Schedule of Events

The 18th Annual Huron Fringe Birding Festival will be held May 22 to May 25     and May 28 to May 31, 2015.

 Online registration for 2015 will be available from February 1 (12am) to May 21 (6pm) 

and again from May 26 (12am) to May 27 (6pm).  

Be sure to register on-line in a timely manner as events can fill quickly.

NEW THIS YEAR!

* Duplicate an attendee’s registration! *      * Family-oriented events on the second Saturday/Sunday!*

 

The schedule of events & pricing for 2015 is shown below.   Some events involve an additional fee as noted.

PACKAGE DETAILS

INDIVIDUAL

STUDENT

CHILD

(5-12)

Single Events

        All Day

$40.00

$30.00

$18.00

        Morning

$20.00

$15.00

$9.00

        Afternoon

$20.00

$15.00

$9.00

        Evening

$10.00

$10.00

$8.00

Festival

$140.00

$85.00

$55.00

4 day Weekend

$100.00

$60.00

$40.00

Saturday & Sunday

$75.00

$45.00

$30.00

THESE EVENTS ARE FULL:

Contact the registrar to request inclusion on a waiting list. 

The list of full events is not updated on Festival days as event status changes frequently; please phone the registrar at the Park Visitor Centre at 519-389-6232

 

A copy of the brochure can be found here.

 

For further information on the community of Saugeen Shores, accommodations, where to eat/stay/shop:

The Town of Saugeen Shores

Saugeen Shores Chamber of Commerce

Saugeen Shores Tourism

Friday May 22, 2015
All Day
Birding the 45th Parallel Michael Carlson
A01 6:00am to 4:30pm

Bruce Road 9, at Ferndale, is known as the 45th Parallel Road.  Michael will explore the Bruce Peninsula from the Lake Huron to the Georgian Bay coast; concentrating on birding opportunities found near this latitude.  This tour takes place just after the peak of the passerine migration.  Michael will show you some of his favourite spots - Greenough Point, a terrific location for migrants, Black Creek Provincial Park and Lion’s Head.  You might even encounter a threatened Massasauga Rattlesnake!  

There is a pre-arranged alternate meeting location available for this event. Contact the registrar directly for more details and to request inclusion on the remote attendee list. 

Species: Blackburnian Warbler, Pine Warbler, Bald Eagle, Common Tern

Difficulty: EASY -- Walking leisurely on groomed and maintained trails. Walking shoes are recommended. You should be able to walk up to 1.5 kilometres (1 mile) without any problems.

Loving Lagoons in Lower Bruce Judith King
A02 6:30am to 4:30pm

Explore the Ripley and Kincardine lagoons, then continue up the shore of Lake Huron. The emphasis will be on warblers, with as many as 20 species possible at the lagoons. Pockets of migrating warblers may be found along the shore.

You may be walking up to 2 kilometres.

Species: warblers

Difficulty: EASY -- Walking leisurely on groomed and maintained trails. Walking shoes are recommended. You should be able to walk up to 1.5 kilometres (1 mile) without any problems.

Birding Inverhuron & Surrounding Area Marshall Byle
A03 6:30am to 4:30pm

During this birding adventure we will stop at various habitats along the shoreline to Inverhuron Provincial Park, including the Tiverton lagoons. In the park explore the ancient dunes, river banks and varied forest types.

Species: American Redstart, Merlin, Rose-breasted Grosbeak, Chestnut-sided Warbler

Difficulty: EASY -- Walking leisurely on groomed and maintained trails. Walking shoes are recommended. You should be able to walk up to 1.5 kilometres (1 mile) without any problems.

Morning
Birding MacGregor's Boundary James Turland
A04 7:00am to 11:30am

Join Mike from Bird Studies Canada for a morning of birding some of the hotspots around the edge of MacGregor Point. We will rack up a surprising list without going too far. Several warbler species, Indigo Bunting, Rose-breasted Grosbeak as well as a few grassland species are all possibilities.

Species: warblers, Indigo Bunting, Rose-breasted Grosbeak, grassland species

Difficulty: EASY -- Walking leisurely on groomed and maintained trails. Walking shoes are recommended. You should be able to walk up to 1.5 kilometres (1 mile) without any problems.

Birds of Woodland, Wetland & Forest Edge: Tower Trail Justin Peter
A05 7:30am to 11:30am

Diverse habitat along the Tower Trail makes it a mecca for an eclectic mix of warblers, flycatchers, thrushes and so much more! Justin will help us to find these birds using his fine-tuned hearing skills and will share tips for the interpretation of bird behaviour as he leads you along the Tower Trail from the Townline Road into the park. This hike will take advantage of both the viewing tower and the bird blind. 

Species: Great-crested Flycatcher, American Redstart, Sora, Wood Thrush, Ovenbird

Difficulty: EASY -- Walking leisurely on groomed and maintained trails. Walking shoes are recommended. You should be able to walk up to 1.5 kilometres (1 mile) without any problems.

Afternoon
Birding Old Shore Road Trail South Mike Burrell
A06 1:30pm to 4:30pm

Join Mike for a leisurely walk in search of songbirds, waterbirds and probably a few reptiles and amphibians. There will be a special stop on the new boardwalk at Watersnake pond.

Difficulty: EASY -- Walking leisurely on groomed and maintained trails. Walking shoes are recommended. You should be able to walk up to 1.5 kilometres (1 mile) without any problems.

Nature Ramble - Tower Trail Terry Crabe
A07 1:30pm to 4:30pm

Nature Ramble along the Tower Trail to the Ducks Unlimited wetland, a former beaver pond which was inadvertently drained over 25 years ago and rehabilitated by Ducks Unlimited Canada in the mid-1980s. Today, this area is a mix of cedar and wetland forests.  This event geared for a wide level of birders who simply want to enjoy the MacGregor Point landscape and the magnificent sights and sounds of a midday walk along the Tower Trail to the Viewing Tower.  There is always an abundance of species to discover along this trail.

Difficulty: EASY -- Walking leisurely on groomed and maintained trails. Walking shoes are recommended. You should be able to walk up to 1.5 kilometres (1 mile) without any problems.

Photographing the MacGregor Point Shoreline Kerry Jarvis
A08 1:30pm to 4:30pm

MacGregor Point Park has a unique, rugged coastal shoreline. This photography workshop will explore various areas of the Lake Huron shoreline within the park. This is an ideal time for photographers to develop their keen sense of “seeing images” as they explore the water, rocks, vegetation and habitat along the parks shoreline. Join Kerry, as he shares photographic tips and techniques to capture the beauty of MacGregor Point's shoreline. 

Difficulty: EASY -- Walking leisurely on groomed and maintained trails. Walking shoes are recommended. You should be able to walk up to 1.5 kilometres (1 mile) without any problems.

Evening
Tips & Techniques on Waterfowl Identification (event has waitlist) Fred Jazvac
A09 7:15pm

Headaches caused by difficult waterfowl identification can’t be solved by aspirin. Fred will present tips and techniques that can be used to deal with the complications that waterfowl present to the birder.

Other
Morning Coffee & Pastries
5:30am

Coffee and pastries are available in the Visitor Centre.

Southampton Rotary Club BBQ
11:30am to 1:00pm

The Southampton Rotary Club has available for purchase a variety of barbequed items and drinks.

The Southampton Rotary are very supportive of the Huron Fringe Birding Festival and provide this barbeque service for us.

Saturday May 23, 2015
All Day
Cape Croker - From Bluffs to Shores Joy Albrecht
A10 6:00am to 4:30pm

Explore the seldom birded Cape Croker peninsula with its abandoned fields, Georgian Bay shoreline and wetlands. As a special added treat we will visit the bird rich woodlands of Malcolm Bluff Shores Nature Reserve. 

There is a pre-arranged alternate meeting location available for this event. Contact the registrar directly for more details and to request inclusion on the remote attendee list.

Species: Bobolink, Field Sparrow, Indigo Bunting, Wood Thrush, Scarlet Tanager

Difficulty: MODERATE -- Walking on maintained trails some of which may be rough or rocky. Brisk walking may be required to get from one location to another in a timely manner. You should be able to walk up to 4.5 kilometres (3 miles) without any problems.

Huron Shore to Malcolm Bluffs Mike Burrell
A11 6:30am to 4:30pm

We’ll cover all the birding bases – stops for shorebirds, ducks, grassland and forest birds. You’ll be amazed at the incredible diversity. We may even find a Cerulean Warbler on territory.

