Nature Club News For March 2022

by John Dickson

Owen Sound Field Naturalists (OSFN) will offer five brief and diverse presentations for Members Night, as well as such popular audience features as “Sightings” – individuals reporting recent observations – plus community Nature news too, all starting at 7pm this Thursday at the Harry Lumley Bayshore Community Centre, and just a reminder: the wearing of masks for Covid-19 is currently required indoors at the Bayshore.

Everyone is welcome, admission is free or by donation for this event. OSFN is also planning to present the evening on zoom. OSFN club members receive the Zoom link by email. Non-members may request a Zoom link by emailing well in advance to with “Members” in the subject line.

Scheduled presenters from the club are: David Morris – In Our Own Backyard; Bill Moses – OSFN History; Marsha Courtney- Kayak Into Nature’s Beauty; Bob Knapp – A Trip to Ecuador; Peter Middleton – Wings over the Platte, Sandhill Crane Spectacular (from Nebraska).

In addition, I will have tickets available for sale, (just $5. each), for OSFN’s seventh annual Celebrate Earth Week Keynote Address, by Hap Wilson, entitled 50 YEARS ~ 100 RIVERS – Guidebook Pathfinding. It is scheduled for 2pm Sunday April 24, also at the Bayshore Community Centre. Hap Wilson is an award winning author, artist, wilderness guide and photographer, an International Fellow of the prestigious Explorer’s Club, a Fellow of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society, a recipient of the Bill Mason Award for lifetime achievement in river conservation, co-founder of the environmental group Earthroots, and much more. He and his wife Andrea will also have a selection of his books for sale at this event. I was not surprised to discover that many of our area’s fine paddlers have used Wilson’s guidebooks themselves. I have especially enjoyed the artwork that is sprinkled throughout books of his that I have encountered.

For more information about any of these events and other activities of the Owen Sound Field Naturalists, please visit

The Horned Larks are migrating now. (Photo by Bruce Edmunds)
Mar 4, 2022, Kincardine area

The Bruce Birding Club has resumed its twice per month outings, enjoying the bird sightings and the camaraderie of fellow birders. From the March 2nd birding tour Fred Jazvac reported:

We had a good number of species today, especially after the long cold winter we experienced with 40 species in total. Highlights of the day included seeing two Screech Owls in different locations. The second one cooperated the most by waking up at about 3:00 p.m. and being shocked at the strange creatures staring at him. His curiosity lingered on and on at the assembled crowd who stared right back at him. Tufted Titmouse, Cackling Goose, Pine Siskin were good finds as well.

Deane Atherton recently shared his observations and helpful tips about Pine Grosbeaks sightings in Owen Sound.

Photo by Deane Atherton  March 5 

“Flocks of pine grosbeaks have been foraging on the fruit trees in Brooke (west side of Owen Sound) for the past few weeks. Most of the birds are typical females (yellow plumage). If you look through the flocks you’ll find a few males and russet birds. My understanding is that the russet forms are either first year males or a russet morph of female. Take a walk around Brooke if you haven’t seen these birds this winter”

Photo by Deane Atherton  March 5 

The Friends of Hibou have posted their new Spring Newsletter on their website. It includes news from Krista McKee about a Family Fun Day scheduled for August 7, a new song entitled Hibou, by Brian Tannahill, plus an introduction to Spring Birds at Hibou, with descriptions and photos by Peter Middleton. It is definitely worth a visit to Hibou itself, as well as to

The Bruce Grey Woodlands Association is once again hosting the annual Grey Bruce Woodlot Conference that will take place virtually, via zoom, on Tuesday March 22nd and Thursday March 24th.
I certainly recommend checking this out, especially as I very much enjoyed catching one evening of last year’s conference.

This year the list of presentations is as follows:

March 22nd:

7pm – Wild Boars, presented by MNR-F;
8pm – Update on Forest Health, presented by MNR-F

March 24th:

7pm – Forestry Related Applications for Landowners,with Aaron Swayze, Forestry Technician, Saugeen Conservation;
8pm – Climate Change and Forestry, with Kevin Predon, Forester, Bruce County.

To learn more about the Bruce Grey Woodlands Association visit and to register for this conference and receive a zoom link, please email your name and address to:

The first Common Grackle of the year. Another sign of spring.
Photo by Nigel Eves, Meaford, March 7

Grey County Master Gardeners are offering their Eco-Responsible Gardener Series Seminar #3, entitled Rethinking Beauty: Inspiring Gardeners in a Changing World on March 26 at 11am, via Zoom. Join the inspiring and enthusiastic Paul Zammit as he challenges you to think about the meaning of beauty in a world of climate change and biodiversity. His hugely entertaining talks attract international audiences of all ages.

Paul is a Horticulturalist, lecturer and photographer and is currently Professor of the Horticultural Program at Niagara College, after serving as Director of Horticulture at the Toronto Botanical Garden for 10 years. In 2019 and 2021, Paul was awarded Landscape Ontario’s Garden Communicator of the Year Award.

To learn more and to register, please visit

Red-Winged Blackbirds are back and singing. Sure sign of spring
Photo by Angela Milan, March 5th, west of Markdale

The Huron Fringe Birding Festival looks to me to just keep getting better, and this 24th version is set for May 27-30 and June 2-5. I encourage you to visit where you will be able to see the impressive line-up of birding opportunities, and much more. If you just can’t wait, you can also sample the seven recorded presentations from the excellent 2021 Festival Lite. It is a good way to meet some of the personalities who will be back this year too.

Mink – photo by Ingrid Remkins March 6, north of Kimberley

I have been seeing Robins since Sunday, and also noting the buds and new growth on many saplings, and mature trees too. Wetlands are shifting from ice to open water, the planned destinations for many migrating waterfowl whose flight paths lead them here, either to rest and re-fuel for the next stage on their route, or to stay and raise their new families right here.

To close, a ‘Winter transition to Spring’ Nature quote from Morgan Llywelyn’s After Rome: “The winter dragged on… The sparse grass atop the cliffs was rimed with ice, it crunched when the horses tried to crop it…Then one morning there was a perceptible change in the angle of the light. A few days later the omnipresent wind swung around and began to blow out of the south. The horses stopped trying to tear nourishment out of the reluctant earth and lifted their heads, sniffing through distended nostrils… Spring was in the air.”

First one in the yard this year. Spring might well be on the way. Robin, Flesherton.
Photo By Dave Turner, March 2