huronfringefest

One of Canada's Premier Birding and Nature Festivals

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ETHAN, JOHN AND MARK DO ANOTHER BIG DAY!

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…we just bird … and do so to the extreme.”  (Mark Wiercinski)

Jon, Ethan and Mark looking and listening.

Jon, Ethan and Mark looking and listening.

On Monday May 19, at 2:00 AM, Ethan Meleg, Mark Wiercinski and John Haselmayer left Wiarton to begin their 10th Annual Bruce Peninsula Birdathon. Nineteen hours, 380 kilometres and 167 species later (their third best total) they made it to Tobermory, bleary-eyed, sleep deprived, but happy.

According to Ethan, “Mark, John and I are recovering.”

Ethan then commented on a major accomplishment of their day, “We ate relatively healthier on this birdathon than ever, but still included gallons of coffee, Twinkies, pepperoni, chocolate covered almonds and licorice sticks in our high performance birder diet. Cholesterol levels should subside by the time we do this again next year.”

On a more ‘birdathon-centric note he went on to say, “Calm conditions were ideal to hear the expected nocturnal species. Morning at MacGregor Point Provincial Park was chilly, but once it started warming up bird activity came alive and remained good throughout most of the cool day, as we worked our way north to finish at 9:00 PM in Bruce Peninsula National Park.”

Birding Highlights:

• Whip-poor-wills: calling at many locations, notably the Duck’s Unlimited (DU)

Pond at MacGregor Point Provincial Park (MPPP).

• Least Bittern and Common Moorhen: great views at the DU Pond @ MPPP

• Piping Plover: at Sauble Beach

• Brewer’s Blackbird and Upland Sandpiper (local specialties) in the

agricultural lands around Ferndale

• Red-necked Grebes and Horned Grebes in Dyers Bay

• 25 warbler species (ties our best warbler tally)

• Low diversity of diving ducks (we didn’t find a single scoter) and

shorebirds

“Overall, we found the diversity of migrant songbirds to be good, including a mix of early and later species. Early breeding birds were well established on territories, but the later arrivals were either not on territory yet or simply not active. This could have been due in part to the cool temperatures. Our most embarrassing misses included Golden and Ruby-crowned Kinglets and Hermit Thrush (all local breeders).”

Our three intrepid birders are long-time friends of the Huron Fringe Birding Festival having led events and made presentations over the years. Ethan is a renowned outdoors photographer. Mark and John are biologists. All are well respected for their expertise in Ornithology.

Our three intrepid birders are long-time friends of the Huron Fringe Birding Festival having led events and made presentations over the years. Ethan is a renowned outdoors photographer. Mark and John are biologists. All are well respected for their expertise in Ornithology.

If anyone wants an Excel copy of their Bruce Big Day Bird Count with a summary of results you can contact them with your request.

Ethan Meleg email: info@ethanmeleg.com

Mark Wiercinski 
email: Mark.Wiercinski@forces.gc.ca

 Happy birding!

ALL PHOTOGRAPHS COURTESY DON WILKES. PHOTOS ARE FOR BLOG ONLY. NO OTHER USE IS PERMITTED WITHOUT PERMISSION OF THE PHOTOGRAPHER.

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THE COUNTDOWN IS ON – OPENING DAY – MAY 23

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Opening day is not that far away

REGISTER NOW! Opening day is not that far away

Below is a list of the Huron Fringe Birding Festival events that still have openings as of this posting. Have a look.

THEN WATCH OUR VIDEO: http://youtu.be/0_vvcLJdE74

That should inspire you to rush to register your choice on our website: friendsofmacgregor.org.

Sign up today.

 FRIDAY MAY 23

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”.

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.

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.

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.

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)

SATURDAY MAY 24

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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

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.

SUNDAY MAY 25

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)

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.

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)

MONDAY MAY 26

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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)

THURSDAY MAY 29

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

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

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.

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.

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.

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)

FRIDAY MAY 30

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

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.)

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

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.

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!).

SATURDAY MAY 31

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.)

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.)

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.

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

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

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.

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!).

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

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

SUNDAY JUNE 1

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

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.

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

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.

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.

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.)

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.


Recognized as One of Ontario's Top 100 Festivals

Recognized as One of Ontario’s Top 100 Festivals

REGISTER NOW: friendsofmacgregor.org

https://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

 

BIRDBANDING WITH BRENDAN IS BACK

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LIVE BIRD BANDING DEMONSTRATIONS – Saturday May 24 – Sunday May 25 – 6:00 AM to Noon

NO REGISTRATION REQUIRED

Brendan and Friend

Brendan and Friend

A birder, photographer (http://btoewsphotos.zenfolio.com) and bird bander…when it comes to birds, Brendan does it all. For the past 7 years, he’s spent most summers on the Bruce Peninsula. This will be his 4th year working with the Huron Fringe Birding Festival, going from a hike assistant to hike leader, to daily banding demos.

He banded his first bird (a Gray Catbird) in the summer of 2008 while a participant in the Young Ornithologists Workshop at the Long Point Bird Observatory. The following year he was accepted into the Young Ornithologists Internship, a month-long program that helped to hone his banding skills. He has spent over 7 months staying full-time at bird observatories, and has banded close to 4000 birds of 127 species.  In that time he’s had the opportunity to see and band many interesting species, such as Yellow-breasted Chat, Connecticut Warbler, Barred Owl, Northern Shrike, Bonaparte’s Gull, Baird’s Sandpiper and many more.

Bird banding data has many scientific uses, including documenting population dynamics, migration routes and species’ life spans.  It also helps us understand the daily life of an individual bird, especially when colour bands are used.  Banding helps to determine the size of territories, and how faithful certain birds are to specific breeding and wintering territories.

Brendan1

Brendan will run banding demos on Saturday, May 24 and Sunday May 25, starting close to sunrise 6:00 A-mish) and going until around noon. For the safety of the birds, bird banding is weather dependent. Sessions are free. There is no need to register…just show up…early.

HURON FRINGE BIRDING FESTIVAL

Top100Logo

bird ONE OF THE TOP 100 FESTIVALS IN ONTARIO

REGISTER NOW AT:

http://www.friendsofmacgregor.org

MCGREGOR POINT PROVINCIAL PARK, PORT ELGIN, ONTARIO – MAY 23 to MAY 26 & MAY 29 to JUNE 1

 http://www.facebook.com/HuronFringeBirdingFestival

 birdfest@rogers.com