Grey Bruce Bird Records Committee Report Form

May 7th, 2015

There are two ways to do this. Download a hard copy or a fillable form.

For a hard copy. click here to view form, then right click on form to print (or save a copy to your own computer).

Here is a fillable docx form. Click to download.then open, then click “enable editing” (at the top). fill out the form and then save it. Then the completed form can be emailed.

NATURE CLUB NEWS FOR SEPTEMBER 2020

September 17th, 2020

Nature Club News September 2020

by John Dickson

NeighbourWoods North   On August 22, a successful yard sale was held, raising $1200. towards the purchase of more trees for the 1.4-kilometre Healing Pathway around the hospital Healing Pathway. Congratulations to those involved!  Lloyd Lewis has indicated that, although they will not start to dig out the path this fall, they will begin planting trees along the planned course of the path. Watch for these changes!   

In recent weeks I have cycled and run along this pathway, and have found it delightful with its meandering character and its always changing views. I have also observed the ever changing blooms on display in the Welcoming Garden near the front entrance to the hospital. Another success story.

Photo By John Dickson
Photo By John Dickson
Photo By John Dickson

Congratulations to popular naturalist and speaker John Reaume, who shared this announcement with me: “We published a book on the Spiders of the Guelph Arboretum and are currently working on gathering and photographing spiders for a hopeful book on the Spiders of Ontario”.

Reaume gave a terrific Spider talk in Owen Sound two years ago,  is a key player at Saugeen Nature, and has been a frequent contributor to the Huron Fringe Birding Festival. Here is a link to the seven current Guelph Arboretum Booklets. The spider one is the second one down…..https://www.uoguelph.ca/arboretum/booklets


John Reaume (Supplied Photo)

Vicki Rowsell of Grey Sauble Conservation (GSCA)  announces that next up in their hike series is the Inglis Falls Arboretum! (237897 Inglis Falls Road, Owen Sound) Join GSCA and the Inglis Falls Arboretum Alliance to explore the trails, take deep breaths, and enjoy all the physical and mental health benefits of being in nature at a GSCA property.  September 12, 2020: Tree Talk Arboretum Walk – All ages are welcome (10:30am – 12:00pm) Join members of the Inglis Falls Arboretum Alliance for a walk around the peaceful Arboretum trails. You’ll learn about the history of the Arboretum itself and the amazing trees that make this area so special. The trees of the world section is a highlight where you can experience species from all over the globe! During this serene adventure we’ll also chat about some interesting tree facts – Did you know trees can talk to each other? You “wood” not believe some of this stuff! Advanced registration is required Please RSVP at explore@greysauble.on.ca and to check on future hikes (space is limited to ensure physical distancing). More information will be provided upon registration. 


The Owen Sound Field Naturalists are kicking off their 2020-21 season with Indoor and Outdoor events. At 7PM Thursday September 10, via ZOOM, Jenna McGuire presents The Life of Fungi –  “Let’s take a closer look at fungi and their mushrooms: How they live, contribute to the ecosystem, lifecycles, and the basic ways they are divided in groups. We will dive deep into the soil of the forest floor to see this mysterious world!”

Jenna McGuire (photo by Rob Gowan)

At 1:30PM Saturday, September 12, Robert Burcher will be leading an easy, two hour hike from the 7th concession of Meaford to the Trout Hollow site where John Muir lived for two years in the 1800’s. History, nature, archaeology and discussion of the recent “Muir as a Racist” controversy, all in one afternoon! A second hike may take place a week later if numbers warrant.  

Advance registration is required. Burcher will also have copies of his new book My Summer of Glorious Freedom – John Muir Saunters Around Southern Ontario in the Summer of 1864.   

Robert Burcher explaining the economics of John Muir’s time. (Photo by Brian Robin)

The Young Naturalists Club for ages 7 to 12 years, will have their first monthly outing on Sunday afternoon September 27 at GSCA, checking the Bluebird Boxes, and/or witnessing  the Salmon along the spawning grounds. To learn more about the Young Naturalists Club, or other OSFN talks, field trips and membership visit www.osfn.ca


 On several recent mornings I have noticed many Monarch Butterflies “roosting” in the trees in my neighbourhood, and occasionally have seen a dozen or more fluttering in the warm breezes. Stew Hilts, of Meaford, reports  “We’ve had two Monarch butterflies fluttering around for days now, apparently newly hatched, for they are bright orange with no tattered wings.  They come to the Marigolds and Butterfly Bush to feed.  At this time of year they’re no longer interested in the Milkweed; we presume this is the generation that migrates south. “

Monarch on marigolds. Photo by Photo by Maria Hilts

Fred Jazvac confirmed that the Bruce Birding club (BBC) is on hold regarding their twice monthly hikes, but continue to   share information about the location of birds, ID tips, birds seen, bird photos, etc. 

