Connecting people with nature in Ontario's Mississippi Valley
Mississippi River at Pakenham

Volunteers

Manion Corners Butterfly Count

NOTE: This is an Ottawa Field Naturalists Club event, but MVFN members are invited to register and help out! This is an especially “Kid-Friendly” Event!

Date: Saturday July 8th 2017 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (rain date Sunday 9 July)

Leaders: Jeff Skevington and Peter Hall

Meet:  in the parking lot at the intersection of Dwyer Hill Road and March Road (NE of Almonte).

Please call Jeff Skevington Friday evening at 613-720-2862 if in doubt about the weather or for specific questions regarding this event. Similar to Christmas Bird Counts, this event is an all-day survey of in a 24 km diameter circle. The count area is centred on Manion Corners (SW of Ottawa) and includes several important butterfly areas such as the Long Swamp and the Burnt Lands alvar. 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. Butterflies may be captured for identification and release. Rubber boots are recommended, as some of the sites have a lot of poison ivy.  It is an all-day event so bring your lunch.

Pot-luck and Count-in: We plan to meet at 6:00 p.m. after the count for a compilation and potluck dinner at the Allisons’ home at 561 Wolf Grove Road, about 2.6 km west of Almonte. Please bring along some food to share plus your own drinks. We hope that everyone can make it to the compilation, as it will be a lot of fun; however, if you can’t, we will get your data in the afternoon before you leave. OFNC has generously offered to pay the count fees for participants to support publication of the data.

The butterfly count is an annual OFNC event. Working in groups or alone, participants patrol the same location – a 24-km diameter circle centred on Manion Corners.  Data are submitted to the North American Butterfly Association.

Mississippi Lake Paddle and Invasive Plants Survey

Paddle the creeks and bays of Mississippi Lake while participating in a citizen science project. Working in conjunction with the Mississippi Valley Conservation Authority (MVCA) and the Mississippi Lakes Association (MLA), we will take part in another Invasive Aquatic Plants Survey of Mississippi Lake.

Our aim is to canoe all seven creeks which flow into the lake, collect samples of five possible aquatic invasive species present and report back at the MVCA headquarters.

Date: Saturday, July 8 (rain date July 9)

Time: 8:30 AM – approx. 2:30 PM

Meet at: Mississippi Valley Conservation Authority headquarters, 10970 Highway 7, Carleton Place, for donuts and coffee, orientation session and reporting kits. Crews will be assigned to a specific creek area.

Bring: You will need the usual required canoe equipment, lunch, a pen or pencil, sunscreen etc

Pre-registration and alternate date: Please pre-register for this event with Cliff Bennett: 613-256 5013 or   If you have a canoe and need a partner, or if you would like to partner with someone who has a canoe, call Cliff. In case of foul weather, the alternative date will be Sunday, July 9. For more information, please contact Cliff.

Schedule:

  • 8:30 AM meet at MVCA for coffee and donuts (MLA has budget for this)
  • Presentation on Invasive Species by MVCA specialists, information about how to fill out forms, etc.
  • Handing out of kits, directions to paddling access points, etc.
  • Leave between 9:15 and 9:30 AM
  • Return to MVCA around 1:15- 1:30, have a late lunch (bring your own)
  • Staff will sort through the results and do a quick summary presentation on results.
  • End around 2:30 PM
  • A comprehensive report will be written up and sent to all participants, and a copy will be published in Mississippi Belle Online

2017 Loon Lake Survey of Mississippi Lake

Observers are required for the 2017 Mississippi Lakes Loon Survey.  This year MVFN, in conjunction with the Mississippi Lakes Association, will again conduct a Bird Studies Canada Canadian Lakes Loon Survey” for Mississippi Lake.

As a volunteer observer, you would be part of a team surveying an assigned region of the lake three times during the summer, once in each of the months of June, July and August. This is a good opportunity to get involved as a volunteer in some interesting and worthwhile citizen science on a local project.

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 for launch.You will need binoculars and sun screen.

Surveys are done during the last week of each month and take about two hours to complete. A motor boat and driver are provided for each team.

ORIENTATION SESSION FOR VOLUNTEERS:  the orientation session for survey volunteers will take place Thursday, June 15, at 2:00 p.m. at the Mill of Kintail Gatehouse.

If you can help, please contact Cliff Bennett at 613-256-5013 or

For results of last year’s Loon Survey of Mississippi Lake click here.

Howard loons

photo Howard Robinson

Audubon Christmas Bird Counts sponsored by MVFN

cbc_online_graphic

 

Again, this season, thousands will take part in Audubon Christmas Bird counts (CBC’s) across the Americas. This sociable citizen science tradition began Christmas Day in 1900. Organized by conservation minded ornithologist Frank Chapman, people at 25 locations, including Toronto, Ontario took part in a “Christmas Bird Census” (instead of a hunt) to identify and record, as many birds as possible for the day. Thus, was founded one of the world’s most significant citizen-based conservation efforts. Bird Studies Canada and partners at the National Audubon Society in the United States rely on the data to monitor populations and guide conservation efforts.

