huronfringefest

One of Canada's Premier Birding and Nature Festivals

Posts Tagged ‘mike pickup

REGISTER TODAY, BECAUSE THERE’S ONLY A FEW DAYS LEFT UNTIL OPENING

with 2 comments

Mark Binocs

YES! I’M LOOKING AT YOU. HAVE YOU REGISTERED?

FRIDAY. MAY 27. 5:30 AM. THE COFFEE IS ON. THE DONUTS ARE WAITING. THE FIRST HIKE KICKS OFF AT 6:00 AM. EARLY? YES. BUT THAT’S WHEN THE BIRDS START SINGING AND THE FIRST HIKES AND EVENTS GET INTO HIGH GEAR. QUESTION IS…WILL YOU BE PART OF IT ALL?

THERE IS STILL TIME TO REGISTER: (www.huronfringebirdingfestival.ca)

THERE ARE EVENTS OPEN ON BOTH WEEKENDS. HERE’S THE LIST OF WHAT IS LEFT. AND IF YOU’RE NOT AN EARLY BIRD…WE DO HAVE HALF DAY AND EVENING EVENTS.

FRIDAY MAY 27                                                              

All Day

A3 8:00 am NORTH OF THE SAUGEEN Joy Albrecht – Explore the backroads north of the Saugeen River. You will travel through the Chippewas of Saugeen Ojibway territory and inland habitats at the base of the Bruce Peninsula. 5 OPENINGS AVAILABLE

Morning

A5 7:30 am BIRDING THE EDGE OF MacGREGORTerry Crabe – The MacGregor landscape offers a variety of habitats that provide the right niches for a good number of different species. Travelling by car to these areas, we will seek them out on short walks into each habitat. 7 OPENINGS AVAILABLE

Afternoon

A6 (NEW) 1:30 pm LET THERE BE LIGHTFran Sanagan – Learn how lighting influences your photographs. In this workshop, you will learn a variety of natural lighting techniques, and how to get the most out of outdoor flash photography. There will be an opportunity to share your photos and discuss the results. 6 OPENINGS AVAILABLE

A7 1:30 pm ARE YOU A PLOVER LOVER? Stew Nutt – If you’re not already, you will be after spending time on the beach with these charismatic, endangered birds. 10 OPENINGS AVAILABLE

A8 1:30 pm SHRUB & TREE ID IN MacGREGORJim Coles – Using leaf and twig keys, we will identify the conifers and hardwoods in the vicinity of the Visitor Centre and learn about the role of site (soil characteristics) in determining species composition. 5 OPENINGS AVAILABLE

SATURDAY MAY 28

All Day

A12 7:00 am INVERHURON BIRDING & BOTANY Dr. 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 songbirds and unique plants. Join us for this exploration of the forest and shoreline habitats. 5 OPENINGS AVAILABLE

A13 (NEW) 9:00 am MONARCH FRIENDLY HABITATAudrey Armstrong – Learn how to nurture monarch butterfly populations by growing your own easy to maintain monarch waystation garden. Following a slide show in the morning, the afternoon will be outdoors, making seed balls, looking for monarchs, eggs and larvae along the Lake Huron shore and visiting local waystations. 16 OPENINGS AVAILABLE

Morning

A14 6:00 am BIRDING BY EARMichael Carlson – Do you have difficulty remembering bird songs and calls no matter how often you hear them? Michael is a natural at mnemonics. This field workshop will give you tips and tools you can use to sort out bird songs. 10 OPENINGS AVAILABLE

A15 6:00 am SEX & THE SINGLE WARBLERMark Wiercinski – In spring, love is in the air. Let Mark explain the unseen action in the trees. It’s always fun when Mark tackles this topic. ONE OPENING LEFT

A18 7:30 am PAISLEY BIRDING Joy Albrecht – Join Joy birding the back roads from MacGregor to Paisley, with a stop at the Old Mill, Schmidt Lake and some roadside birding in the swamp on the way back to the Park. 4 OPENINGS AVAILABLE

11:00 am EAGLE OPTICS

During the lunch break Eagle Optics will have binoculars and telescopes on display and for sale.

