.

It won’t be long now.


11 OPENINGS – A2 – 8:00 am – ROCK STARS OF THE CITY – Peter Middleton. Fifty species of fern are found in Grey/Bruce and many of them can be seen in and around Owen Sound.  With Peter as your guide, you will be certain to meet a good number of these “rock stars”.

7 OPENINGS – A4 – 6:30 am – BIRDING MacGREGOR’S SOUTHERN BOUNDARY – James Turland. This road trip explores the forest, wetlands and abandoned farms along the park’s southern boundary.  A walk to Ducks Unlimited pond includes visits to the viewing tower and bird blind.

10 OPENINGS – A5 – 7:00 am – BIRDING MacGREGOR – Marilyn Ohler. Learn more about birding and MacGregor Point Provincial Park by joining festival veteran, Marilyn Ohler, on a morning walk in the park.

ONLY 2 OPENINGS – A7 – 1:30 pm – TREE IDENTIFICATION USING LEAVES & NEEDLES – Jim Coles. We will identify conifers and hardwoods in the vicinity of the Visitor Centre by leaf and needle characteristics. The use of botanical keys will differentiate between species.

6 OPENINGS – A8 – 1:30 pm – THE GEOLOGY & GEOMORPHOLOGY OF THE HURON FRINGE – Norbert Woerns. This driving and walking field trip will include stops at the Algonquin and Nipissing bluffs and a walk along the Detroit River Group outcrops to Gunn Point at Inverhuron Park.

24 OPENINGS – A9 – 1:30 pm – GETTING INTIMATE WITH NATURE: RE-DISCOVER NATURE THROUGH VIDEOS – Kerry Jarvis. Living in a “YouTube” generation creates exciting opportunities for naturalists to capture and preserve their experiences through video.  In this new workshop, Kerry will share nature video vignettes that he has created from outings and from his gardens.  (Indoors)


6 OPENINGS – A11 – 6:30 am – SOUTH SHORELINE TOUR – Marshall Byle. Marshall will follow the Lake Huron shoreline and include stops at varied habitats between MacGregor Point and Inverhuron.  Species may include Common Moorhen and Orchard Orioles.

ONLY 4 OPENINGS – A12 – 7:00 am – SAUGEEN HIGH – Joy Albrecht. The Amphitheatre gardens, high above the Saugeen River, will be the setting for this hike. We will be observing spring migrants, nesting species, shore birds, and raptors.

16 OPENINGS – A13 – 8:30 am – UNIQUE HABITATS ALONG THE LAKE HURON SHORELINE  – Judith Jones. Judith is an expert on dune ecology and many local species at risk.  Your morning will be spent learning about the plants along the sand dunes at Inverhuron; in the afternoon you will check out the near-shoreline and forest habitats at MacGregor Point.

11 OPENINGS – A16 – 7:00 am – BIRDING THE TOWER TRAIL – Richard Tofflemire. Campground areas, dune habitat and the Lake Huron shoreline will be featured on this morning hike.

9 OPENINGS – A17 -7:30 AM- THE TALE OF THE PIPING PLOVER – Stewart Nutt. Piping Plover behaviours including: courtship, feeding, life history, territorial displays and fierce protection will be observed and/or explained during your time with these birds.  Become a ‘Plover Lover’.

ONLY 2 OPENINGS – A18 – 1:30 pm – BIKING MacGREGOR – Doug Martin. Follow Doug along a variety of the extensive biking trails in the park, with a bit of park history, natural history and birding thrown in!  (Moderate, hybrid or mountain bike)

12 OPENINGS – A20 -1:30 pm – MAKE YOUR SIGHTINGS COUNT – Mike Burrell. The Citizen Science project eBird is a comprehensive online bird database that is revolutionizing how birders go about their business. Contributing is simple.  Other Citizen Science projects will also be discussed.

