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Bird Count – December 27 at the Lawson Nature Reserve
Lynn Valley Trail Walk – October 22
Today’s walk On a section of the Lynn Valley Trail from Simcoe was a great outing on a beautiful fall day. Members enjoyed seeing a number of different bird species and one elusive bird we couldn’t identify.
Ingersoll District Nature Club Annual General Meeting – September 17
A great hike at the Lawson Nature Reserve, despite the rain, followed by the annual general meeting. Activities were identified for next year along with plans to celebrate the club’s 65th anniversary!
Visit to Harrington Mill Pond – June 18
Club members and guests alike enjoyed the outing to Harrington Mill Pond on Saturday, June 18, and visit to the south end of Wildwood Dam. Creatures of flight cooperated for photo shoot, club members not so much. Photo credits – Bill Grant, IDNC member.
Visit to Rondeau Park – May 28
IDNC members enjoyed a sunny day in Rondeau Provincial Park on Saturday, May 28th. With a bird count of over 40 species, it didn’t matter that most of the migratory birds had moved on. Top sightings included:
- Baltimore Oriole
- Ruby Throated Hummingbird
- Yellow Warblers
- Eastern Kingbird
- Red Bellied Woodpecker
- Double Breasted Cormorants
- Cedar Wax Wing
- Marsh Wren
- House Wren
- Trails Flycatcher
- Yellow Throat Warbler
- Tree Swallow
- Barn Swallow
- Common Tern
- Ring-billed Gull
- Herring Gull
- Spotted Sand Piper
- Eastern King Bird
- Urple Martin
Rondeau is the 2nd oldest provincial park in Ontario and one of the most significant Natural Environment class parks in the province. Rondeau is truly unique as the park is home to more species at risk than any other provincial park in Ontario. It is also an important stopover for migrating birds and is home to one of the largest remaining tracts of Canada’s old growth Carolinian Forest.
Lawson Reserve in Winter – February 20
18 Adults and 6 children joined club naturalist Don Bucknell to learn about the birds and trees at the Lawson Nature Reserve just South of Ingersoll (LNR info). It was an easy walk of about 2 km through mostly woodland. Highlights included spotting a red-bellied woodpecker, and learning the easy way to tell the difference between red and white pines (red have needles in groups of 2 while white have needles in groups of 5). Don also pointed out the many different tree species and what makes their bark unique.
Live, Flying Birds of Prey! – February 18
250 people came to see the demonstration by the Canadian Raptor Conservatory! A horned owl, harris hawk, red-tailed hawk, and bald eagle were brought to the Unifor Hall and allowed to fly down the aisle, or over the crowd of people! An in-depth commentary on the natural history, size, prey species, range and the relationship to humans of each bird. We think it’s safe to say that everyone learned something new and fascinating that evening!
Embro Pond Walk – January 23
13 IDNC members enjoyed an easy walk, about 2 km long through this mostly wooded area on a beautiful, sunny winter day.
Scales Nature Park Workshop – January 20
26 children (many of them beavers and cubs), and 22 adults were kept on the edge of their seats by 2 young ladies from Scales Nature Park! They brought along 2 live turtles and 3 species of snakes to explain the main features and behaviours of some reptiles in Ontario. The importance of proper handling and respect for the animals was emphasized – a lesson clearly learned by the children who were allowed to handle the friendly snakes at the end of the session.
An advanced workshop followed (attended by adults), which provided much more in depth knowledge of the reptile species at risk in Ontario. Participants were again able to handle snakes.
IDNC Festive Potluck – November 29
We had a great feast of dishes brought by over 50 IDNC members! After enjoying our meal we had a great update by Steve McSwiggan from OPAL Alliance on the state of the proposal for the Landfill in Oxford County. To close, we all enjoyed a presentation of Dave and Christine Baird’s nature photography which was truly stunning.
It’s an Owl Howl! – November 9th
Over 25 children (many were Beavers) with many accompanying adults enjoyed an evening with the IDNC at the Lawson Nature Reserve looking for owls. With the use of recorded owl calls, and some flashlights, 3 Screech Owls were spotted! Thanks to our VP Dave Baird for organizing the event along with Sheila Fleming our president who brought hot chocolate from Chocolatea for all to enjoy afterwards. Fun was had by all! One parent later commented:
“Thank you for the fantastic night. I have always wanted to see an owl in the wild. Now I have seen many! My children and husband are in awe!”
Below are some pictures of Dave receiving a thank you card for the IDNC, from the Salford Beavers.
