Birding

Great Canadian Birdathon 2018: Mike McMillan’s Report

Great Canadian Birdathon 2018: Mike McMillan’s Report
Story by Mike McMillan, photos by George Pond At 5:10 a.m. I arrived at George Pond's to join George, Peggy McArthur, Allan McEwan and Shelia Smith for our eventful day. During a quick stop at a grassy area on Luscombe Drive across from Turkstra Lumber we heard the buzzing-insect-like sound of a Grasshopper Sparrow and the musical sound of a Song Sparrow. As we continued on our way to Bird Studies Canada to meet with Betty Chanyi, Diane Salter and Anne Wynia we stopped on Charlotteville Road 5 near Young's Creek where a pair of Mallards flew over head and a singing Swamp Sparrow made its presence known. Further on, after crossing the Turkey Point Road, about 100 yards ahead of us a coyote trotted nonchalantly across the road. After travelling south and crossing Highway 24 we turned west onto…
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Great Canadian Birdathon 2018

Great Canadian Birdathon 2018
By George Pond All Photos by the Author Well, another Great Canadian Birdathon is over. As usual, it was another fun, but tiring time. As a group we identified 132 species of birds and ate a cooler filled with chicken and other wraps, courtesy of the Blue Elephant in Simcoe. For over a quarter of a century I have been doing the Birdathon with Bruce and Ann Falls from Toronto and Steve Wilcox from Port Rowan. This year Bruce and Ann had decided that it was time to retire and Steve was busy with his daughter’s wedding. Fortunately, Ricky Dunn and her son Jeremy Hussel, who had joined us a few years ago were keen to go, and I was able to recruit my friend Rick Dowson from Simcoe to join us. We were delighted when the “birding bug” caught…
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Borneo: A Travel Journal

Borneo: A Travel Journal
By George Pond (All photos by the author) I suppose my “Bucket List” desire to visit Borneo goes back to my public school days of reading National Geographic. Here was a country still covered with pristine rainforest, where head hunters once roamed the dense jungle; where herds of wild Asian pygmy elephants were common, Orangutans claimed their canopy territories, where troops of Long-tailed and Pig-tailed Macaques lived in groups of 20 or more animals, and strange looking Proboscis monkeys, with their funny noses lived in trees along the river valleys. Here eight species of Hornbills, birds with massive bills, would fly overhead or sit on exposed limbs of dead trees; and various species of hawks and eagles patrolled the rivers searching for whatever nature provided. A land of abundant wildlife. Well, the head hunters have long disappeared as has most…
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Fisherville Christmas Bird Count

Fisherville Christmas Bird Count
Compiled by Linda Thrower Thursday, December 28th, 2017. Wind chill around midnight was -30oC with a N.E wind of 15 km. By around 9:00 am, the temperature had risen to -19oC, but if you were dressed right, it was a nice day for looking for birds. But, you had to look for them, which gives this count a few more new lows than new highs. The day looked like this: Sandhill Cranes are back on the count but seem to be losing in numbers — 2011 – 10; 2017 – 2 (number the same as 2016). Lowest number of Canada Geese since 1999 when there were 1,967; now their number is 2,246. Lowest number of Tundra Swans since 1999 when 1 was also found. Last year’s number was 79, 2015 – 172, 2014 – 260. Gadwalls also have their lowest…
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Results from 31st Woodhouse CBC

Results from 31st Woodhouse CBC
These are the results of the 31st Woodhouse CBC held on Sunday, December 17, 2017. The Woodhouse CBC is centred seven kilometres east of Simcoe, at the crossroads of Highway 3 and Cockshutt Road at Renton in Norfolk County and roughly covers from Port Dover to Waterford and just west of Simcoe to east of Jarvis. Weather: The weather this year was better than the freezing rain of last year. Overnight and during the day it was dry and mostly cloudy. Temperatures overnight went from -5C at midnight down to -7C at dawn; daytime high was -4. The wind was mostly calm or light easterly. Total Species: 90 with no additional Count Week species (average for the last 30 years = 79; average for the last 10 years = 85) Total Individuals: 18,972 (average for the last 30 years =…
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In Memorium: Harry B. Barrett

In Memorium: Harry B. Barrett
Harry B. Barrett at the NFN 50th Anniversary Gala 1922 - 2017 First President of Norfolk Field Naturalists and Honorary Director On January 26th, 2017, the NFN and the entire community of Norfolk County lost one of its greatest. Harry B. Barrett was a philanthropist, historian, naturalist, family man and a dear friend of so many. In 1962 Monroe Landon, another of our great naturalists, called a meeting at his house. The objective was to revive the old naturalist club, which had fallen by the wayside during the war years. As one of the founding members of Norfolk Field Naturalists Harry B. Barrett was appointed the first President of the new club. In 2012 the NFN celebrated its 50th Anniversary and is today going strong after all these years. As a token of deep gratitude for his long and dedicated…
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December 2016 Lotus

December 2016 Lotus
Here is the December 2016 Lotus newsletter. It has the annual Long Point Butterfly Count results and a story by Inga Hinnerichsen about Tiritiri Matangi, an island nature reserve in New Zealand.
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2016 Birdathon

2016 Birdathon
The 2016 Summer Lotus has the first of two articles on the 2016 Birdathon. The second part will be in the next issue. There's lots of great photos from George Pond.
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Christmas Bird Count, Fisherville

Christmas Bird Count, Fisherville
Compiled by: Linda Thrower December 28, 2015 Sadly, The Fisherville Bird Count lost two of its long-time members this year: Jim Heslop and Wes Raymond. Sincere condolences to both families and friends, they will be greatly missed. Another reality has hit me this year, I do not think "bird" very well. I would have thought, with all the warm weather leading up to this count, and count day being the first really cold day, that the birds would have been out looking for food everywhere. Oh well, I was wrong again. There was a very nasty cold wind, so a big Thank You to all who participated. I do find it quite amazing what species we were able to find in spite of the weather. Here are the highs and the lows of the count. Species 2015 count (2014 count)…
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Christmas Bird Count, Woodhouse

Christmas Bird Count, Woodhouse
Compiled by: David Okines Greetings Counters, These are the results of the 29th Woodhouse CBC held on December 20th 2015. The Woodhouse CBC is centred 7 km east of Simcoe, at the crossroads of Highway 3 and Cockshutt Road at Renton in Norfolk County and roughly covers from Port Dover to Waterford and just west of Simcoe to east of Jarvis. The mild weather this year was a change from recent counts but it made the birding harder. Overnight it was mostly clear but cloud cover increased to total cloud cover by late morning and then there were some sunny periods in the afternoon. All standing water was free of ice. Temperatures varied overnight from a high of -3 around midnight to a low of -7 by dawn and then increasing to a daytime high of +5. The wind was…
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