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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. OFNC events are for members only. Prospective members interested in attending should contact the trip leader in advance. For some events, participation is limited and members will be given priority. Times given for events are departure times. Please arrive earlier, as 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.


HERBICIDES, BEETLES, AND THE DECLINE OF INSECTIVOROUS BIRDS
Speaker: Henry Goulet
Several people who attended this recent talk asked Henri if he could make the content available online. He has sent us the following documents:


Friday, May 12, 8:30-11 a.m.
BEGINNER BIRDING IN SPRING
Location: Mud Lake
Leader: Tamara Bloom
Meet: Mud Lake. The small parking lot on Cassels Road, just before the entrance to the water treatment plant. No. 16 bus goes to Cassels Road.

This will be an introductory guided walk for beginners to birding. Building on the four keys to bird identification (size and shape, colour pattern, habitat and behaviour) you will also be encouraged to tune in to the sounds of the natural world around us. Come out and learn about bird song as well as tricksters like red squirrels, cicadas and tree frogs. We will tour the area around Mud Lake focusing on land birds, both year-round residents and early migrants. Bring a snack, beverage, notebook and binoculars if possible. Open your eyes and ears to a whole new world but beware - you may get bitten by the birding bug! Outing will be postponed in the event of rain.


Rescheduled

Saturday, May 13, 7:30 a.m. to noonish
BIRDING FOR BEGINNERS
Leader: Rachelle Lapensée
Meet: 7:30 a.m. at Mer Bleue Bog parking lot. Drive down Anderson Road and head east on Ridge Road. Drive to the end of the road to meet up with the group in the parking lot entrance to the bog. Carpool Meetup: A carpool location will be organized as the need arises. Please make sure to let Rachelle know if you will need a ride or if you would prefer to carpool, so arrangements can be made in advance.

New to birding? Need to sharpen your skills? Bring your binoculars, a trail snack and your favorite field guide, and join Rachelle in Mer Bleue Bog to gain some guided birding experience!

Registration required: This outing is limited to 20 participants. Participants must be OFNC members. Please register with Rachelle.

Please keep an eye on your e-mails as the day for the event gets closer. Rachelle will send out a group e-mail confirming details and arrangements.


Sunday, May 14, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
SPRING EPHEMERALS AT MACSKIMMING
Leaders: Bryarly McEachern and Amber Westfall
Meet: 10 a.m. at Tim Horton's, 1239 Donald Street at St Laurent Blvd, Ottawa or
10:30 at MacSkimming Forest Edge Field Centre, 3640 Highway 174 (south side)

Soon after the snow melts and before the trees leaf out, something magical happens in Ontario's woodlands. Spring ephemerals are as fleeting as the season they grow in, gently unfurling from cool, moist soil, carpeting the forest floor, and then quickly going to bloom before vanishing again until the next year. Join Bryarly McEachern and Amber Westfall for a walk at MacSkimming Forest to seek, admire, and learn about spring ephemerals. Bring a wildflower guide (e.g. Newcomb's), notebook and hand lens, if you like. We plan to have lunch in the forest, so feel free to bring your lunch along. Dress appropriately for the weather. This jaunt will run sun or sprinkle, but will be cancelled in the event of heavy rain.


CANCELLED because of poor weather conditions; to be rescheduled in June

Sunday, May 14, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
AMPHIBIANS AND REPTILES OF MORRIS ISLAND
Leaders: David and Carolyn Seburn
Meet: 10 a.m. at Lincoln Fields Shopping Centre (northeast corner of parking lot, Richmond Road at Assaly Road, near Pizza Pizza) or 11 a.m. at the parking lot for Morris Island Conservation Area

Join David and Carolyn to learn more about our native amphibians and reptiles. We will search for frogs, salamanders, snakes, and turtles around wetlands and in the woods as well as looking for other wildlife. Kids are definitely welcome. Bring binoculars if you have them and pack a lunch. There are washrooms near the parking area of the conservation area. The trip will be cancelled if it is a rainy day. If you are uncertain if the trip will go ahead call David and Carolyn at (613) 820-9125 between 9 and 9:30 a.m. the day of the trip.