Common Loon on Lake Eugenia  – August 22,  by David Turner
Mother Pied-Billed Grebe with babies at Collingwood Harbor trails.  August 30, by David Turner
Question Mark  Butterfly,  by David Turner

Stephane Menu of the Bruce Peninsula Bird Observatory opened the mist nets on September 2nd and discovered, among others -“an adult male Connecticut Warbler! It is only the fourth Connecticut Warbler ever captured in the 19 years of monitoring at Cabot Head. This elusive and secretive bird is hardly ever observed, especially during migration. I have heard its explosive, loud song in the boreal forest (of Northern Alberta) but I have never seen one in the wild. And I have never heard nor seen it in Ontario, let alone at Cabot Head, other than in our nets.Swainson’s Thrushes are now on the move, with two birds captured on September 1st, and five on September 3rd. This long-distance migrant, alongside Grey-cheeked Thrush, migrate mostly during September, and like the Connecticut Warbler, have a long way to go to fly to reach the continent of South America.”


Dennis and Gwen Lewington have been working for the past 35 years to enhance Eastern Bluebird populations in the area by providing nesting boxes since 1986, when they started with four. They increased the number each year until they had one hundred, on a route that ranged from Sauble Falls to Oliphant to Wiarton to Hepworth, and stabilized at about eighty boxes by 2010. In all of that time they monitored the success of the nests, and kept records that indicate a total of 3050 Eastern Bluebirds fledged, averaging 87 per year. Also using the boxes were many Tree Swallows, along with some House Wrens, Great Crested Flycatchers, and Black Capped Chickadees.  The Lewingtons were awarded the OSFN’s Community Conservation Award several years ago, in recognition of these efforts and for the establishment of Sauble Dunes Nature Reserve.


To close, a Nature quote from – Exploring an Urban Forest – Owen Sound’s Heritage of Trees – published in 2007 by the Bruce Grey Plant Committee of the Owen Sound Field Naturalists – in Memory of Nelson Maher –

“This is a priceless inheritance which needs to be carefully nurtured… to maintain this forest in a healthy condition.”

Summer 2020, President’s Message

September 8th, 2020

Well suffice to say my term as President has started off with a backpack of full challenges! Covid-19 has disrupted the human world immensely but, thank goodness, nature doesn’t care. We still had a great spring full of migrating birds, spectacular flowers, blooming shrubs and trees and lots of fresh air to entice us outside to enjoy and reflect on how much we can manage on our own without large groups. One thing great that has come out of Covid-19 is “Ask a Biologist”! Don’t you all agree?

Before I forget, I want to say some important “thank yous”. Kate McLaren has mentored me in many ways. After six years, her chair at Board meetings will be empty. Her advice will be missed. We will also miss the knowledge and enthusiasm of Gord Edwards and Julie Lamberts. Gordon Toth will continue on the Board as Past-president having been President for the past two years. Thank you Gordon, I’m glad you are the ace in my back pocket! I welcome Brendan Mulroy, Vice-president and Jody Pettit and Ange Flynn who are the team overseeing and mentoring the Young Naturalists program. We continue to have a vacancy on the board; we need a Secretary. John Dickson, our programming guru, could also use an assistant. Consider how you can help the OSFN.

Our Board has many new strengths and several new members but thank heavens enough experienced ones to keep us from getting too outside the box. We are excited to rise to the challenges and use our critical thinking skills to solve any new or ongoing issues.

Stay tuned as we somehow will continue our meetings as a membership together whether over the computer or as smaller indoor groups. We have several tasks to keep us occupied standing up for conserving the precious land around us such as Stoney Orchard Park in Owen Sound, the TCE project, and several MNRF downloads.

Please look into our stewardship program. What a fantastic way to practice what we preach! Exciting new properties seem to keep coming our way. These include the Oliphant Fen extension and Trout Hollow. With the board, I have a few projects to tackle such as the Master Naturalist program availability, updating the public display boards to show our works in progress and keeping up with the Young Naturalists program.

