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Upcoming Meetings

Willow Beach Field Naturalists meet on the last Friday of every month from September to May (except for the month of December).

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Willow Beach Notes


Sunday, July 17, 2016 - Butterfly and Bird Outing to Menzel Centennial Provincial Nature Reserve
Rod Lee and Roger Frost

The Menzel Reserve is 17 kilometres north-west of Napanee and contains 19 different habitat types including rare treed fen. Meet at Hwy. 45 car pool lot at 7:30 a.m. or at the Reserve at 9 a.m. Bring lunch, water, insect repellent.

Directions: East on Hwy. 401 to the Deseronto Road exit, #570. Follow Deseronto Rd. through Kingsford. Drive straight through the town (this becomes a gravel road). Follow this road to its end, where it turns east and becomes Roblin Rd. Follow Roblin Rd. for 1 km. to the sign and gate on the left (north side).

Farming in Ontario's Greenbelt: Possibility Grows Here

Sustainable Cobourg invites you to the fourth in their 2016 Speaker Series, “Farming in Ontario's Greenbelt: Possibility Grows Here." Professor Wayne Caldwell, from the University of Guelph, recognized expert on agricultural and rural planning issues and co-author of the Greenbelt Foundation report of the same title, will provide insight into the implications and opportunities of farming in the Greenbelt. A Q&A will follow his talk. A presentation about expanding the Greenbelt will also be made by a representative from The Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Coalition.

The Provincial Land Use Review of Ontario’s four land use plans is now in its final consultation phase with scheduled open houses and online feedback until September 30th. The province requests comments on recommendations affecting the Greenbelt, the protection of farmland, the natural environment and water resources, and smart growth. Be part of the conversation: tell the province what you think!

Please join Sustainable Cobourg on Tuesday, June 14, at 7:00 p.m. (doors open at 6:30 p.m.), at the Lions Community Centre, 157 Elgin Street East, Cobourg.

This is a free event. Refreshments will be provided.

For more information please contact Jayne Finn, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or visit

Saturday, June 11 and Sunday, June 12, 2016 - Northumberland Summer Bird Count

Tom and Jenny Jackman are again hosting the post count gathering. Contact Roger Frost at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 905-885-9615 for more information.

An update on our nesting Piping Plovers from David Bree, Sr. Natural Heritage Education Leader, Presqu’ile Provincial Park.

On Friday, June 3rd, a full clutch of 4 eggs had been laid and a large predator deterrent cage was placed over the nest, replacing the small cage used when the eggs are being laid over a period of a week. This was carried out by a team of 6 people from CWS, MNRF and Ontario Parks.

This maneuver, requiring the pounding in of corner posts and essentially building the cage on site, took 20 minutes, which is the standard allowed time. The female did show some anxiety, trying a few broken wing displays and circling the nest piping away. This protection technique has been used in the U.S. and elsewhere in Canada since 1984 and results in an increase of hatching success of almost 100% going from 37% to 72% hatching success in studies from the states.

She accepted the new structure easily and was back on the nest within seconds of us stepping away from the cage. The male, who seemed much less distressed, took his turn on the nest after about 1⁄2 hour so both birds indicated they accepted the new situation.

The eggs are projected to hatch around June 28th. We are also looking to provide a couple of chick shelters on the beach to protect the chicks in case of inclement weather like hail, which killed chicks in Wasaga a few years ago.

We will also be looking to form a “guardian” group to watch over the babies and inform visitors that walk past what is going on. I am anticipating shifts of at least 4 hours in length, possibly longer. Priority will be to have people out there on the weekends, particularly the July and August long weekends.  I anticipate the birds will be gone by mid – late August. We will work to get some shaded structure out there for people.

There may be an actual guardian coordinator hired to organize volunteers but I suspect that money will not come through in time. In any event I would like to start gathering names of those that would be willing to commit to be guardians. Please pass that news around and have people send me their names with dates and times available.

Thank you for your interest.

David Bree

Contact: Phone 613-475-4324 ext 225; email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.