huronfringefest

One of Canada's Premier Birding and Nature Festivals

Posts Tagged ‘Huron Fringe Schedule of Events

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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

Like us on Facebook:

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

HAVE YOU REGISTERED YET?

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Big Bird

The complete schedule is also available at: http://www.friendsofmaccgredor.org. Download it. Print it. Study it. Then register. Because events are selling out.

Registration is open at: www.friendsofmacgregor.org

HFBF SCHEDULE OF EVENTS – FIRST WEEKEND

 FRIDAY MAY 22                                                                 

 All Day

SOLD OUT – A1 – 6:00 AM – BIRDING THE 45TH PARALLEL – Michael Carlson

Bruce Road 9 is known as the 45th Parallel Road. Michael will explore the Bruce Peninsula from the Lake Huron to the Georgian Bay coast; concentrating on birding opportunities found near this latitude. (easy, car-pool, bring lunch – limit 20)

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)

A3 – 6:30 AM – BIRDING INVERHURON & SURROUNDING AREA – Marshall Byle

During this birding adventure we will stop at various habitats along the shoreline to Inverhuron Provincial Park including the Tiverton lagoons. In the park explore the ancient dunes, riverbanks and varied forest types. (easy, car-pool, bring lunch – limit 20)

Morning

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)

Afternoon

A6 – 1:30 AM – BIRDING OLD SHORE ROAD TRAIL SOUTH – Mike Burrell

Join Mike for a leisurely walk in search of songbirds, waterbirds and probably a few reptiles and amphibians. There will be a special stop on the new boardwalk at Watersnake pond. (easy – 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)

A8 – 1:30 PM – PHOTOGRAPHING THE MacGREGOR POINT SHORELINE – Kerry Jarvis

This photography workshop will explore various areas of the park shoreline. Join Kerry as he shares photographic tips and techniques used to capture the beauty of MacGregor Point. Open to all skill levels. Tripods are recommended. (easy, car-pool, bring compact and/or digital SLR – limit 12)

Evening

SOLD OUT – A9 – 7:15 PM – TIPS & TECHNIQUES ON WATERFOWL IDENTIFICATION – Fred Jazvac

Headaches caused by difficult waterfowl identification can’t be solved with aspirin.  Fred will present tips and techniques that can be used to deal with the complications that waterfowl present to the birder. (indoors – limit 60)

SATURDAY MAY 23

All Day

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)

Morning

6:00 AM to Noon – BIRD BANDING – Brendan Toews

SOLD OUT – A13 – 6:00 AM -BIRDING BY EAR – Michael Carlson

Do you have difficulty remembering songs/calls and which birds make them, no matter how often you have heard them? Michael is a natural at mnemonics. This field workshop will give you tools that you can use to solve the mysteries of birdsong. (easy, car-pool – limit 20)

SOLD OUT – A14 – 6:00 AM – SEX & THE SINGLE WARBLER – Mark Wiercinski

In nature, spring is all about sex and Mark is the right one to make sure you know what it’s all about. (easy, car-pool – limit 20)

SOLD OUT – A15 – 7:00 AM – BIRDING MacGREGOR’S BOUNDARY – Justin Peter

Join Justin as he explores old fields, edge habitat and abandoned orchards. As we travel around the edges of MacGregor Point, we will employ the soundscape (birdsong) to help us find birds most effectively. (easy, car-pool – limit 20)

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.

 Afternoon

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)

SOLD OUT – A18 – 1:30 PM – A LOT TO NATURALIZE: HOW TO ATTRACT CRITTERS TO YOUR YARD – Kerry Jarvis

Interested in turning your yard into a natural wildlife paradise? Not sure what are the best plants, shrubs and trees to attract critters? Join Kerry as he showcases his recently converted property, “Casita de Mariposa”. (easy, car-pool – limit 20)

SOLD OUT – A19 – 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 courtship (Plovers) as well as other behaviours and learn about the perils these birds face, and how local involvement has helped this species recover. (easy, car-pool – limit 20)

A20 – 1:30 PM – Being a Bluebird Landlord – Dennis & Gwen Lewington

Bluebirds are cavity nesters and natural cavities are not very abundant. Dennis and Gwen will take you on their “Bluebird Trail” which they have been maintaining and monitoring for over 32 years. (easy, car-pool – limit 20)

Evening

A21- 4:30 PM – SOCIAL – 5:30 PM – BANQUET & PRESENTATION – LESSONS FROM LOONS: WHAT OUR WILDERNESS SYMBOL IS TELLING US – Doug Tozer

The Common Loon is a popular indicator of the state of the environment. This presentation will overview revolutionary discoveries of how loons survive and reproduce and whether human activities are negatively influencing the loon’s unique way of life. (St. Paul’s Anglican Church Hall, Southampton, 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. (limit 90)

SUNDAY MAY 24

All Day

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)

Morning

6:00 AM to Noon – BIRD BANDING – Brendan Toews

SOLD OUT – A25 – 6:00 AM – WRESTLING WITH WARBLERS – Mark Wiercinski

Warblers are very annoying to identify! They move around a lot and hide behind the most inconvenient leaves and branches. Mark’s humour and tips about habitat and sounds will definitely keep you interested. (easy, car-pool – limit 20)

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)

Afternoon

A29 – 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 courtship (Plovers) 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)

