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PLEASE NOTE: This web page contains the most up-to-date information on events. Please check it regularly for changes or additions to events. The Club's Facebook group and Twitter account (@OttawaFieldNat) will also be used to announce last-minute changes to events.

We expect to hold several weather- and year-dependent events that are not included in Trail & Landscape and will only be announced at the last minute via our website, Facebook and Twitter. These include seasonal events such as Snowy Owl viewing, the spring Snow Goose spectacle, Eardley Eagles and Mudpuppy Night.

Please read
Guidelines for participants on field trips

Check out the web site of the Mississippi Valley Field Naturalists for more local events.

The OFNC's Events Committee plans an extensive program of monthly meetings, workshops, day trips, and longer excursions for the education and interest of our members.

Almost every weekend all year round, you can join a knowledgeable nature buff on an excursion to one of the many conservation areas in our region. Learn to identify some of the hundreds of birds that frequent our lakes, fields, and forests; wade through a marsh searching for amphibians; or take a leisurely stroll with fellow nature lovers.

Complete details of all the activities can be found in our quarterly newsletter Trail & Landscape, which is free to members.

All outings

Field trips to natural areas in our region and beyond take place all year round. These events are for OFNC members and prospective members. Prospective members are welcome unless the notice indicates that participation is limited, or that bus travel is involved. Times stated for events are departure times. Please arrive earlier; leaders start promptly. If you need a ride, please contact the leader.

Please bring a lunch on full-day trips and dress according to the weather forecast and activity. Binoculars and/or spotting scopes are essential on all birding trips. Unless otherwise stated, transportation will be by car pool.

Trip waiver

There can be risks associated with any recreational pursuit. Before you participate in nature walks and similar outdoor activities, we will ask you to read and sign a statement in which you assume the risk of the activity and release the OFNC from liability for any loss, damage or injury, however caused and whether or not contributed to by the OFNC’s negligence. This assumption of risk and release includes any minors accompanying you.

Monthly meetings

Our monthly meetings are be held on the second Tuesday of every month except July and August in the K.W. Neatby Building, Salon B, at 960 Carling Avenue. There is ample free parking in the lot on the west side of Maple Drive by Carling Ave., immediately to the east of the main entrance to the Neatby Building. Details below.

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Events oriented to all ages

Kids are welcome on all of our trips. We have highlighted particular hikes as "oriented to all ages" as these are most likely to be enjoyed by typical children. Depending on your child(ren)'s interests and stamina, please feel free to bring them along on any events. For events tailored to kids, check out the Macoun Field Club.

Saturday, 30 August, 8 a.m. to noon
Leader: Jon Ruddy
Meet: Lincoln Fields Shopping Centre, northeast corner of the parking lot, Richmond at Assaly Road near Pizza Pizza. Carpool to Britannia Conservation Area.

Early Fall bird-watching at Britannia Conservation Area and Shirley's Bay. This is a great time of year to observe a diversity of warbler species and other migrant passerines. We will start our morning off at Britannia Conservation Area and finish by looking for shorebirds along the mud flats at the Shirley's Bay Dyke. Bring along some water, a snack, and a spotting scope if you have one! The forecast is calling for rain that day so pack a raincoat just in case.

Saturday, 6 September, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Leader: Sophie Cardinal
Meet: Canada Agriculture and Food Museum (across from Fletcher Wildlife Garden)

Back by popular demand. This event is coordinated by the Entomological Society of Ontario and sponsored by OFNC and Canada Agriculture and Food Museum. Activities will include: a live insect zoo, guided insect nature walks, seminars on insects, cockroach races, kid's insect crafts, ask a bug expert, building insect collections, cooking with insects and more. This event will happen rain or shine.

Tuesday, 9 September, 7 p.m. OFNC monthly meeting
Speaker: Michael Runtz
Location: Salon B, K.W. Neatby Building, Central Experimental Farm, 960 Carling Avenue

Michael will present his new book on beavers of the world entitled, Dam Builders: The Natural History of Beavers and their Ponds. This will be followed by signing of copies.