Saturday, May 20, 6:30 a.m. to early afternoon
BIRDING IN GATINEAU PARK'S PARKWAY SECTOR
Leader: Justin Peter (jbpetr[at]yahoo.ca or 613-858-3744) with Sophie Roy
Meet: 6:30 a.m. at Lincoln Fields Shopping Centre (northeast corner of parking lot, Richmond Road at Assaly Road, near Pizza Pizza) or 7 a.m. at P8 parking lot in Gatineau Park

We'll explore a number of Gatineau Park's diverse habitats by foot, traveling between each by vehicle as we gradually make our way up towards the Eardley Escarpment overlooking the Ottawa Valley. Along the way, we'll look and listen for birds just returning to or already set up in the breeding haunts such as beaver ponds, meadows, alder and willow thickets, and hardwood forest. Birds may include various warblers, sparrows, woodpeckers, vireos, thrushes, waterfowl, waders and more. We'll be in prime habitat for Indigo Bunting and Scarlet Tanager too and we'll also look at anything else of interest! Binoculars, a drink and a mid-morning snack are recommended. There will likely be some elevation change so wear sturdy footwear. You may also need a hat and bug spray.


Saturday, May 20, 8:30 a.m. to noon
EXPLORING FOR SPRING EPHEMERALS, FLOWERING SHRUBS AND BIRDS IN THE WESTERN GREENBELT
Leader: Greg Lutick
Meet: NCC Parking Lot 3 (near the intersection of Corkstown Road and the Trans-Canada Trail, between Wesley Clover Park and The Wesley Clover Campground)

Come and explore the Greenbelt trails between Corkstown Road and Timm Road. We will be looking primarily at early flowering plants but take in the general natural history of the area. The area has an interesting mix of habitats and should exhibit a wide variety of plant and bird species. I expect we will be able to observe a wide variety of species rather than massive displays of ephemerals. The walk will be approximately 5 km long and done at a leisurely pace. Come prepared for walking on easy to slightly rough trails. There will probably be a couple wet areas to traverse so bring either waterproof footwear or shoes you don't mind getting wet. Blackflies and or mosquitoes and/or ticks may be present so dress accordingly and/or bring repellent. If the weather on Saturday is raining the trip will be postponed to Sunday, May 21, same place and time. Contact Greg at 613-818-9946 or gjlutick[at]gmail.com if more info is required.


Sunday, May 21, 8 a.m. to noon
*Oriented to all ages*
DUCKS AND GULLS ALONG THE RIVER
Leader: Roy John
Meet: Lincoln Fields Shopping Centre (northeast corner of parking lot, Richmond Road at Assaly Road, near Pizza Pizza)

We will likely check Mud Lake, Shirley's Bay and the wetlands behind Nortel (depending the latest bird reports). At this date there should be several species of warbler, flycatchers ducks and gulls. If we are very lucky Arctic Tern, Marsh and Sedge Wren are possible. Snakes and turtles (three species) are usually visible. This is a rain or shine walk, so dress for the weather. Bring binoculars, a scope if you have one, a drink and a snack.


Sunday, May 28, 6-11:30 a.m.
BIRDING BY EAR IN LAROSE FOREST
Leader: John Cartwright (613) 789-6714
Meet: 6 a.m. at the Kelsey's in the Elmvale Acres Mall at the SW corner of St. Laurent and Smythe for carpooling. Those living closer to Limoges can meet us at 7 a.m. at the cemetery just south of Clarence-Cambridge Road on Grant Road.

We will likely spend about four hours in the Larose Forest, listening to and observing songbirds. Bring binoculars, a snack, a drink, and plenty of mosquito repellent. There will be a variety of biting critters in the forest at this time of year. This trip will be cancelled in the event of continuous rain.


Friday, June 2, 8:30 p.m. to midnight
MOTHING AT NIGHT IN LAROSE FOREST
Leaders: Diane Lepage and Suzanne Deschenes
Meet: 8 p.m. at McDonald's parking lot, 1890 Chemin Innes Rd, Gloucester. We will drive for 30-35 minutes to the forest. Participants needing a ride should call Diane.

