Connecting people with nature in Ontario's Mississippi Valley

Nature Tour of Central Cuba

After other very successful MVFN international outings to Mexico, Costa Rica, Cuba West and Cuba East, MVFN announces another international outing for February 2018, a nature tour of Central Cuba.

Enjoy finding many exotic tropical birds including 21 endemic species, plus many of our Canadian birds wintering over, as well as a wide variety of other fauna and flora.

This is a twelve-day trip (including travel days) leaving February 8 and returning February 19.

This trip is designated moderate difficulty.

Designed by Quest Nature Tours exclusively for MVFN, our Canadian Quest leader, Glen Barrett, will take us into unspoiled Cuban regions. He will be assisted by an experienced English speaking Cuban naturalist, who will be with us for the entire trip.

Highlights of the tour will include UNESCO Biosphere Reserves and Heritage sites, the fabled Zapata Peninsula flooded woodland and salt marshes (bee hummingbird habitat), natural parks and botanical gardens, the Escambray Mountains, a wonderful beach resort on the north coast, a tour of the restored historic areas of Havana and many, many more surprises.

photo Brenda Boyd

photo Brenda Boyd

DETAILS OF THE TOUR:

Cost: US $3095 plus airfare. This includes:

 ·       all accommodations (double occupancy); single rooms, US $350 extra

·         gratuities for all services provided by Quest

·         ground transportation

·         all meals as offered

·         bottled water at meals and on the bus

·         airport transfers

·         park entrance fees

 

Airfare is an additional cost; we get our own tickets (details to follow). That way, we can use our travel points. Also, not covered are:

 ·        any fuel charges

·         extra accommodations due to interruption of flight services

·         airport departure taxes/Cuban tourist visa card (we get these inflight)

·         airport transfers in Havana if you don’t fly on the group flight

·         alcoholic drinks and optional activities

·         additional transportation due to an emergency (your insurance should cover that)

As some members of the previous trips have done, we can drive to Toronto the day before, stay overnight in the Carlingview Hotel, leave our vehicles for free, and get transported to the air terminal and back. Or, you can fly from Ottawa if you wish.

A deposit of US$500 to Quest is required by October 15, the balance by December 4.

If you want to join us in another very successful (I’m sure) international outing, here’s what you must do:

 · send me an email indicating your interest – I will send you a full itinerary, an application form, waiver, plus other details

· mail your deposit, application form and waiver to Quest, and you’re in!

THE TOUR IS LIMITED TO ONLY 16 PERSONS, SO BOOK EARLY!

If it looks like we won’t have the full complement of MVFN member registrations by October 1, I am going to open registration to the Macnamara Field Naturalist Club and other members of the public.

This will be a great tour! I know, for I have been to many of these places before with Quest Nature Tours.

Any questions, please contact me.
Best for now,
Cliff Bennett
613-798-6295

 

 

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Lake Links 2017

Lake Links 2017

The 16th Annual Lake Links Workshop will be held on Saturday October 21st, 2017, from 8:30 A.M. until 4:00 P.M. at the Perth Civitan Hall. This is a Watersheds Canada event. NOTE that registration ($20 which includes lunch) is required.

Agenda is as shown in the poster below. For further details please visit the Watersheds Canada website.

Lake-Links-Agenda-with-Sponsors-Website

 

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Festival of the Wild Child at High Lonesome July 29, 30

July 29th and 30th. This is a Mississippi Madawaska Land Trust Conservancy event to be held at High Lonesome Nature Reserve in the Pakenham Hills.

See details below and at https://mmlt.ca/event/festival-of-the-wild-child-june-29-30/:

For two days of nature-inspired fun, families are invited to the Festival of the Wild Child at High Lonesome Nature Reserve in the Pakenham Hills on July 29th and 30th.

Open to the public from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., this festival is offered by the Mississippi Madawaska Land Trust to give children and their families an opportunity to use all their senses to explore and experience nature. There will be a variety of “stations” around the 200-acre Nature Reserve that will be both interpretive and interactive to instill a sense of wonder in the natural world that surrounds us.   Exploring life in the pond, finding and identifying rocks and fossils, wandering through the enchanting Stone Wall Arboretum, investigating the secrets of the soil under your feet, using inner creativity to make eco-art or learning bush craft will make up the exciting Festival program.  Volunteers will be at each station to help open windows into the many wonders of Nature.