Afternoon

A19 (NEW) 1:30 pm ETHICS OF BIRD PHOTOGRAPHY Terry Crabe – The Tower Trail provides many opportunities to view birds but what are the challenges for the casual or professional photographer who wants to get the best shot. A birder and photographer, Terry will share the principles he follows. 13 OPENINGS AVAILABLE

SUNDAY MAY 29

All Day

A25 6:00 am FLOWERPOT ISLAND Doug Pedwell – 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 an equally worthy substitute. 8 OPENINGS AVAILABLE

A27 7:30 am BIRDING SOUTH BRUCE PENINSULATodd Pepper – The southern Bruce Peninsula boasts a number of landform features found both within the Huron Fringe and along the Niagara Escarpment providing a variety of bird habitat. Participants will benefit from Todd’s knowledge of birdsong and breeding bird behaviour. 4 OPENINGS AVAILABLE

A28 6:00 am WRESTLING WITH WARBLERSMark Wiercinski – Warblers are very annoying. They move around a lot and hide behind the most inconvenient leaves and branches. Mark’s humour and tips about habitat and song will definitely keep you interested. 4 OPENINGS AVAILABLE

A30 7:00 am eBIRDING THE PARK Mike Burrell will take you birding, then introduce you to eBird, the amazing online repository of bird sightings, abundance, distribution and seasonal occurrence. You’ll find out how easy it is for you to become a citizen scientist and contribute your sightings to this awesome database. 10 OPENINGS AVAILABLE

Afternoon

A33 1:30 pm DRAGONFLIES & DAMSELFLIES John Reaume – Damselflies and dragonflies are members of the order Odonata meaning “toothed ones” which reference their awesome mouth parts. We will attempt to capture some of them in butterfly nets for closer examination. 5 OPENINGS AVAILABLE

A34 (NEW) 1:30 pm SAUGEEN SHORES BUTTERFLY TRAIL Kerry Jarvis – Want to know the best plants, trees and shrubs to attract wildlife? Join Kerry as he showcases various gardens throughout Saugeen Shores. Learn about the “magic plants” that are magnets for birds, butterflies, caterpillars and mammals. 14 OPENINGS AVAILABLE

A35 1:30 pm SONGBIRDS & SALAMANDERS ON THE FARM Art Wiebe & Janice McKean – All living things need water to survive. Let Art and Janice introduce you to their backyard pond as they explain “natural habitat” and what it means to migrating birds, and the little critters who call it home. They will also talk about conservation programs that have assisted them in enriching these habitats. 2 OPENINGS AVAILABLE

Evening

A36 (NEW) 7:15 pm SPIDERS OF EASTERN NORTH AMERICA John Reaume – Spiders have a bad reputation but in reality they are fascinating creatures. John will talk about their unique anatomy and interesting behaviours. Webs are not just for catching prey! Learn how to observe them. Understanding spiders will make you appreciate them more – it’s true! 8 OPENINGS AVAILABLE

MONDAY MAY 30

All Day

A38 8:00 am THE BRUCE RE-BECKONSWilly Waterton – Join Willy in a quest to rediscover Sherwood Fox’s Bruce Peninsula, based on his landmark 1952 book The “The Bruce Beckons”. You will spend the day exploring Fox’s Bruce to see what still exists after 63 years. 10 OPENINGS AVAILABLE

Morning

A40 7:30 am BIRDING IN AN AMPHITHEATREJoy Albrecht – The elevated steps of the Saugeen amphitheatre provide viewpoints over the river and riparian habitat. Here you will get a bird’s-eye view. 6 OPENINGS AVAILABLE

Afternoon

A42 1:30 pm DOWN & DIRTY PHOTOGRAPHYDoug 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. 5 OPENINGS AVAILABLE

Evening

A43 (NEW) 7:15 pm WHAT’S THE FLAP ALL ABOUT?Paloma Plant – The Fatal Light Awareness Program is sustained by a terrific group of volunteers. FLAP was the first organization in the world to raise concerns about bird collisions. They have instigated many changes to building design and lighting in urban areas. 20 OPENINGS AVAILABLE