Come to Larose Forest to discover the nightlife of moths. Black lights will be set-up, and then we will wait as the various moths come to the white sheet set up to attract them. We should see silkworm moths. Bring a flashlight, bug repellent, good footwear and a camera. (A camera is optional, but good footwear is essential. Seriously, wear sturdy closed-toe shoes or boots.) This trip depends on the weather. Should the temperature drop below 16 °C or in the event of rain, the outing will be cancelled.

Registration required: This outing is limited to 20 participants. Participants must be OFNC members. Please register with Diane at (613) 987-5405 or send an e-mail.


Rescheduled

Saturday, June 3, 9:30-11:30 a.m.
BREWER PARK POND AND MEADOW LIFE - A JOINT EVENT WITH THE MACOUN FIELD CLUB
Location: Brewer Pond, Old Ottawa South
Leaders: Hume Douglas, Holly Bickerton, Rob Lee, and the Macoun Field Club
Meet: Northwest side of Brewer Pond at 9:30, but arriving later is fine. Parking is available off of Brewer Way behind the baseball diamonds. The pond is 100 m south of the parking lot on the other side of a treed embankment. Cancelled in the event of steady rain. Map link: http://g.co/maps/gzqnw

The Brewer Pond restoration is complete... so let's reboot the Pond Stomp. Come muck about at the edge of Brewer Pond: frogs, turtles, fish, insects, plants and birds are there to find. Bring rubber boots and a net and pail if you have them. Naturalists will be there to discuss what you find. The event is very child friendly but the pond is deep (with mostly gradual shorelines); children should be closely supervised by the adults who bring them, and life jackets are recommended. The pond is part of an off-leash area for dogs, but is generally less busy than near the river and pathways. Cancelled in the event of steady rain.


Saturday, June 3, 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
FLETCHER WILDLIFE GARDEN ANNUAL NATIVE PLANT SALE
Location: Fletcher Wildlife Garden Interpretive Centre Parking is free - Volunteers will be on hand to show you where to park.

Help pollinators and butterflies, and attract birds to your backyard. We'll show you which native plant species are favourites with wildlife at the FWG and which species will do well in your growing conditions. We have milkweeds for monarchs, asters to suit any garden location, goldenrods, blue-eyed grass, bergamot, beardtongue, a few native grass species, and hundreds of other species from our own garden. Watch the FWG website for a list of species for sale later this spring.

Beaux Arbres Nursery and Twigs Nursery will also be participating in our sale this year.


Sunday, June 4, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
URBAN GEOLOGY
Leader: Geof Burbidge, MSc (Geology)
Meet: East side of the Supreme Court of Canada building. From Wellington St., turn north onto Kent St. There is a parking area north of Vittoria on the east side of the court building.

There are a surprising number of different kinds of very interesting and very beautiful kinds of building and decorative stone used in buildings in downtown Ottawa. We will take a few hours to circle on foot from the Supreme Court to Ottawa City Hall and back, taking a virtual tour of the world's quarries in the process. Igneous, Sedimentary, or Metamorphic? We'll see them all, and try to figure out why and how they were used. We will try to enjoy our picnic lunches on bedrock from somewhere exotic. Hand lenses useful.


Saturday, June 10, 5 p.m. to Sunday June 11, 5 p.m.
NATIONAL CAPITAL BIOBLITZ
Leaders: Various experts and naturalists from the Friends of Gatineau Park, Canadian Museum of Nature, Canadian Wildlife Federation, National Capital Commission, Nature Canada, Parks Canada, and (of course) the OFNC.
Location: Gatineau Park Visitor Centre, 33 Scott Road, Chelsea, Que., or specified locations in upcoming schedule

Experience the amazing natural diversity of Gatineau Park firsthand by participating in species inventory and identification activities led by local experts. From frogs to nocturnal insects, freshwater clams to early morning birds, lichens to spiders, you will discover many new facets of the Park. In addition, our Citizen Science Fair will provide opportunities to find out how you can get involved in ecological monitoring and stewardship projects in Gatineau Park and beyond; and will also feature fun activities for the whole family. A Canada 150 Signature Project: this bioblitz is one of 35 that will be taking place across Canada this spring and summer. For more information, email info@amisduparcdelagatineau.com or visit Friends of Gatineau Park and BioBlitz Canada 150


