|The Ottawa Field-Naturalists' Club|
Check out the web site of the Mississippi Valley Field Naturalists for more local events.
The OFNC's Lectures and Excursions 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.
Field trips to natural areas in our region and beyond take place all year round. These events are for OFNC members and guests of members, unless the notice indicates that participation is limited or that bus travel is involved. In these cases, OFNC members will have priority and guests may participate only if space permits. Guests should be aware that, in all cases, OFNC liability insurance applies to OFNC members only.
Car pooling on excusions is very much encouraged and that is why we usually try to meet at a convenient bus stop with a good place to leave a car unattended for a few hours. Please chip in for gas.
Friday, May 17, 6
Geared to children, but not restricted to any age group, this is an introduction to angling from a naturalist's perspective. You will learn some basics of watching, catching and handling 2-3 species of small fish, and a little about their biology. Bring a fishing rod if you have one: there will be some extras for those who don't. There is a low fence at the water's edge, but children should be accompanied by an adult and weak swimmers should wear a life jacket. The park allows on-leash dogs before 4 pm, however these should be gone by 6 pm. We will be there even if it rains. You might like to bring a sandwich and make it a picnic supper. If you plan to attend please email humedglFISHgmail.com (replacing "FISH" with "@"). Numbers of participants may be capped.
Saturday, May 18, 8
Join Dave Moore for an introduction to nature in one of our most diverse natural areas. Birds, spring flowers, plants, mammals and insects! Limited to 12 people. Information and registration: 613 729-9330; email@example.com Inclement weather will cancel this trip, so you should register so we can notify you of this.
Wednesday, May 22, 8 a.m.
The fields to the south of the Airport offer one of the most diverse populations of Sparrows in the area. We could expect to see Song, Savannah, Field, Chipping, Grasshopper, Vesper, Clay-Colored, and possibly White-throated and Swamp Sparrows on this walk. Other possibilities include Indigo Buntings, Common Yellowthroat, Yellow Warbler, Mourning Warbler, Pine Warbler, Bobolinks, Eastern Meadowlark, Tree Swallow, and Black-Billed Cuckoo. There is also an important Bluebird trail in this area. Please note: there are no bathroom facilities on this walk.
Saturday, June 1, noon to Sunday, June 2, 2 p.m.
Come to a Kazabazua for a rare chance to explore some high quality sandy habitats. The 350 acre Domaine Solisterra includes some of the best remnants of the Kazabazua sandplain habitats: herbaceous dunes (plants include Kalmia on dry sand and Calystegia spithamaea), jack pine forest, burned jack pine forest, mixed forest, moist spruce forest and two private sandy lakes (one with fen vegetation and old forest). This area is ideal for birding, insects, botany and more with the possibility of new regional discoveries. Accommodations are in one or two fully-equipped, high-quality, multi-room straw-bale cottages (privacy in rooms, but singles get a roommate). Cost is $90 per couple or $55 person per person (50% refundable up to 3 weeks before the event), payable directly to Solisterra via phone ((819) 208-6086 or (819) 208-6081)). Biting flies, especially blackflies will be active. Please book with Solisterra early to ensure your place and also notify OFNC with an email to humedglSANDgmail.com (replacing "SAND" with "@"). Bring your own food, and with the idea that dinner may be somewhat potluck.
Sunday, 2 June, 8 to
We likely will 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.
Sunday, 9 June, 1
This is the best time of year to identify spiders because males are in their reproductive glory. Quebec has 33 families of spiders, of which we will learn about 8-10 of the easiest, capturing them by sweep-netting the vegetation and checking under rocks. We'll find jumping spiders, crab spiders, wolf spiders, and, if lucky, a 6-inch fishing spider that preys on minnows. Raymond Hutchinson has been collecting and identifying spiders for decades, and there are not many experts on this fascinating group. If you can, bring an insect net, rubbing alcohol (70% isopropyl), and collecting vials. Rain or shine.
Saturday, 15 June, 7 a.m.
We will explore a number of areas 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 breeding birds in a variety of habitats, including beaver ponds, meadows, alder and willow thickets, and hardwood forest. We should expect a variety of warblers, vireos, sparrows, flycatchers and more. There is a possibility of observing Indigo Bunting and Scarlet Tanager, as well as both cuckoo species. And who knows what else we might find? 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, June 15 (rain date June 22), 8 p.m.
Discover the amazing night life of moths which come to black lights from dusk to dawn in the Larose Forest. We will set up sheets and battery-powered lights and then wait for the fun to begin. It is the time of the year when the big Silkworms come out. Bring a flashlight, bug repellent and a camera (the latter optional). A lawn chair will be useful. NOTES: This event is limited to 20 participants. The trip will depend on the weather. Should the temperature be below 16 degrees or in the event of rain, the trip will be cancelled. The rain date is 22 June 2013.
Saturday, 29 June,
1 p.m. (cancelled if weather is inclement)
The location for this event will be posted on the OFNC website and facebook page closer to the date once Rick knows where all of the hot spots are this year. Tips on identification of various species will be provided along the way. Bring your favourite field guide, binoculars, insect repellent, sunscreen, a snack and water.
Saturday, 13 July (rain date Sunday 14 July), 8:30 a.m.
The North American Butterfly Association has coordinated butterfly counts following the same format as Christmas Bird Counts (CBCs) for many years. These counts are published as part of an ongoing program of NABA to census the butterflies of North America (more information). Volunteer participants focus on a 24 km diameter circle and conduct a one-day census of all butterflies sighted within that circle. As with CBCs, there is a $4 charge to participants to support the publication of the results (not obligatory, but encouraged). This is the seventh year that OFNC will sponsor a count (and the 13th year that this count will have been conducted). The count area will be centred at Manion Corners (SW of Ottawa), a site used as a former non-OFNC count circle. It includes several important butterfly areas such as the Long Swamp and the Burnt Lands alvar. It is an all-day event so bring your lunch. 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. Rubber boots are recommended, as some of the sites have a lot of poison ivy.
We plan to meet at the Fletcher Wildlife Garden at 5:30 p.m. after the count for a compilation and potluck dinner. Please bring along some food to share plus your own drinks. We will have a collection of butterflies along to help people figure out what they saw and learn a bit more about these amazing creatures. We hope that everyone can make it to the compilation, as it will be a lot of fun; however, if you can't make it, we will get your data in the afternoon before you leave.