14 OPENINGS – A22 – 1:30 PM – TIPS & TECHNIQUES ON SUCCESSFULLY PHOTOGRAPHING TREES – Kerry Jarvis. Trees are often seen as a backdrop to a scene.  Join Kerry in this new photography workshop hike, as he explores and inspires photographers to look at trees differently.  (Moderate) Intermediate to experienced DSLR camera users. (Bring Tripod & zoom/close-up lenses.)

36 OPENINGS – A23 – 4:30 pm – SOCIAL.  5:30 pm – BANQUET & PRESENTATION – BIRDS & SOME OF THEIR MYSTERIES – David Lamble. David is no ordinary bird lover.  He will talk about bird intelligence – bird vision and his passion, bird banding, and how they all contribute to our understanding of birds.  (St. Joseph’s Parish Hall, Port Elgin, Chicken Buffet, Harrigan’s Catering) (Early bird price – $35 extra per person; after April 15 or for banquet/presentation only – $45 extra per person)  Casual. Bar available. Pre-registration required. Silent auction. Contact registrar by May 1 with dietary restrictions.


ONLY 3 OPENINGS – A25 – 7:00 am – HIDDEN TREASURES OF THE HURON COAST – Peter Middleton. This outing will explore Lake Huron coastlines, both present and past, north of Sauble Falls.  You will visit Ontario Nature’s oldest reserve, Petrel Point, and their newest, Sauble Dunes.  (Moderate, car-pool, bring lunch, sturdy footwear)

ONLY 4 OPENINGS– A28 – 8:00 am – UP WITH THE BIRDS – Doug Martin. Continue the tradition that pre-dates the birding festival with this morning walk along the Tower Trail to the Ducks Unlimited pond and the viewing tower.

8 OPENINGS – A29 – 8:30 am – THE LONGEST, SHORTEST WALK YOU WILL EVER TAKE – Richard & Andalyne Tofflemire. It’s more than just identifying what you see.  We will focus on how birds and bugs interact with each other.  But don’t expect to cover a lot of distance because there’s so much to see right at your feet and above your head!

ONLY 5 OPENINGS – A30 – 1:30 pm – NATURE RAMBLE – MacGREGOR POINT SOUTH – Norah Toth. Norah will take you to one of her favourite areas in MacGregor Point.  Wildflowers and birds seen along the route will be highlighted.

ONLY 5 OPENINGS – A31 – 1:30 pm – NATURE RAMBLE – OLD SHORE ROAD TRAIL – John Reaume. A leisurely walk along the Old Shore Road Trail near the Visitor Centre.  Plants, flowers, dragonflies, birds – let’s see what we find.

9 OPENINGS – A33 – 1:30 pm – FUN, FROG FROLIC AT MacGREGOR POINT – Kerry Jarvis. Join Kerry on this fun frog frolic to listen to, locate and observe several species of frog and the American Toad at MacGregor Point.  (If you have them, bring camera and close-up binoculars.) 

12 OPENINGS – A34 – 7:15 pm – THE PLIGHT OF THE BUMBLEBEE – Sheila Colla. Come learn about the status of Canadian bumblebees and what you can do to help wild populations of these important native pollinators.  Tools for identification to species level and a new Citizen Science project will also be discussed.  (Indoors)


16 OPENINGS – A37 – 1:30 pm – BOTANY & BIRDING IN SOUTH BRUCE PENINSULA – Doug Pedwell. We will be observing a variety of ecosystems including forest, escarpment, rocky shorelines, marshes, lakes, sandy shorelines, and pasturelands.  (Bring lunch, snacks and water. This all day event returns by 8:45 pm.)

12 OPENINGS – A38 – 6:30 am – BIRDING THE PERIPHERY OF THE PARK – Mike Burrell. Grab your binoculars AND notebooks!  While we are out enjoying the birds we will also be contributing to one of the biggest Citizen Science projects ever – eBird.  After the hike we’ll have a quick demo of how simple it is to really make your observations count.

9 OPENINGS – A39 – 7:00 am – BIRDING THE TOWER TRAIL – James Turland. Walk the Tower Trail from the park road to the Ducks Unlimited pond.  Habitat is a mixture of wetlands and hardwood forests.