OFNC monthly meetings are open to the public

Wednesday, 10 September, 8-11 a.m.
Leader: Heather Picard
Meet: Britannia Conservation Area on Cassels Road at the entrance to the trail that heads into Britannia Woods

This event is a guided bird walk for those new to birding. Finding birds is just the beginning. Next step... What is it? We will explore the Conservation Area at a leisurely pace and practice applying the Four Keys to Bird Identification to the birds we find. The Four Keys are: Size & Shape, Color Pattern, Habitat, and Behavior. The leader will touch on the basics of birding ethics, etiquette, bird taxonomy and our local birding hot spots. Britannia Conservation Area is known for excellent numbers and variety of birds. We can expect waterfowl, waders and many songbirds. Some trails are narrow and Poison Ivy is present so wear sturdy closed in shoes, long pants and bring binoculars.

This event will not run in rainy weather.

Saturday, 13 September, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Leader: Owen Clarkin

This hike will showcase the diverse woodland and wetland complex of Summerstown Forest near Cornwall. Woody plants will be emphasized, but this site will interest naturalists of all kinds. Extensive stands of Black Maple (Acer nigrum) are among the botanical highlights, along with significant associated mesic forest, clay lowland, and wetland plant communities.

Bring a lunch and drinking water, and dress for the weather as this is a rain or shine event.

Directions: from 401 - parking lot is at 45.102153,-74.60593, about 3 km north of Hwy 401 along County Road 27. Map location: http://goo.gl/maps/K3LWc

Directions from Ottawa - Take Hwy 417 East from Ottawa. Past Casselman, exit south at exit 58 and take Hwy 138 South. Hwy 138 will end at Cornwall Centre Road; take a right (West) on it and then after about 1 km take a left (South) onto Brookdale Ave, which immediately leads to Hwy 401. Take Hwy 401 East to county Road 27 (Summerstown Road) @ exit 804 of the 401. Turn left (north) onto county road 27, (NOT right, or South, toward the town of Summerstown) and proceed North for roughly 3km, until you see a sign on the left for Summerstown Forest, turn left at this sign to find the parking lot for Summerstown Forest.

Sunday, 14 September, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Leader: Arthur Goldsmith
Meet: 9:15 a.m. Lincoln Fields Shopping Centre, northeast corner of parking lot, Richmond Road at Assaly Road, near Pizza Pizza
10 a.m. at the Constance Bay Community Centre (262 Len Purcell Drive)

This hike is a collaborative outing open to both Macnamara Field-Naturalists' Club and OFNC members. Emphasis is on the plants and animals one is likely to find in this period, and what they are up to as the Equinox approaches. We will hike through some sandy areas looking for the fabulous native flora and insects of Constance Bay and also spend some time along the river birding. Bring a lunch and drinking water, and dress for the weather as this is a rain or shine event.

This excursion is part of the OFNC Conservation Committee's year-long Biothon to inventory the wildlife at Constance Bay.

Saturday, 20 September, 9:15 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Leader: Geof Burbidge
Meet: 9:15 a.m. Lincoln Fields Shopping Centre, northeast corner of parking lot, Richmond Road at Assaly Road, near Pizza Pizza
10 a.m. at the NCC Visitors' Centre parking lot, 33 Scott Road, corner of Old Chelsea Road and Scott Road, in Old Chelsea, QC

This is a trip for those who would like to try their hand at identifying some of the common minerals in the rocks in the Ottawa region, and perhaps work out some ideas about how they came to be there and why they look like they do.

Pack a lunch and two or three (no more) of your own mystery rocks or minerals and the group and leader will attempt, during lunch time, to help with identification. Hand lens, field guides, pocket knife, and notebooks could be of use, but are not required. Sturdy footwear is required. This is a rain or shine walk, so dress appropriately.

Sunday, 21 September, 8 a.m. to noon
*oriented to all ages*
Leader: Roy John
Meet: Lincoln Fields Shopping Centre, northeast corner of parking lot, Richmond Road at Assaly Road, near Pizza Pizza

One or more stops along the Ottawa River, depending on what has been sighted and where, to look for Fall migrants. This is a rain or shine walk, so dress for the weather. Bring binoculars, a spotting scope if you have one, a drink and a snack.