A30 – 1:30 PM – TREE IDENTIFICATION USING LEAVES & NEEDLES – Jim Coles

We will identify the conifers and the hardwoods in the vicinity of the Visitor Centre by leaf and needle characteristics. The use of botanical keys will help differentiate between species. (easy – 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)

A32 – 1:30 PM – DOWN & DIRTY – WILDFLOWER PHOTOGRAPHY – Doug Pedwell

Participants will explore, through photography, the wildflowers growing along the Old Shore Road Trail. All types of cameras welcome. Be prepared to get down and dirty. (easy, car-pool, bring camera – limit 15)

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)

Evening

A34 – 7:15 PM – WARBLERS – Sarah Rupert

Warbler identification in the field is often obscured by brief and obstructed views. Sarah will talk about the identification features that are often missed and how we can enhance our observations. (indoors –limit 60)

MONDAY MAY 25                                                                                                                                                                                                                   

All Day

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)

Morning

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)

Afternoon

A40 – 1:30 PM – FUN FROG FROLIC: OBSERVING FROGS AT MacGREGOR POINT – Kerry Jarvis

Searching for frogs in the park can be a lot of fun! Join Kerry as he looks and listens for several species of frogs, and of course the American Toad. If you have them, bring close-up binoculars and camera. (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)

Evening

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

All Day

SOLD OUT – B1 – 6:30 AM – BACK ROADS OF SAUGEEN TOWNSHIP – James Turland

The back roads offer relaxed touring and good birding. We will visit the Saugeen River, Lake Huron shoreline and numerous trails around the township. (moderate, car-pool, bring lunch – limit 20)

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)

Morning

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)

Afternoon

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)

Evening

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)

B9 – 7:45 PM – SUNSET PHOTOGRAPHY WORKSHOP – Willy Waterton

Most people go inside after the sun sets. This is when some of the most stunning light occurs. This workshop will give you tips on taking images of the setting sun and twilight using cameras from smart phones to DSLRs. If you have a tripod bring it along. (easy, bring camera or smart phone – limit 10)

FRIDAY MAY 29

All Day

SOLD OUT – B10 – 6:30 AM – MALCOLM BLUFFS & CAPE CROKER – Alfred Raab

Bird in a variety of habitats within the Malcolm Bluffs Nature Reserve and Cape Croker Peninsula. The cliffs above the shoreline provide spectacular vistas. (moderate, car-pool, bring lunch – limit 20)

SOLD OUT – B11 – 7:00 AM – PASTURES, STREAMS & WOODLOTS – James Turland

Pasturelands in Bruce County are home to a number of grassland species, some of which are species at risk. This driving tour will take you through varied habitat. The result will be an extensive birding list for the day. James is a favourite festival leader. (easy, car-pool, bring lunch – limit 20)

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)

Morning

B13 – 7:30 AM – TOWER TRAIL – Joy Albrecht

Join Joy as she leads you along the Tower Trail, a favourite spot for local birders. You will see bird species that will nest in the boreal forest and you will spend some time on an observation tower and bird blind. (easy – limit 20)

Afternoon

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)

SOLD OUT – B15 – 1:30 PM – DRAGONS & DAMSELS – John Reaume

We will search for the ultimate insect predators – damselflies and dragonflies. The biology of these “toothed ones” and their proper handling techniques will be discussed. Should the weather not cooperate we will have an indoor presentation / slide show. Bring binoculars and butterfly nets if you have them. (easy – 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)

Evening

B17 – 7:15 PM – BIRDING BY EAR – John Reaume

This presentation will review tips used to study and identify birdsong. Using a technique popularized by the Peterson Field Guide’s Birding by Ear series, we will learn many of the common songs heard in the spring chorus. (indoors – limit 60)

SATURDAY MAY 30                                                                                                                                                                                                                

All Day

B18 – 6:30 AM – WINGED PURSUITS – HUNTING BIRDS, BUTTERFLIES, DRAGONFLIES & DAMSELFLIES – Nathan Miller

Join Nathan as he pursues the winged jewels of MacGregor Point Provincial Park and Bruce County. We will focus on finding birds during the morning and insects as the day warms up; although all of these creatures will be discussed as they are found! (easy, car-pool, bring lunch – limit 20)

SOLD OUT – B19 – 7:00 AM – BIRDING THE INLAND LAKES – Mike Cadman

Several inland lakes located between Lake Huron and Georgian Bay serve as a bird migration route for safe passage between these two large bodies of water. Mike is a songbird biologist and will share his knowledge of songbirds and their habitats. (easy, car-pool, bring lunch – limit 20)

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)

Morning

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

SOLD OUT – B21 – 6:30 AM – GRASSLAND BIRDS OF THE J/I LINE – SPECIES AT RISK – Mark Peck

Pastureland along the J/I Line makes it possible to find Upland Sandpiper, Bobolink, Meadowlark, Grasshopper and Clay-coloured Sparrow. Join Mark to have great looks at these and other grassland specialties. (easy, car-pool – limit 20)

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)

Afternoon

B24 – 1:30 PM – PUZZLED BY SEDGES? – Bill Crins

“Sedges have edges, rushes are round and grasses are hollow right up from the ground.” Bill will provide you with tips about how to identify sedges and open your eyes to a whole new world on the forest floor. (easy, car-pool – limit 12)

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)

Evening

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)