THURSDAY JUNE 2

Morning

B3 6:30 am BIRDING KINCARDINE & AREA James Turland – Hike the trails of Kincardine’s premier birding hotspot, locally known as “Pelee North”. You will see a variety of warblers, ducks and other migrants. 12 OPENINGS AVAILABLE

B4 8:30 am THE BIG SITMargaret Anderton – Join Margaret to see what can be seen from the comfort of a sitting position overlooking a pond, a field, forest and feeders. 9 OPENINGS AVAILABLE

Afternoon

B6 (NEW) 1:30 pm WHAT’S YOUR QUESTION?Bring your photographic questions to Fran Sanagan. With his many years of experience, he will offer insights into how to get the photos you’re after. From raw images to photo editing, Fran can help you improve your technique with his tips of the trade. 14 OPENINGS AVAILABLE

Evening

B7 (NEW) 7:15 pm TICK TALK: LYME DISEASE IN ONTARIO Dr. Andrew Peregrine – Lyme disease is an infection that primarily occurs in wildlife. However, infections also occur in people. This talk will review current information on the importance of identifying Lyme disease in wildlife and people across Ontario. Practices to prevent infection in people and pets will also be discussed. 17 OPENINGS AVAILABLE

FRIDAY JUNE 3

All Day

B9 6:30 am BIRDING SOUTH BRUCEMarshall Byle – This is car birding at its best. We will follow a scenic route in Southern Bruce County, stopping to bird various habitats. 9 OPENINGS AVAILABLE

B10 7:30 am A GEOLOGICAL JOURNEYBob Gray – Join Bob in exploring spectacular caves, deep gorges and a scenic broad glacial re-entrant valley along the Niagara Escarpment in eastern Grey County. 3 OPENINGS AVAILABLE

Morning

B11 6:30 am BIRDING THE 4 CORNERS OF MacGREGOR James Turland – Visit wetlands, shorelines, forests and fields along the margins of MacGregor Park. You will enjoy James’ relaxed style and his ability to locate the birds. 8 OPENINGS AVAILABLE

B12 7:00 am BIRDING THE TOWER TRAIL Ellen Smout – Join Ellen as she leads us along the Tower Trail, a favourite spot for local birders. We will see species that will nest in the boreal forest. We will scope the wetland from the observation tower and dyke. 8 OPENINGS AVAILABLE

Afternoon

B14 1:30 pm WOULDN’T IT BE PLOVERLYStewart Nutt – Join Stew to visit endangered Piping Plovers at one of their few nesting sites in Ontario. You may observe courtship (Plovers) as well as other behaviours and learn about the many perils these birds face. You will find out how local involvement is helping this species recover. 15 OPENINGS AVAILABLE

B16 1:30 pm SAUGEEN SHORES: WATERSCAPE PHOTOGRAPHY Kerry Jarvis – Saugeen Shores is a treasure chest for photographers. Learn photographic waterscape techniques to enhance your photography skills and discover some of the majestic vistas in Saugeen Shores. 6 OPENINGS AVAILABLE

Evening

B17 (NEW) 7:15 pm SPARROWS Sarah Rupert – Do little brown jobs have your head spinning? Join Sarah for a light-hearted presentation on sparrow identification. She’ll break the sparrows down into small groups, give you tips and tricks to figure out one of the more challenging groups of birds and show you some imposters that are often confused for sparrows. 3 OPENINGS AVAILABLE

SATURDAY JUNE 4

All Day

B18 6:30 am BIRDING THE BEYOND Mark Peck – Mark will travel backroads and byways beyond the Park boundaries searching for various habitats and their niche birds. Knowing Mark, an expert on “nidiology”, you’ll find a nest or two also. ONLY 1 OPENING LEFT

B19 7:00 am BIRDING THE HURON FRINGE James Turland – A visit to Inverhuron Provincial Park and the Lake Huron shoreline will provide dune grassland as well as edge and shoreline habitats. 11 OPENINGS AVAILABLE

B20 (NEW) 8:00 am BEACHES & BIRDSKaren Alexander – During this shoreline tour of varied coastal areas north of Sauble Beach, Karen will describe how different types of beach stewardship can influence the health and quality of coastal ecosystems. 16 OPENINGS AVAILABLE