Volunteers are needed for all three counts sponsored by MVFN in our local area. You can help by counting birds at your feeder or out and about by joining a field team. You do not need to be an expert but it helps to be familiar with local species. Field counters are placed in a field team led by an experienced birder. You will need a pair of binoculars. Also, residents with bird feeders within a count area can participate from home by recording visiting birds on count day. At the end of the day field and feeder counters gather to socialize at the “count-in” and share stories and refreshments. Registration information for a few local counts sponsored by the Mississippi Valley Field Naturalists is listed below.

For further information about Audubon Christmas Bird Counts visit http://www.audubon.org/conservation/science/christmas-bird-count

Rideau Ferry Christmas Bird Count

Saturday December 17. The count is centered on Rideau Ferry and includes Perth, most of Smith’s Falls, Murphy’s Point Provincial Park, and several conservation areas. Register with Alison Bentley at or 613-273-4428. Feeder counters contact Judy Buehler at or 613-264-8856. Full details of this count can be found in this press release by Alison Bentley.

Carleton Place Christmas Bird Count

Tuesday, December 27. The count area is a 24-km circle centered on the bridge over the Mississippi River in Carleton Place, and includes Almonte, Appleton and Ashton. Contact Iain Wilkes at .  Feeder counters register with Georgina Doe at 613-257-2103. Further details can be found in the CP count press release here.

 Lanark Highlands Christmas Bird Count

Wednesday, December 30. The count circle is centered on Watson’s Corners and includes Brightside to the north, Middleville to the east, most of Dalhousie Lake to the west, and south to within a km of Balderson. To register contact Marilyn Barnett at  or  613-259-2269. Feeder Counters register with Marj Montgomery before Christmas at  or 613-259-3078. Further details can be found in the Lanark Highlands CBC press release here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MVFN Sponsors Lanark Highlands Christmas Bird Count

December 30, 2016

Christmas Bird Counts (CBCs) have been around in the Western Hemisphere since the year 1900. Three count circles (7 1/2 mile radius) have been operating for decades in Lanark County and area including Carleton Place, Rideau Ferry and Pakenham.

A fourth circle, the Lanark Highlands Christmas Bird Count (LHCBC), has been around for 12 years, since 2003. This year will be the thirteenth count. Designed to fill a large gap in Lanark County, the LHCBC, sponsored by the Mississippi Valley Field Naturalists (MVFN), is centred on Watson’s Corners. This count circle takes in Brightside to the north, most of Dalhousie Lake to the west, south to within a km of Balderson and east to include Middleville.  The Lanark Highlands Christmas Bird Count is always on December 30th and this year it falls on a Friday.

The Christmas Bird Count is conducted by interested birders who are formed into teams each with a group leader.  These avid birders comb the roads, trails and woodlots during the count day to record every bird seen or heard. The results are sent to Bird Studies Canada. This annual event produces a definitive census of our bird population across the entire Western Hemisphere and is used for many research and conservation programs designed to encourage the continuing health of our avian friends.

All persons interested in gathering data on our local bird population are invited to join in the count. Teams will be formed, each team having a knowledgeable birder. Each team will be assigned a count area and will spend the daylight hours from 8 a.m. counting every bird they see or hear. Many of us meet at the Lanark Landing for lunch on George Street in Lanark at noon to warm up and share stories before heading out for a few more hours of counting. At 3:30 or so, the birders gather at the Lanark Civitan Hall just outside Lanark Village along Pine Grove Road (called South Street in Lanark Village)to record their findings and enjoy hot refreshments and some tasty goodies and watch the final count numbers as they come in. This is a fun and important day as we keep track of and record our local bird populations for research purposes.

Residents in the count circle area who have active bird feeders may like to take part in the count as a feeder counter by spending a few hours documenting birds at their feeders. Feeder Counters must register with Feeder Coordinator, Marj Montgomery, before Christmas by email at or leave a message for her at 613-259-3078.  On December 30, the feeder watchers will count every bird coming in to their feeders or appearing in their yard and, by 2 p.m., preferably email your results to Marj or leave her a message.  These numbers will be totalled and added to the main count from the field observations.

Count coordinator is Marilyn Barnett. Howard Robinson enters all the data into our central data base. Complier of the data is Cliff Bennett. If you have not participated before and would like to register for the field count, please contact Marilyn preferably by e-mail at or call her at 613-259-2269.

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FULL-SIZED  CALENDAR WITH DETAILS

MVFN's natural history talks take place on 3rd Thursdays, Jan-April and Sept-November, at  Almonte United Church, 106 Elgin St., Almonte, ON. All welcome!

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