There will also be some special events.  The ever-popular Soundscaping station will offer participants a chance to hear nature’s sounds amplified, including the surprisingly active life in the bottom of the pond or the wind high up in the trees.  On Saturday, author and illustrator Victoria Gilpin will read from her latest book Benjamin’s Tree, the perfect story to inspire children’s imaginations in a woodland setting.  Conscious of the need for safety in nature, Rideau Search and Rescue will present “Hug a Tree” programs at the Welcome Centre to let children and their families learn what to do if they get lost.

Bring a lunch and stay for the whole day.  Admission is $10 per person or $20 per family.  Dependent children are free.

High Lonesome is located at 867 Carbine Rd. in Pakenham.  Take County Road 29 to Pakenham Village, turn on Waba Road and continue west for 2.9 km.  Turn left on Barr Side Road and travel for 1.6 km.  Take the first left at Carbine Road and drive 4 km to 867 Carbine Road.

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High Lonesome Nature Reserve Welcome Centre Grand Opening

There is now a welcome centre at the High Lonesome Nature Reserve in Pakenham. The Mississippi Madawaska Land Trust extends the following invitation to its Grand Opening, June 24.

“Please join us for the Grand Opening of our new Welcome Centre at High Lonesome Nature Reserve on Saturday, June 24th. Check in time is 10:00 a.m. and the ceremony begins at 10:30.

Following the ceremony is a Hygge Tree event. Admission to this portion is a $10 donation to MMLT. Visitors will be invited to explore different tree species along the trails, to learn more about them and their connections within the natural world and with people.”

For more details and directions to High Lonesome, please visit this link.

Welcome-Centre-1

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Spring Gathering 2017

“How Things Lead to Other Things: The Unexpected Results of Pursuing Birds”

May 18th

NOTE: Tickets ($40) must be purchased or reserved in advance by May 11, 2017. See details below

Can bird banding be a catalyst for social change? Find out May 18th at our annual Spring Gathering at the Almonte Civitan Community Hall. The evening will feature a banquet, silent auction fundraiser for environmental education, and a keynote presentation “How Things Lead to Other Things: The Unexpected Results of Pursuing Birds” with Rick Ludkin, an Ontario master bird bander and sponsor/educator of birders of all ages, near and far.

Rick Ludkin. photo by Nancy Furber

Rick Ludkin. photo by Nancy Furber

Rick Ludkin has a very diverse “history” in conservation birding, particularly with the “close encounters”, hands-on approach of traditional bird banding monitoring. It would be interesting to know exactly how many fragile Snow Buntings, Golden-winged Warblers, various Kenyan weavers and other birds he has held gently in his hands, to measure, band, and glance at for a fleeting moment before releasing. It must be in the many tens of 1000’s!  A children’s mental health expert by profession, Ludkin has always had a significant side-career.

He began bird banding in the 1970’s and in 1995 established a Canadian Migration Monitoring Station at Ruthven Park, Haldimand Bird Observatory. Hundreds of school children enjoy time banding and “scribing” about the migrating birds there with his team. Several field-work trips to the Arctic studying Northern Fulmars and Common Eiders, also gave Ludkin a love and respect for Snow Buntings and he later collaborated to create the Canadian Snow Bunting Network. In February, Ludkin and a small team spent a day banding the “Snow Buntings of Lanark County” at a popular stopover site for the migrant flocks at a property in Sheridan Rapids. In 2013 Rick Ludkin set out to a rural area of Western Kenya to help found the “Matangwe Bird Club” and has returned each year. The story of this transformative project and the diversity of birds Rick witnesses during his time there are stunning!

Bird banding activity in Matangwe, Kenya: Black-headed Batis male (left) and female. photo Brian Ochiago

Bird banding activity in Matangwe, Kenya: Black-headed Batis male (left) and female. photo Brian Ochiago

How far do the ripples generated reach, when children and communities develop acute knowledge and skills to study the wild species around them? Rick Ludkin will share his hopes and insights.

Details for the event are as follows:

MVFN’s Spring Gathering 2017 begins at 5:30 pm (doors open 5) with a reception and chance to share a drink with friends and bid in the silent auction. Dinner begins at 6:30 pm and then, sit back and enjoy the presentation! Tickets ($40) must be purchased or reserved by Thursday, May 11th and will be available in Almonte at Gilligallou Bird Inc., at The Blossom Shop, Carleton Place, and in Perth at The Office. Further info at mvfn.ca. To reserve your ticket/s for pick up at the venue, please contact MVFN’s Sylvia Miller at or 613-256-7825.

 

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