B21 6:30 am BIRDING THE TOWER TRAILJustin Peter – Diverse habitat along the Tower Trail makes it a mecca for an eclectic mix of warblers, flycatchers, thrushes and more. Justin will help us find these birds by sight (and sound!) and will share tips about bird behaviour. 7 OPENINGS AVAILABLE

B22 7:00 am ROAD BIRDING FOR GRASSLAND SPECIES Brett Woodman – Tour the local countryside looking for elusive nesting grassland birds of Saugeen Shores. 13 OPENINGS AVAILABLE

B23 7:30 am BIRDING HIDDEN SPOTS OF MacGREGOREllen Smout – Travel some of the lesser known areas in the park looking for hidden gems. 5 OPENINGS AVAILABLE

B24 8:00 am BEGINNING BIRDING FOR ADULTSDoug Pedwell – This event is for those who wish to learn about the world’s number one hobby – birding. Topics include binoculars, field guides and apps, identification marks of birds and eBird. 12 OPENINGS AVAILABLE

Afternoon

B26 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. 7 OPENINGS AVAILABLE

B27 1:30 pm FIELD SKETCHING &/or JOURNALING Sarah Rupert – Field sketching helps you hone your identification skills. Everyone can do it. Sarah will show you how sketching can help you document your observations in the field. 9 OPENINGS AVAILABLE

B28 1:30 pm BLUEBIRD LANDLORDSDennis & 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. 3 OPENINGS AVAILABLE

B29 1:30 pm ARE YOU A PLOVER LOVER? Stew Nutt – If you’re not already, you will be after spending time on the beach with these charismatic, endangered birds. 13 OPENINGS AVAILABLE

Evening

B30 5:30 pm to 6:30 pm BRUCE COUNTY CHICKEN DINNER(MacGregor Point Provincial Park, additional charge of $17. Dinner combined with B31 as a single event $23. Pre-registration required) 16 OPENINGS AVAILABLE

9:00 pm to 10:00 pm ATTRACTING MOTHS – Andalyne Tofflemire

B32 9:15 pm STARRY STARRY NIGHTJohn Hlynialuk – John will introduce you to the wonders of the night sky, and tell you about dark sky events for 2016. Weather permitting, members of the Bluewater Astronomical Society will have their telescopes available for viewing the evening sky. 2 OPENINGS AVAILABLE

SUNDAY JUNE 5

All Day

B33 6:00 am DEBATING THE ISSUES, & MORE, WITH MARKMark Wiercinski This walking / driving tour travels between Bayview Escarpment and Bognor Marsh. Along the way, Mark will highlight issues affecting bird populations in Ontario. You will find out what this has to do with sex, which of course it does! 8 OPENINGS AVAILABLE

B34 6:30 am WINGED PURSUITSNathan 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 winged insects as the day warms up. All creatures found will be discussed. 14 OPENINGS AVAILABLE

7:00 am to 8:30 am MOTH ID – Andalyne Tofflemire

B35 7:00 am BIRDING THE PERIMETER OF THE PARKJustin Peter – Driving the varied habitats along the edge of the park provides a mix of warblers, flycatchers and other possibilities. An opportunity to view wetlands and the shoreline will also enhance this outing. 3 OPENINGS AVAILABLE

B36 7:30 am BIRDING & BOTANIZING Dr. Bill Crins – The Lake Huron shoreline, fen and edge habitats are featured during this walk from the Visitor Centre. We always benefit from Bill’s broad experience as an interpretive naturalist. 11 OPENINGS AVAILABLE

B37 8:00 am NEST QUEST 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 expanding their observation skills and learning about the nests of breeding birds. 10 OPENINGS AVAILABLE

Afternoon

B38 1:30 pm SPEED, STRENGTH & STEALTH: ONTARIO’S RAPTORS – Wild Ontario – Ontario is home to some of the most amazing hunting birds on the planet! Come get nose-to-beak with these stunning predators, and learn about the incredible skills and abilities that help them do what they do. 15 OPENINGS AVAILABLE

B39 1:30 pm WITCHES & WILDFLOWERSHeather 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 stories about plants. 12 OPENINGS AVAILABLE

