Connecting people with nature in Ontario's Mississippi Valley

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 to breed. There are usually over 20 different species of birds in and around the water.  Our expedition coincides with the 41st Annual Presqu’ile Waterfowl Weekend sponsored by the Friends of Presqui’ile Provincial Park.  

Date:  Saturday, March 25, 2017

Time/Car-pooling: Almonte and area, meet at Union Hall for departure by 7:30 a.m.; Perth area meet at Glen Tay Public School for departure by 8:00 a.m.

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

There is a $10.00/vehicle park entrance feePark passes will be honoured for entry.  We should be back home by about 6 p.m.

You must pre-register for this event.

For further information and to register for this outing, please contact Howard & Mary Robinson, 613-256-0817, or email

In case of severe weather, the trip will be cancelled. If in doubt, please call Howard or Mary before 7 a.m. to confirm.

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Explore the Owls of Amherst Island

Join our outing to Amherst Island, west of Kingston;  tour the island and look for several species of owl, including Barred owl, Northern Saw-whet, Boreal owl and Snowy owls, and some hawks and water birds.

When: Saturday, February 25, 2017

Destination: Amherst Island Ferry dock, for 9:30 A.M. sailing. Return sailing 3:00 P.M.

Bring: Binoculars, spotting scope (if you have one), lunch and hot thermos. Dress warmly for Lake Ontario winds are cold.

NOTE: Pre-registration is required.

For further information and to pre-register, please contact Cliff Bennett at 613-256-5013 or

In case of unsuitable weather, this event will be cancelled.

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Birding Open Houses at Almonte Lagoons Observation Tower

Each autumn, tens of thousands of shorebirds migrate through our area from their nesting grounds in the high Arctic. Hundreds stop off to feed and refuel at the Almonte Lagoons behind the waste water treatment plant on Wolf Grove Road near Almonte.

The Mississippi Valley Field Naturalists (MVFN) have built and maintained an observation tower overlooking the lagoon, and a trail into the tower. For fifteen years, birders from all over the Province and beyond have made this prime location, for shorebirds and other species, one of their important viewing spots. The 200 m trail in to the tower also holds many fall warbler and sparrow species.

On four consecutive Wednesdays, September 7, 14, 21, and 28, the Mississippi Valley Field Naturalist’s Birding Committee invites you to walk in between 3 P.M. and 5 P.M and view the multitude of shore birds .

On each of these occasions, you will be greeted at the trail start by an MVFN member, who will point out directions to the tower. An expert birder with a spotting scope will be on the tower and will give all who attend an opportunity to learn the identity of the different birds and tell a bit about them. Birding experts will include Mike Jaques, Sept. 7; Ken Allison, Sept. 14 and 21; and Ray Holland, Sept. 28.

Directions to the trail and tower: from Almonte, take Wolf Grove Road (County Rd. 16) towards Middleville, 2 km. Turn north onto Ramsay Concession 8 at the Auld Kirk church and cemetery, and travel approximately 100 m to the trail head. The trail entrance is on Ramsay Concession  8, across the road from, and just past, the cemetery. A small yellow sign marks the entrance.

For further information contact Cliff Bennett at 613-256-5013 or

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As an osprey family watched from its nesting site, eleven vessels (7 canoes and 4 kayaks) set forth from the River Park launch site in the historical village of Lanark on Sunday, August 7, 2016.  Led by Howard and Mary Robinson, the group first paddled down-river then turned at the dam in the village to travel up-river towards Kerr Lake, catching a welcome cooling breeze.  With the Clyde River at an all-time low, many docks and boats were high and dry, however, the painted turtles enjoyed the sun on rocks now emerged above the water.  Herons, waterfowl, and other birds were plentiful and in Kerr Lake we were thrilled to see or hear two black terns.  The full list of bird species follows.  After our picnic lunch on shore we continued up the Clyde River, but the low water prevented us from travelling beyond the Clydesville bridge to the rapids, as we had done on previous outings.  So with the wind on our backs, we returned to the launch site, then on to Lanark Landing – a welcome spot to enjoy refreshments after a hot, but enjoyable, time on the water.

~ Mary Robinson~

Birds seen or heard during the outing:

  1. Canada Goose
  2. Cedar Waxwing
  3. Osprey
  4. Common Grackle
  5. Rock Pigeon
  6. Red-eyed Vireo
  7. Red-breasted Nuthatch
  8. Red-winged Blackbird
  9. American Goldfinch
  10. American Crow
  11. Blue Jay
  12. Eastern Kingbird
  13. Great Crested Flycatcher
  14. Turkey Vulture
  15. Belted Kingfisher
  16. Great Blue Heron
  17. Song Sparrow
  18. Green Heron
  19. Killdeer
  20. Wood Duck
  21. Ring-billed Gull
  22. Black Tern
  23. Mallard
  24. Common Loon
  25. Black-capped Chickadee
  26. Barn Swallow
  27. Ring-necked Duck
  28. American Robin
  29. American Black Duck
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Looking for Warblers + Plus

On May 25, 2016 a group of ten MVFN members, including organizer and leader Jim Atack took a birding road trip to the Westport area. There the group visited several locations to hike and listen for and look for birds, warblers, plus others!

A total of 71 bird species were seen. The trip was a great success; below you will find a link to a wonderful account of the day written by trip organizer Jim Atack. Many highlights of the day are recorded in excellent photos by Howard Robinson and some of these are included below.

Read the full report by Jim Atack: Looking for Warblers + Plus

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