Le samedi 10 juin 17h00 au dimanche 11 juin 17h00
BIOBLITZ DE LA CAPITALE NATIONALE
Guides : Divers experts et naturalistes des Amis du parc de la Gatineau, du Musée canadien de la nature, de la Fédération canadienne de la faune, de la Commission de la capitale nationale, de Nature Canada, de Parcs Canada et (bien sûr) du Club des naturalistes d'Ottawa
Lieu : le Centre des visiteurs, Parc de la Gatineau, 33, chemin Scott, Chelsea, Québec ou aux points de rencontre indiqués dans l'horaire qui sera publié avant le bioblitz

Venez explorer l'incroyable diversité naturelle du parc de la Gatineau en participant à des activités d'inventaire et d'identification d'espèces et ce animées par des experts de la région. Des grenouilles aux insectes nocturnes, des mollusques d'eau douce aux oiseaux lève-tôt, des lichens aux araignées, vous découvrirez de nombreuses nouvelles facettes du Parc. De plus, notre Foire de science citoyenne vous permettra d'en apprendre davantage au sujet d'occasions pour vous de participer à des projets de surveillance écologique et d'intendance environnementale dans le parc de la Gatineau et dans la région environnante, et inclura aussi des activités en nature pour toute la famille. Un projet Signature Canada 150 : ce bioblitz fait partie d'une série de 35 bioblitz qui auront lieu partout au Canada ce printemps et cet été. Pour plus de renseignements, envoyez un courriel à info@amisduparcdelagatineau.com ou visitez les sites Web: Amis du parc de la gatineau et BioBlitz Canada 150


Sunday, June 11, 9 a.m. to noon (also July 30 and August 20)
BIRDING FOR BEGINNERS
Leader: Dave Moore
Location: Fletcher Wildlife Garden Interpretive Centre

Join Dave Moore for an introduction to birding. We will meet at the Fletcher Wildlife Garden visitor centre at 9 a.m. for a brief look at books and equipment, and then head out into the various gardens of the FWG to see what we can see. A good number of species have been recorded here - 150 species in all - and with any luck we should see some of them.

The walk will go on, light rain or shine - but not during a downpour. Contact Dave the day before if you're not sure. Bring binoculars if you have them, but not your dog please. Water and a light snack as well.


Tuesday, 13 June, 7 p.m. social; 7:30 p.m. presentation

MEET THE NORTH: LIFE IN THE ARCTIC
Speaker: Jenny Kingsley
Location: Salon B, K.W. Neatby Building, Central Experimental Farm, 960 Carling Avenue

Join journalist Jennifer Kingsley for Meet the North: Life in the Arctic, one introduction at a time. For the last two years, Jennifer has been traveling in search of the un-Googleable Arctic, a journey based on listening and spontaneous introductions that has spanned five Arctic nations. In this presentation - complete with a soundtrack - you will get beyond headlines dominated by climate change, sovereignty, and resource development to meet some of the four million people who call the Arctic home. Learn about the Arctic landscape (Norway, Iceland, Greenland, Nunavut, and Alaska) through the stories of its people. Jennifer's project, Meet the North, builds cultural understanding through storytelling and is supported by the Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic partnership.

Monthly meetings are open to the general public.


Saturday, June 17, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
FLORA OF THE WHITE LAKE FEN
Leader: Eden Bromfield
Meet: 10 a.m. at the intersection of Dugald Road and Bayview Lodge Road in White Lake

Join Eden Bromfield to record and photograph the diverse flora of the fascinating floating fen at White Lake, including multiple species of orchids and carnivorous plants. The hike to the site will be less than 300 m, but is a trek through swampy woods. Hip waders or a good pair of sneakers and quick dry long pants are recommended - participants will get wet. Bring a good packed lunch, plenty of water and insect repellent/head net (to protect against mosquitos in the fen). Registration required: This outing is limited to 6 participants. Participants must be OFNC members. Please register with Jakob Mueller.