A goal for the Board and me is to try to get to know all our new members so we have an idea where our strengths are to benefit our entire group. Please feel free to introduce yourselves to me as I try to get to know my fellow “outside people” and “Nature Nuts” I have always said during my career that the more you know and understand the more you realize how much you don’t know. This certainly pertains to “Knowing Nature Better”. I do know lots about many things but am definitely not an expert in any. I’m excited about growing more with all of you. By drawing on the incredible knowledge of many of the membership, I hope to use that foundation to build on and continue the excellent work our group does. Our Website and Facebook page are awesome, our finances are sound, our programming excellent but with new discussions, opinions and assistance from each other we can evolve further and stronger and learn more together.

Looking forward to the next 2 years!
Pam Kinchen, President

NATURE CLUB NEWS FOR AUGUST 2020

September 8th, 2020

Nature Club News August 2020

by John Dickson

The Friends of Hibou will conduct the first of Grey Sauble Conservation’s new guided hike series, as described on their website at www.greysauble.on.ca and at friendsofhibou.com under Events.

“If you’re feeling unsettled about the return to work/school or are just interested in learning about GSCA properties and how being in nature can help during stressful times, this hike series is for you!

First up in the hike series is Hibou Conservation Area!                                        

Join GSCA and the Friends of Hibou to explore the trails, take deep breaths, and enjoy all the physical and mental health benefits of being in nature at a GSCA property.  

August 25, 2020: Learn about Nature – All ages are welcome (10:00am – 12:00pm)
Walk with Bob Knapp along the shoreline loop (The Point Trail) across from the pump house parking lot at the south end of Hibou where you will see views of the changing rough shoreline (approx. 45 mins). This will be followed by an optional walk along the Interpretive Trail where you’ll hear a description of the geography and plant life, as well as how the trail came to be (approx. 1.25 hours). – total 2 hours.

September 1, 2020: Forest Bathing – Ages 12 + (10:00am – 11:30pm)
Experience a deeper connection with the forest on a slow, almost meditative walk with Marie Knapp along the shoreline loop (The Point Trail) across from the pump house parking lot at the south end of Hibou. You will be guided through a few experiences as you relate with the forest in new ways and experience reduced stress (approx. 1.5 hours).

Advance registration is required. Please RSVP at explore@greysauble.on.ca (space is limited to ensure physical distancing). More information will be provided upon registration.

Pack a lunch and enjoy Hibou beach following the hike”



The Sources of Knowledge Forum in Tobermory has also been affected by COVID-19 and has this message on their website at www.sourcesofknowledge.ca Attention all 2020 Forum registrants: Unfortunately, due to the circumstances surrounding the COVID 19 pandemic the SOK Board has decided to move this year’s forum. Our administrator will be directly contacting attendees and sponsors shortly. We plan to reschedule this year’s forum topic for April/ May 2021. Please stay tuned for more details and stay safe.  


On July 30th the Owen Sound Field Naturalists (OSFN) offered a Moth Night called “Introduction to how to attract and identify moths” led by Alan Macnaughton.  Held in the late evening at MacGregor Point Provincial Park, the event was very successful, and Alan has offered to hold more Moth nights for the club in the future, possibly even this September.  Butterflies are also being observed in many areas these days. Chris Rickard reported:”Today I was at our cottage on the Bruce….After the rain stopped, there were 7 White Admirals on the buddleia bush simultaneously!”

White Admiral Butterfly at Isaac Lake (June 2020)
Photos by Bruce Edmunds 

On August 19th OSFN’s Julie Lamberts offered  What bugs are living in the stream? specifically the Indian Creek in Georgian Bluffs. Julie demonstrated the “kick and sweep” method for collecting benthic invertebrate samples. Her sample was divided up among all participants, who had the opportunity to sift through and identify bugs using a magnifying glass and some charts. Benthics were identified to family level. Discussions about how benthic communities are used as bioindicators of stream health took place.  John Bittorf of GSCA, was also on hand, and provided additional information including local conditions affecting stream health.

Benthic outing. Photo by Julie Lamberts


OSFN has more field trips planned with some of them filling up very quickly. David Morris has offered to repeat both of his planned flora themed outings, for August 25th (invasives), and September 15, (goldenrods and asters) on the next day.  Plans are also underway for monthly outings with the Young Naturalists Club.For more details on any of the above, please visit www.osfn.ca


The Bruce Birding Club members and those with the Beaver Valley Birding Club have been observing many of the migrating shorebirds, some locally, and others in such areas as Mitchell, and in the Luther Marsh, where a special treat this year was a Swallow-tailed Kite, having strayed north from its usual habitat in the USA.Various blackbirds have been seen in small flocks recently, and very large flocks have been seen in Meaford in the first week of September for several years. Tiny hummingbirds have also been busy visiting flower blossoms, while I have been seeing more Red-tailed Hawks recently, circling among the clouds.