16 OPENINGS – A40 – 1:30 pm – NATURE RAMBLE – OLD SHORE ROAD TRAIL – Laura Cook. Laura will take you along one of her favourite trails in MacGregor Point.  Wildflowers, insects and birds seen along the route will be highlighted.

26 OPENINGS –  A42 – 7:15 pm – IMPORTANT BIRD AREAS – Mike Burrell. Come hear about some of Ontario’s most important sites for bird conservation and how your help can make a difference on a global scale.

31 OPENINGS – A43 – 9:00 pm – AN EVENING OF ASTRONOMY – THE NIGHT SKY – John Hlynialuk & Bluewater Astronomical Society. John will take you on a tour through the deep reaches of the universe.  Program will feature astronomical highlights of 2014 as well as Saturn, Mars and more distant objects like nebula, clusters and galaxies. Outdoor viewing through telescopes is weather permitting.  (Indoors/outdoors)


ONLY 4 OPENINGS – B2 – 7:00 am – BIRDING THE HURON FRINGE NORTH – James Turland. Huron Fringe refers to the sand and gravel lowlands adjacent to Lake Huron.  This driving tour explores the fringe between MacGregor Point and Sauble Falls to the north. (Bring lunch)

11 OPENINGS – B3 – 7:30 am – TIPS & TECHNIQUES ON PHOTOGRAPHING WATERFALLS – Kerry Jarvis. Participants will get an opportunity to capture several local waterfalls by experimenting with a variety of photographic techniques.  (Bring lunch – Intermediate to experienced DSLR camera users. Bring tripod & zoom/close-up lenses.)

13 OPENINGS – B4 – 7:30 am – DOWN & DIRTY – WILDFLOWER PHOTOGRAPHY – Doug Pedwell. Participants will take their cameras and equipment to photograph wildflowers at a variety of locations in the park.

10 OPENINGS – B5 – 1:30 pm – BOTANY OF THE “FRINGE” – Barbara Palmer. Many unique shoreline plants, including Dwarf Lake Iris, are found in MacGregor Point.  Barbara will help you learn to identify them.

7 OPENINGS – B6 – 1:30 pm – TREE & SHRUB IDENTIFICATION – Bob Gray. Take a leisurely walk in the interior of the park to identify trees and shrubs and to see how species associate with different site types.

20 OPENINGS – B7 -7:15 pm – ONTARIO’S BIRD SURVEYS – WHAT ARE THEY TELLING US? – Mike Cadman. Citizen scientists provide a wealth of data on the size and trends of Ontario’s bird populations.  This presentation will outline surveys, methods and findings.  Special attention will be given to the decline of aerial insectivores (swallows, swifts, nightjars).  (Indoors)


12 OPENINGS – B8 – 6:00 am – CABOT HEAD/DYER’S BAY – A BIRDING AREA OF IMPORTANCE – Rod Steinacher. Visit some of the Peninsula’s best-known birding spots, such as Dyer’s Bay, the sparrow fields near Larkwhistle and Crane Lake.  You will have the opportunity to observe migration monitoring and bird banding at the Cabot Head Research Station.  (Bring lunch)

6 OPENINGS – B10 – 6:45 am – NATURE & LANDSCAPE PHOTOGRAPHY IN SOUTH BRUCE PENINSULA – Doug Pedwell. We will photograph some of the unique plants and rugged landscapes that the Niagara Escarpment has created. (Difficult, car-pool, bring lunch. Bring DSLR camera & accessories.)

14 OPENINGS – B11 – 6:00 am – IS IT A BIRD OR YOUR MNEMONIC? – Michael Carlson. A field workshop on how to listen to and identify bird vocalization.  Michael will use the Tower Trail where you will listen for orioles, woodpeckers, warblers, flycatchers and waterfowl.  (Car-pool, for experienced birders only)

9 OPENINGS – B12 – 7:00 am – BIRDING THE MacGREGOR BOUNDARY – Mike Cadman. Join Mike as he visits some hot spots including the Day Use beach, the Park Office, the old cottage entry road and along the Townline.

