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Canada Helps

Click on the logo above to be taken to our Canada Helps page, where you can buy or renew a membership, or make a donation to Willow Beach Field Naturalists. Thank you for your support!

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WBFN Outings

Winter OutingWBFN Winter Tree Identification Field Trip in The Northumberland Forest.
Photo © Sherry Tomkins

Walks and field trips are held throughout the year. Local activities are a good way for members to enjoy our area’s natural heritage, share their experience and learn through observation.

On a misty Saturday morning on October 27th, Russ Donaldson and Petra Hartwig visited the Pelton Property to focus on the 6 hectare field where 400 trees were planted in April. The objective for this property is to restore the agricultural land to a natural woodland for the enchancement of wildlife habitat, and, of course be a presence to ensure that the land is not being used for inapproporaite purposes - similar to Peter's Woods and other Nature Conservancy lands in the area. Many pine and spruce planted in April looked robust, but only about 40% - 50% survived the very dry spring and summer. The best plants were about 30 cm tall. The property was walked at the north boundary to the north east corner which is probably the highest elevation on the property with a good stand of deciduous trees, including a huge oak about 1.5 meters in diameter. A good variety of birds weathered the day - over 100 wild turkeys, 2 grouse, many robins, chickadees, juncos, cardinals, a variety of sparrows, a hermit thrush and a hairy woodpecker. Russ broadcast another bunch of mixed prairie seeds as they walked the field - to add to the already ground cover of vegetation such as goldenrod, aster, mullen and other grasses.

Pelton Property

Photo© Petra Hartwig


Great Blue Heron

Great Blue Heron, Second Marsh, March 31, 2012. Photo© Brian Cook.

On March 31, 2012 on a day which began cool and cloudy and ended up sunny, a small but intrepid group of Willow Beach naturalists birded the Durham shoreline and managed a total of 47 species including 15 species of duck.

...... Richard Pope

Double-crested Cormorant

Double-crested Cormorant. Photo© Sherwood McLernon.


A.K. Sculthorpe Woodland Marsh section of the Waterfront Trail in Port Hope

On Sunday morning, November 6, 23 people gathered for a leisurely walk along the A.K. Sculthorpe Woodland Marsh section of the Waterfront Trail in Port Hope. The weather was really beautiful, although the waves on the lake made viewing the ducks there rather challenging. Through a spotting scope, observers could pick out Common Goldeneye, Red-breasted Merganser, Bufflehead, Greater Scaup, White-winged Scoter and a single Surf Scoter. In the marsh itself were Mallards, American Black Ducks, and a female Northern Shoveler. Land birds were very scarce, consisting mostly of Black-capped Chickadees, but also including one Red-winged Blackbird, one American Goldfinch and one Brown Creeper. No one seemed to mind that we didn’t see many birds. It was just a lovely day to be outside.

....... Elizabeth Kellogg

WBFN Outing

Along the boardwalk at the A.K. Sculthorpe Woodland Marsh.

WBFN Outing Novmeber 2011

Checking out waterfowl on the Port Hope Trail.


The Nature Conservancy Property, Harwood

It was a cool, rainy, windy morning, but a hardy group of WBFN members and members of Hazel Bird's family joined Mark Stabb and Hugh Bennett of the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) for a walk on the 290 acre property on Robson Road, led by Todd Farrell NCC Conservation Biologist.

The NCC is currently fundaising to secure this property in Hamilton Township, with an extended deadline of December 2011.

See the feature below for more details. Donations may be made to the Nature Conservancy of Canada by cheque, credit card or transfer of shares.


Mark Stabb
Central Ontario Program Manager Nature Conservancy of Canada
18 Second Avenue Uxbridge, ON L9P 1J9
(905) 862-2642