Eastern Bluebirds. Photo by Nigel Eves, Meaford, August 16
Eastern Bluebird. Photo by Nigel Eves, Meaford, August 16
Hummingbird (Photo by Carol Edwards
Red-tailed Hawk, photo by Mike Tettenborn August 19


To close, two Nature quote from Rod McKuen:

The long tall grass
Waving in August
Blessings in shades of green

_________________ 
And the marvelous clouds sail by
Marvelous clouds
Aloft in the soft summer sky
Marvelous clouds  

Photo By John Dickson
Photo By John Dickson
Photo By John Dickson

Introduction to how to attract and identify moths.

July 28th, 2020
Event
Introduction to how to attract and identify moths.
When
Thursday, July 30, 2020
9:15pm
-
11:15pm
-
All Ages
Where
MacGregor Point Provincial Park (map)
Other Info
“Introduction to how to attract and identify moths.” with Alan Macnaughton

Alan has good equipment and techniques for attracting moths, and he can show other people how to do it. He will set up several stations and use several lights (black light) and bait (rotting bananas). It will be an excellent opportunity to learn various methods of attracting moths.

Thursday July 30, 9:15 to 11:15PM

in MacGregor Point Provincial Park - the campfire circle beside the Visitor Centre - Regular admission - day pass or annual pass - applies. Please consider arriving earlier in the day to enjoy other park features.

Due to COVID-19, social distancing and wearing of masks is expected.

To register - please contact - Kathleen.Chayer@ontario.ca

Limit 10 - Priority will be given to OSFN members, but please register early to avoid disappointment -

Extra information - Equipment -

Bring cameras or phones for taking pictures and perhaps some transparent pill bottles to temporarily capture the moths for handing around to others before they are released. Phones are often best because they may have an internet connection (is this possible in the park?) to allow uploading observations to the www.iNaturalist.ca website for automated (image recognition software) species identification. Also, if they happen to have it, bring the Leckie and Beadle book, Peterson Field Guide to the Moths of Northeastern North America. One of the lights is bright and some people might want sunglasses when they get near it.

Binoculars are not needed. You will be able to touch the bugs.

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NATURE CLUB NEWS FOR JULY 2020

July 28th, 2020

Nature Club News July 2020

by John Dickson


The Owen Sound Field Naturalists (OSFN) held its Annual General Meeting online, June 11. The Board of Directors underwent some changes of personnel, led by incoming President Pam Kinchen, as Gord Toth moved to Past President. Outgoing Past President Kate McLaren was especially thanked for her important contributions to the club. For the complete slate of directors and more, please visit www.osfn.ca


The Sources of Knowledge Forum for 2020, based in Tobermory, is currently on hold until the end of July, when a decision is expected to either try for later this year, or shift to 2021 with the topic – Plastics in the Great Lakes: Finding Solutions Together.  For more details please visit  https://www.sourcesofknowledge.ca/



Many naturalists in the Grey Bruce area will remember George Peck, who passed away, in Toronto June 20, at the age of 94.  After retiring from his veterinary career in the Oakville area, George lived for over thirty years in Thornbury, while continuing to be a prolific wildlife photographer and nature writer, with images and writings published in over 90 books, magazines and journals.  George was passionate about the Bruce Peninsula and its surrounding area and loved the people he met through their mutual interest – birds. An Honourary Life Member of OSFN, many will also remember George Peck’s acclaimed exhibition of bird photographs gracing the walls of a very new Leonard E. Shore Memorial Library in Thornbury. I know that I do.George was a distinguished ornithologist in Ontario for over 50 years. He was appointed a Research Associate at the Royal Ontario Museum in 1976, was the Coordinator of the Ontario Nest Records Scheme for 48 years, and co-authored Breeding Birds of Ontario Nidiology and Distribution.

Due to current circumstances, a Celebration of George’s life will be held at a later date when restrictions have been lifted. In the meantime, think of him often and remember him well. Donations in George’s memory may be made to the Royal Ontario Museum, Department of Natural History.  




GEORGE KELDAY PECK 1925-2020.

The North American Butterfly Association Count administered by MacGregor Point Provincial Park was held on July 4th, from 10AM to 4PM.  Due to Covid restrictions, results were tabulated remotely, rather than with a gathering at the Provincial Park. Audrey Armstrong conducted this annual butterfly count along with her daughter Bella Waterton, and Barbara at the property of Pat and Barbara Martin along the Saugeen River near Port Elgin.  Armstrong reported that “we recorded fewer than usual monarchs. The World Wildlife Fund data from the Mexican overwintering sites showed a drop by about half the monarch population compared to last year.  However, the second generation is increasing in numbers now, with all the excellent milkweed habitat in Grey Bruce. Canadian Tiger Swallowtail numbers were up, this year as were Great Spangled Fritillary.  Perhaps all the invasive wild parsnip is contributing to the Swallowtail abundance?”