SOLD OUT – B30 – 9:15 PM – AN EVENING OF ASTRONOMY – WHAT’S UP IN THE NIGHT SKY FOR 2015 – John Hlynialuk

During an indoor astronomy talk, John will look at sky events for 2015. Outdoors, weather permitting; members of the Bluewater Astronomical Society will make available their telescopes for viewing the night sky. (indoors/outdoors – limit 30)

SUNDAY MAY 31                                                                                                                                                                                                                     

All Day

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)

Morning

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

B33 – 7:00 AM – BEYOND ID – FOREST BIRD MONITORING – Mike Cadman

You will visit several active monitoring stations along the Lake Ridge Trail where Mike will demonstrate the field protocol for conducting the Forest Bird Survey. Mike likes to go “beyond ID” by providing tidbits about signs of breeding birds. (easy, car-pool – limit 20)

SOLD OUT – B34 – 8:00 AM – BEYOND ID – NEST FINDING – Mark Peck

On a leisurely walk in the park, you will take your love of birding to the next level. Find out how citizen scientists provide valuable conservation information while improving their observation skills and learning about the behaviour of breeding birds. (easy, car-pool – limit 20)

Afternoon

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)

B36 – 1:30 PM – BEYOND ID – SHRUBS & TREES – Bob Gray

Bob will help you use identifying features, including bark characteristics and leaf shape, to identify trees and shrubs found in a variety of habitats within the park. (easy, car-pool – limit 12)

Evening

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

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                

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. 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) 


 

Huron Fringe Birding Festival Registration begins February 1, 2015: 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.

 

DONT WAIT FOR SPRING.

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Redstart2

On our first day of registration we received 34 bookings in the first 30 minutes.

By the end of the day 117 had signed up not wanting to miss securing their favourite events and leaders. Seven events were fully booked on day one.

Barely a full week later and we’ve logged 166 registrations and 13 Sold Out events.

This puts us way ahead of our last two years and suggests that registrations will continue to fill up fast. So, if you are biding your time thinking you’ll take care of registration later…you might want to take another look at our list of hikes on http//:www.friendsofmacgregor.org/page/registration and make some decisions…now.

Judith on a recen wintery Bruce Birding club outing.

Judith on a recen wintery Bruce Birding Club outing. If there are birds out there Judith can find them…in any weather.

Some of you may not want to miss Judith King’s two excellent birding hikes…excellent because Judith brings a lifelong interest in birds to her outings. She has taken personal trips throughout Canada, the United States and New Zealand searching out new and different birds and habitats. She has participated in bird atlasing in many Provinces and States across North America. Judith is a regular trip leader with the Bruce Birding Club. Her knowledge of the local area makes her a favourite leader during the birding festival.

Judith’s event, LOVING LAGOONS IN LOWER BRUCE (A2), takes you exploring the Ripley and Kincardine lagoons. Then you’ll 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. There are 8 spots left on this event, at this posting, so register soon.

Or you can register for her BRANT TRACT, PAISLEY & BLIND LINE (A38) event which has you exploring the Brant Tract with its mixed woods and streams. You’ll travel 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. Judith will help you find Grasshopper Sparrows, Clay-coloured Sparrows, Cliff Swallows, Bobolinks and Yellow-bellied Flycatchers. Only 6 spots remain on this event, at this posting, so don’t miss out.

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

twitter: @HuronBirdfest

Email: birdfest@rogers.com.

 

 

 

BETTER BOOK FAST!

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MarkFull

Its the morning of Day One. Registration is open.

People are logging on to http://www.friendsofmacgregor.org and booking the events they want. As you can see from above, perennial favourite Mark Wiercinski is ALREADY SOLD OUT. But he always gets snapped up the first day of registration. So, if you want to be entertained while birding by Mark…you better move fast…he still has a couple of other hikes open.

And Mark isn’t the only one selling like hotcakes…MICHAEL CARLSON, MARK PECK, KERRY JARVIS, and nature hikes like JOHN REAUME’S ‘Damselflies and Dragonflies’ event are close to full.

There is always a rush on Day One as folks zero in on their favourite leaders, hikes, workshops, evening presentations, of course the Banquet/Keynote Speaker evening.

So a word (or two) to the wise…

2Openhttp://www.friendsofmacgregor.org

2014 in review

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The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 4,100 times in 2014. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 3 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

WHY IS THIS MAN RUNNING? AND WHY IS HE RUNNING IN A KILT?

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"I'm telling ya' - I saw a Warbler just down the road...there!"

“I’m telling ya’ – I saw a Warbler just down the road…there!”

That’s just Mark Wiercinski. And only Mark knows for sure.

Whatever the answer though, it probably makes a ton of sense…to Mark. Some would say he’s the closest thing to a ROCK STAR you’ll ever see at HFBF. Others would agree that Birders and Biologists can strike you as strange ducks (pardon the pun)… sometimes.

That notwithstanding…be ready to run with Mark on three upcoming events during Huron Fringe 2015. Mark down these dates because he sells out fast…May 25 he’s revealing the mysteries of SEX AND THE SINGLE WARBLERon May 24 he’s WRESTLING WITH WARBLERS…and on May 31 he gets somewhat serious as he is DEBATING THE ISSUES: BIRDING BAYVIEW TO BOGNOR.

Sure this is just a tease. The full story on Mark’s excellent events is coming soon. So, be ready to book.