Evening

B40 8:00 pm SUNSET WALKDoug Pedwell – Join Doug for a leisurely stroll along the shore of Lake Huron to discover the sights, sounds and scents of an early June evening in MacGregor Point Provincial Park. 8 OPENINGS AVAILABLE

family

FAMILY WEEKEND STILL HAS PLENTY OF OPENINGS

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 JUNE 4

Morning

6:00 am to noon BIRD BANDING – weather permitting

FAM1 9 am PLUGGING KIDS INTO BIRDING – Richard Tofflemire – Birding with kids can start right in your own backyard or in a provincial park! It is a family friendly activity. Learn about the equipment needed, field guides and apps and the easiest ways to identify birds. Bring binoculars if you have them, we will have some for you to use if you don’t. (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 – Andalyne & Richard Tofflemire – Everyone already has the superpowers they need to explore nature! Come out for a dynamic exploration of the forest and learn how much fun discovering nature can be.

and

MONARCH MADNESS – Audrey Armstrong – Not only are monarchs beautiful, but their life cycle and migration is amazing! In this hands-on interactive workshop, children will learn about monarchs and create really cool crafts. To help foster habitat for this Species at Risk, you will make “seed bombs” to take home.

Evening

FAM3 7:15 pm ANIMAL DEFENCES – CAMPFIRE PROGRAM – Park Staff – Join    Park Naturalists for an evening of deception, camouflage and chemical warfare as they investigate the defensive nature of MacGregor’s wild inhabitants. (outdoors)

9:00 pm to 10 pm ATTRACTING MOTHS BESIDE VISITOR CENTRE – Andalyne Tofflemire

SUNDAY JUNE 5

Morning

7:00 am to 8:30 am MOTH ID – Andalyne Tofflemire

FAM4 9:00 am MORNING EXPLORATIONS(Children will be divided into two groups. Each child will attend both morning programs.) (limit 40)

BUILDING FOR THE BIRDS – Kerry Jarvis – Get in the birding spirit. Build your own structure for a nest or wildlife feeder. No carpentry skills are required; just bring your enthusiasm! (kit – $10 extra per child. All tools provided.)

and

POND EXPLORATION – Andalyne & Richard Tofflemire – Join Richard and Andalyne 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.

Afternoon

FAM5 1:30 pm SPEED, STRENGTH & STEALTH: ONTARIO’S RAPTORS – Wild Ontario – Ontario is home to some of the most amazing hunting birds on the planet! Come get nose-to-beak with these stunning predators, and learn about the incredible skills and abilities that help them do what they do. (outdoors)

brdfest2

www.huronfringebirdingfestival.ca - for online registration

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

Follow us on Facebook:

http://www.facebook.com/HuronFringeBirdingFestival.

twitter: @HuronBirdfest

 

 

 

Advertisements

MIKE PICKUP – NORAH TOTH AWARD WINNER

leave a comment »

PickupPicrev

It comes as no surprise that Mick Pickup is set to receive this year’s Norah Toth Award. After all, the Norah Toth Award recognizes people who have contributed to the Huron Fringe Birding Festival in ways that makes a difference. Through his writings, his serving the Festival, the Friends of MacGregor, the Bruce Birding Club, the OFO and the inspiration for the Bird Blind – to name just a few – Mike’s contributions make him an obvious choice.

“It’s an honour to be able to get the award and the recognition from your peers and associates,” said Mike. “I feel very humble.” Which is perfectly in character for this gentle man that birders know and respect.

Plaquemike

Mike was just 9 years old when birds first began to interest him. His father would take him for walks pointing out birds on the moors in Lancashire. He came to Canada via England and Ireland when he was thirteen. He spent many days hiking and exploring the Bruce Trail near his Georgetown home. Then came the cottage in Sauble Beach, and the eventual move to Port Elgin. It was here that he met his mentor, Martin Parker, a naturalist and ‘big birder’. Martin rekindled Mike’s interest in birding. And the rest is local history.