In addition to extra watering and mulching sessions, by volunteers of NeighbourWoods North in the Forest of Hope and Healing, during the hot dry stretch of weather recently, a new venture got underway at the Hospital grounds in Owen Sound. On July 6th, Krista McKee of NeighbourWoods North shared this report:”The Welcoming Garden Committee is overwhelmed with the local support for our project! Funding from the TD Friends of the Environment has been the backbone of the project along with a generous donation from the Grey County Master Gardeners. The Committee shopped locally in sourcing the plants, mulch and the excavation of the island at the front of the Owen Sound hospital. A special thank you to Adam MacDonnell and the wonderful staff at Grey Bruce Health Services Owen Sound Hospital has been much appreciated. Our project is not completed – shrubs and bulbs will be planted in the fall and the final touch to the garden will be an art piece. So stay tuned as the garden will continue to take shape. “Since then, frequent watering ensured that the new plants had a good start, followed up by the generous rainfall received this past week. I have visited there several times and have observed that the planting layout, colours and plant varieties are exceptionally pleasing. I encourage visitors to take time to enjoy this valuable addition to the hospital site.

The Welcoming Garden at the Owen Sound Hospital (photo by John Dickson)
The Welcoming Garden at the Owen Sound Hospital (photo by John Dickson)

From Fred Jazvac of the Bruce Birding Club: “Just in case you didn’t know, the fall migration is now on, and first on deck it is shorebird time – for some of them, they start heading south in July. In the West Perth Wetlands reported yesterday (July 11) were Greater and Lesser Yellowlegs, Short-billed Dowitcher, Spotted Sandpiper and Least Sandpiper.” 

Dickcissel near Kincardine (Photo by David Turner)
Lesser Yellowlegs Kincardine area (Photo by David Turner)

From Birding the Beaver Valley 
Eastern Meadowlark by David Turner,  June 27 near Duncan, Beaver Valley
Bayview Forest with Mark Wiercinski (on right). Photo by John Dickson
Bayview Forest Ovenbird (Photo by Bill Hatten)

Working within the safety guidelines of COVID-19, OSFN   held several field trips:  two more in the Bayview Forest with Mark Wiercinski, on June 21; Birding the Beaver Valley with David Turner on June 27; a Railtrail Ramble led by David Morris on July 7. Of the latter, Nancy Brown shared these comments: The wildflower hike led by David was well prepared, expertly narrated and filled with ‘wow’ factor, along with butterflies, a family of kingbirds and turtles, for the assembled group of nature enthusiasts. David even prepared an Excel spreadsheet of the 30 species identified (download the sheet). Just a fine outing. Dusty, hot, sweaty and happy!

Spreading Dogbane (Photo by David Morris)
Marsh Vetchling, one of our few native legume family species.
(Photo by Nancy Brown)
Hike Leader David Morris (Photo by Nancy Brown)

On Monday July 13, eight Friends of Hibou got together, while keeping their distance, loading, wheeling and spreading a load of gravel onto a last stretch of a sometimes wet section of the popular Hibou Interpretive Trails.


Birds Canada has added its voice to the call for the U.S. government not to strip away critical protections in the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. The proposed “deregulation” will affect migratory birds in Canada and many other nations, not only the U.S. It will make permanent a 2017 Solicitor’s Opinion to end the prohibition on “incidental take”. This is the killing or “taking” of migratory birds by industrial activities; for example, birds flying into uncovered oil pits and other predictable, avoidable mortality.  To learn more about this campaign visit www.birdscanada.org


The Bruce Grey Woodlands Association has an upcoming outdoor activity for its members.From their website at   https://bgwa.ca/  Great news, BGWA member events are re-starting! Keep Saturday, July 18 open for an interesting tour of a member property near Markdale. The event will be structured to incorporate safe distancing and conform to group size limits, with 3 separate walk-thrus available at 10AM, 1PM and 4PM. 