Sunday, June 18, 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.
DRAGONFLIES AND HERPS OF MARLBOROUGH FOREST
Leaders: Gillian Mastromatteo and Jakob Mueller
Meet: Parking Lot for the Cedar Grove Nature Trail on Roger Stevens Drive. Of the Marlborough Forest parking lots, this is E3, about halfway between Malakoff Road and Dwyer Hill Road. The parking lot is not very large, so carpooling is encouraged. If you need a ride, contact Jakob.

Marlborough Forest is the largest protected area within Ottawa's municipal boundaries. This makes it an excellent place to find a diversity of species - this hike will focus on dragonflies, damselflies, reptiles, and amphibians. Common species include Spiny and Beaverpond Baskettails, as well as three whiteface species among the dragonflies, and Northern Water Snake, Eastern Garter Snake, and numerous frogs among the herps. Local specialties we might see are Ebony Boghaunter, Brush-tipped Emerald, Harlequin Darner, Mink Frog, and the elusive Smooth Green Snake.

Participants should bring water, binoculars, sunscreen, lunch, snacks, good hiking shoes or boots, and an insect net if you have one. Given the presence of biting insects, brambles, poison ivy, and similar things, long pants are recommended. If you choose to wear insect repellent, please refrain from catching any insects or handling any herps. Registration: Please register for this event with Jakob Mueller or at (613) 314-1495.


Saturday, July 8, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
(rain date Sunday July 9)
*Especially Kid Friendly*
SIXTEENTH ANNUAL OTTAWA AREA BUTTERFLY COUNT
Leaders: Jeff Skevington and Peter Hall
Meet: in the parking lot at the intersection of Dwyer Hill Road and March Road (NE of Almonte).

Call Jeff Skevington Friday evening at (613) 720-2862 if in doubt about the weather or for specific questions regarding this event. Similar to Christmas Bird Counts, this event is an all-day survey in a 24 km diameter circle. The count area is centred on Manion Corners (SW of Ottawa) and includes several important butterfly areas such as the Long Swamp and the Burnt Lands alvar. No experience is necessary - we will put teams together on site and match up people so that everyone has a chance to learn from the experts. If you have binoculars and a butterfly net, please bring them along. Butterflies may be captured for identification and release. Rubber boots are recommended, as some of the sites have a lot of poison ivy. It is an all-day event so bring your lunch.

We plan to meet at 6 p.m. after the count for a compilation and potluck dinner at the Allisons' home at 561 Wolf Grove Road, about 2.6 km west of Almonte. Please bring along some food to share plus your own drinks. We hope that everyone can make it to the compilation, as it will be a lot of fun; however, if you can't, we will get your data in the afternoon before you leave. OFNC has generously offered to pay the count fees for participants to support publication of the data.


Sunday, July 30, 9 a.m. to noon
BIRDING FOR BEGINNERS
Leader: Dave Moore
Location: Fletcher Wildlife Garden Interpretive Centre

Join Dave Moore for an introduction to birding. We will meet at the Fletcher Wildlife Garden visitor centre at 9 a.m. for a brief look at books and equipment, and then head out into the various gardens of the FWG to see what we can see. A good number of species have been recorded here - 150 species in all - and with any luck we should see some of them.

The walk will go on, light rain or shine - but not during a downpour. Contact Dave the day before if you're not sure. Bring binoculars if you have them, but not your dog please. Water and a light snack as well.


Sunday, August 20, 9 a.m. to noon
BIRDING FOR BEGINNERS
Leader: Dave Moore
Location: Fletcher Wildlife Garden Interpretive Centre

Join Dave Moore for an introduction to birding. We will meet at the Fletcher Wildlife Garden visitor centre at 9 a.m. for a brief look at books and equipment, and then head out into the various gardens of the FWG to see what we can see. A good number of species have been recorded here - 150 species in all - and with any luck we should see some of them.

The walk will go on, light rain or shine - but not during a downpour. Contact Dave the day before if you're not sure. Bring binoculars if you have them, but not your dog please. Water and a light snack as well.

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This page was revised on 15 May 2017
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