Difficulty: EASY -- Walking leisurely on groomed and maintained trails. Walking shoes are recommended. You should be able to walk up to 1.5 kilometres (1 mile) without any problems.

Birding South Bruce Penninsula Todd Pepper
A12 6:30am to 4:30pm

The southern Bruce Peninsula is considered the gateway to the Bruce.  It boasts of a number of landform features found both within the Huron Fringe and along the Niagara Escarpment.  Ecologically, it is rich.  The sand beaches along Lake Huron are favoured by shorebirds, including the endangered Piping Plover; while the escarpment bluffs along Georgian Bay are home to various warbler species.  Wetlands and lakes, hardwood forests, fields and hedgerows all provide varied habitats for you to discover.  Todd is an accomplished birder with extensive field experience.  Participants will benefit from his knowledge of bird song and breeding bird behaviour.  

Difficulty: EASY -- Walking leisurely on groomed and maintained trails. Walking shoes are recommended. You should be able to walk up to 1.5 kilometres (1 mile) without any problems.

Morning
Birding By Ear (event has waitlist) Michael Carlson
A13 6:00am to 11:30am

So you are not good at birding by ear. You have a really hard time figuring out bird sound and translating it to actual sounds.  You also have difficulty remembering songs/calls and which birds make them, no matter how often you have heard them!  Michael is a natural at mnemonics.  His gentle style and keen ear will definitely enhance your experience.  He will be leading this field workshop which will give you tools that you can use to solve the mysteries of bird song.

Species: American Redstart, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Canada Warbler, Golden-winged Warbler

Difficulty: EASY -- Walking leisurely on groomed and maintained trails. Walking shoes are recommended. You should be able to walk up to 1.5 kilometres (1 mile) without any problems.

Sex & the Single Warbler Mark Wiercinski
A14 6:00am to 11:30am

The varied habitats in MacGregor Point Provincial Park provide the backdrop for the dawn chorus and this hike by a favourite leader.  Mark will challenge and entertain you as you look and listen for warblers and other songbirds. Then we will drive to the Ducks Unlimited wetland to see and hear waterfowl, bitterns, herons and egrets.  A walk on the concession road adjacent to the wetland usually results in views of Scarlet Tanagers, Indigo Buntings and more warblers. Mark has a keen ear and identifies birds by song, habitat and sight.

Species: Virginia Rail, Sora, Blue-winged Warbler, American Redstart, Ovenbird, Mourning Warbler, Canada Warbler, Indigo Bunting, Scarlet Tanager

Difficulty: EASY -- Walking leisurely on groomed and maintained trails. Walking shoes are recommended. You should be able to walk up to 1.5 kilometres (1 mile) without any problems.

Birding MacGregor's Boundary (event has waitlist) Justin Peter
A15 7:00am to 11:30am

Old fields, edge habitat and abandoned orchards create the right mix of habitats for species such as Indigo Bunting, several warbler species and many other songbirds.  Join Justin as he explores these habitats all around the edges of MacGregor Point in search of their many feathered inhabitants. We will employ the soundscape (birdsong) to help us find birds most effectively. 

Species: Indigo Bunting, Chestnut-sided Warbler, Golden-winged Warbler, Eastern Bluebird

Difficulty: EASY -- Walking leisurely on groomed and maintained trails. Walking shoes are recommended. You should be able to walk up to 1.5 kilometres (1 mile) without any problems.

Birding the Edge Terry Crabe
A16 8:00am to 11:30am

Bird the Lake Huron shoreline on a leisurely walk along the Old Shore Road Trail. We will walk through a variety of habitats that should enable us to view a variety of birds.

Difficulty: EASY -- Walking leisurely on groomed and maintained trails. Walking shoes are recommended. You should be able to walk up to 1.5 kilometres (1 mile) without any problems.

Afternoon
Keeping the Birds & the Bees on the Farm Janice McKean & Art Wiebe
A17 1:30pm to 4:30pm

You will see both wetland and grassland birds on this 110 acre farm that is managed for preservation of all the species.  Art and Janice will point out various farming practices that enhance wildlife habitat as you walk the trails around their ponds and pastures.  

Difficulty: EASY -- Walking leisurely on groomed and maintained trails. Walking shoes are recommended. You should be able to walk up to 1.5 kilometres (1 mile) without any problems.

A Lot to Naturalize: How to Attract Critters to Your Yard Kerry Jarvis
A18 1:30pm to 4:30pm

Interested in turning your yard into a natural wildlife paradise? Not sure what are the best plants, shrubs and trees to attract critters? Then join Kerry as he showcases his recently converted property,  “Casita de Mariposa”, from the planning stage to the planting stage.  Kerry and Melitta have transformed their property into a series of ecosystems to attract wildlife. Planting native plants and providing shelter, water and food are key ingredients in attracting birds, insects, mammals, reptiles and amphibians to your property. This site visit to “Casita de Mariposa” in Southampton will showcase tips and techniques on how to naturalize your property. Learn about the “magic plants” that are magnets for birds, butterflies, caterpillars and mammals and the hidden secrets in successful gardening.

Difficulty: EASY -- Walking leisurely on groomed and maintained trails. Walking shoes are recommended. You should be able to walk up to 1.5 kilometres (1 mile) without any problems.

Wouldn't It Be Ploverly Stewart Nutt
A19 1:30pm to 4:30pm

Join Stew to visit endangered Piping Plover at their nesting grounds located nearby. You will observe courtship (Plovers) as well as other behaviours and learn about the perils these birds face, and how local involvement has helped this species recover.  There will be ample time for photography.

Difficulty: EASY -- Walking leisurely on groomed and maintained trails. Walking shoes are recommended. You should be able to walk up to 1.5 kilometres (1 mile) without any problems.

Being a Bluebird Landlord Dennis & Gwen Lewington
A20 1:30pm to 4:30pm

Bluebirds are cavity nesters and natural cavities are not very abundant.  To increase their nesting success, volunteers have placed nesting boxes in suitable habitat. But there is more to it than placing the boxes – monitoring, recording and cleaning are just some of the tasks that keep volunteers busy on their “Bluebird Trail”.  Dennis and Gwen will show you the ropes on the route they have been monitoring for over 32 years.  

Difficulty: EASY -- Walking leisurely on groomed and maintained trails. Walking shoes are recommended. You should be able to walk up to 1.5 kilometres (1 mile) without any problems.

Evening
4:30pm Social & 5:30pm Banquet & Presentation - Lessons from Loons: What Our Wilderness Symbol is Telling Us Doug Tozer
A21 4:30pm

The Common Loon is a popular symbol of the state of the environment, and the choice turns out to be an extremely good one. Over the years loon research led by an army of naturalists has revealed numerous natural history and environmental secrets. This presentation will overview revolutionary discoveries of how loons survive and reproduce, and whether human activities are negatively influencing the loon’s unique way of life and the lakes they depend on, now and in the future.  

This event is held at St. Paul’s Anglican Church Hall, Southampton.   

The early bird price – $35 extra per person with Festival or Weekend package; after April 15 or for banquet/presentation only – $45 extra per person. 

This is a Chicken Buffet provided by Harrigan's Catering. Please contact the registrar prior to May 1 to discuss dietary restrictions.

 

 

Other
Morning Coffee & Pastries
5:30am

Coffee and pastries are available in the Visitor Centre.

LIVE BIRD BANDING DEMONSTRATIONS Brendan Toews
6:00am to noon

Join our on-site bird bander Brendan Toews as he captures and bands festival birds. 

Banding helps researchers understand dispersal and migration patterns, behaviour and social structure, lifespan and survival rate, reproductive success and population growth.

Banding is a skilled process that requires extreme patience, dexterity, gentleness and organizational and problem-solving abilities. Observing experienced banders is an impressive sight. They can hold a bird in one hand while using the other to maneuver a tiny metal circular band onto a pair of banding pliers, open it up, get it into the proper opening in the nose of the pliers and attach it to the bird's leg - all in a matter of seconds. The pliers are fashioned so that it's impossible to squeeze the bird's leg. The birds must be captured, banded, measured, weighed and released in a timely manner so as to minimize trauma. Integrity plays an important role in banding. Banders follow a strict code of ethics that spells out their responsibilities to minimize stress, injury and death of captured birds.