The full program will be available on-line January 15th 2015 on the Friends of MacGregor website at: www.friendsofmacgregor.org and right here on this Blog

 Registration starts on February 1st 2015 at: www.friendsofmacgregor.org

brdfest2

Check out this video for a closer look at the festival: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0_vvcLJdE74

Be sure to mark your calendars with next year’s dates…22nd May to 25th May and 28th May to 31st May 2015.

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

twitter: @HuronBirdfest

Recognized as One of Ontario's Top 100 Festivals

Recognized as One of Ontario’s Top 100 Festivals

Wiercinski’s Ramblings

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Mark Wiercinski is an original (in more ways than one). He has been leading HFBF events every year with the same passion and enthusiasm as he did on his very first hike…but with more (or less) gray hair. If you’re one of the diligent (and lucky) ones to have signed up for any of Mark’s instantly sold out events…here is a primer on what to expect as you try to keep up with his rambling humour in the field.

me_driving

MARK AND THE ZEN OF BIRDING: We’re off at 600 AM. ‘Really?’ you say. ‘Seriously!’ I say. That is NOT early. Any earlier and none of you would show up and there I would be talking to myself and the birds. Hmm, I guess I do that already. I will try to socialize more. I know I whine about this every year. Earlier is better if we really want to catch the cool stuff and get overwhelmed with the bird song. I like early hikes. They are the best for finding birds. Beware! ‘Cause this is when I’m really on my game. Coffee not required. But it helps. In spite of the craziness, I’ll regurgitate many helpful tips on bird identification through sound, behaviour and habitat. Fledgling or full-fledged birder I always try to inspire and entertain…I’m full of information from birds to plant-life to wildlife and everything in between.

I’m doing a hike on Sex & The Single Warbler. “It’s all about the sex, baby.” Why? Because, I am a Biologist! That is the dominant theme of it all for me. I love the biology and ecology of the birds and the habitat and the bigger picture around birds. And yes, biology and ecology are two different things. I will explain on the hike; or you may just “get it” on your own. Being a biologist means I have about twenty different words (or maybe more) for poop. I do pay attention to the bigger picture around the birds and I try my best to fill in loads of information on the environment and how it all fits. I like that part. In fact it is often more fun to spend time and watch and learn something new on the most common of species out there. Chickadees have brains that grow or shrink depending on the time of year or the emphasis of what they are doing. Cool! And yes it is all about the sex baby…really it is! Biology is the study of life and wildlife biology is a study of that whole process. Don’t forget to ask me about chickadee brains … food in the winter…sex in the spring. Take a guess which season requires the bigger brain? Did I talk about this already?”

Bird song dominates. I always hope it is warm enough to get them singing and keep them going until the hike is winding down. The more they sing the less I have to talk. The forest, pond and marsh habitats will be mixed enough to make it all worthwhile. If the weather sucks, I try to tell lots of stories…anyway…since way too many of you have been on my hikes before I have to keep looking for new material and new one liners! Besides, trying to figure out my humour and keep up to the hyper little birds…that’s the real challenge.

I will do my best to find the cool stuff though.

WRESTLING WITH WARBLERS” Cool a new title – I like it. So we honestly don’t fight with these birds…but it is a fight to figure them all out at times so the word ‘fight’ fits well. Warblers are hyper little critters that seem to conveniently hide behind a twig or leaf just as you spot them. They really are annoying little critters that just don’t sit still. Song is important to this one…warblers are best to learn songs. We always find at least a dozen or so species. Seeing those birds is the goal…but remember I am a song guy and so I hear more than I see. So we cover lots of song identification. If the singing is not happening then we have to really dig in and find them in the trees and if that is not happening them I just make up stuff and fly by the seat of my pants! There are always plants and they conveniently don’t fly away.

I do try to focus on warblers though…we even should get the protected species. Did I say I was a biologist? Yeah I am…so Species At Risk is a big thing for me. And we can see a few if we get lucky! We almost always get the Blue-Winged Warbler or the Golden-Winged Warbler…or both…or the cross over variation between the two. Yeah there are genetics lessons in there too.”

We should track down at least a dozen or so warblers. We will have plenty of Redstarts too, the poster bird for the festival.

Remember, I am a biologist so there is lots to learn! I know learning! Wwwhhhaaaat! This is supposed to be fun! Don’t fret…it will be fun. I can always find a way to bring it back to humour…or sex…or something. And remember I am a Triple A Personality and often get way ahead of myself in topics and side trips…so we won’t be talking just about warblers. It will just be the theme that ties it all together.

Bognor MarshBirding ‘n Botany at Bognor Marsh. No description officially yet so I can say whatever I want! Woohoo! Field, wetland, forest even a bit of escarpment…Bognor will be fun…a learning experience for me as much as whoever comes along for the trip. It is a big swamp – one of the biggest wetland complexes in Grey County – with a good variety of habitat and decent trails as far as I remember. I will try to get there ahead of time and get familiar with it…but I am such a hair brain I will likely forget and just fake it on the day…ha!

But, seriously folks – the best thing is the wetlands. The fun part here will be extra wildlife along the way…snakes and turtles and other stuff. I will always be happy to talk about whatever else presents itself along the hike…hawks, ducks, herons, hawks, plants, turtles, hawks…and well did I say hawks yet? I like to fit it all in and like to put them all into perspective in the ecosystem. I did promise the organizers I would keep it fit for public consumption though and will do my best to stay focussed. Maybe.