Twinkle Twinkle Little Bat! – November 5th
26 IDNC members came to the Unifor Hall in Ingersoll to hear Toby Thorne (MSc. Biology) give a very enlightening presentation on bats. Little known facts were shared, and common myths were dispelled. By the end, Toby had us in awe of the these true-flying mammals that can see with sound and live beyond 30 years in some cases! Thank you for sharing your knowledge and enthusiasm with us Toby.
Backus Woods Hike – October 17th
Eight IDNC members were lead by club VP Davie Baird along the Weston Family Trail at the Backus Woods property (part of the Backus Heritage Conservation Area, near Port Rowan, ON). The Fall colours were out in full force in the woods filled with many native Carolinian tree species including Sassafras, Tulip, Bitternut Hickory, and Flowering Dogwood, amongst others such as white oak, white pine, sugar and silver maples. We managed to spot several interesting bird species and also have several good laughs along the way. Though we stayed mostly on the main trail, we did venture on a side loop on the way back, and several of us agreed we’d like to make a trip back to explore more of the side trails.
Tour of TTLT Five Points Property – October 7th
Over 20 members of the IDNC were lead through the Thames Talbot Land Trust (TTLT) property at Five Points, near Ingersoll, by TTLT members.
Lake Whittaker Hike – September 26th
We had great weather, and a great turnout for our hike at Lake Whittaker. Following the trails around the property, we enjoyed some time at the lake looking at the waterfowl and amphibians, as well as some nice trails through the woods. We were pleasantly surprised by the number of colourful and interesting fungi species present, and the different birds we saw along the way including a flock of hundreds of starlings landing in the trees close to us.
Annual General Meeting at Bucknell’s Property – September 12th
Great food and fun was had by all who attended our AGM at Bucknell’s property. Several people enjoyed a hike of the property – it was a great chance to see the work Don and Ruth have done over many years to restore the land to native habitat. Following the potluck we got down to the club business and had a good exchange of ideas for how to improve on things moving forward. We also welcomed several new members to the club!
Dorchester Pond Hike – June 6th
Lead by Jim Rule of the Dorchester Mill Pond Committee and the Thames Talbot Land Trust, we walked the perimeter of the Mill Pond in beautiful sunshine. Jim taught us about the history of the pond and property, the various species of interest, the many different habitat types found there, and about several projects that the community is working on to aid pollinators and species at risk there.
Trillium Walk – May 23rd
Lead by the IDNC naturalist, Don Bucknell, we had a beautiful tour of the plants at the Lawson Nature Reserve. Don’s seemingly endless knowledge of the species at the Reserve was well appreciated by the club members who were at the ready with their cameras and note pads!
Healthy Streams, Healthy Water Bugs – May 12th
Frog Watch – May 3rd
Spring Clean-up at LNR – April 25th
We had a beautiful morning and a great turn-out for our annual spring clean-up at the Lawson Nature Reserve! Everyone pitched-in with pulling Garlic Mustard (an invasive plant), which was very easy to do in the soft soil. The Ingersoll Times even stopped by to our surprise, and wrote a great article about our event, club, and the LNR:
And here are a few of our own pictures from the day:
Hike at Pittock Lake – April 18th
A group of 8 IDNC members had a lovely walk along Pittock Lake, and saw lots of great plants, amphibians, and birds along the way – including some Wood Frog with their eggs!
See some of the photos and captions from our adventure below:
Getting Along with Wildlife Friends – April 14th
We were so lucky to have Laurel Beechey (a.k.a. the Skunk Lady) come to speak to us about respecting and taking care of wildlife. She was full of great tips for what to do if you encounter wildlife (eg. skunks!) and helped to explain how skunks and other small mammals think when they are approached by people, or if they are injured. She also answered many questions asked by the group of Beavers, their leaders, parents, and IDNC members.
Maple Syrup and Hiking at Springwater – March 7th
On Saturday, March 7th, a hungry group from our Nature Club enjoyed pancakes and maple syrup at Springwater Conservation area and then walked off the calories on the woodland trails nearby. It was refreshing to get out among the trees towering above the vast expanse of snow, glittering in the morning sunlight. We know we are hardy Canadians when we get excited about the temperature being just above freezing! Some of our group were lucky to watch a Pileated Woodpecker tearing away at the bark of a tree, undisturbed for about five minutes (see picture at right).
Come and join us on our next outing to Pittock Lake in Woodstock (see details in our Activities Calendar).