After extraction the bird is put into a breathable opaque cloth bag used for transporting birds from the netting sites to the banding station. There is one bird per bag, and when birds are waiting to be banded, the bags are always hung up on a peg and never placed on the ground. As soon as the bird is banded and the data recorded, the bird is released.

Banders must keep meticulous records. The age and sex of the bird, as determined by the bander through measurement of the wing chord and observation of plumage, is recorded. The species is recorded, along with the weight and estimated fat content. The latter is a sign of migration readiness and overall health. The number and size of the band used, the bander's initials and the number of retraps. Sanitation standards are strictly adhered to in an effort to prevent disease transmission among either birds or humans.

This data is compiled with the day's total captures, the open and close time of the station, wind and weather conditions, volunteer hours, the number of visitors, the number of hours each mist net was used, the number and species of birds caught in each net, and the number of birds observed around the park through sight and sound.

For the safety of the birds, bird banding is weather dependent.

Viewing Scopes at the Tower
8:30am to noon

Viewing Scopes will be available at the Viewing Tower on the Tower Trail.

Eagle Optics
11:00am to 1:00pm

During the lunch break Eagle Optics will have binoculars and telescopes for purchase.

Eagle Optics are a valued sponsor and supporter of the Huron Fringe Birding Festival.  

Southampton Rotary Club BBQ
11:30am to 1:00pm

The Southampton Rotary Club has available for purchase a variety of barbequed items and drinks.

The Southampton Rotary are very supportive of the Huron Fringe Birding Festival and provide this barbeque service for us.

Sunday May 24, 2015
All Day
A Big Day on the Bruce Michael Carlson
A22 6:00am

Are you a lister?  Do you tick?  Spending a day with Michael will certainly increase your festival bird tally.  From sunrise to sunset, Michael will take you to varied habitats in search of a wide variety of species.  Michael found a Kirkland’s Warbler in 2014, and plans to revisit that spot.  From warblers just after dawn to Whip-poor-Wills at dusk, you will keep tallying up your numbers.  If conditions are right, your day’s list will be over 100 species. 

Species: Brewer's Blackbird, Black-throated Blue Warbler, American Bittern, Sora, Green Heron, Marsh Wren

Difficulty: MODERATE -- Walking on maintained trails some of which may be rough or rocky. Brisk walking may be required to get from one location to another in a timely manner. You should be able to walk up to 4.5 kilometres (3 miles) without any problems.

Flowerpot Island - A Remote Georgian Bay Habitat Don Wilkes
A23 6:30am to 4:30pm

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 a worthy … no amazing …substitute!  

Additional fee includes National Park admission and jet boat transportation to the island. The jet boat will be leaving at 9:00 am sharp.  

PLEASE ADVISE THE REGISTRAR if you wish to meet the group at the Blue Heron Dock in Tobermory at 8:30 am.   Blue Heron has a parking lot just north of the dock and their new office is right on highway 6 one block past the turn for the harbour.  Ample parking there.

 

Difficulty: DIFFICULT -- Walking on trails that have uneven terrain. There may be some walking off-trail. You should be able to negotiate walking on slippery surfaces, where there is unsure footing or where you are climbing over rocks and logs.

Inverhuron - Birding & Botany Hike Scott Taylor
A24 8:00am to 4:30pm

Inverhuron Provincial Park may be small, but the diversity of habitat and its shoreline location make it an excellent place to look for migrating songbirds and unique plants. Join us for a day-long exploration of the forest and shoreline habitats.

Difficulty: EASY -- Walking leisurely on groomed and maintained trails. Walking shoes are recommended. You should be able to walk up to 1.5 kilometres (1 mile) without any problems.

Morning
Wrestling With Warblers Mark Wiercinski
A25 6:00am to 11:30am

Warblers are very annoying to identify! They move around a lot and hide behind the most inconvenient leaves and branches. Mark’s humour and tips about habitat and sounds will definitely keep you interested.

Species: Canada Warbler, Blue-winged Warbler, Chestnut-sided Warbler, Yellow Warbler

Difficulty: EASY -- Walking leisurely on groomed and maintained trails. Walking shoes are recommended. You should be able to walk up to 1.5 kilometres (1 mile) without any problems.

Around the Edge of MacGregor Ken Burrell
A26 7:00am to 11:30am

Birding enthusiast and expert Ken will lead us around the periphery of MacGregor Point. We will look for Indigo Bunting, Rose-breasted Grosbeak and many other bird species.

Species: Indigo Bunting, Golden-winged Warbler, Rose-breasted Grosbeak

Difficulty: EASY -- Walking leisurely on groomed and maintained trails. Walking shoes are recommended. You should be able to walk up to 1.5 kilometres (1 mile) without any problems.

Birding the J/1 Line Todd Pepper
A27 7:30am to 11:30am

Grasslands are in decline and grassland bird species are in jeopardy.   Agricultural practices in Ontario are changing.   Pastureland is steadily being converted to cropland.   Bruce County continues to provide a community pasture within close proximity to the J/I Line where pastureland still rules and Upland Sandpiper, Bobolink, Grasshopper and Clay-coloured Sparrow continue to be found.  Todd's field experience in southern Ontario and his hearing skills make him an excellent choice to take you on this driving tour of a locally popular back road.

Species: Upland Sandpiper, Bobolink, Grasshopper Sparrow, Clay-coloured Sparrow, Field Sparrow, Meadowlark

Difficulty: EASY -- Walking leisurely on groomed and maintained trails. Walking shoes are recommended. You should be able to walk up to 1.5 kilometres (1 mile) without any problems.

Up With the Birds Doug Martin
A28 8:00am to 11:30am

The Ducks Unlimited wetland is a former beaver pond which was inadvertently drained over 25 years ago and rehabilitated by Ducks Unlimited Canada in the mid-1980s. Today, this area is a mix of cedar and wetland forests. 

This hike has been a tradition since before the beginning of the Huron Fringe Birding Festival.  While not a true ‘early’ hike compared to others now offered in the festival, it continues as an event geared for a wide level of birders who simply want to enjoy the MacGregor Point landscape and the magnificent sights and sounds of a morning walk along the Tower Trail to the Viewing Tower.  Past experience on this hike right here in our own ‘backyard’ has resulted in a species list that will rival many other events.  Can we do it again?

Species: Canada Warbler, American Redstart, Baltimore Oriole, Yellow Warbler, Sora

Difficulty: EASY -- Walking leisurely on groomed and maintained trails. Walking shoes are recommended. You should be able to walk up to 1.5 kilometres (1 mile) without any problems.

Afternoon
Wouldn't It Be Ploverly Stewart Nutt
A29 1:30pm to 4:30pm

Join Stew to visit endangered Piping Plover at their nesting grounds located nearby. You will observe courtship (Plovers) as well as other behaviours and learn about the perils these birds face. You will find out how local involvement has helped this species recover.  There will be ample time for photography.

Difficulty: EASY -- Walking leisurely on groomed and maintained trails. Walking shoes are recommended. You should be able to walk up to 1.5 kilometres (1 mile) without any problems.

Tree Identification Using Leaves & Needles Jim Coles
A30 1:30pm to 4:30pm

We will identify the conifers and the hardwoods in the vicinity of the Visitor Centre by leaf and needle characteristics. The use of botanical keys will help differentiate between species.

Difficulty: EASY -- Walking leisurely on groomed and maintained trails. Walking shoes are recommended. You should be able to walk up to 1.5 kilometres (1 mile) without any problems.

O'Keefe Grange - A Heritage Apple Farm Bill & Lyn O'Keefe
A31 1:30pm to 4:30pm

The modern mono-culture style of agriculture threatens heritage varieties of plants. For this reason, Bill and Lyn O'Keefe have spent many years collecting and growing over two hundred varieties of apple and pear trees.  Find out how one local grower is propagating apples that were popular 100 years ago and keeping them from extinction.

These citizen scientists will share their knowledge and passion as you browse their farm store and taste apple cider donuts.

Difficulty: EASY -- Walking leisurely on groomed and maintained trails. Walking shoes are recommended. You should be able to walk up to 1.5 kilometres (1 mile) without any problems.

Down & Dirty - Wildflower Photography Doug Pedwell
A32 1:30pm to 4:30pm

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.

Difficulty: EASY -- Walking leisurely on groomed and maintained trails. Walking shoes are recommended. You should be able to walk up to 1.5 kilometres (1 mile) without any problems.