 

For an up-close look at the what you can expect to experience at this year’s Huron Fringe Birding Festival click on: http://youtu.be/0_vvcLJdE74

Recognized as One of Ontario's Top 100 Festivals

Recognized as One of Ontario’s Top 100 Festivals

CHECK OUT THE EVENTS THAT ARE STILL OPEN: http://www.friendsofmacgregor.org

http://www.facebook.com/HuronFringeBirdingFestival

HURON FRINGE BIRDING FESTIVAL  – MAY 23 to MAY 26 – MAY 29 to JUNE 1 -2014

MacGREGOR POINT PROVINCIAL PARK – PORT ELGIN, ONTARIO

Email: birdfest@rogers.com

 

JOIN THE ‘PLOVER LOVERS’

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PIPL Male by Log SB

 “Piping Plovers at Sauble Beach and Oliphant.”

A few years ago, that headline appeared in the Saugeen Times of Saugeen Shores. To area birders this was significant news. To Stew Nutt of Southampton it was especially significant. He stated, “We are celebrating the Piping Plover’s return to the Canadian shores of Lake Huron”. Their presence so close to home marked the beginning of a quest by Stew to lead in the efforts to see that the Plover’s return would become an annual event, helping to secure their survival. Under that headline came an article by author and birding expert Mick Pickup that went on to describe Stew’s involvement with the plovers.

Image 6Volunteers with guidance from Stew Nutt of Southampton have undertaken to monitor the birds on a daily basis at both sites. Their duties are to protect the birds from predation, human disturbance, educate beach visitors about the status of the birds and to cooperate with the municipality, local residents and cottagers, MNR and CWS in protecting the birds and their habitat. From the middle of May to the beginning of August, many volunteers have generously donated their time to this project…

To which Stew has commented: StewSometimes, we are presented with unique opportunities that can change our lives. For me this opportunity came in the summer of 2007 when the endangered Piping Plovers arrived and established a nest at Sauble Beach. These birds build their nests, mere scrapes in the sand, on the beach close to the shoreline and usually in the same area. This becomes their habitat for feeding, nesting and raising young. Such habitats are mostly inhospitable for survival as many beach areas are used for beach and water-based recreation. They are also of course used for development.  As such Piping Plovers are struggling to survive. They are forced to battle the elements, human encroachment, and many predators. As a special event at this year’s Huron Fringe Birding Festival I invite you to join me as we travel to the nesting area(s) at Sauble Beach and observe the plovers’ behaviors including: courtship, feeding, life history, territorial displays and fierce protection will be observed and/or explained as well as local attempts to protect this delicate species. Be a ‘Plover Lover’! Sign up for A17 – 7:30 AM – SATURDAY, MAY 24 – or B23 – 1:30 PM – SATURDAY, MAY 31 – THE TALE OF THE PIPING PLOVER and experience the unique, fragile world of these special birds and what is being done to help this species survive.

PIPL Female Brooding 1 SB

For up-to-date information on the progress of the Piping Plovers at Sauble Beach click on: http://saublepipingplover.com

Image 3

Stewart Nutt is a retired educator and local naturalist who led the Piping Plover recovery project for five years. His Piping Plover knowledge was gained through countless hours of both personal and project participant observations, along with current information from visiting longer established projects in Michigan, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island.

PIPL  Chick Trying to Fly

REGISTER NOW FOR A17 or B23: http://www.friendsofmacgregor.org

Take a up-close look at the what you can expect to experience at this year’s Huron Fringe Birding Festival click on: http://youtu.be/0_vvcLJdE74

Recognized as One of Ontario's Top 100 Festivals

 One of Ontario’s Top 100 Festivals

http://www.facebook.com/HuronFringeBirdingFestival

HURON FRINGE BIRDING FESTIVAL  – MAY 23 to MAY 26 – MAY 29 to JUNE 1 -2014

MacGREGOR POINT PROVINCIAL PARK – PORT ELGIN, ONTARIO

Email: birdfest@rogers.com

2014 HURON FRINGE SCHEDULE OF EVENTS

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NOW IS THE TIME TO START PLANNING YOUR EXPERIENCE AT THIS YEAR’S HURON FRINGE BIRDING FESTIVAL.

WHAT FOLLOWS IS A COMPLETE LIST OF EVENTS SO YOU CAN START SELECTING AND FILLING IN YOUR WEEKENDS WITH THE EVENTS YOU WANT TO ATTEND. MAKE YOUR SELECTIONS NOW, SO WHEN REGISTRATION OPENS FEBRUARY 1 – YOU CAN BOOK IMMEDIATELY AND AVOID MISSING OUT. WE GIVE YOU THE CONVENIENCE OF ONLINE REGISTRATION AND PAYMENT AT www.friendsofmacgregor.org

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

For your enjoyment we restrict the number of participants on each event.  Should the need arise, additional events may be added and will be incorporated into the registration process on the website.

All events start promptly at the Visitor Centre in MacGregor Point Provincial Park.  Please meet 15 minutes prior to their start so that groups can depart on time.  Morning events usually return to the Visitor Centre by 11:30 am; afternoon events by 4:30 pm.  Field Trip Information is found at the end of the Schedule of Events.                                                                                                                                    

Viewing scopes will be available at the Viewing Tower on the Tower Trail 8:30 am to noon on weekends.