Environmental Heroes Recognized for Their Outstanding Role in Conservation.   Ontario Nature’s 2019-2020 Conservation Award Recipients Announced

Ontario Nature, a leading environmental organization, has recognized the exceptional contributions to nature conservation made by organizations, individuals and companies whose dedication inspires us all to continue to fight to protect nature in Ontario.This year, the awards celebrated 10 inspirational winners who are building a natural legacy for future generations, and are owed a debt of gratitude for their tireless work.On July 16, Ontario Nature (ON) announced the winners of its  2019-2020 Conservation Awards, with two local winners included:

The Huron Fringe Birding Festival Organizing Committee was the recipient of the W.E. Saunders Natural History Award for its successful program that raises awareness of nature among people of all ages.

Photo is of the committee as of April 12, 2019 (supplied photo)

Back: Marilyn Ohler, Bette Jean (BJ) Martin, Norah Toth, Doug Pedwell, Arlene Richards, Judy Duncan, Becky Grieveson, Jim Duncan, Fred Jazvac

Front: Kathleen Chayer, Margaret Anderton, Bruce Edmunds, Liz Addison, Norma Nanni, Nancy White, Carole Lupton, Anne Cathrae, Lynne Richardson

Missing: Bob Taylor and Doug Martin.


Stewart Hilts, a resident of Meaford, received the Ontario Nature Achievement Award for his lifelong commitment to conservation and his dedication to helping Ontario Nature to achieve its goals.

Stew Hilts, Ontario Nature Achievement Award recipient

Congratulations to these most deserving members from our community, many of whom are OSFN members, and to the rest of the Ontario Nature Award winners, of which you can learn more here – ontarionature.org/conservation-awards


 To close, and apropos to the current COVID-19 pandemic, a Nature quote from Jennifer Lee Carrell’s The Speckled Monster, (smallpox) about the precursor to vaccine – inoculation – that was being introduced in Britain, and in Boston, after learning of its effectiveness and success in Constantinople and in Africa, in limiting the epidemic/pandemic spread of smallpox almost three hundred years ago. “On July 26, 1723 Dr. Zabdiel Boylston, (seeking personal time with Nature, while finally winning his battles against naysayers with positive results for his patients) rode south across the Boston Neck to race through wheeling clouds of birds far out into the salt marshes at low tide. It was a form of worship, he thought, … this exhilaration in the glories of wind, wings, and horses…”


Cardinal family (Photo by Nigel Eves)
When you get out of the shower and discover there are no towels.

American Robin 7-12-20
©Carol L. Edwards

Sarawak Saunter 2.0 with David Morris

July 19th, 2020
Event
Sarawak Saunter 2.0 with David Morris
When
Tuesday, September 15, 2020
1:30pm
-
4:00 PM
-
All Ages
Where
No Map Yet (map)
Owen Sound
Other Info
1:30 pm to 4:00 pm, Tuesday, September 15, 2020 (rain date: Sept. 17th)
Explore the diverse flora near Indian Falls with David Morris. Our route will take us through an old farmstead, beside cropland, through abandoned fields reverting to “nature” and through mature maple woods to Indian Falls. The focus this year will be on goldenrods (six species) and asters (seven species).

Limit: 10 people. Contact David Morris for directions.

OSFN members have first priority - but please register early to avoid disappointment.

Contact: David Morris, 519-376-1304 or davidtmorris@rogers.com

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Indian River Excursion with David Morris

July 19th, 2020
Event
Indian River Excursion with David Morris
When
Tuesday, August 25, 2020
1:30pm
-
3:30pm
-
All Ages
Where
Indian Falls (map)
Other Info
1:30 pm to 3:30, Tuesday, August 25, 2020 (rain date: August 27)
Explore the banks of the lower Indian River with David Morris. Emphasis will be on the flora.

Note: rough, uneven footing including loose cobble.

Limit: 10 people.

Meet at the parking lot for the Indian Falls Conservation Area (ball diamond, tennis courts).

OSFN members have first priority - but please register early to avoid disappointment.

Contact: David Morris, 519-376-1304 or davidtmorris@rogers.com

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Railtrail Ramble with David Morris

July 2nd, 2020
Event
Railtrail Ramble with David Morris
When
Tuesday, July 7, 2020
9:00am
-
:30am
-
All Ages
Where
No Map Yet (map)
Owen Sound
Other Info
When: Tuesday, July 7, 2020 (rain date Thursday, July 9, 2020)
Time: 9:00 am to 11:30 a.m.
Where: Walk the Georgian Bluffs Railtrail east of Shallow Lake (out and back), looking at some of the less common (or at least, less known) flora found along the way. Our route will take us past or through several wetlands, some of which are quite large, so you may want to bring your binoculars for birds, turtles, frogs, etc.
Limit: 10 people.
Contact David Morris for directions.
OSFN members have first priority - but please register early to avoid disappointment.
Contact: David Morris, 519-376-1304 or davidtmorris@rogers.com

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NATURE CLUB NEWS JUNE 2020

June 11th, 2020

Nature Club News June 2020

by John Dickson

As the Spring season draws to a close, and regional isolation restrictions are gradually being relaxed, Naturalist clubs are once again able to offer field trips with knowledgeable leaders and guides, with smaller numbers of attendees, (first 5 and now 10) all doing their best to enjoy and learn, while maintaining a safe distance from each other, to still limit the spread of COVID-19. However, large meetings with speakers, and socializing are still a long way off. 

