Nature Club News June 2021

by John Dickson

Kudos to the organizing committee of the 2021 Huron Fringe Birding “Festival Lite” Webinars, featuring these seven terrific presentations, and reaching good audiences each evening: Birding in Algonquin Park with Michael Runtz; Black Bears of the Bruce Peninsula with Dr. Martyn Obbard;  Fifteen Years of Ontario Piping Plovers with Andrea Gress; A Holistic Approach to Learning Bird Songs and Calls with Ian Shanahan; Birders Gone Wild: 24 hour Bruce Peninsula Birdathon with Ethan Meleg; Bird Banding at the Bruce Peninsula Bird Observatory with Stéphane Menu; The Ontario Breeding Bird Atlas: Focus on the Females, with Mark Peck. 

If you missed any or all of these, I highly  recommend visiting their website at for links to each webinar, all of which were recorded for later viewing.

Great Egret near Isaac Lake May 31, by Les Anderson

A new birding club, with a familiar name, is being hatched by the Blue Mountains Public Library   (BMPL) via Zoom on-line. Here is an excerpt from their recent announcement:

 The Dorothy Crysler Bird Club begins Saturday June 19, 2021

 9:30am – 10:30am.  Join Curator Andrea Wilson as each month we learn about our wild avian friends, their habits and habitats. This will not only help you identify birds, but you will learn about migration, nesting, environmental needs, species at risk and more. This is a collaborative study group, where participants will share as we grow knowledge together.  

The club is named for Dorothy Crysler, a remarkable local artist, journalist, author and birder! This club takes her cue, as she was “the messenger not the expert”. This group is for anyone, new or established as a birder. Once you have registered a zoom invitation will be sent.  To learn more contact Andrea at  5195993681 or by Email: Website:

Upland Sandpiper June 5, by Bill Hatten

The Plover Lovers of Sauble Beach have announced that there is now, finally, a nesting pair of Piping Plovers on the beach, with one egg in the nest as of June 7.  An exclosure was installed to keep out larger predators, plus a wider area perimeter fence around that.  Careful monitoring is being provided by volunteers and staff, in order to enhance the likelihood of success, as these Piping Plovers face many challenges in sustaining their population.

Ospreys on nest in Georgian Bluffs June 6 – Photo by Mike Tettenborn

Tree Helpers Wanted Here is a message from Lloyd Lewis of NeighbourWoods North: We are seeking volunteers who want to assist us in maintaining the 3000+ trees we have planted at the Owen Sound Hospital. 

Every Tuesday evening, starting June 15 th , we will be meeting at the Hospital Forest, opposite the emergency entrance, at 7pm and working till 8:30. Throughout the summer we will be mulching, cutting the encroaching grass and watering the plants in order to maintain the thriving health of the trees and shrubs.

 Any assistance is more than welcome. Just show up with gloves and gardening tools if you have them or for more information, call Lloyd at 226 256 8804.  Appropriate Covid precautions will be taken. 

Blue-winged Warbler June 6, South-East of Owen Sound  by William Gray

Although the birding activities are getting lots of attention, other aspects of Nature are just as eye-catching these days. Butterflies, dragonflies, damselflies, moths and bees are everywhere and new Spring wildflowers are emerging almost every week. 

Yellow Lady’s Slipper Orchid  June 7 by David Turner

Lately the orchids, and paintbrushes have been really putting on a show throughout the region.  Additionally, on recent outings I have been encountering lovely pink and scented wild roses along roadsides and pathways. 

In most years the Bruce Peninsula Orchid Festival would take place in early June at Tobermory. 

This year, however, in collaboration with Bruce Peninsula National Park, The Friends of Bruce District Parks Association will bring you Wild Discoveries: Orchids and Pollinators. The event will feature a wide range of topics, presented virtually, to unlimited numbers of participants, over Zoom, and, the real bonus, it will be FREE! The talks will start on July 15th and will continue over the following evenings. Many knowledgeable and interesting speakers are booked for this virtual festival. There will be two presentations each evening at 7 and 8 PM. 

July 15th: Brian Popelier (Orchids) Tyler Miller (Alvars)

July 16th: Audrey Armstrong (Creating Habitat for Birds, Bees and Butterflies)  Megan Bonenfant (NCC- Vidal Bay)

July 17th: Peter Raspberry (Orchids/Photography)   Parks Canada (Virtual Hike/iNaturalist)

Monarch egg on a common milkweed leaf, Grey County, June 9, 2021 (Photo by Brian Robin)

There have been many recent sightings of turtles, locally, as many are seeking suitable locations for laying their eggs. It has been encouraging to hear stories, and see for myself, motorists stopping carefully on secondary roads to wait or assist with their road crossings. In addition lots of snakes, frogs and toads have  been observed in recent weeks.

Snapping Turtle hoping to cross a Grey County Road (she made it), June 2017, Photo by Brian Robin

The Owen Sound Field Naturalists monthly meeting will take place at 7PM this Thursday, June 10, online, via Zoom. It will include the Annual General Meeting  followed by featured guest speaker David Turner and “Birding different habitats in the Beaver Valley.”  Explore and discover where in the Valley, and why, so many birds call it home, or at least a nice place to visit. Enjoy David’s exquisite photographic images, and his contagious passion for Nature. 

David Turner (Supplied photo)

If you do not receive a link to this event but would like to attend please contact with “Beaver Valley” in the subject line.

On a sadder note OSFN extends condolences to the Willmott family on the recent passing of 96 year old Don Willmott. He was a beloved long-time naturalist and former club President (2003-4) who, along with his wife Elizabeth, had been an OSFN club member since 1992.

Don Willmott (supplied photo)

To close, a June Nature quote from Archibald Lampman (1861-1899), considered to have been Canada’s best writer of Nature verse- 

All day in garden alleys moist and dim,
The humid air is burdened with the rose;
In moss-deep woods the creamy orchid blows;
And now the vesper-sparrow’s pealing hymn
From every orchard close
At eve comes flooding rich and silvery;
The daisies in great meadows swing and shine;
And with the wind a sound as of the sea
Roars in the maples and the topmost pine.