Mike volunteered for Bird Studies Canada doing Nocturnal Owl Surveys, Breeding Bird Surveys, and Forest Monitoring Surveys; as well he has worked on both the first and second Atlas of the Breeding Birds of Ontario projects and in 2009 received the OFO’s Award of Distinction. Mike loves to share his knowledge with others. After he retired he carried this a step further writing books to give people ideas of where to go and what to expect in certain birding areas. He’s published three helpful books to date and is currently working on a fourth.

When he isn’t out in the field or writing you’ll find him with his other love…Mike, the model train enthusiast, has a layout in his basement that occupies most of his winter hours.

When asked what it takes to be a successful birder, Mike’s advice is simple…”get a good pair of binoculars, a field guide, get outdoors and enjoy yourself.” That’s something Mike has been doing for over 50 years.

The Huron Fringe Birding Festival honours and celebrates Mike Pickup’s Outstanding Volunteer Contributions with this year’s North Toth Award, Saturday, May 23 at their annual Banquet and Presentation.

CRW_9413

Huron Fringe Birding Festival Event Registration: 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.

“…AND THAT’S A WRAP.”

leave a comment »

“Well, we’re off to a late start.” So said a smiling Jim Duncan, outgoing Chair of the Huron Fringe Bird Festival organizing committee, of this his last meeting. The committee had grown over this season reflecting the pull it has with local birders and naturalists who want to part of a growing and successful birding and natural festival. Point being that the meeting set up was too small to accommodate all present. It wasn’t long before tables and chairs were rearranged and the group got down to review the Festival that just finished.

Results are happily stated in the following account by local birding author and legend Mike Pickup.

Pickup

The Huron Fringe Birding Festival came to a successful conclusion on Sunday the 1st, June 2014.

HFBF drew approximately 259 registered participants, 104 of which were brand new to the Festival, a record for us.

All were treated to two weekends of great weather. With 80 events and 43 leaders, participants were taken on events throughout MacGregor Park, covering all four corners and travelling the many trails on their hikes. Also many hikes traversed on the roads up and down the Bruce Peninsula. The southern part of Bruce County was covered on many outings as well.

Places visited ranged from Kincardine and Inverhuron in the south to Dyers Bay, Cabot Head, Malcolm Bluffs and Tobermory including a sold-out tour of Flowerpot Island, in the north. Grey County was also explored near Owen Sound and the Bognor Marsh.

Events included Birding Hikes, Nature Rambles, Wildflower Hikes, Butterfly and Dragonfly Hikes, Insect Hikes, Tree Identification Rambles, Photography Hikes, an evening of Astronomy, Fern Hikes, Geology and Geomorphology Hikes and coastal habitats Of the Huron coast.

Many attendees commented on how well organized they found the festival, that it was family-friendly and on the quality of the leader’s local knowledge. Our surveys show favourable comments such as: “Having a great time” “Your leaders are great, friendly and knowledgeable” “Fantastic weather and lots of birds” The friendliness and low cost, brings many participants back each year.

The overall 2014 attendance was up from previous years.

Our leaders are also returnees, with many having been there for a number of years. Naturalists such as Mark Wiecinski, Judith King, Peter Middleton, Doug Martin, Kerry Jarvis, Mark Peck, Michael Carson, Bob Gray, keep returning to lead our hikes. We attracted some new folks as leaders this year that included Marilyn Ohler, Nobert Woerns, Judith Jones, Mike Burrell, Bill and Lynne O’Keefe, David Lamble, Sheila Colla, Mike Cadman, Barbara Palmer, Justin Peter, Tanya Pulfert and Catherine Jimenea.

Our workshop and evening programs covered topics from Identification of Hawks, The Plight of the Bumblebee, IBA’s Important Bird Areas, Astronomy, Ontario Bird Surveys, A Fling with Shorebirds, and Migration on the Strait of Gibraltar.

Our banquet was held on May 24th at St. Joseph Parish hall in Port Elgin catered by Harrigan’s Cartering of Southampton. Our guest speaker renowned Master Bander David Lamble gave and informative and entertaining presentation about Birds and Some of Their Mysteries.