First Monarch of the season. The worn appearance testifies to the long flight she had to return here. Hopefully she finds the milkweed that is already growing so she can lay her eggs and continue the cycle. (Photo by Carol L. Edwards)

In the meantime, many species are producing and raising young families. Eggshells are found scattered here and there, usually a little away from the bird nests. In May, Pam Binnendyk witnessed a family of Red Squirrels with four babies, who had taken over a hole previously prepared by a pair of Pileated Woodpeckers. “This was a surprise. We are overrun with squirrels of all colours here, but we don’t often see their young still in the nest. It’s obvious that the Momma squirrel moved them there as they are too big to have just been born 2 weeks ago when the Pileateds were in residence. They must be about 6 or 7 wks. Cute….til they start coming to my feeders.” 

Momma is 2nd from the left.. (Photo by Pam Binnendyk)

 While I was exploring a nearby wooded area, I watched as a wee rodent climbed straight up the side of a tree trunk. When it had climbed about 10 feet (3 metres) it suddenly lost its grip or confidence, (or both) and fell down to the forest floor of leaves, etc. I thought perhaps it was a baby red squirrel, but suddenly there was an adult chipmunk on the side of the trunk, ready to protect its youngster.

Others in the area have been finding nests, with eggs, of such birds as Killdeer, and Gray Catbird. There seem to be many sightings this Spring of Baltimore Orioles, and a friend of mine even has an Orchard Oriole staying around. I have also observed a few Eastern Bluebirds this Spring, although Tree Swallows often take over Bluebird nesting boxes. 

The Beaver Valley Birding club members are very helpful with ID for birders who aren’t quite sure what birds they have photographed and then posted on the club’s facebook page. As can be expected, there are many wonderful photos there too. 

Eastern Bluebird (Photo by John Dickson)
Clay-coloured Sparrow
 (Photo by David Turner)

Ann Schneider of The Georgian Bluffs Climate Action Team reports that “On May 27th members participated in a zoom discussion after viewing “Resilience – A Climate Change Documentary of Hope”. The film can be viewed on Youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8i0mbMcQmrg. The evening involved brief presentations by Liz Zetlin, the producer/director of the film, and Dr. John Anderson, the scientist featured in the film. The discussion was facilitated by Marilyn Struthers. Interest in John’s work was strong so he was invited to speak at the group’s monthly zoom meeting on June 8th where he spoke about the theory of denialism and the importance of both personal and systemic change to address climate change. Discussion was lively as the members talked about the balance of personal, systemic and natural solutions to climate disruption. To continue the learning and discussion Dr. Thorsten Arnold will be speaking about Nature Based Solutions at the next zoom meeting on July 6th at 7:00 p.m.”


On June 6, Transition Meaford hosted a virtual Eco Fair entitled Just Cool It. Among other activities, it featured workshops and online discussions with the presenters. Now that the event is over, I highly recommend visiting their website at https://www.transitionmeaford.org/eco-fair/ where those very engaging exchanges have been recorded and can still be viewed.  


Kathleen Chayer of MacGregor Point Provincial Park has confirmed for me that some nature activities are now available in the Park, and that now some limited washroom facilities/privies are too.


Bob Bowles is offering the acclaimed and popular Ontario Master Naturalist Certificate Programme, initiated by him,  beginning July 17. The Summer 2020 certificate program will be delivered via a blended learning environment that will enable you to learn about the breadth of topics explored in this certificate. Through a series of eight modules, participants will work through material at their own pace, including interactive PowerPoint slides, photographs and video produced specifically for this program.  I asked Bob about the possibility of any “live instruction in the field this year”, to which he replied – “Hi John;My students tell me that there is no experience like being out in the field with me and finding something serendipitous which I tell them about on the spot. This has been the highlight of my program but now with COVID-19, we can’t do that format. The idea right from the start of the first program was to have a day in the field together in the fall after the course if conditions warrant it at that time. Hard to predict what the fall will look like and we may have another spike in cases with all the opening up and not following social distancing rules. We do know it has a high percentage possibility of returning in the fall even if it declines by late summer. We hope to have a field day together in the fall for each of these spring and summer on-line courses but who knows what the fall holds for us.” Bob 

