WBFN Winter Tree Identification Field Trip in The Northumberland Forest. Photo© Sherry Tomkins
Walks and field trips are held throughout the year. Local activities are a good way for members to enjoy our area’s natural heritage, share their experience and learn through observation.
Upcoming Outings 2013
● Sunday, May 12 – Birding Outing to A.K. Sculthorpe Woodland Marsh (Port Hope) and Candlewick Woods.
Leader: Roger Frost.
Details: Meet at 7:30 a.m. at Lake St. parking lot, west of the marsh or at 10:00 a.m. at the orchard at Candlewick Woods, at the foot of Dickinson Rd. Outing will end around noon.
● Saturday, May 25th at 1:00 pm - President’s Walk
Details: A walk through Peter's Woods Conservation Park looking at the new spring growth and hopefully seeing many birds, so binoculars will be necessary. This should take about 30-40 minutes. A further walk to the Pelton property for those who wish to participate (anticipate another 1 1/2 hours). As long as it doesn't rain heavily we will proceed. New trees will be planted in April at the Pelton property and Russell will arrange to have prairie grass seeds to spread about while we check on how the trees we planted last year fared through the winter.
Please contact Petra Hartwig at 905-269-0464 or firstname.lastname@example.org for further information. Not necessary to register.
● June 8 and 9, 2013 - Northumberland Summer Bird Count.
Details: If you would like to participate, contact Roger Frost, email@example.com or 905-885-9615
● Sunday, June 23, 2013 – 8 a.m. – Outing to Northumberland Land Trust’s Leckey Property.
Details: NLT holds a conservation easement on this property. The new owners, Martin Poitras and Alison Jacobs have kindly given WBFN permission to enter the property for this hike. Come to explore this special place. Meet at Hwy. 45 & 401 carpool lot at 7:30 a.m. or at the Leckey Property at 8 a.m. Directions: Go north on Cty. Rd. 45 to Cty. Rd. 22 (Centreton Rd.). Follow Cty. Rd. 22 east through Centreton and continue east. Just before Castleton go north on Jakobi Rd. to Morganston. Turn east on Morganston Road (about 2 km??) to Kelly Dr. Turn north on Kelly Drive to house (about 300 m). The house is #344 Kelly Dr. There is parking for about 5 cars near the house. Please park along the side of the main driveway without blocking the house's driveway or the gate to the farmer's field.
● Sunday, July 21, 2013, 9 a.m. – Butterfly outing to Loyalist Road.
Leader: Roger Frost
Details: Meet at corner of Anderson and Loyalist Roads. Park along Anderson Rd. This road has habitat for a variety of butterfly species.
Directions: From the west side of Port Hope, go north on Cty. Rd. 2 to Welcome. Continue north at Welcome on Cty. Rd. 10 to the 4th Line (one concession). Turn west on 4th Line to Anderson Rd. (2nd sideroad). Turn north on Anderson to Loyalist Rd. (one concession).
● Monday, August 12, 2013 – Astronomy outing.
Leader: Brian CookDetails: The Perseid Meteor shower is usually Aug. 12. If this night is cloudy, Aug. 13 will be the backup date. It will be fairly dark by 9:45 p.m. in mid-August, so people should arrive by 9:30. It takes 20 minutes or so for a person’s eyes to acclimatize to the dark. People need to dress warmly; subtract 5C from the expected temperature at 10PM and dress for that lower temperature. Warm footwear is required as well. To watch the meteors, a foldable chair is ideal. It is even better if it will recline. The chair will also be needed while people wait their turn to look through the telescope. We will probably take some time at the beginning for sky orientation. I will point out major stars and the summer constellations. Then I will show some of the summer sky objects through the telescope. By 11PM, we should start to see a few meteors; it should get better as time goes on. We should wrap up by 12, but people can stay longer if they wish.
Directions: 3402 Shelter Valley Rd; this is on the N side. and Shelter Valley is E-W at this point.
From the East: Take Cty. Rd. 25 north from the Hwy. 401 (6km) and turn left onto Pipeline. Pipeline becomes Shelter Valley at the township boundary. Proceed 2.5km W. If you get to Inglis Rd, you have passed the house.
From the West: Take Hwy 2 or the 401 to Grafton. Proceed East along Hwy 2 until the cut-off to Shelter Valley (about a km or so, and marked by an overhead light). Go under the 401, travel through Vernonville and then go through several tight curves. Several kms along the straight stretch of road and up a hill is Inglis road. Beyond Inglis, 2nd house on left is 3402.
