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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.


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 9, 10 am to noon
PINHEY SAND DUNE TOUR
Leader: Dr. Henri Goulet
Meet: Park at the corner of Vaan and Pineland, east of Woodroffe.

The Pinhey Sand Dune is Ottawa's only remaining and intact sand dune, and the Pinhey Sand Dunes Restoration Project has been underway for several years now to rehabilitate it. The dune is home to a number of rare insects, including the Ghost Tiger Beetle, and unusual plants can be found in the vicinity as well. Come out and see if you can spot a Giant Robber Fly or a Velvet Ant.


Sunday, July 16, 9 am to 1 pm
EXPLORE THE LUSK CAVES
Leader: Derek Dunnett
Meet: Parent Beach Parking in the Lac Phillipe sector of Gatineau Park, reachable via Highway 366. Park fees apply.

Serenaded by a series of unseen wrens, hike the sometimes muddy trail through a beautiful forest. At the caves go through in small group. Passing through the thigh-deep water of the first cave will satisfy many adventurers. The second--optional--cave requires brave spelunkers to immerse themselves in water. More info on the caves and some maps.

The hike will run rain or shine. Bring water, a snack, sunscreen, insect repellent, closed-toed footwear you can get wet, and a change of footwear for the trip back. Lights, headlamps, and towels may contribute to your comfort. The kind of children who enjoy long hikes and who bring their guardians will enjoy the experience.


Sunday, July 30, 9 a.m. to noon (also 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.

Info sheets: INFO FOR BEGINNERS | ABOUT BINOCULARS

Birds seen during this event on 11 June:

FamilySpecies
DUCKS, GEESE, AND WATERFOWLMallard - pair in pond
Black Duck
CORMORANTS AND SHAGSDouble-crested Cormorant - flew over before walk
HAWKS, EAGLES, AND KITESRed-tailed Hawk
GULLS, TERNS, AND SKIMMERSRing-billed Gull
PIGEONS AND DOVESMourning Dove - at backyard feeder before walk
WOODPECKERSDowny Woodpecker
VIREOS, SHRIKE-BABBLERS, ERPORNISWarbling Vireo
CROWS, JAYS, AND MAGPIESAmerican Crow
Common Raven
SWALLOWSTree Swallow
TITS, CHICKADEES, AND TITMICEBlack-capped Chickadee
NUTHATCHESWhite-breasted Nuthatch
THRUSHES AND ALLIESAmerican Robin
STARLINGSEuropean Starling
WAXWINGSCedar Waxwing
NEW WORLD WARBLERSCommon Yellowthroat
American Redstart
Yellow Warbler
BUNTINGS AND NEW WORLD SPARROWSSong Sparrow
CARDINALS AND ALLIESNorthern Cardinal
Indigo Bunting
TROUPIALS AND ALLIESRed-winged Blackbird
Common Grackle
Brown-headed Cowbird
FINCHES, EUPHONIAS, AND ALLIESHouse Finch
American Goldfinch - flew over before walk

Saturday, August 12, 7 am (all day)
SHAW WOODS
Leader: Jakob Mueller
Meet: 7 am at Lincoln Fields Shopping Centre (northeast corner of parking lot, Richmond Road at Assaly Road, near Pizza Pizza)

Shaw Woods is one of eastern Canada's premier examples of an old growth maple/beech/hemlock forest, carefully protected for generations. Hikes will cover some moderately rugged ground, with numerous observation stops; it should not be overly strenuous for most active people. People may also choose a shorter trail, or just sit at the lookout and watch the eagles. Admission and parking on site are free. Visitor Guides that describe various trails can be purchased on site for $2 each or printed for free from www.shawwoods.ca or from Shaw Woods Facebook. Shaw Woods is a volunteer run, not-for-profit, charitable organization. Visitors are invited to make a small donation toward Shaw Woods Outdoor Education Centre for guided educational outings. Pack a lunch and everything you need for a full day; we will probably be back in Ottawa around 5:30 pm.

Registration: Please register for this event with Jakob Mueller by emailing jm890_7[at]hotmail.com or calling (613) 314-1495.


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.


Saturday, September 9, 9 am to 4 pm
BUG DAY!
Leader: Sophie Cardinal
Location: Salons A and B of the K.W. Neatby Building, Central Experimental Farm, 960 Carling Avenue

Bug Day is coordinated by the Entomological Society of Ontario in partnership with OFNC and AAFC. Visitors are invited to learn all about the fascinating world of insects, from expert entomologists on hand. 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 in conjunction with the Central Experimental Farm Research Open House.


Tuesday, September 12, 7 p.m. social; 7:30 p.m. presentation

THE 100-MILE GARDEN: MOVING BEYOND THE PURPLE CONEFLOWER
Speaker: Grant Dobson
Location: Salon B, K.W. Neatby Building, Central Experimental Farm, 960 Carling Avenue

Grant's presentation will inspire you to create your own garden of "Ottawa Valley Native Plants" and cover topics including the benefits of gardening with native species and the planning, design, plant selection and cultural requirements to ensure a successful outcome.

Monthly meetings are open to the general public.


Tuesday, October 10, 7 p.m. social; 7:30 p.m. presentation

MY "TRAMP" WITH DR. VAN: A JOURNEY OF DISCOVERY WITH OTTAWA'S PIONEER NATURALIST
Speaker: Randy Boswell
Location: Salon B, K.W. Neatby Building, Central Experimental Farm, 960 Carling Avenue

Dr. Edward Van Cortlandt was a 19th-century physician best known to Ottawa history as a hard-working, eccentric medical man with a peculiar interest in collecting objects for his widely admired "cabinet of curiosities". All true, but there is much more. At a time when Victorian science was coalescing into a vital nation-building force in Canadian society, Van Cortlandt's diverse and energetic explorations in the broadly defined realm of "natural history "- from geology and archaeology to botany and zoology - helped shape the intellectual culture of a new country and its burgeoning, backwoods capital. Recent research into Van Cortlandt's activities has shed fresh light on his significant contributions to Canadian environmental history, including the formative phase of what became the Ottawa Field-Naturalists' Club.

Monthly meetings are open to the general public.

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© Ottawa Field-Naturalists' Club
This page was revised on 18 June 2017
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