17 OPENINGS – B13 – 1:30 pm – WILDFLOWERS: HISTORICAL FACTS & FICTION – Heather Starrs. Legends and superstitions are attached to many common, and not so common, plants found at MacGregor Point.  Heather’s walk will introduce you to some plants’ stories.  (Easy) (Limit 20)

ONLY 5 OPENINGS – 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!).

12 OPENINGS – B16 – 7:15 pm – A FLING WITH SHOREBIRDS: BILLS, BREASTS & A LITTLE TAIL – Mark Peck. For many birders, shorebirds can be notoriously difficult to identify.  Join in the fun as we look at the important characteristics that help simplify common Ontario shorebirds.  (Indoors)


8 OPENINGS – B17 – 6:00 am – BIG DAY ON THE BRUCE – Michael Carlson. Are you ready for a full day of birding?  If so, you won’t want to miss this morning to night birding marathon on the Bruce Peninsula.  (Easy, car-pool; bring lunch, snacks and a walking dinner.)

11 OPENINGS – B18 – 7:30 am – SECRETS OF THE GEORGIAN BAY FORMATION – Bob Gray. This daylong excursion will explore several hidden features of the Niagara Escarpment.  Bob will share theories about how these features were formed. (Difficult, car-pool, bring lunch.)

15 OPENINGS – B19 – 7:00 am – ROAD BIRDING FOR GRASSLAND BIRDS – Brett Woodman. Tour the local countryside looking for the elusive nesting grassland birds of Saugeen Shores.

6 OPENINGS – B20 – 7:30 am – BIRDING BY NEST – Mark Peck. Learn how to locate, identify and record nesting information for the Ontario Nest Records Scheme.

ONLY 3 OPENINGS – B21 – 8:00 am – BIRDING MacGREGOR – OLD FIELDS & TRAILS – James Turland. A morning walk through varied habitats along the Deer Run and Rotary Way trails in the northeast corner of the Park. These are infrequently birded areas.

7 OPENINGS – B22 – 9:00 am – DYNAMIC DIGITAL CAMERA TIPS – Jennifer O’Reilly. Great for beginner or intermediate photographers. Step by step instruction on how to take award-winning compositions using features on your camera! (Suitable for point-and-shoot or DSLR cameras.)

11 OPENINGS – B23 – 1:30 pm – THE TALE OF THE PIPING PLOVER – Stewart Nutt. Piping Plover behaviours including: courtship, feeding, life history, territorial displays and fierce protection will be observed and/or explained during your time with these birds.  Become a ‘Plover Lover’.

ONLY 4 OPENINGS – B24 – 1:30 pm – WILDFLOWER DIVERSITY WITHIN THE FRINGE – Brett Woodman. Here’s your chance to learn about and appreciate some of MacGregor Point’s varied wildflowers.  Brett will show you some of his favourite plants.

6 OPENINGS – B25 – 1:30 pm – PLANT & WILDFLOWER RAMBLE – Larry Lamb. Walk the trails and campground loops from the Day Use area to Pitcher Plant Marl.  Learn to use identification keys and Newcomb’s Wildflower Guide (bring yours along!).

7 OPENINGS – B27 – 1:30 pm – ADVANCED DIGITAL CAMERA TECHNIQUES – Jennifer O’Reilly. This workshop takes you out into the ‘field’ for hands on photography.  Learn pro techniques guaranteed to put the ‘wow’ factor into your photographs.  (Point-and-shoot or DSLR cameras.)

33 OPENINGS – B28 -5:00 pm to 6:30 pm – BRUCE COUNTY BEEF DINNER – Harrigan’s Catering, Southampton.  In MacGregor Point Provincial Park, additional charge of $17. Dinner combined with B29 as a single event $23. Pre-registration required.)