For more information or to arrange rides for outings, contact Roger Frost, 905-885-9615, firstname.lastname@example.org
WBFN Outings Reports 2013
Amherst Island Outing
On an overcast but not rainy Saturday, January 19, 10 intrepid Willow Beachers plus 3 TOC members from Toronto spent a rather productive day on Amherst Island which ended up with a tally of 40 species. The highlight was 6 Snowy Owls and a cooperative Barred Owl. 1 Short-eared Owl was seen but only by one person. The Owl Woods were quiet. The Rough-legged Hawks, both colour morphs, were also special, the more so since there are relatively few around in general this winter. Much of what we saw was seen well by all.
The chickadees welcomed WBFN members at the Amherst Island feeders. Photo© Katsu Sakuma
Port Hope and area Bird Feeder Tour
A number of interesting winter birds were seen at feeders on the WBFN feeder tour. To view more photos including a red-bellied woodpecker at Elizabeth Kellogg's feeder click on the link to WBFN member Don Mcleod's Blog below.
American Tree Sparrow. Photo© Don McLeod
Although trying to remain inconspicuous in this tangle a Northern Mockingbird was an interesting winter bird to find in Port Hope. Photo© Don McLeod
More photos of the Bird Feeder Tour can be found at WBFN Member Don Mcleod's Blog.
WBFN Outings Reports 2012
October 2012 Outing - Pelton Property Outing
On a misty Saturday morning on October 27th, Russ Donaldson and Petra Hartwig visited the Pelton Property to focus on the 6 hectare field where 400 trees were planted in April. The objective for this porperty is to restore the agricultural land to a natural woodland for the enchancement of wildlife habitat, and, of course be a presence to ensure that the land is not being used for inapproporaite purposes - similar to Peter's Woods and other Nature Conservancy lands in the area. Many pine and spruce planted in April looked robust, but only about 40% - 50% survived the very dry spring and summer. The best plants were about 30 cm tall. The property was walked at the north boundary to the north east corner which is probably the highest elevation on the property with a good stand of deciduous trees, including a huge oak about 1.5 meters in diameter. A good variety of birds weathered the day - over 100 wild turkeys, 2 grouse, many robins, chickadees, juncos, cardinals, a variety of sparrows, a hermit thrush and a hairy woodpecker. Russ broadcast another bunch of mixed prairie seeds as they walked the field - to add to the already ground cover of vegetation such as goldenrod, aster, mullen and other grasses.
Photo© Petra Hartwig
March 2012 Outing - Durham Shore Waterfowl Outing.
Great Blue Heron, Second Marsh, March 31, 2012. Photo© Brian Cook.
On March 31, 2012 on a day which began cool and cloudy and ended up sunny, a small but intrepid group of Willow Beach naturalists birded the Durham shoreline and managed a total of 47 species including 15 species of duck.
...... Richard Pope
Double-crested Cormorant. Photo© Sherwood McLernon.
WBFN Outings Reports 2011
November 2011 Outing - A.K. Sculthorpe Woodland Marsh section of the Waterfront Trail in Port Hope
On Sunday morning, November 6, 23 people gathered for a leisurely walk along the A.K. Sculthorpe Woodland Marsh section of the Waterfront Trail in Port Hope. The weather was really beautiful, although the waves on the lake made viewing the ducks there rather challenging. Through a spotting scope, observers could pick out Common Goldeneye, Red-breasted Merganser, Bufflehead, Greater Scaup, White-winged Scoter and a single Surf Scoter. In the marsh itself were Mallards, American Black Ducks, and a female Northern Shoveler. Land birds were very scarce, consisting mostly of Black-capped Chickadees, but also including one Red-winged Blackbird, one American Goldfinch and one Brown Creeper. No one seemed to mind that we didn’t see many birds. It was just a lovely day to be outside.
....... Elizabeth Kellogg
Along the boardwalk at the A.K. Sculthorpe Woodland Marsh.
Checking out waterfowl on the Port Hope Trail.
October 2011 Outing - The Nature Conservancy Property, Harwood
It was a cool, rainy, windy morning, but a hardy group of WBFN members and members of Hazel Bird's family joined Mark Stabb and Hugh Bennett of the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) for a walk on the 290 acre property on Robson Road, led by Todd Farrell NCC Conservation Biologist.
The NCC is currently fundaising to secure this property in Hamilton Township, with an extended deadline of December 2011.
See the feature below for more details. Donations may be made to the Nature Conservancy of Canada by cheque, credit card or transfer of shares.
Central Ontario Program Manager Nature Conservancy of Canada
18 Second Avenue Uxbridge, ON L9P 1J9
September 2011 Outing - The Alderville Black Oak Savanna
Under an overcast sky, WBFN members joined Janine McLeod, Natural Heritage Coordinator, for a 2 hour walk through the globally rare savanna habitat.
WBFN members toured the Alderville Black Oak Savanna. Photo© Louise Schmidt.
Alderville Black Oak Savanna. Photo© Louise Schmidt.