Coffee and pastries are available in the Visitor Centre every morning. 

The Southampton Rotary will host a BBQ from 11:30 am to 1:00 pm daily.

 SCHEDULE OF EVENTS

 FRIDAY MAY 23                                                                                                                                                                                                              

All Day

A1 – 6:30 am – HOT SPOTS OF THE LOWER BRUCE – Alfred Raab.

Areas we will visit are: Sauble Beach for a chance to see Piping Plover, Rankin River forest, Boat Lake, Isaac Lake, Sky Lake and grassland around Mar.  (Easy, car-pool, bring lunch) (Limit 20)

 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”.  (Moderate, car-pool, bring lunch) (Limit 20)

Morning

A3 – 6:00 am – BIRDING MacGREGOR – OLD FIELDS & TRAILS – Judith King.

A morning walk through the varied habitats along the Deer Run and Rotary Way trails in the northeast corner of the Park.  These are infrequently birded areas.  (Easy, car-pool) (Limit 20)

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.  (Easy, car-pool) (Limit 20)

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.  (Easy, car-pool) (Limit 20)

Afternoon

A6 – 1:30 pm  – WONDERS OF THE WETLAND – Matthew Cunliffe.

Ever wonder how to study the ecology of a wetland?  Join Matt as he takes a look at the Ducks Unlimited wetland.  Participants will have the opportunity to evaluate invertebrate populations.  (Easy, car-pool, waterproof boots) (Limit 20)

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.  (Easy) (Limit 12)

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.  (Easy, car-pool) (Limit 20)

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) (Limit 30)

Evening

A10 – 7:15 pm – IDENTIFYING HAWKS IN FLIGHT – Fred Jazvac.

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

SATURDAY MAY 24                                                                                                                                       

BBQ lunch is available for purchase at MacGregor Point Visitor Centre.  During the lunch break, Eagle Optics will have binoculars and telescopes for sale.  Various nature organizations will have information booths set up.  Daylong programs return to the Visitor Centre for lunch break.  All programs return to the park by 3:30 pm to day.

All Day

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.  (Easy, car-pool) (Limit 20)

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.  (Easy, car-pool) (Limit 20)

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.   (Easy, car-pool) (Limit 20)

Morning

6:00 am to noon – LIVE BIRD BANDING DEMONSTRATIONS 

Join our on-site bird bander Brendan Toews as he captures and bands festival birds.  Observe handling and recording techniques and hear Brendan explain the value of this important activity.  For the safety of the birds, bird banding is weather dependent.

A14 – 6:00 am – SEX & THE SINGLE WARBLER – Mark Wiercinski.

Varied habitats at MacGregor Point provide a perfect backdrop for the dawn chorus.  In nature, spring is all about sex and Mark is the right one to make sure you know what it’s all about.  (Easy, car-pool) (Limit 20)

A15 – 6:30 am – AROUND THE EDGE OF MacGREGOR – Mike Burrell.

Join Mike from Bird Studies Canada for a morning of birding some of the hotspots near MacGregor Point.  Several warbler species, Indigo Bunting, Rose-breasted Grosbeak as well as several other unique species are likely finds.  (Easy, car-pool) (Limit 20)

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.  (Easy, car-pool) (Limit 20)

A17 -7:30 am – THE TALE OF THE PIPING PLOVER – Stewart Nutt.

Piping Plover behaviors 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’.  (Easy, car-pool) (Limit 20)

Afternoon

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) (Limit 12)

A19 – 1:30 pm – SPRING’S INSECT AWAKENING – Andalyne Tofflemire.

Insects are awakening from their winter dormancy; but how do they cope with the extremes of spring temperatures?  Andalyne will help you understand the various strategies used.  (Easy) (Limit 20)

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.  (Indoors) (Limit 20)

A21 – 1:30 pm – O’KEEFE GRANGE – A HERITAGE APPLE FARM – Bill & Lynne O’Keefe.

The modern monoculture style of agriculture threatens heritage varieties of plants.  Find out how one local grower is propagating apples that were popular 100 years ago and keeping them from extinction.

 (Easy, car-pool) (Limit 20)

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. Tripod & zoom/close-up lenses. (Limit 20)

Evening

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.  (Limit 110)

SUNDAY MAY 25

All Day

A24 – 7:00 am – FLOWERPOT ISLAND – A REMOTE GEORGIAN BAY HABITAT – Don Wilkes.

This excursion will take you to one of Canada’s remarkable islands; famous for its rock flowerpots, caves and rare orchids.  Water birds and late migrants may be seen.  If Georgian Bay is too rough, a mainland tour will focus on the national park escarpment shore near Cyprus Lake.  (Difficult, car-pool, jet boat, bring backpack & lunch) ($45 extra per person – includes National Park admission) (Limit 22)

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) (Limit 20)

Morning

6:00 am to noon – LIVE BIRD BANDING DEMONSTRATIONS

Join our on-site bird bander Brendan Toews as he captures and bands festival birds.  Observe handling and recording techniques and hear Brendan explain the value of this important activity. For the safety of the birds, bird banding is weather dependent.

A26 – 6:00 am – WRESTLING WITH WARBLERS – Mark Wiercinski.

Warblers are very annoying to identify!  They move too much and hide behind the most inconvenient leaves and branches.  Mark’s humour and tips about habitat and sounds will definitely keep you interested.  (Easy, car-pool) (Limit 20)

A27 – 6:30 am – BIRDING THE J/I LINE – James Turland.