Nature Sketching & Journaling Sarah Rupert
A33 1:30pm to 4:30pm

Nature journaling documents your adventures and helps you to hone your observation skills. Everyone can keep a nature journal, even if you think you can't draw!  Sarah will show you some easy tricks to start sketching and really observing nature in the field.

Difficulty: EASY -- Walking leisurely on groomed and maintained trails. Walking shoes are recommended. You should be able to walk up to 1.5 kilometres (1 mile) without any problems.

Evening
Warblers Sarah Rupert
A34 7:15pm

Warbler identification in the field is often obscured by brief and obstructed views. Sarah will talk about the identification features that are often missed and how we can enhance our observations.

Other
Morning Coffee & Pastries
5:30am

Coffee and pastries are available in the Visitor Centre.

LIVE BIRD BANDING DEMONSTRATIONS Brendan Toews
6:00am to noon

Join our on-site bird bander Brendan Toews as he captures and bands festival birds. 

Banding helps researchers understand dispersal and migration patterns, behaviour and social structure, lifespan and survival rate, reproductive success and population growth.

Banding is a skilled process that requires extreme patience, dexterity, gentleness and organizational and problem-solving abilities. Observing experienced banders is an impressive sight. They can hold a bird in one hand while using the other to maneuver a tiny metal circular band onto a pair of banding pliers, open it up, get it into the proper opening in the nose of the pliers and attach it to the bird's leg - all in a matter of seconds. The pliers are fashioned so that it's impossible to squeeze the bird's leg. The birds must be captured, banded, measured, weighed and released in a timely manner so as to minimize trauma. Integrity plays an important role in banding. Banders follow a strict code of ethics that spells out their responsibilities to minimize stress, injury and death of captured birds.

After extraction the bird is put into a breathable opaque cloth bag used for transporting birds from the netting sites to the banding station. There is one bird per bag, and when birds are waiting to be banded, the bags are always hung up on a peg and never placed on the ground. As soon as the bird is banded and the data recorded, the bird is released.

Banders must keep meticulous records. The age and sex of the bird, as determined by the bander through measurement of the wing chord and observation of plumage, is recorded. The species is recorded, along with the weight and estimated fat content. The latter is a sign of migration readiness and overall health. The number and size of the band used, the bander's initials and the number of retraps. Sanitation standards are strictly adhered to in an effort to prevent disease transmission among either birds or humans.

This data is compiled with the day's total captures, the open and close time of the station, wind and weather conditions, volunteer hours, the number of visitors, the number of hours each mist net was used, the number and species of birds caught in each net, and the number of birds observed around the park through sight and sound.

For the safety of the birds, bird banding is weather dependent.

Viewing Scopes at the Tower
8:30am to noon

Viewing Scopes will be available at the Viewing Tower on the Tower Trail.

Southampton Rotary Club BBQ
11:30am to 1:00pm

The Southampton Rotary Club has available for purchase a variety of barbequed items and drinks.

The Southampton Rotary are very supportive of the Huron Fringe Birding Festival and provide this barbeque service for us.

Monday May 25, 2015
All Day
Hot Spots of the Lower Bruce Alfred Raab
A35 6:00am to 4:30pm

Habitats will be varied on this outing. We will visit Sauble Beach for a chance to see Piping Plover; inland lakes including Boat, Isaac and Sky lakes; grasslands around Ferndale and Black Creek Provincial Park. Alfred is a favourite leader for local birding outings.

There is a pre-arranged alternate meeting location available for this event. Contact the registrar directly for more details and to request inclusion on the remote attendee list.

Species: Piping Plover, Black Tern, Osprey, various warbler species

Difficulty: EASY -- Walking leisurely on groomed and maintained trails. Walking shoes are recommended. You should be able to walk up to 1.5 kilometres (1 mile) without any problems.

Cabot Head - A Biodiversity Hotspot Rod Steinacher
A36 6:30am to 4:30pm

This driving tour will take us to the Bruce Peninsula Bird Observatory (BPBO), the Bruce Alvar Nature Reserve, and a nearby Nature Conservancy property. Rod is a retired science teacher and President of the BPBO. He is always eager to share his expertise.

There is a pre-arranged alternate meeting location available for this event. Contact the registrar directly for more details and to request inclusion on the remote attendee list.

Difficulty: EASY -- Walking leisurely on groomed and maintained trails. Walking shoes are recommended. You should be able to walk up to 1.5 kilometres (1 mile) without any problems.

The Bruce Re-Beckons Willy Waterton
A37 8:00am to 4:30pm

Join Willy in a quest to rediscover Sherwood Fox’s Bruce Peninsula, based on his landmark 1952 book "The Bruce Beckons". You will spend the day exploring Fox’s Bruce to see what still exists after 63 years.

There is a pre-arranged alternate meeting location available for this event. Contact the registrar directly for more details and to request inclusion on the remote attendee list.

Difficulty: EASY -- Walking leisurely on groomed and maintained trails. Walking shoes are recommended. You should be able to walk up to 1.5 kilometres (1 mile) without any problems.

Morning
Brant Tract, Paisley & Blind Line Judith King
A38 6:00am to 11:30am

Explore the Brant Tract with its mixed woods and stream by travelling along an old road to the bottom of the valley. Paisley will showcase bird feeders and several species of swallows. The Blind Line parallels the Saugeen River and passes through fields and mixed forest.

 

Species: Grasshopper Sparrow, Clay-coloured Sparrow, Cliff Swallow, Bobolink, Yellow-bellied Flycatcher

Difficulty: EASY -- Walking leisurely on groomed and maintained trails. Walking shoes are recommended. You should be able to walk up to 1.5 kilometres (1 mile) without any problems.

Birding MacGregor Scott Taylor
A39 7:00am to 11:30am

A late spring walk around the Ducks Unlimited wetland is sure to turn up migrants. Join Scott to hear about the importance of wetlands for migrating birds. You will also identify some of these spring beauties.

Difficulty: EASY -- Walking leisurely on groomed and maintained trails. Walking shoes are recommended. You should be able to walk up to 1.5 kilometres (1 mile) without any problems.

Afternoon
Fun, Frog, Frolic: Observing Frogs at MacGregor Park Kerry Jarvis
A40 1:30pm to 4:30pm

Searching for frogs in the park can be a lot of fun! Join Kerry as he looks and listens for several species of frogs, and of course the American Toad. If you have them, bring close-up binoculars and camera.

Species: American Toad, Spring Peeper, Wood Frog, Northern Leopard Frog, Green Frog, Eastern Gray Treefrog

Difficulty: EASY -- Walking leisurely on groomed and maintained trails. Walking shoes are recommended. You should be able to walk up to 1.5 kilometres (1 mile) without any problems.

Birding & EBird Entry Mike Burrell
A41 1:30pm to 4:30pm

Grab your binoculars AND your notebooks. We’ll go for a short walk to find some birds around the Visitor Centre. Then Mike will introduce you to eBird. You’ll find out how easy it is to contribute your everyday bird observations to this massive citizen science project.

Difficulty: EASY -- Walking leisurely on groomed and maintained trails. Walking shoes are recommended. You should be able to walk up to 1.5 kilometres (1 mile) without any problems.

Botany on the Fringe Laura Cook
A42 1:30pm to 4:30pm

The  wave-cut terraces of glacial lakes Algonquin and Nipissing and their associated gravel bars and sand dunes make up the Huron Fringe.  These features are found adjacent to the present-day Lake Huron shoreline.  Within MacGregor Point, this habitat contains unique shoreline plants including Dwarf Lake Iris.  Laura will introduce you to these plants and their associations.  

Difficulty: EASY -- Walking leisurely on groomed and maintained trails. Walking shoes are recommended. You should be able to walk up to 1.5 kilometres (1 mile) without any problems.

Evening
Ontario's True North Mike Burrell
A43 7:15pm

Over the past several years Mike has had the chance to visit Ontario’s little known north coast at sites on James and Hudson bays. Come on this visual journey about these amazing landscapes. You will learn about the plants, animals and habitats that are found there.

Other
Morning Coffee & Pastries
5:30am

Coffee and pastries are available in the Visitor Centre.

Southampton Rotary Club BBQ
11:30am to 1:00pm

The Southampton Rotary Club has available for purchase a variety of barbequed items and drinks.

The Southampton Rotary are very supportive of the Huron Fringe Birding Festival and provide this barbeque service for us.

