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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, 13 September, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
SUMMERSTOWN FOREST HIKE
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.
TRANSITIONS FROM SUMMER TO FALL - PLANTS AND ANIMALS OF CONSTANCE BAY
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
OR
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.
GEOLOGY FOR THE VERY BEGINNER
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
OR
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*
DUCKS AND GULLS ALONG THE OTTAWA RIVER
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.
GRASSHOPPERS OF CONSTANCE BAY
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
OR
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.
MUSHROOMS OF MACSKIMMING
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.


Saturday, 11 October, 9:15 or 10 a.m. (depending on meeting place) to 2 p.m.
RAMBLE AT REVELER CONSERVATION AREA
Leader: Owen Clarkin
Meet: 9:15 a.m. at Lincoln Fields Shopping Centre, northeast corner of parking lot, Richmond Road at Assaly Road, near Pizza Pizza. or
Meet: 10 a.m. at Reveler Conservation Area parking lot at the corner of Reveler Road and Concession 10-11 Road

The Reveler Conservation Area near Crysler is like an oasis in the modern agricultural landscape. Recently donated for protection by the Reveler family, it is a property rich in flora and fauna. The site is diverse, with dry rocky uplands, meadows, rich forests, and moist lowlands all in close proximity on limestone bedrock. Techniques for recognizing locally abundant woody plants will be shared. Robust populations of Butternut, Black Maple, Slippery Elm, Rock Elm, are among the highlights. All three native Ash are present, with no noticeable Emerald Ash Borer impact (yet).

Hand lens, binoculars, field guides and notebooks could be of use, but are not required.

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


Sunday, 12 October, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
WILD GOOSE CHASE IN WEST END
Leader: Richard Waters
Meet: Lincoln Fields Shopping Centre, northeast corner of parking lot, Richmond Road at Assaly Road, near Pizza Pizza.

Let's try to repeat the six-goose day we had back on Oct 12th 2009! Of course we shall have a look for anything else of interest along the way. Dress and stock up for the weather. Bring a lunch or snack, binoculars and a scope, if you have one.

This is a rain or shine outing.


Tuesday, 14 October, 7 p.m. OFNC monthly meeting
AUSTRALIA: BIRDING THE LAND DOWN UNDER
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 in 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
GENERAL INTEREST WALK - LIMERICK FOREST
Leader: Stew Hamill
Meet: 9 a.m. at Lincoln Fields Shopping Centre, northeast corner of the parking lot near Pizza Pizza, Richmond Road at Assaly
OR
at the Limerick Interpretive Centre (1175 Limerick Road) at 10 a.m. 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.


Saturday, 25 October, 7-9 p.m.
WILDLIFE IN SRI LANKA - A COLLECTION OF SHORT VIDEOS
Presenter: Jeewa Mendis
Location: Fletcher Wildlife Garden Interpretation Centre, off Prince of Wales Drive

Jeewa is a gifted field-naturalist with an amazing amount of patience and a wonderful eye for spotting unusual subjects and capturing them on camera. She will make a brief presentation on the wildlife of Sri Lanka and then show the videos and photos she took while visiting Sri Lanka last winter. Light refreshments will be served.


Saturday, 1 November, 8:30 a.m. to noon
FALL BIRDING
Leader: Jon Ruddy
Meet: Lincoln Fields Shopping Centre, northeast corner of the parking lot, Richmond at Assaly Road near Pizza Pizza. Carpool to wherever the finches are in the west part of Ottawa.

Let's head out for some fall fun! The focus will be on raptors and waterfowl. Early November, though often chilly, is a great time to get out and experience some of the fascinating and beautiful migrants that one can see throughout Ottawa. Depending on conditions and up-to-date reports, we will aim to observe waterfowl such as Loons, Scoters, Goldeneyes, Richardson's Cackling Goose, maybe even a Greater White-fronted Goose or two; and hawks and eagles such as Rough-legged Hawks, Northern Red-tailed Hawks, Bald Eagle, and maybe even a Golden Eagle. As always, we'll keep our field ears on and listen for fly-over finches and our eyes migrant and local passerines. Dress for the weather, bring a snack, a warm drink, binoculars and a scope, if you have one.


Sunday, 2 November, 1-4 p.m.
INSECT WORKSHOP
Presenter: Fenja Brodo (613-723-2054)
Location: Fletcher Wildlife Garden Interpretation Centre

This will be an introduction to basic entomology with the focus on distinguishing the main orders of insects (Orthoptera, Ephemeroptera, Diptera, Coleoptera, Lepidoptera, etc.). Microscopes, books, keys, and real specimens will help participants see and appreciate the beauty and the intricacy of insect structures that set the different groups apart. We need to limit this workshop to 12 people, so please register with Fenja if you plan to attend.


Tuesday, 11 November, 7 p.m. OFNC monthly meeting
NCC CONSERVATION PLAN FOR THE OTTAWA VALLEY
Speaker: Gary Bell
Location: Salon B, K.W. Neatby Building, Central Experimental Farm, 960 Carling Avenue

In the fall of 2013, the Nature Conservancy of Canada completed a Natural Area Conservation Plan (NACP) for the Ottawa Valley, in collaboration with a number of partners including the City of Ottawa, the National Capital Commission, and the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources. This plan is a focused, regional analysis of conservation priorities and opportunities, and identifies a number of priority conservation projects over the next five years. Gary will outline the Conservancy's approach to conservation planning for the Ottawa Valley, and review some priority projects and actions in our area, some of which have been supported by the OFNC. These projects include land securement projects throughout the Ottawa Valley, from Petawawa to Hawkesbury. Of particular interest are the Gervais Caves in the Whitewater District, the Plantagenet Caves near Alfred, and recent additions to the Alfred Bog.

OFNC monthly meetings are open to the public


Tuesday, 9 December, 7 p.m. OFNC monthly meeting
BABINA: BEING A BIRD IN NORTH AMERICA, NORTH OF MEXICO
Speaker: Robert Alvo
Location: Salon B, K.W. Neatby Building, Central Experimental Farm, 960 Carling Avenue

This talk will introduce a forthcoming book that will set the stage for similar books on other vertebrate groups, invertebrates, plants and natural communities. The book treats each of the 700 species that breed in North America (as defined by the American Birding Association) in three volumes. One page is allotted per species, focusing on interesting aspects of each species, in a "best of each species" approach. Each species page has a cartoon (18 artists have contributed), a global range map, NatureServe conservation status ranks (global and national for the U.S. and Canada), at least one photo and the written account. Spanish bird names for use in Mexico will be presented using the list recently adopted by the Mexican government. Taxonomy, nomenclature, and species ordering follow the American Ornithologists' Union. An appendix treats the other 300 species that occur but that do not breed regularly in North America. See www.babina.ca

OFNC monthly meetings are open to the public


Tuesday, 13 January, 7 p.m. OFNC monthly meeting
136th ANNUAL BUSINESS MEETING
Location: Fletcher Wildlife Garden Interpretive Centre

The Council for 2015 will be elected at this meeting. There will be a brief review of the activities in 2014 and a statement of the Club's finances will be given. This is an opportunity to meet most of the Club's executives and the chairs of the various committees and to find out what makes your Club tick.

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This page was revised on 14 September 2014
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