We will view grasslands from the roadside and take a few short hikes.  In the past Upland Sandpiper, Bobolink, Grasshopper and Clay-colored Sparrow have been seen.  (Easy, car-pool) (Limit 20)

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.  (Easy, car-pool) (Limit 20)

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!  (Easy) (Limit 20)

Afternoon

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.  (Easy) (Limit 20)

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.  (Easy) (Limit 20)

A32 – 1:30 pm – MEET THE BEES – Sheila Colla.

Come for a short walk to learn how to harmlessly catch and identify bumblebees and other native bees with Dr. Sheila Colla, Co-author of A Guide to the Bumblebees of North America (Easy) (Limit 20)

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.  (Easy, car-pool) (Limit 20)

Evening

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) (Limit 60)

MONDAY MAY 26                                                                                                                                          

All Day

A35 – 6:00 am – BIRDING SOUTH BRUCE PENINSULA – Judith King.

Explore the mixed habitats along the back roads of the southern Bruce Peninsula.  (Easy, car-pool, bring lunch) (Limit 20)

A36 – 6:00 am – NORTHERN BRUCE PENINSULA – John Haselmayer.

Visit some of the Upper Peninsula’s best known birding spots, such as Dyer’s Bay, Cabot Head, the sparrow fields and Crane Lake.  (Moderate, car-pool, bring lunch) (Limit 20)

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.  (Moderate, car-pool, bring lunch, snacks and water)  (Limit 20) This all day event returns by 8:45 pm.

Morning

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.  (Easy, car-pool) (Limit 20)

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.  (Easy, car-pool) (Limit 20)

Afternoon

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.  (Easy) (Limit 20)

A41 – 1:30 pm – A TREE-BORDERED POND – Marshall Byle.

This outing will explore a private 100-acre rural property with trout stream, pond and woodlot.  Approximately 2 km walk, good boots required.  (Moderate, car-pool) (Limit 20)

Evening

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.  (Indoors) (Limit 60)

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) (Limit 60)

BETWEEN FESTIVAL WEEKENDS                                                                                                                  

The Bruce Peninsula Bird Observatory is providing HFBF participants the opportunity to  observe banding at the banding station on Tuesday, May 27 from dawn to 11 am only.  Please park outside the gate and walk the 1.2 kilometres (20 minutes) in to the station.  Directions to the banding station can be found at www.bpbo.ca (Directions/Maps).  For those visiting, a donation to support migration monitoring will be appreciated.

THURSDAY MAY 29                                                                                                                                       

All Day

B1 – 6:30 am – ESCARPMENT BLUFFS TO GEORGIAN BAY – Joy Albrecht.

Explore the Cape Croker Peninsula where abandoned fields, Georgian Bay shoreline and wetlands provide excellent birding opportunities.  You will also visit the bird rich woodlands of Malcolm Bluffs, high above the Georgian Bay shores.  (Moderate, car-pool, bring lunch) (Limit 20)

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.  (Easy, car-pool, bring lunch) (Limit 20)

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.  (Moderate, car-pool, bring lunch)  Intermediate to experienced DSLR camera users.  Bring tripod & zoom/close-up lenses. (Limit 20)

Morning

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.  (Easy, car-pool) (Limit 15)

Afternoon

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.  (Easy) (Limit 12)

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.  (Moderate, car-pool, uneven terrain) (Limit 15)

Evening

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) (Limit 60)

FRIDAY MAY 30                                                                                                                                                          

All Day

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.  (Easy, car-pool, bring lunch) (Limit 20)

B9 – 6:30 am – BIRDING THE HURON FRINGE SOUTH – 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 Point Clark to the south.  (Easy, car-pool, bring lunch) (Limit 20)

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. (limit 20)

Morning

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.  (Easy, car-pool, for experienced birders only) (Limit 20)

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.  (Easy, car-pool)  (Limit 20)

Afternoon

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)

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)

B15 – 1:30 pm – IDENTIFYING DRAGONFLIES IN THE FIELD – Glenn Richardson.

Field study is the best way to learn how to identify dragonflies such as the meadowhawks and skimmers, which can be found throughout the wetlands in the park.  (Easy) (Limit 12)

Evening

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) (Limit 60)

SATURDAY MAY 31                                                                                                                                       

All Day

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) (Limit 20)

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) (Limit 20)

Morning

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.  (Easy, car-pool) (Limit 20)

B20 – 7:30 am – BIRDING BY NEST – Mark Peck.

Learn how to locate, identify and record nesting information for the Ontario Nest Records Scheme.  (Easy) (Limit 20)

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.  (Easy, car-pool) (Limit 20)

B22 – 9:00 am – DYNAMIC DIGITAL CAMERA TIPS – Jennifer O’Reilly.

Step by step instruction on how to take award-winning compositions using features on your camera!  Great for beginner or intermediate photographers.  (Easy, car-pool)  Suitable for point-and-shoot or DSLR cameras. (Limit 12)

Afternoon

B23 – 1:30 pm – THE TALE OF THE PIPING PLOVER – Stewart Nutt.

Piping Plover behaviors 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’.  (Easy, car-pool) (Limit 20)

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.  (Easy, car-pool) (Limit 12)

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!).  (Easy, car-pool) (Limit 12)

B26 – 1:30 pm – BUTTERFLY WALK – Glenn Richardson.