For more information please visit – https://www.lakeheadu.ca/about/orillia-campus/community-programs/omnp/orillia-certificate-program


Fringed polygala (photo by Barbara Palmer)
Yellow Lady’s Slippers (photo by Barbara Palmer)
Starflower (photo by Barbara Palmer)

The Owen Sound Field Naturalists members were able to visit, in small numbers, for three outings at an area Nature gem known as Anglesea, guided by owner Don Rawls. OSFN’s Pam Kinchen tells us: “A beautiful, mostly old growth forest over steep ridges and valleys. Many birds both woodland and wood warblers wereseen and heard. Lots of pioneer history too. Don is a generous host and loves to tell you history. Very beautiful property and giving you a sense of forest tranquillity.”

As Neil Baldwin shared “Anglesea was a nice amble through varied terrain and woodlands, including a stunning hillside of trilliums and a grand old sugar maple…”Neil also led a Forest Bathing session, a first for OSFN, and for some, an effective coping tool.

As Heather Drummond reported –  “It was such a magical experience on your trail. The layout of it is very conducive to connecting with Mother Earth. I found it very relaxing and when I was at my crazy paced job today I could feel how relaxed I had been while enjoying the Soul Trail.

      It is a treat to be able to envision the spaces along the trail, i.e. the Gathering place, Labyrinth  and the Sweet blossoms of the Apple tree I was able to recline under and observe the many varieties of bees coming and going, the thunderstorm rolling in. It brought a smile to my face and a sense of relaxation to me during my crazy day today.”


Biologist Mark Wiercinski has, so far, led one Birding, Botany and Ecology hike at Bayview Forest this month, and is now offering at least two more. Jeannette Parry says “I was lucky enough to go on the hike yesterday morning, it was of course utterly amazing!  Mark should be classed as a National Treasure!  Please keep encouraging him to do hikes, presentations…whatever.  He has so much to offer and is such a great presenter in any setting. Thanks for the opportunity.”

OSFN is also holding its Annual General Meeting, through the zoom format, starting at 7PM Thursday June 13, to be able to meet its club guidelines, and to begin preparing for the 2020-2021 season. Details of this and other activities are available at https://owensoundfieldnaturalists.ca/


The NeighbourWoods North team also celebrated the flowering of the Makamik Crabapple trees, planted two years ago, and which were recently in their first blooming stage, lining the west entranceway to the Hospital, in Owen Sound. In spite of Covid-19, the work goes on this year, caring for the Forest of Hope & Healing, replacing and adding trees, mulching, weeding, trimming, and pruning. are happening right now in small groups or dyads at the hospital. In early summer, preparations will be made to plant a Welcoming Garden on the traffic island across from the main hospital entrance. When the ground is dry enough to handle large equipment this summer the first portion of the Healing Path will be built. More information, including how to volunteer at this time, can be found at www.neighbourwoodsnorth.com


To close, a Nature quote from George Bernard Shaw’s Nobel Prize winning play, Saint Joan, written almost 100 years ago.  In a scene near Orléans, France, along the banks of the “silver Loire” river, it is evening in Spring, 1429, with an unrelenting wind from the East.  Dunois, a General, and his page, are both affected by the loveliness of the Loire in Springtime and are so excited to see  “a flash of blue” of the female Kingfisher, and then the male Kingfisher, flying past the reeds, as with their eyes “they follow the flight till the bird takes cover.”

Birding, Botany and Ecology at Bayview Escarpment Forest with Mark Wiercinski, Evening

June 10th, 2020
Event
Birding, Botany and Ecology at Bayview Escarpment Forest with Mark Wiercinski, Evening
When
Sunday, June 14, 2020
6:00pm
-
???
-
All Ages
Where
No Map Yet (map)
Owen Sound
Other Info
Birding, Botany and Ecology at Bayview Escarpment Forest with Mark Wiercinski

Tune in to the sounds and open your eyes to experience the richness of the Forest in Spring.

Covid 19 Group Size restrictions are changing so Mark can accept additional people on this hike.

Maximum 9 plus leader, Mark, totalling 10.

Register with Mark Wiercinski,biomark@icloud.com or 519-379-0437

Where: To Be Determined. The general location is Bayview Escarpment Provincial Nature Reserve

Sunday June 14, 6PM to ???

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