Tuesday May 26, 2015
Other
BRUCE COUNTY MUSEUM AND CULTURAL CENTRE - ON YOUR OWN
10:00am to 5:00pm

The Bruce County Museum & Cultural Centre in Southampton is open 10am to 5pm for those participants who remain in the area between festival weekends.

Located at 33 Victoria St North in Southampton, a variety of exhibits are open to explore: War of 1812 / HMS General Hunter near-full scale model and interactive exhibit / General Store 

Phone: 519-797-2080

Wednesday May 27, 2015
Other
BRUCE COUNTY MUSEUM AND CULTURAL CENTRE - ON YOUR OWN
10:00am to 5:00pm

The Bruce County Museum & Cultural Centre in Southampton is open 10am to 5pm for those participants who remain in the area between festival weekends.

Located at 33 Victoria St North in Southampton, a variety of exhibits are open to explore: War of 1812 / HMS General Hunter near-full scale model and interactive exhibit / General Store 

Phone: 519-797-2080

Thursday May 28, 2015
All Day
Back Roads of Saugeen Township James Turland
B01 6:30am to 4:30pm

Back roads, trails, shoreline and Saugeen River provide the backdrop for this event.  Saugeen Township has an active trails association.  They have been busy in recent years creating new trails within the township.  Along the lake, we encounter rocky, grassy and sandy shores.  These various habitats provide staging areas for shorebirds, waterfowl and songbirds.  Chantry Island is a good way off shore; but it is an official bird sanctuary.  The Saugeen River is one of the main features of Saugeen Township.  Just before it enters the lake, the river becomes much wider and slower than further upstream - an ideal location for an eagle to nest.  It also provides a corridor for wildlife.  There's much awaiting us on this all-day car tour.

Difficulty: MODERATE -- Walking on maintained trails some of which may be rough or rocky. Brisk walking may be required to get from one location to another in a timely manner. You should be able to walk up to 4.5 kilometres (3 miles) without any problems.

Geology of the Northern Bruce Peninsula Bob Gray
B02 7:30am to 4:30pm

This day long excursion will explore several hidden features of the Niagara Escarpment.  Bob will share theories about how these features were formed.  Join him as he helps you discover the unique geology of the Bruce Peninsula and Ontario's Niagara Escarpment.  

There is a pre-arranged alternate meeting location available for this event. Contact the registrar directly for more details and to request inclusion on the remote attendee list.

Difficulty: MODERATE -- Walking on maintained trails some of which may be rough or rocky. Brisk walking may be required to get from one location to another in a timely manner. You should be able to walk up to 4.5 kilometres (3 miles) without any problems.

Butterfly Workshop Audrey Armstrong
B03 9:00am to 4:30pm

This workshop will teach you how to nurture butterfly populations by growing your own easy to maintain butterfly garden.  You'll learn about the lifecycle and biology of the monarch butterfly, threats to the monarch population, issues/threats to pollinators, how to choose plants appropriate to your zone, what it means to bring native versus non native plants into your habitat and of course, how to create monarch friendly habitat from the ground up.  There will be a slide show in the morning and the afternoon will be outdoors looking for monarchs, eggs and larvae along the Lake Huron shore. Visiting a few Monarch Waystations in the area will also be part of the afternoon.

This workshop is sponsored in part by the Monarch Teacher Network and Toronto Region Conservation Authority. A habitat booklet will be offered for sale at the workshop and milkweed will be for sale.

 

Difficulty: EASY -- Walking leisurely on groomed and maintained trails. Walking shoes are recommended. You should be able to walk up to 1.5 kilometres (1 mile) without any problems.

Morning
Birding the Saugeen Amphitheatre Joy Albrecht
B04 7:30am to 11:30 am

The Amphitheatre gardens, high above the Saugeen River, will be the setting for this hike.  These gardens are recognized as some of the most beautiful found in Ontario.  Stone stairways and walkways provide you access to various locations where you can overlook both the river and riparian habitat.  We will be observing spring migrants, nesting species, shorebirds, and raptors.

Difficulty: EASY -- Walking leisurely on groomed and maintained trails. Walking shoes are recommended. You should be able to walk up to 1.5 kilometres (1 mile) without any problems.

Beginning Birding for Adults Doug Pedwell
B05 8:30 am to 11:30 am

Designed for those who wish to begin the lifelong hobby of biridng, this event has two sections.  

During the indoor session participants will review how to set up binoculars to suit their eyes as well as basic identification techniques used to identify birds - size, shape, field marks, sound and habitat. We will review field guides that people may like to use to help in identifying birds.

Following the indoor session, the participants will go out on a bird hike in the vicinity of the Visitor Centre to identify some of the common birds of MacGregor Point Provincial Park. During the walk, we will visit various habitats to see what we can find.  We will also discuss how to give directions so someone else can see the same bird you are seeing.

Difficulty: EASY -- Walking leisurely on groomed and maintained trails. Walking shoes are recommended. You should be able to walk up to 1.5 kilometres (1 mile) without any problems.

Afternoon
Botany of the Huron Fringe Barbara Palmer
B06 1:30pm to 4:30pm

The Huron Fringe is a physiographic unit between the former glacial Lake Algonquin shoreline and the present day Lake Huron shoreline.  Many unique shoreline plants are found in MacGregor Point.  Former cobble beach ridges, swales and ancient miniature dunes each provide their own combination of plants. Barbara will help you identify spring wildflowers.  

Difficulty: EASY -- Walking leisurely on groomed and maintained trails. Walking shoes are recommended. You should be able to walk up to 1.5 kilometres (1 mile) without any problems.

Wouldn't It Be Ploverly Doug Pedwell
B07 1:30pm to 4:30pm

Join Stew on a visit to Piping Plover nesting grounds located nearby. This special endangered species has been nesting in this area since 2007. You will observe courtship (Plovers) as well as many other behaviours and learn of the many perils these birds face and how local involvement has helped this species recover.  There will be ample time for photography.  

Evening
The Wonders of Bird Migration Dave Brewer
B08 7:15pm

Dave gets lost in Toronto but Bobolinks navigate to Argentina; are they smarter than him?  Dave’s talk about bird migration will emphasize their navigation.  He will look at historical interpretations and recent techniques including satellite tracking and geolocators.  We are continuously learning fantastic new data.  

Sunset Photography Workshop (event has waitlist) Willy Waterton
B09 7:45 pm

Most people go inside after the sun sets. This is when some of the most stunning light occurs.  This workshop will give you tips on taking images of the setting sun and twilight using your smart phone to DSLR.  If you have a tripod, bring it along.   

Difficulty: EASY -- Walking leisurely on groomed and maintained trails. Walking shoes are recommended. You should be able to walk up to 1.5 kilometres (1 mile) without any problems.

Other
Morning Coffee & Pastries
6:00am

Coffee and pastries are available in the Visitor Centre.

Southampton Rotary Club BBQ
11:30am to 1:00pm

A variety of barbequed items and drinks will be available for purchase.

The Huron Fringe Birding Festival thanks the Soutampton Rotary Club for their support of the Festival and the Friends of MacGregor Point. It is their custom to return some of the revenue from the barbeques to the Friends for them to use as they enhance the Natural Heritage Education program in the park.

Friday May 29, 2015
All Day
Malcolm Bluffs & Cape Croker Alfred Raab
B10 6:30am to 4:30pm

Malcolm Bluffs Shores Nature Reserve is the largest of Ontario Nature's nature reserves.  Its wetlands, talus slopes, hardwood forest and vertical cliffs provide amazing diversity.  

You will bird in several of these habitats within the Malcolm Bluffs Nature Reserve.  The 110 metres of elevation at the cliff edge provides spectacular vistas of the shoreline and Georgian Bay.

The Cape Croker peninsula is home to the Chippewas of Nawash.  This peninsula has diverse habitats including alvars, old fields rural and forested areas. Alfred will take advantage of these diverse habitats while you are on the peninsula.

There is a pre-arranged alternate meeting location available for this event. Contact the registrar directly for more details and to request inclusion on the remote attendee list.

Species: Canada Warbler, Indigo Bunting, Scarlet Tanager, Wood Thrush, Bobolink

Difficulty: MODERATE -- Walking on maintained trails some of which may be rough or rocky. Brisk walking may be required to get from one location to another in a timely manner. You should be able to walk up to 4.5 kilometres (3 miles) without any problems.

