Monday 1 June 2015

Huron Fringe Birding Festival

This weekend I went up to Macgregor Point Provincial Park to lead hikes for the Huron Fringe Birding Festival.  I had a great time and was able to get my group great views of Upland Sandpiper, Orchard Oriole, Golden-winged Warbler, Peregrine Falcon and many others!  I was supposed to shift the focus from birds to insects in the afternoon, but the weather didn't cooperate, with temperatures plummeting to 9 degrees by the afternoon with off and on rain.  In any case, we just continued to bird watch through the afternoon.

I went up to the area on Friday to scout the locations and also stopped at Sauble Beach to see the resident Piping Plovers that breed here. This species is Endangered in Ontario, and only breeds in a few locations.  We can now add Toronto Islands to the list of places, as a pair was discovered nesting there this past week, the first time this species has nested on Lake Ontario since 1934!

I snapped a few pictures of the Sauble Beach plovers and a few of the Golden-winged Warblers.

Piping Plover pair

Piping Plover habitat is beach habitat. Unfortunately for these little guys, people also love beaches!

Golden-winged Warbler

This is also prime turtle nesting season in Ontario, and I had both Painted and Snapping Turtles laying eggs on trails and roadsides.  Watch for these guys on roads and where possible help them across. Remember, they may have been around a lot longer than you, respect your elders! I saved two on the way up to the Huron Fringe.

Midland Painted Turtle
 Check out the algae on this Snapping Turtle's back!  You can also see some leaches on the back of her shell.
Snapping Turtle

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