As I said earlier the Festival was a success. The 190 species total is a recent high with a late migrating Orange Crowned Warbler seen the first weekend and a Connecticut Warbler singing at the Visitor Centre on the last weekend. During the 10 days of the Festival a total of 27 Warblers, 11 Sparrows, 12 raptors, 9 Flycatchers, 7 Woodpeckers plus 15 shorebirds, along with all the other species, were located by all participants.

I would also like to send out great big thank you to our Volunteer Committee that was responsible for organizing the Festival. They have spent many months organizing and setting up the program for all to enjoy. Also a big thank you to the approximately 50 volunteers who helped during the festival setting up the registration tent, working at registration, introducing our leaders, and our hike coordinators without who our hikes would not be conducted.

Also a great big thank you to our sponsors for their generosity without whom we would not have a Festival. Thanks to our corporate sponsors, Bruce Power, Ontario Power Generation, and Eagle Optics. Thanks to our local Event sponsors: The Colonial Motel of Port Elgin, Handy Andy of Southampton, Grey Suable Conservation Authority of Owen Sound, Harrigan’s Catering of Southampton, Hills Insurance of Southampton, John King Law Office of Port Elgin, Mild may Tent Rental of Mild may, Natures Millworks of Paisley, The Rotary Club of Southampton, Synergistic Solutions of Southampton, and a couple of new ones this year, The Elk and Finch restaurant of Southampton and The Woodpecker Restaurant of Port Elgin.

Please mark your calendars with next year’s dates…22nd May to 25th May and 28th May to 31st May 2015. Registration starts on 1st Feb 2015, with the program being available on line by 21st Jan 2015 on the Friends website at www.friendsofmacgregor.org or follow us on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/HuronFringeBirdingFestival. Email: birdfest@rogers.com.

Mike Pickup Rack card

Recognized as One of Ontario's Top 100 Festivals

Recognized as One of Ontario’s Top 100 Festivals

 

ROAD BIRDING FOR GRASSLAND BIRDS WITH BRETT WOODMAN

leave a comment »

On Saturday, May 31 at 7:00 AM, Brett Woodman will be ‘ROAD BIRDING FOR GRASSLAND BIRDS’. You can still register (B19) for his hike and join him as he searches our local countryside for the elusive nesting grassland birds of Saugeen Shores. Brett sent us his thoughts on the hike. And here they are.

I am an ecological consultant by day and live in Kitchener with my wife and two sons. Growing up, my grandparents lived in Southampton and to this day our family still has their house. As a result MacGreor Park and more broadly the southern Bruce Peninsula is a special place for me. It is in this area that I have really explored my interest in birds and plants. I met Mike Pickup, a well-known local birder in the mid-90s while birding. From that chance encounter he led me on a number of birding forays to some of his favourite birding spots in the area. Many of those spots are now favourite spots of my own. For the Road Birding for Grassland Birds hike I will lead the group to a variety of spots south and east of the Park. We will be targeting open country birds like bobolink, grasshopper sparrows, and upland sandpipers, but will also explore old farm fields that are regenerating as shrub thicket communities. In these areas we will be looking for blue and golden winged warblers, clay-coloured sparrows, eastern towhees, cuckoos, etc. The habitat in this area is really high quality and there is a chance we could get lucky and find something much rarer like a Henslow’s sparrow, lark sparrow or loggerhead shrike. This spring has been really late and I feel like migration is somewhat delayed as a result.

Bobolink Male (Paul Nickleson, Special to QMI Agency)

Bobolink Male (Paul Nickleson, Special to QMI Agency)

I leave today for 4 days of birding at Pelee Island with my seven year-old son and some friends. We are very excited. This is an annual trip for me and the second year for my son. He too is an enthusiastic naturalist and the opportunity to bird and botanize with him has made it all the more rewarding for me.

Brett and Son on an early spring hike.

Brett and Son on an early spring hike.


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

 REGISTER NOW – ROAD BIRDING FOR GRASSLAND BIRDS (B19) 7:00 AM – Saturday May 31: http://www.friendsofmacgregor.org

http://www.facebook.com/HuronFringeBirdingFestival

Recognized as One of Ontario's Top 100 Festivals

Recognized as One of Ontario’s Top 100 Festivals

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’

leave a comment »

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