Pastures, Streams & Woodlots James Turland
B11 7:00am to 4:30pm

Pasturelands in Bruce County are home to a number of grassland species, some of which are species at risk.  This driving tour will take you through varied habitat.  The result will be an extensive birding list for the day.  James is a favourite festival leader. 

Species: Eastern Meadowlark, Bobolink, Upland Sandpiper, Grasshopper Sparrow, Clay-coloured Sparrow, Field Sparrow

Difficulty: EASY -- Walking leisurely on groomed and maintained trails. Walking shoes are recommended. You should be able to walk up to 1.5 kilometres (1 mile) without any problems.

Landscape Photography Kerry Jarvis
B12 8:30 am to 4:30pm

Grey and Bruce county beckons all photographers in capturing its raw beauty. Join Kerry Jarvis as he leads this all day workshop on Landscape Photography. Learn photographic landscape techniques to enhance your photography skills and discover some of the majestic vistas in Grey and Bruce. Water, countryside vistas, shorelines, waterfalls and open fields and meadows are some of the landscape features awaiting your photographic visit.  

Difficulty: EASY -- Walking leisurely on groomed and maintained trails. Walking shoes are recommended. You should be able to walk up to 1.5 kilometres (1 mile) without any problems.

Morning
Tower Trail Joy Albrecht
B13 7:30am to 11:30am

Join Joy as she leads you along the Tower Trail, a favourite spot for local birders.  You will see bird species that will nest in the boreal forest and will spend some time on an observation tower and bird blind.  

Species: Canada Warbler,

Difficulty: EASY -- Walking leisurely on groomed and maintained trails. Walking shoes are recommended. You should be able to walk up to 1.5 kilometres (1 mile) without any problems.

Afternoon
Roadside Botany Ramble Larry Lamb
B14 1:30pm

Explore various roadside habitats in the vicinity of the Visitor Centre.  Learn to use identification keys and Newcomb's Wildflower Guide (bring yours along!) 

Species: Dwarf Lake Iris

Difficulty: EASY -- Walking leisurely on groomed and maintained trails. Walking shoes are recommended. You should be able to walk up to 1.5 kilometres (1 mile) without any problems.

Dragons & Damsels (event has waitlist) John Reaume
B15 1:30pm to 4:30pm

Join us as we search for the ultimate insect predators.  Damselflies and dragonflies are members of the order Odonata meaning “toothed ones” which reference their awesome mouth parts.  Bring binoculars and butterfly nets if you have them as we search for members of this ancient order.  We will learn about some of their fascinating biology and the proper handling of these beautiful insects that are commonly found in the park.  Should the weather not cooperate we will have an indoor presentation / slide show of these wonderful insects with an emphasis on the species found in Ontario.

Photography Workshop: Landscapes & Nature Walk Fran Sanagan
B16 1:30pm to 4:30pm

Fran Sanagan will be facilitating this hands-on workshop where participants will learn how to look at the environment around them to improve their photos of nature and landscapes. This workshop will touch on a variety of ideas related to composition, consideration of rule of thirds and the use of the horizon line in your photos. Participants are encouraged to bring their own cameras and tripods. 

Difficulty: EASY -- Walking leisurely on groomed and maintained trails. Walking shoes are recommended. You should be able to walk up to 1.5 kilometres (1 mile) without any problems.

Evening
Birding By Ear John Reaume
B17 7:15pm

This presentation will review the tips and techniques used by birders to learn and identify bird song and calls.  Vocalizations can not only help in the identification of the bird species but also even reveal the presence for some of the more secretive characters in the birding world.  We will look at slides of birds common to Grey and Bruce counties.  Using a technique popularized by Richard Walton and Robert Lawson of the Peterson Field Guides, Birding by Ear series we will learn many of the common songs and calls heard in our spring chorus.  

Other
Morning Coffee & Pastries
6:00am

Coffee and pastries are available in the Visitor Centre.

Southampton Rotary Club BBQ
11:30am to 1:00pm

There will be a variety of barbequed items and drinks available for purchase.

The Southampton Rotary are very supportive of the Huron Fringe Birding Festival and provide this barbeque service for us.  

Saturday May 30, 2015
All Day
Winged Pursuits! Hunting Birds, Butterflies, Dragonflies & Damselflies Nathan Miller
B18 6:30am to 4:30pm

Join Nathan as he pursues the winged jewels of MacGregor Provincial Park and Bruce County.  During this event you will learn about how to identify birds and insects and be fascinated by interesting information regarding their natural history.  This all day event will focus on finding birds during the morning and insects as the day warms up; although all of these creatures will be discussed as they are found!

Difficulty: EASY -- Walking leisurely on groomed and maintained trails. Walking shoes are recommended. You should be able to walk up to 1.5 kilometres (1 mile) without any problems.

Birding the Inland Lakes Mike Cadman
B19 7:00am to 4:30pm

Several of the inland lakes, located between Lake Huron and Georgian Bay, served as a transportation route for safe passage between these two large bodies of water.  Today, these lakes attract a variety of species of birds and the humans who search them out.  Mike is a songbird biologist and will be glad to share his knowledge of songbirds and their habitats.  These inland lakes and their associated wetlands are notable for nesting marsh birds such as Sandhill Crane, American Bittern, Sora, Virginia Rail, Hooded Merganser, Marsh Wren and Black Tern. 

There is a pre-arranged alternate meeting location available for this event. Contact the registrar directly for more details and to request inclusion on the remote attendee list.

Species: Sandhill Crane, American Bittern, Sora, Virginia Rail, Hooded Merganser, Marsh Wren, Black Tern

Difficulty: EASY -- Walking leisurely on groomed and maintained trails. Walking shoes are recommended. You should be able to walk up to 1.5 kilometres (1 mile) without any problems.

Walking for the Fern of It Brett Woodman
B20 8:00am to 4:30pm

Grey and Bruce counties are home to fifty species of ferns, many of these are found within parks and natural areas along the Niagara Escarpment.  You may be surprised by the presence of Hart's Tongue Fern, Walking Fern, Polypody or the more common, Lady Fern.  You will also have the chance to key out the various ferns you find.  Throughout the day, Brett will introduce you to locations where hunting for ferns will also lead you to a variety of interesting habitats.  His birding and wildflower identification skills will help to enhance this all day field trip.  

There is a pre-arranged alternate meeting location available for this event. Contact the registrar directly for more details and to request inclusion on the remote attendee list.

Difficulty: DIFFICULT -- Walking on trails that have uneven terrain. There may be some walking off-trail. You should be able to negotiate walking on slippery surfaces, where there is unsure footing or where you are climbing over rocks and logs.

Morning
Birding the J/I Line Mark Peck
B21 6:30am to 11:30 am

Grasslands are in decline and grassland bird species are in jeopardy.   Agricultural practices in Ontario are changing.   Pastureland is steadily being converted to cropland.   

Bruce County continues to provide a community pasture within close proximity to the J/I Line where pastureland still rules and Upland Sandpiper, Bobolink, Grasshopper and Clay-coloured Sparrow continue to be found.  Mark’s field experience makes him an excellent choice to take you on this driving tour of a locally popular back road.  

Species: Upland Sandpiper, Bobolink, Grasshopper Sparrow, Clay-coloured Sparrow, Eastern Meadowlark, Field Sparrow

Difficulty: EASY -- Walking leisurely on groomed and maintained trails. Walking shoes are recommended. You should be able to walk up to 1.5 kilometres (1 mile) without any problems.

Birding the Old Shore Road Trail Bill Crins
B22 8:00am to 11:30 am

The Lake Huron shoreline as well as fen and edge habitats are featured during this walk north from the Visitor Centre.  The Old Shore Road Trail had its beginnings over 100 years ago as a land route between Kincardine and Southampton.  Today it is part of the trail system in MacGregor Point and is recognized as being rich and diverse with bird and plant species.  Bill is a well-known leader within our festival community.  He is an active birder and we always benefit from his past experience as an interpretive naturalist.    

Difficulty: EASY -- Walking leisurely on groomed and maintained trails. Walking shoes are recommended. You should be able to walk up to 1.5 kilometres (1 mile) without any problems.

B23 9:00am to 11:30am

It’s more than just identifying what you see.  We will focus on how birds and bugs interact with each other.  But don’t expect to cover a lot of distance because there's soo… much to see right at your feet and above your head!

Difficulty: EASY -- Walking leisurely on groomed and maintained trails. Walking shoes are recommended. You should be able to walk up to 1.5 kilometres (1 mile) without any problems.

