Connecting people with nature in Ontario's Mississippi Valley

MVFN Nature Notebook Sightings

Spring bird sightings reports received May 7, May 9, May 11, and May 14 2019.  All photos by Lise Balthazar. Her first rose-breasted grosbeak for this Spring (2019) was May 4; the first hummingbird on May 6; the first oriole on May 7.

NOTE: Recent sightings may be sent in to or postings may be sent to the MVFN facebook page.

Juvenile rose-breasted grosbeak, May 5, 2019 photo L. Balthazar

First Oriole, May 7, 2019 Sheridan Rapids. photo L. Balthazar

White-crowned Sparrow, May 9, 2019 photo L. Balthazar

White-crowned Sparrow 2, May 9, 2019 photo L. Balthazar

Female Purple Finch, May 9, 2019 photo L. Balthazar

Rose-breasted grosbeak, May 9, 2019, photo Lise Balthazar

Juvenile rose-breasted grosbeak, May 11, 2019 photo L. Balthazar

Ruby throated hummingbird, May 11, 2019. 

Song sparrow, May 11, 2019

Oriole at bird bath, May 13, 2019 photo by Lise Balthazar

Oriole at bird bath, May 13, 2019 photo by Lise Balthazar

IMPORTANT NOTE:  Start time is 7:00 PM!

The 2019 Mississippi Valley Field Naturalists’ Members’ Night and Annual General Meeting will be held on May 16 from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. The meeting will start promptly at 7:00 p.m., instead of our usual 7:30, to allow some of our Young Naturalists to participate in Members’ Night prior to the AGM.

MVFN Members’ Night

7:00 Opening, Show and Tell                                                 Ken Allison
7:10 Presentation of CB Nature Bursary recipients                Michael McPherson
7:20 Presentation of Youth Summit Sponsorship                  Tineke Kuiper
7:30 Young Naturalists                                                           Patty McLaughlin
7:45 Previous CB Bursary Recipient                                      Laura Symon
7:55 Previous ON Youth Summit & CB Bursary Recipient     Brenda Boyd
8:00 – 8:10 Leg stretch

8:15 MVFN Annual General Meeting

1. Call to order                                                                      Ron Williamson
2. President’s remarks and committee reports                      Linda McCormick
3. Financials                                                                           Jim Atack
4. Nominating Committee Report                                          Jim Atack
5. Remarks of new president and introduction                       Pat Enright
of 2019/20 Board members
6. Other business
7. Adjournment

The AGM is a very important function in the life of any organization, so we hope you can stay and take part in learning about the affairs of MVFN during this past year. You will have an opportunity to vote on the selection of the new Board of Directors for 2019/20, the 2019/20 budget, and other policies and reports.

Date: Thursday, May 16th, 2019

Time: Doors open at 6:30, presentations start at 7:00, and the Annual General Meeting starts at 8:15.

Place: Almonte United Church Social Hall, 106 Elgin Street, Almonte

All MVFN members are welcome.

MVFN Nature Notebook Sightings

Several early spring sightings were recently sent in to the MVFN Naturnotebook; received from Lise Balthazar, Sheridan Rapids on April 17, 2019. All photos by Nat Capitanio

NOTE: Recent sightings may be sent to or sent to the MVFN Facebook page.

Male Hooded Merganser, Mississippi River, April 16, 2019 photo N. Capitanio

Female Hooded Merganser, Mississippi River, April 16, 2019 photo N. Capitanio

Swans, Fallbrook, ON April 11, 2019 photo N. Capitanio

Swan at Fallbrook, ON April 11, 2019 photo N. Capitanio


Cantley Quarry: Monument of the Ice Age  Sunday, May 5th, 2019

Join MVFN the afternoon of Sunday, May 5th for a visit to the unique glacially-carved geological features exposed at a quarry in Cantley, Quebec. This field trip will be led by glacial and hydrogeology expert, Dr. David Sharpe of the Geological Survey of Canada, who made a very successful presentation on “The Significance of Glaciation in Canada and the Ottawa Valley” to MVFN in October, 2018.

A video of some of the fascinating rock forms we will see at the site can be viewed here

Trip duration: Approximately 4-5 hours total, including an hour drive from Almonte through Ottawa-Gatineau to Cantley, near Wakefield, Quebec, a planned 2 hour site visit and then an hour return trip.


Car pooling: We have 2 meeting points for car pooling.
• 12:30 at the Almonte Civitan Community Hall (GPS: 500 Almonte St, Almonte, ON K0A 1A0). Please park at the far end near the soccer pitches.
• 1 pm at the Eagleson Park-and-Ride (GPS: Eagleson Rd &, ON-417, Ottawa, ON K2L 4C6). Please meet in the southwest sector (drive in the entrance, go past the bus shelters and immediately turn right to the southwest area of the lot).

What to bring: The site visit is a short walk from the cars, and the terrain at the quarry is uneven. Ensure you wear sturdy boots and dress appropriately for weather conditions. The outing will go ahead rain or shine.

Registration: You must pre-register for this event by completing the form found here. Registration is limited to 25 people.

MVFN membership must be up-to-date (check your membership card if you are not sure).

If you need more information, please contact at (613) 461-4464.

There is no fee for this trip. Up to 25 people from the McNamara Field Naturalists are also invited by Dr. Sharpe to join in on this field visit.

With the late spring this year, MVFN is very pleased to invite you to join Ken Allison at his and Ruth’s beautiful country property at 561 Wolf Grove Road from 6:00 – 8:00 a.m. on Wednesday, May 1 to see more newly arriving birds, as well as other fauna and flora.

With Ken’s enthusiastic expertise in many different aspects of nature to help us, we will see some emerging flora, such as hepaticas, which are already in bloom, and hopefully, some spring beauties and Dutchman’s breeches, as well as getting to know the many species of trees on their property.

We hope to see and/or hear a Hermit Thrush, Barred Owl, Red-shouldered Hawk, Wood Duck, Hooded Merganser, Swamp Sparrow, Pileated Woodpecker, both Ruby-crowned and Golden-crowned Kinglets and Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers drumming. With luck, the Yellow-rumped Warbler will have arrived back!

To get to Ken & Ruth’s place, travel west on Wolf Grove Road, past Concession #8 and the Auld Kirk Cemetery (on your right). The laneway is the second on the left at the top of the hill, #561.

For further information, please contact Ken at: or 613-256-4283