Birding

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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Winter Birding in Haldimand County

Winter Birding in Haldimand County
By Inga Hinnerichsen Third time's a charm. I've tried to participate in this regular outing for the last 3 years. One year it was cancelled because of nasty weather, another time I had a sick hubby and a sick dog at home and couldn't go. I'm not an experienced birder, so outings like this present great learning opportunities for me. Finally, on Sunday, January 17, I met with the group of 10 birders led by Tim Lucas at the Port Dover pier. Just before I arrived a juvenile Bald Eagle sailed over the pier, I had missed it by mere seconds. One man had found us on the internet and came down from Mississauga. He later said it was well worth it. The forecast had the temperature falling well below freezing in the afternoon with light snow tapering off. While…
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Tales from The Tip

Tales from The Tip
Story and photos by Inga Hinnerichsen Originally published in 2015 December Lotus Is anyone interested in spending a week at the Long Point Tip?" Diane Salter inquired during one of our watercolour painting sessions in Port Rowan. Diane had won the "Trip to the Tip" as a Birdathon prize supporting the Long Point Bird Observatory (LPBO). Wow. I jumped at the chance! It turned out that three of us, Diane, Karin Jonasson and I plus Stu McKenzie and Ron Ridout clambered into the aluminium craft used to ship supplies and bird banders to and from the Tip on the morning of October 6. The boat was loaded with gear and supplies, both ours and the banders'. We had to bring food for the week + drinking water (and wine), sleeping bags, clothing for all weather conditions and cameras, binoculars and…
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A sparrow is a sparrow is a sparrow: More birdathon fun

A sparrow is a sparrow is a sparrow: More birdathon fun
Story and photos by George Pond “Hey, is that a Harris’s Sparrow?” Diane Salter yelled excitedly as we scanned a number of migrating White-Crowned Sparrows that were feeding on Betty Chanyi’s lawn. “Wow, it sure is. I haven’t seen one of those in years.” Shelia Smith answered. “Better make sure we get some photos for E-Bird documentation.” Somebody else said. Eight of us, Peggy McArthur, Alan McKeown, Anne Wynia, Betty Chanyi, Diane Salter, Shelia Smith, Mike McMillan and I, from the Norfolk Field Naturalists, were doing our annual “Birdathon” to raise money for the work of Bird Studies Canada as well as a share that is channelled back to the Field Naturalists for its many conservation projects. We had a fairly good day and as a group identified a respectable 121 to 125 different species. This is always a fun…
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The official dedication of the George and Shirley Pond Nature Reserve

The official dedication of the George and Shirley Pond Nature Reserve
By Inga Hinnerichsen Download the PDF of this article, which contains many more beautiful photos. By the time this report is published we hope many of you have had the opportunity to explore this beautiful and diverse tract. Saturday, April 18 was glorious: Calm, sunny and warm. What else do you want from a spring day after a particularly nasty winter? About 50 people attended the unveiling of the new sign at the Long Point Basin Land Trust (LPBLT) property along Front Road. You may recall that a couple of years ago NFN donated a substantial sum to LPBLT toward the purchase of this property. Al Robinson, former president of NFN, did the honours of unveiling the sign. Peter Carson, President of the LPBLT, gave the introductory speech and George Pond replied with a few words of wisdom to the…
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Birdathon Count 2015

Thanks again for all your great support and know that the money is all used for bird related research, important natural area land acquisitions and other bird related conservation projects. I like to think that we are helping to make this world a little better, not just for ourselves but for our children, grand children and all future generations. I hate to think of a world without birds, not just for their beauty but for the good they do. Thanks again! Sincerely, George Pond This is a list of birds identified during 2 Birdathons. The left check marks are from May 9, 2015, with Mike McMillan and group. Total: 101 The right check marks are from May 26 and 27, 2015, with George Pond and group. Total: 130 VVCommon Loon VVPied-billed Grebe VDouble-crested Cormorant VVGreat Blue Heron VVGreen Heron VLeast…
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Great Canadian Birdathon 2015 Report #2

By Michael McMillan Download the PDF of this article, which contains many beautiful photos. On May 9, at 6:30 a.m. I arrived at George Pond's house in Simcoe to join George, Peggy McArthur, Alan McKeown, and Shelia Smith to begin my Birdathon. A couple of minutes after leaving George's we made our first stop at a grassy field on Luscombe Drive just north of Highway 3 at the west end of Simcoe. Immediately I had my first three birds. An insect-like buzz was coming from a Grasshopper Sparrow perched on a long blade of grass. Somewhere in the distance, was the faint buzz of a Clay-colored Sparrow. Above us a Tree Swallow swooped in a circle before stopping to rest on a wire. Just before we turned west on Highway 3 from Luscombe Drive a Wild Turkey exploded into flight…
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Great Canadian Birdathon 2015 Report #1

By George Pond Download the PDF of this article, which contains many beautiful photos. “Turn down the next road! Yesterday there was a flock of Black-bellied Plovers in a field and a single Golden Plover with them,” Jeremy Hussell said, as we continued to search for birds on our Great Canadian Birdathon. Surprisingly the flock of about 75 of these beautiful tundra nesting shorebirds was still there and Jeremy soon had the Golden Plover, with its completely black underside, in the telescope for us all to see. The lighter head and white belly region of the Black-bellied Plovers were also easy to pick out. These birds were in the same plumage as when I photographed them in the High Arctic last July.   Bruce and Ann Falls, Steve Wilcox, Jeremy Hussell and I, were doing our annual Birdathon to raise…
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Nature Down-Under: Escape from the February deep-freeze

Nature Down-Under: Escape from the February deep-freeze
By: Inga Hinnerichsen We couldn't have picked a better time for our recent trip to New Zealand! The summer is still going strong in February (like our August), but the high tourist season is already tapering off and the local kids are back in school. During the week the beaches are less busy and you'll have a better selection of campsites. On the other hand, this is not a great time to visit Northern Australia! The "Wet" is in full swing, the outback is flooded by torrential rains, devastating cyclones tear at the north and north east parts of the continent. The South is usually hot and dry with plenty of bushfires raging. Roughly 80 million years ago the land mass now known as Zealandia broke away from the supercontinent Gondwana together with Australia. This continent has since eroded away…
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NFN winter birding field event

By: Cody Rowe There is something about the call of the outdoors that brings birders together, regardless of the weather, and Sunday January 18, 2015 was no exception. A group of 13 birders flocked to the shores of Lake Erie, all were eager to venture forth and find birds a little less common than the handful of Mallards and Ring-Billed Gulls that were gathered around the Port Dover Harbour. Led by the wonderful guides, Audrey Heagy and Dave Okines, our seven-vehicle convoy made their way to Silver Lake. Unfortunately the lake was frozen over, but we did find a pair of American Black Ducks, hundreds of Canada Geese, House Sparrows, and some European Starlings. Leaving Silver Lake we followed the Lakeshore Rd to a beautiful dark morph Rough-legged Hawk (one of many seen that day) and a few American Crows.…
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