Birding 101 for Families Doug Pedwell
FAM01 9:00 am to 11:00 am

One parent/guardian must accompany children from the same family and is allowed to participate in the event free of charge.  One additional adult chaperone will be allowed free of charge for a family of two or more children. Please do not register the free adult(s) for the event; email the registrar to provide the name(s) to be added to each child's registration as chaperone. Additional accompanying adults will need to register for the program.

Birding is a livelong hobby that can be shared by all members of the family.  This event introduces families to the basics of birding: equipment, field guides, and how to identify birds. 

 

 

 

Difficulty: EASY -- Walking leisurely on groomed and maintained trails. Walking shoes are recommended. You should be able to walk up to 1.5 kilometres (1 mile) without any problems.

Afternoon
Puzzled by Sedges? (event has waitlist) Bill Crins
B24 1:30pm to 4:30pm

“Sedges have edges, rushes are round, and grasses are hollow right up from the ground.”  Sedges are an important species in the forest understory but their field identification can be challenging.  Bill is the expert.   He will provide you tips about how to identify sedges and open your eyes to a whole new world on the forest floor.  

Difficulty: EASY -- Walking leisurely on groomed and maintained trails. Walking shoes are recommended. You should be able to walk up to 1.5 kilometres (1 mile) without any problems.

Roadside Botany Ramble Larry Lamb
B25 1:30pm to 4:30pm

Explore various roadside habitats in the vicinity of the Visitor Centre.  Learn to use identification keys and Newcomb's Wildflower Guide (bring yours along!)  

Difficulty: EASY -- Walking leisurely on groomed and maintained trails. Walking shoes are recommended. You should be able to walk up to 1.5 kilometres (1 mile) without any problems.

O'Keefe Grange - A Heritage Apple Farm Bill & Lyn O'Keefe
B26 1:30pm to 4:30pm

The modern mono-culture style of agriculture threatens heritage varieties of plants. For this reason, Bill and Lyn O'Keefe have spent many years collecting and growing over two hundred varieties of apple and pear trees.  Find out how one local grower is propagating apples that were popular 100 years ago and keeping them from extinction.

These citizen scientists will share their knowledge and passion as you browse their farm store and taste apple cider donuts.

Difficulty: EASY -- Walking leisurely on groomed and maintained trails. Walking shoes are recommended. You should be able to walk up to 1.5 kilometres (1 mile) without any problems.

Photography Workshop: Looking at MacGregor Close Up Fran Sanagan
B27 1:30pm to 4:30pm

Fran Sanagan will be facilitating this hands-on workshop where participants will learn how to look at the nature close up, through a macro setting or lens. This workshop will touch on a variety of ideas related to composition, consideration of rule of thirds, and the best use of positive / negative space. Participants are encouraged to bring their own cameras and tripods. 

Difficulty: EASY -- Walking leisurely on groomed and maintained trails. Walking shoes are recommended. You should be able to walk up to 1.5 kilometres (1 mile) without any problems.

FAM02 1:30pm to 4:30pm

One parent/guardian must accompany children from the same family and is allowed to participate in the event free of charge.  One additional adult chaperone will be allowed free of charge for a family of two or more children. Please do not register the free adult(s) for the event; email the registrar to provide the name(s) to be added to each child's registration as chaperone. Additional accompanying adults will need to register for the program.

Children will be divided into two groups (siblings will be kept together).  Each child will attend both afternoon programs. Chickadee nest box kit - $10 extra per child.

BINO BOY & ELYTRA GIRL – Andalyne & Richard Tofflemire

Time to go on an outdoor adventure!  With Bino Boy's binocular vision and Elytra Girl's power of magnifying, we'll be out to discover all that can be found in an exciting, entertaining way!

AND

CHICKADEE NEST BOXES – Kerry Jarvis

Build a chickadee nest box.  No carpentry skills are required.  Participants will assemble their own boxes.  Imagine the thrill of seeing a Black-capped Chickadee choose your nest box to raise its family!  

Difficulty: EASY -- Walking leisurely on groomed and maintained trails. Walking shoes are recommended. You should be able to walk up to 1.5 kilometres (1 mile) without any problems.

Evening
Bruce County Beef Dinner
B28 5:30pm to 6:30pm

This meal is catered by Harrigan’s Catering, Southampton.

This dinner is held at MacGregor Point Provincial Park near the Visitor Centre. There is an additional charge of $17.  When combined with B29 as a single event dinner plus the presentation is $23.

Ontario Nest Record Scheme (ONRS) & Project NestWatch Mark Peck
B29 7:15pm to 8:30pm

Citizen Science programs allow public amazing participation and access into environmental research. The new naturalist values these programs as much as conservation depends on their value.  Join Mark as he discusses the metamorphosis of the Ontario Nest Records Scheme into Project NestWatch and learn how you can learn and have fun providing valuable resources to conservation initiatives. 

An Evening of Astronomy - What's Up in the Night Sky for 2015 John Hlynialuk
B30 9:15pm

John will take a look at sky events for 2015 and members of the Bluewater Astronomical Society will be on hand afterward with telescopes. Featured viewing, if weather permits, will be the Moon, Saturn, Jupiter and Mars. The indoor astronomy talk will happen rain or shine. 

Down With Dr. Ento - Campfire Program Matt Cunliffe
FAM03 7:15pm to 8::00pm

One parent/guardian must accompany children from the same family and is allowed to participate in the event free of charge.  One additional adult chaperone will be allowed free of charge for a family of two or more children. Please do not register the free adult(s) for the event; email the registrar to provide the name(s) to be added to each child's registration as chaperone. Additional accompanying adults will need to register for the program.

Fascinated by the insect world?  You can learn more about these incredible creepy crawlers from world renowned Dr. Ento… Mologist through songs, games and trivia!  6 legs, 3 body parts, 1 campfire.

Difficulty: EASY -- Walking leisurely on groomed and maintained trails. Walking shoes are recommended. You should be able to walk up to 1.5 kilometres (1 mile) without any problems.

Other
Morning Coffee & Pastries
6:00am

Coffee and pastries are available in the Visitor Centre.

LIVE BIRD BANDING DEMONSTRATION David Brewer
6:00am

Join our on-site bird bander David Brewer as he captures and bands festival birds. 

Banding helps researchers understand dispersal and migration patterns, behaviour and social structure, lifespan and survival rate, reproductive success and population growth.

Banding is a skilled process that requires extreme patience, dexterity, gentleness and organizational and problem-solving abilities. Observing experienced banders is an impressive sight. They can hold a bird in one hand while using the other to maneuver a tiny metal circular band onto a pair of banding pliers, open it up, get it into the proper opening in the nose of the pliers and attach it to the bird's leg - all in a matter of seconds. The pliers are fashioned so that it's impossible to squeeze the bird's leg. The birds must be captured, banded, measured, weighed and released in a timely manner so as to minimize trauma. Integrity plays an important role in banding. Banders follow a strict code of ethics that spells out their responsibilities to minimize stress, injury and death of captured birds.

After extraction the bird is put into a breathable opaque cloth bag used for transporting birds from the netting sites to the banding station. There is one bird per bag, and when birds are waiting to be banded, the bags are always hung up on a peg and never placed on the ground. As soon as the bird is banded and the data recorded, the bird is released.

Banders must keep meticulous records. The age and sex of the bird, as determined by the bander through measurement of the wing chord and observation of plumage, is recorded. The species is recorded, along with the weight and estimated fat content. The latter is a sign of migration readiness and overall health. The number and size of the band used, the bander's initials and the number of retraps. Sanitation standards are strictly adhered to in an effort to prevent disease transmission among either birds or humans.

This data is compiled with the day's total captures, the open and close time of the station, wind and weather conditions, volunteer hours, the number of visitors, the number of hours each mist net was used, the number and species of birds caught in each net, and the number of birds observed around the park through sight and sound.

For the safety of the birds, bird banding is weather dependent.

Viewing Scopes at the Tower
8:30am to noon

Viewing Scopes will be available at the Viewing Tower on the Tower Trail.

Southampton Rotary Club BBQ
11:30am to 1:00pm

There will be a variety of barbequed items and drinks available for purchase.

The Southampton Rotary are very supportive of the Huron Fringe Birding Festival and provide this barbeque service for us.  

