Connecting people with nature in Ontario's Mississippi Valley

MVFN Trip to Point Pelee National Park, May 13-16, 2019

Point Pelee National Park has long been recognized as a world-class birding site with more than 390 species recorded within the park’s birding area. Bird migration is the reason Point Pelee became a national park in 1918 and has since garnered international recognition as an “Important Bird Area” and a UNESCO designated “Wetland of International Significance.” While significant breeding birds call the park home, Point Pelee’s greatest importance is to migratory species moving through the area during the spring and fall.

Point Pelee is part of a peninsula, located at the crossroads of two major migration routes, extending into the western basin of Lake Erie. It is one of the first points of land spring migrating birds reach in the pre-dawn hours of their night-time crossing of Lake Erie. For example, forty-two of the fifty-five regularly occurring warbler species in North America have been recorded at Point Pelee.



As the best time to see the greatest diversity of songbirds is the first three weeks of May, during Point Pelee’s “Festival of Birds”, MVFN has a trip planned during this time.


We will depart Monday, May 13, and return on Thursday, May 16.  We will stay three nights at the Best Western Plus Leamington Hotel.  The hotel is five minutes from Point Pelee National Park, which means early morning birders can go to the Park, and later birders can be bused there later in the morning.

Costs:  $800 per person DOUBLE OCCUPANCY

$1,150 per person SINGLE OCCUPANCY

This includes:  a beautiful room (two queen beds), cost of bus travel, bus driver’s accommodation and tip, park fees, 2 guided walks, 2 continental breakfasts and 1 dinner.

Each person is responsible for other meals and refreshments.

Pre-registration: The bus holds 26 passengers, so to ensure a place on this fun and exciting trip, please let Linda McComick know your interest as soon as you can: by email to

Whether you are a beginner birder or an expert, this trip to the “Festival of Birds” is a great way to familiarize yourself with Point Pelee National Park, meet others who share your interests, and, of course, see first-hand the cascade of colour gracing our beautiful blooming forests each spring.


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Here’s a chance to get involved in citizen science while out on the water!

MVFN, in conjunction with the Mississippi Lakes Association, will once again conduct this year’s Canadian Lakes Loon Survey on Mississippi Lake, for Bird Studies Canada.

The task involves pairs of volunteers making one, two or three visits by boat to a section of Mississippi Lake, searching for loons and recording the findings.

The three visits are during the last week of June, July and August. You can volunteer for one, two or all three of the monthly visits. Each visit lasts up to two hours. Maps and forms will be provided.

A motor boat and driver will be made available for each team. Each team will coordinate, with the boat driver, the preferred day, time, and location of the launch.

You will need binoculars and sunscreen.

Orientation session: To prepare for the survey work, an orientation meeting will be held at the Mill of Kintail Gatehouse on Wednesday, May 16 at 1:30 PM. Please register with Cliff Bennett at or 613-798-6295 by May 15.

For further information please contact Cliff.

NOTE: to read about the results of the 2016 Mississippi Lake Loon Survey click this link

NOTE: link here to 2017 Loon Lake Survey results


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Sunday, May 6, 2018

Join MVFN for an all-day birding trip in the Westport area, looking for warblers and some other birds not often seen locally.


7:45 – 8:00 AM:  meet for parking and carpooling at Jim Atack’s, 407 Shipman Drive, Almonte

Morning birding: Stops at Wolfe Lake and along Canoe Lake Road, on the way to the Hahn Farm.  At the Hahn Farm we will walk in (1.6 km) to the cottage on a private lake.  We will eat our lunch there.

Afternoon: We will go to the other side of Westport to the Porter Road, which goes along a large area of wetlands.  On the way in there is a farm that has had a pair of Blue-gray gnatcatchers residing in an old barn for many years.  No pesticides have been used on the farm for over 50 years.

5:00 PM: arrive back in Almonte

Pre-registration: You must pre-register.  The trip is limited to four cars, so please register early with Jim Atack at:  or 613-461-0299.  If in doubt about the weather on Sunday, call Jim by 7:15 AM to confirm.

Bring: Binoculars, insect repellent, sunscreen, water, lunch and snacks.  There may or may not be stops where spotting scopes would be useful.


Looking forward to seeing you on the trip!

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To all MVFN members and friends: Here’s an exciting birding event for you! 

Visit Presqu’ile Provincial Park for the Annual Waterfowl Migration

Experience thousands of waterfowl plus many land birds which gather in Presqu’ile Bay, and off the lighthouse point around the Park, getting ready to move inland and up North to breed.

Date:  Sunday, March 18, 2018

Time/Car-pooling: Almonte and area, meet at Union Hall for departure by 7:30 AM. Perth area meet at Glen Tay Public School for departure by 8:00 AM. We should be back home by about 6 PM

Bring: Lunch, hot beverage, gloves, binoculars, bird books and spotting scope, if you have one. Have extra warm clothes for cool, windy weather.

Cost:  There is a $10.00/vehicle park entrance fee.  Park passes will be honoured for entry.

Registration: You must pre-register for this event.  To register for this outing, or to get further information, please contact Cliff Bennett at   or 613-798-6295

In case of severe weather, the trip will be cancelled. If in doubt, please call Cliff before 7 AM to confirm.

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May 13, 2017

Ken Allison

Five brave souls met at 7 AM at the Allison property on Wolf Grove Road.  There had been some rain during the night, but when we headed out the clouds were broken by small patches of blue sky. By about 9:30 it had started to rain so we went inside to warm up with a cup of tea while watching birds at the feeders.

There had been some bird migration overnight, but the number of spring migrants was still not up to normal levels. Most of the warblers were either very high up or singing in hemlock trees which made getting good views challenging. Seven species or warblers were eventually recorded, although we had good views of only Yellow-rumped, Black-throated Green and Orange-crowned. The last species was probably the highlight of the trip, although we did have great looks at Baltimore Orioles, Rose-breasted Grosbeaks and Yellow-bellied Sapsucker. A Sharp-shinned Hawk flew over carrying its breakfast in its talons and Spotted Sandpiper, Red-eyed Vireo, Orange-crowned Warbler and Northern Oriole were new for the year at our location. In the past 5 years, 102 species have been recorded at the Allison property and we found almost half of those during our walk this morning.

Early spring wildflowers were at their peak, but many were not fully open due to the damp weather.  We did see many white and red trilliums, spring beauties and trout lilies and were able to compare Dutchman’s-breeches and Squirrel Corn with adjacent clumps.

Photos and a complete bird list for the outing are included below.

Canada Goose
Great Blue Heron
Green Heron
Sharp-shinned Hawk
Spotted Sandpiper
Mourning Dove
Belted Kingfisher
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
Downy Woodpecker
Hairy Woodpecker
Northern Flicker
Pileated Woodpecker
Least Flycatcher
Eastern Phoebe
Red-eyed Vireo
Blue Jay
American Crow
Common Raven
Tree Swallow
Black-capped Chickadee
Red-breasted Nuthatch
White-breasted Nuthatch
Winter Wren
Hermit Thrush
Wood Thrush
American Robin
European Starling
Black-and-White Warbler
Nashville Warbler
Blackburnian Warbler
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Black-throated Green Warbler
Chipping Sparrow
Song Sparrow
White-throated Sparrow
Northern Cardinal
Rose-breasted Grosbeak
Red-winged Blackbird
Common Grackle
Brown-headed Cowbird
Baltimore Oriole
Purple Finch
American Goldfinch


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