17 OPENINGS – B29 – 7:15 pm – THE STRAIT OF GIBRALTAR: A BIRD MIGRATION HOTSPOT – Justin Peter. Each autumn, millions of birds that breed in Europe will go to Africa to spend the winter.  In this illustrated talk, Justin will shed some light on the mysteries of bird migration across the Strait of Gibraltar and on his experiences there. (Indoors)


7 OPENINGS – B30 – 6:00 am – MALCOLM BLUFFS & CAPE CROKER – Alfred Raab. Bird in a variety of habitats within the Cape Croker Peninsula and Malcolm Bluffs Nature Reserve. The cliffs above Colpoy’s Bay shoreline provide spectacular vistas

17 OPENINGS – B32 -6:30 AM – BIRDING THE TOWER TRAIL – Justin Peter. Hike the Tower Trail and check the Ducks Unlimited pond from both the viewing tower and bird blind. Habitat is a mix of wetlands and hardwood forests.

18 OPENINGS – B33 – 7:00 am – BIRDING THE PERIPHERY – James Turland. Woodland, lakeshore, wetlands and abandoned fields are some of the habitats involved. (Easy, car-pool)

ONLY 4 OPENINGS – B34 – 8:00 am – SEARCHING FOR STRAGGLERS – MacGREGOR’S LATE MIGRANTS – Michael Carlson. Join Michael as he searches select spots in MacGregor for breeding birds as well as late spring migrants, such as Yellow-bellied Flycatcher and Gray-cheeked Thrush.

8 OPENINGS – B35 – 1:30 pm – EXPLORING KINGHURST FOREST – Tanya Pulfert & Catherine Jimenea. Kinghurst Forest is a special place and Catherine and Tanya are keen to take you for a walk through this Ontario Nature property.  On this general nature walk you will be a Citizen Scientist and report your reptile and amphibian sightings.

12 OPENINGS – B36 – 1:30 pm – FUN, FROG FROLIC AT MacGREGOR POINT – Kerry Jarvis. Join Kerry on this fun frog frolic to listen to, locate and observe several species of frog and the American Toad at MacGregor Point. (If you have them, bring camera and close-up binoculars.)

15 OPENINGS – B37 – 7:15 pm – SUNSET WALK – John Cummings. The Lake Huron shoreline offers some of the most spectacular sunsets in the world.  What a wonderful way to enjoy a sunset with friends. 





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

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We wondered aloud about that bird. The one that appears in the Huron Fringe Birding Festival (HFBF) logo, signs, ads, brochure and programs. You know, the American Redstart. How did it land there? And why?

Well, no one could tell us for sure. But, the speculation is that Setophaga Ruticilla (American Redstart) is one of the more ‘common’ birds in MacGregor Point Provincial Park seen relatively early in the park and surrounding area. That makes sense given that this colourful, acrobatic Warbler loves our deciduous habitat and the food source it supplies. The bird’s Latin name translates as red-tailed moth eater and true to its name the American Redstart likes to fan its wings and raise its tail to startle and flush out its prey. This action also shows off its beautiful colours. And birders will tell you that this makes it one of the easiest warblers to identify, Our American Redstart is a friendly bird, and the perfect spokes bird for HFBF.


If you read our very first blog you’ll recall that we covered a broad overview of HFBF 2013. The latest news is that next year’s program is close to being completed. We will be posting full details of the events once they are finalized.

We can tell you, though, just by looking at the first week alone (May 24 – May 27) that you won’t be disappointed.

You will be birding on the Upper Bruce Peninsula, the Escarpment Bluffs, the Tower Trail, Flowerpot Island, Cabot Head Provincial Nature Reserve and more. Details and event leader profiles will follow…soon.

Those first four days also include Caving, a Tree Hike, Archeology and Geology Hikes, Photography Workshops, the Wonderful Worlds of Wildflowers and Weeds to name a few.

Nor can we forget to mention the Banquet and special guest speaker Peter Middleton’s intriguing presentation Why Do Gulls Perch on White Rocks and Other Insights from Career in Ecotourism.

Lots to learn about and look forward to with more in-depth details as they become available. So bookmark, sign-up and follow this blog.

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