Saturday, 27 September, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Leaders: Paul Catling and Brenda Kostiuk
Meet: 9:15 a.m. Lincoln Fields Shopping Centre, northeast corner of parking lot, Richmond Road at Assaly Road, near Pizza Pizza
10 a.m. at the Constance Bay Community Centre (262 Len Purcell Drive)

Constance Bay once supported a vibrant pine-oak savanna ecosystem. Tree plantations introduced in the mid-1900's have largely replaced the native flora and fauna with a monoculture of pines. Despite this, small patches of native vegetation remain and within these, a remarkable insect fauna persists, including several rare and disjunct grasshopper species. Grasshoppers are one of the best indicators of ecosystem health and we will look at both the local plants and grasshoppers during this outing.

This excursion is part of the OFNC Conservation Committee's year-long Biothon to inventory the wildlife at Constance Bay.

Saturday October 4, 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Leader: Dr. Myron Smith
Meet: Pioneer Village (Trails End) Field Centre's Inn (3685 Wilhaven Drive, Ottawa) Prepare for 3 minute walk to the Village.

MacSkimming Outdoor Education Centre, on the way to Montreal via Hwy. 17 in Cumberland, is having its annual "Open Trails" open house event. It is the only day when the site is open for the public to explore these Ottawa-Carleton District School Board lands. OFNC members and the public are invited. We will begin with a 30-min presentation on mushrooms, split into groups to collect samples in the field, then regroup to identify them. If you have them, useful items to bring include: mushroom field guide, hand lens, field knife, small basket (like fruit basket), pencil and paper, brown paper sandwich bags. Bring a lunch, your curiosity and dress appropriately for the weather. This activity will occur rain or shine. The site is diverse, including a marsh by the Ottawa River, agricultural fields in series of successional stages, red maple swamps and mature mixed-forest. For more information, visit the MacSkimming website: www.ocdsboutdooreducationcentres.ca.

Tuesday, 14 October, 7 p.m. OFNC monthly meeting
Speaker: Mark Gawn
Location: Salon B, K.W. Neatby Building, Central Experimental Farm, 960 Carling Avenue

With a plethora of endemic bird families, superb scenery, and (let's be honest) great wine, Australia is a premier birding destination. Mark Gawn recently sampled its avian riches, finding more than 400 species in a month long birding quest ranging from the snow bound forests of Tasmania to the baking heat of the Top End. Join Mark as he meets an Albatross whisperer, slogs through ankle deep ice cold water is search of the enigmatic Ground Parrot, and marvels at the the diversity of Honeyeaters.

OFNC monthly meetings are open to the public

Saturday, 18 October, 9 a.m. to mid-afternoon

Leader: Stew Hamill
Meet: 09 at Lincoln Fields Shopping Centre, northeast corner of the parking lot near Pizza Pizza, Richmond Road at Assaly
at the Limerick Interpretive Centre (1175 Limerick Road) at 10. Contact Stew at 613-269-3415 or shamill@ripnet.com for more information.

Limerick Forest is a 5782-hectare community forest in eastern Ontario, owned and managed by the United Counties of Leeds and Grenville. Conifer plantations account for approximately one third of the total area of Limerick Forest. This is a result of the reforestation of abandoned farmland by the Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) via the Agreement Forest Program started in the early 1940's. The remainder of Limerick is comprised of wetlands and second growth mixed forest, in roughly equal proportions of one-third each.

The Friends of Limerick invite you to walk trails through plantation and swamp to two boardwalks overlooking marshes, looking for late summer wildflowers plus waterfowl and other birds. This 3.5-km hike will be followed by lunch and a visit to the Interpretive Centre. After lunch we can view the historic bird egg collection, containing 743 sets of eggs, some still in their original nests. Wear hiking gear, and bring lunch, water, field guides, and binoculars.

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This page was revised on 24 July 2014
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