Sunday May 31, 2015
All Day
Debating the Issues: Birding Bayview to Bognor Mark Wiercinski
B31 6:30am to 4:30pm

Invasive species, forest fragmentation, hedgerow removal and wetland draining or modifications are all happening at unparalleled speeds in southern Ontario; and we all need to be concerned.  Habitat loss or alteration impacts the birds that make use of these habitats. On this walking /driving tour Mark will talk about issues that are affecting, both directly and indirectly, the bird populations in Ontario.  Of course, you might get distracted talking about birds or plants along the way!

There is a pre-arranged alternate meeting location available for this event. Contact the registrar directly for more details and to request inclusion on the remote attendee list.

Difficulty: DIFFICULT -- Walking on trails that have uneven terrain. There may be some walking off-trail. You should be able to negotiate walking on slippery surfaces, where there is unsure footing or where you are climbing over rocks and logs.

Birds & Beaches: How do our Beaches Look From the Sky? Karen Alexander
B32 8:00am to 4:30pm

This shoreline tour will include Southampton (Chantry Dunes), Port Elgin (Main Beach and Gobles Grove) and Inverhuron Provincial Park.  By using these four different coastal areas, Karen will describe how varied types of beach stewardship can influence the health and quality of coastal ecosystems.  She will discuss community actions that are important for protecting bird habitat. 

Difficulty: EASY -- Walking leisurely on groomed and maintained trails. Walking shoes are recommended. You should be able to walk up to 1.5 kilometres (1 mile) without any problems.

Morning
Birding the Lake Ridge Trail Mike Cadman
B33 7:00am to 11:30 am

In the past Mike was coordinator for the Ontario Breeding Bird Atlas and has been involved with the Forest Bird Monitoring Program.  Join him on a hike along Lake Ridge Trail. There are a variety of habitats - regenerating mixed forest, cedar forest, upland deciduous forest and abandoned farmsteads that will be visited along the way.  Mike will also go “beyond ID” and provide tidbits and signs of breeding birds.  

Difficulty: MODERATE -- Walking on maintained trails some of which may be rough or rocky. Brisk walking may be required to get from one location to another in a timely manner. You should be able to walk up to 4.5 kilometres (3 miles) without any problems.

Beyond ID: Nest Finding Mark Peck
B34 8:00am to 11:30am

Join Mark for a leisurely walk in the MacGregor Point woods and marshes searching for nesting birds. Learn techniques for taking your love of birding to the next level and find out how you can provide valuable conservation information through Citizen Science programs.  Learn more about the behaviour of breeding birds and improve your powers of observation. 

Species: Ovenbird, American Redstart, Ruby-throated Hummingbird, Eastern Phoebe, American Robin

Difficulty: EASY -- Walking leisurely on groomed and maintained trails. Walking shoes are recommended. You should be able to walk up to 1.5 kilometres (1 mile) without any problems.

FAM04 9:00am to 11:30am

One parent/guardian must accompany children from the same family and is allowed to participate in the event free of charge.  One additional adult chaperone will be allowed free of charge for a family of two or more children. Please do not register the free adult(s) for the event; email the registrar to provide the name(s) to be added to each child's registration as chaperone. Additional accompanying adults will need to register for the program.

Children will be divided into two groups (siblings will be kept together).  Each child will attend both morning programs.

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.  With the use of dip nets, basins and hand lenses, we'll take a look at the often-unseen animals that live in the pond water.  Come prepared to get a little wet and possibly muddy!

AND

BIRDING 102 FOR FAMILIES – Doug Pedwell

This hike will take place at the Duck’s Unlimited wetland where we will use the bird blind and the tower to see what is in the wetlands and practice our new skills. (car required)

 

Difficulty: EASY -- Walking leisurely on groomed and maintained trails. Walking shoes are recommended. You should be able to walk up to 1.5 kilometres (1 mile) without any problems.

Afternoon
Birds of Prey Wild Ontario
B35 1:30pm to 3:00pm

Wild Ontario will deliver an interactive presentation at the outdoor amphitheatre.  Enthusiastic, knowledgeable staff and volunteers will be supported by non-releasable birds of prey.  This program will be loaded with fantastic facts, a healthy dose of humour, an inspiring message and lots of "WOW" moments.  Anyone wishing an up-close experience with some incredible creatures combined with a unique educational opportunity should attend this event.  

This event is also listed as FAM 05.

Species: Birds of Prey

Beyond ID: Shrubs & Trees Bob Gray
B36 1:30pm to 4:30pm

Bob will help you use identifying features, including bark characteristics and leaf shape, to identify trees and shrubs found in a variety of habitats within the park.  Species you may encounter include Ninebark, Black Ash, Highbush Cranberry and Alternate-leaved Dogwood.  

Birds of Prey Wild Ontario
FAM05 1:30pm to 3:00pm

One parent/guardian must accompany children from the same family and is allowed to participate in the event free of charge.  One additional adult chaperone will be allowed free of charge for a family of two or more children. Please do not register the free adult(s) for the event; email the registrar to provide the name(s) to be added to each child's registration as chaperone. Additional accompanying adults will need to register for the program.

Wild Ontario will deliver an interactive presentation at the outdoor amphitheatre. Enthusiastic, knowledgeable staff and volunteers will be supported by non-releasable birds-of-prey.  This program will be loaded with fantastic facts, a healthy dose of humour, an inspiring message and lots of "WOW" moments.  Anyone wishing an up-close experience with some incredible creatures combined with a unique educational opportunity should attend this event.

This event is also listed as B35.

Difficulty: EASY -- Walking leisurely on groomed and maintained trails. Walking shoes are recommended. You should be able to walk up to 1.5 kilometres (1 mile) without any problems.

Evening
Sunset Walk Doug Pedwell
B37 8:00pm to 9:00pm

The Lake Huron shoreline offers some of the most spectacular sunsets in the world.  From Sunset Point you can view Chantry Island and the Light Station as well as the mainland north to Southampton and south to MacGregor Point.  What a wonderful way to enjoy a sunset with friends.

Difficulty: EASY -- Walking leisurely on groomed and maintained trails. Walking shoes are recommended. You should be able to walk up to 1.5 kilometres (1 mile) without any problems.

Other
Morning Coffee & Pastries
6:00am

Coffee and pastries are available in the Visitor Centre.  

LIVE BIRD BANDING DEMONSTRATION David Brewer
6:00am

Join our on-site bird bander David Brewer as he captures and bands festival birds. 

Banding helps researchers understand dispersal and migration patterns, behaviour and social structure, lifespan and survival rate, reproductive success and population growth.

Banding is a skilled process that requires extreme patience, dexterity, gentleness and organizational and problem-solving abilities. Observing experienced banders is an impressive sight. They can hold a bird in one hand while using the other to maneuver a tiny metal circular band onto a pair of banding pliers, open it up, get it into the proper opening in the nose of the pliers and attach it to the bird's leg - all in a matter of seconds. The pliers are fashioned so that it's impossible to squeeze the bird's leg. The birds must be captured, banded, measured, weighed and released in a timely manner so as to minimize trauma. Integrity plays an important role in banding. Banders follow a strict code of ethics that spells out their responsibilities to minimize stress, injury and death of captured birds.

After extraction the bird is put into a breathable opaque cloth bag used for transporting birds from the netting sites to the banding station. There is one bird per bag, and when birds are waiting to be banded, the bags are always hung up on a peg and never placed on the ground. As soon as the bird is banded and the data recorded, the bird is released.

Banders must keep meticulous records. The age and sex of the bird, as determined by the bander through measurement of the wing chord and observation of plumage, is recorded. The species is recorded, along with the weight and estimated fat content. The latter is a sign of migration readiness and overall health. The number and size of the band used, the bander's initials and the number of retraps. Sanitation standards are strictly adhered to in an effort to prevent disease transmission among either birds or humans.

This data is compiled with the day's total captures, the open and close time of the station, wind and weather conditions, volunteer hours, the number of visitors, the number of hours each mist net was used, the number and species of birds caught in each net, and the number of birds observed around the park through sight and sound.

For the safety of the birds, bird banding is weather dependent.

Viewing Scopes at the Tower
8:30am to noon

Viewing Scopes will be available at the Viewing Tower on the Tower Trail.

Southampton Rotary Club BBQ
11:30am to 1:00pm

There will be a variety of barbequed items and drinks available for purchase.

The Southampton Rotary are very supportive of the Huron Fringe Birding Festival and provide this barbeque service for us.