Spring Azures and Mourning Cloaks are just two of the early spring butterflies Glenn will help you identify.  (Easy) (Limit 15)

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.  (Easy, car-pool)  Point-and-shoot or DSLR cameras. (Limit 12)

Evening

B28 -5:00 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 – 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) (Limit 60)

SUNDAY JUNE 1                                                                                                                                            

All Day

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.  (Moderate, car-pool, bring lunch) (Limit 20)

B31 – 6:30 am – BIRDING ‘N BOTANY AT BOGNOR – Mark Wiercinski.

There is nothing like a good wetland to tip the curiosity metre to the high end; and who knows what you will stumble into.  This is one of the biggest wetland complexes in Grey Bruce.  You won’t regret joining Mark for a diverse adventure over varied terrain – field, wetland, forest and a bit of escarpment.  (Moderate, car-pool, bring lunch) (Limit 20)

Morning

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.  (Easy, car-pool) (Limit 20)

B33 – 7:00 am – BIRDING THE PERIPHERY – James Turland.

Woodland, lake shore, wetlands and abandoned fields are some of the habitats involved.  (Easy, car-pool) (Limit 20)

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.  (Easy, car-pool) (Limit 20)

Afternoon

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.  (Easy, car-pool) (Limit 20)

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.  (Easy, car-pool) (Limit 20)

Evening

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.  (Easy) (Limit 30)

2014 FESTIVAL FEES

INDIVIDUAL: 8 Day Festival  $135     4 Day Weekend  $80

STUDENT:      8 Day Festival  $80       4 Day Weekend  $50

CHILD:*          8 Day Festival  $50      4 Day Weekend  $30

* 12 & under accompanied by an adult

SINGLE EVENT FEES

         Please Note:  Single Event Fees Only Apply If you are NOT Purchasing a Festival or 4 Day Weekend Pass.

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

All additional fees are listed per event / Fees include Park entrance fee.

The Huron Fringe Birding Festival uses online registration and payment at www.friendsofmacgregor.org

        Contact the registrar at birdfest@rogers.com or phone 519-389-6231 for contact information

  

Difficulty levels

Easy –Walking leisurely on groomed and maintained trails. Walking shoes are recommended.  Participants should be able to walk up to 1.5 kilometres (1 mile) without any problems.

Moderate –Walking on maintained trails some of which may be rough or rocky.  Brisk walking may be required to get from one location to another in a timely manner.

Difficult – Walking on trails that have uneven terrain.  There may be some walking off trail.  Participants should be able to negotiate walking on slippery surfaces, where there is unsure footing or where they are climbing over rocks and logs.

 Car-pooling

Walkie-talkies enhance your birding experience while driving.  We encourage you to bring your own for the events.  We have some to share, but not enough for every vehicle.  To reduce our carbon footprint, we encourage car-pooling.  If you are a passenger, please consider giving a donation to the driver to help with expenses.

 The Huron Fringe Birding Festival is presented by the Huron Fringe Birding Festival Committee, the Friends of MacGregor Point and MacGregor Point Provincial Park.  Festival headquarters are at MacGregor Point Provincial Park, located approximately five kilometres south of Port Elgin, Ontario on the shore of Lake Huron.  The park address is: MacGregor Point Provincial Park, 1593 Bruce Road 33, Port Elgin, Ontario, Canada N0H 2C5

MacGREGOR POINT PROVINCIAL PARK

 MacGregor Point Provincial Park encompasses 1366 hectares of protected wetlands, forests and sand dunes along the shore of Lake Huron. This flyway for migrating birds sets the stage for our festival, which attracts hike and event leaders from across Ontario and beyond. Our backdrop for the festival includes Bruce and Grey counties and the beautiful Bruce Peninsula.

Participants from throughout North America, whether keen beginners or seasoned veterans, will be amazed by the variety of bird species present.  Sightings of Red-headed Woodpeckers, Blue-gray Gnatcatchers, Blue-winged or Golden-winged Warblers are possible.  Provincially rare plants such as Rose Pogonia, Dwarf Lake Iris and Purple Bladderwort thrive in our shoreline habitat.  The endangered Piping Plover may be present at nearby Sauble Beach.

 The Friends of MacGregor Point

The Friends of MacGregor Point are dedicated to furthering the educational and interpretive programs of MacGregor Point Provincial Park.  As a non-profit, incorporated, charitable organization we present this Festival as one way to ensure the preservation of the natural legacy of MacGregor Point for future generations. For information about the Friends and events planned for 2014 visit our website www.friendsofmacgregor.org

 Park camping reservations – www.ontarioparks.com

Local tourist information – www.sunsets.com

 PARTNERS

Ontario Parks

Friends of MacGregor Point

 We thank our sponsors:

CORPORATE

Bruce Power

Ontario Power Generation

Eagle Optics             

 EVENT

 Colonial Motel, Port Elgin

Grey Sauble Conservation Authority, Owen Sound

Handy Andy Services, Southampton

Harrigan’s Catering, Southampton

Hills Insurance, Southampton

John King, Law Office, Port Elgin

Maplewood Motel, Port Elgin

Mildmay Tent Rentals, Mildmay

Nature’s Millworks, Paisley

Rotary Club, Southampton

Synergistic Solutions, Southampton

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