Our speaker for the May meeting, Dr. Andrew Peregrine, has provided this updated chart as of May 30.  Among the updates shown is the increased estimated Lyme disease risk for our area.pastedImage

We hope to have Ken Burrell as a speaker at one of our meetings.  He and his brother have just released this book.

Best Places to Bird in Ontario covers the top 30 birding destinations in Ontario, with up-to-date information on hard to find species, directions, birding tips, and much more!

We’re excited to announce it’s release after spending the last couple of years preparing our book — Best Places to Bird in Ontario — scheduled for release in Spring 2019!

Best Places to Bird in Ontario follows a series that is being published by Greystone Books, and so far includes the Best Places to Bird in B.C. and the Prairies.



Request from the Ontario Federation of Ornithologists


Free Online Course:  The Cornell Lab Offers eBird Essentials

This is a new online course from their eBird Academy.  This eBird Essentials course guides one through how to get the most out of the eBirding experiences and invites one to become a part of this worldwide project.  It is estimated to take about three hours to complete, but can be taken a little at a time, if desired.

  • Discover tools that help you find birds wherever you go
  • Gain confidence submitting your sightings
  • Get expert tips for using eBird and joining the community



Meeting Minutes of November 12th Meeting

            President Joe Stephenson welcomed members and guests and reminded us of our web sites, ovnaturalists.wordpress.com


and our Facebook page.  Members are encouraged to post their nature photographs.

Those wishing to attend the OVN Christmas dinner can leave payment with Marg McCrimmon.   Payment by cheque made out to Jeff Staley is preferredThe cost is $20 per person.  The dinner will follow the Christmas Bird Count on Dec. 16th at 5pm, Trinity Parish Hall, Port Burwell.  Guests are welcome with participation in the bird count optional.

Joe offered congratulations to club member Dominique Giguère regarding her recent election win as the Deputy Mayor of Malahide.

Next month’s meeting, December 12th, will be a ‘Member’s Night’ so bring your pictures and nature experiences for all to enjoy.

Joe thanked club volunteers for the excellent turn out for the mullein clean up at the Langford property last Thursday.

A short video produced by London Nature was shown featuring the old Labatt smoke stack in London and the incredible Chimney Swift population it supports.

Bruce introduced the evening’s guest speaker, Paul Nicholson.  Paul, a writer for the London Free Press and avid ‘birder’, explored the topic ‘The Culture of Bird Watching’.  He suggested that those who engage in bird watching could themselves be “scientifically” categorized.   He went on to place ‘Birders’ into subsets based on characteristics, behaviour, habitat, and plumage.  Paul’s smooth presentation and photo evidence left us all convinced he was on to something.  The talk generated considerable laughter and smiles as we were guided through the many faces of birding.  In the end we were able to pigeon hole (sorry!) most club members into a specific group, although some members might be hybrids?  On your next bird outing don’t be surprised if you spend as much time identifying ‘Birders’ as you do identifying birds.  Paul emphasized the importance of inclusion and suggested the ‘Juvies’ and ‘Feeder Watchers’ of today will become the ‘Old Pros’ of tomorrow.  Bruce thanked Paul for a fun talk and provided an honorarium from the club in appreciation.

After the break Bruce discussed how he and Joe had recently enjoyed a tour of the ‘Advanced Facility for Avian Research’ at UWO.  Bruce learned that additional tours could be arranged and asked club members to sign up if interested in visiting this world-class facility.   He also suggested the club might enjoy a viewing of the movie ‘The Messenger’.  This documentary explores man’s connection to birds and the many challenges faced by birds especially during migration.  The Periscope Playhouse in Port Burwell is being investigated as a possible viewing venue.

Bruce indicated he had about 15 potential speakers on a range of topics including Bats, Asian Carp, Butterflies at risk, Canwarn (severe weather alerting), Climate Change in Ontario, Plastics, Trees of the Region, and Ticks.  Janis added Fungi as a possible topic.  Suggestions are always welcome.

Marg provided her treasurer’s report.

Motion to “accept as received” by Ron Allensen, seconded by Bruce Bolin.  Carried.

Details are recorded in the hard copy of the minutes.

50/50 winner Donna Eveland donated $14.50 back to the club.  Thanks Donna.

Joe showed us a map indicating the extensive scope of the Christmas Bird Count in North America.  Our own count area was established in 2006 to maximize exposure to the Lake Erie shoreline.   This event has been in existence for over 100 years with participation now worldwide.

The OVN Board will be meeting this Sunday, Nov. 18th,  1:15pm at Tammy’s restaurant in Port Burwell.  Members are welcome to attend.  Bird count captains and count areas will be discussed at the board meeting and teams determined at the Member’s night Dec. 10th.

Lorraine Manley thanked Joe for setting up the outing to Bird Studies Canada where attendees witnessed the banding of Northern Saw Whet Owls.   (photos can be found on the Flicker site)

Guest speaker Paul Nicholson donated two books.  They will make up part of the auction being organized for ‘Member’s Night’.

Nature Notes

Janis and Gord Hamilton observed Buffleheads, Mergansers, Ruddy Ducks and migrating Sandhill Cranes on Oct. 24 on Manitoulin Island.  One week later these same species (minus the Cranes) were observed on their pond at the Lake Erie shoreline.

Dave Jolly reported a very late season observation of a garter snake on Nov. 5th and a very lethargic leopard frog on Nov. 8th near Kingston.

Doug Newman observed 4 Greater Yellow Legs at Long Point on Nov. 5th, one with a fresh caught pollywog!

Peter Staley remarked on the large amount of Possum road kill he’s observed this year.

Ron Allensen noted the late migration of a Black-and-White warbler.  He also had a Screech Owl take refuge from a number of harassing Jays at his place and witnessed a long tailed (woodland) jumping mouse at a neighbour’s.

Joe Stephenson had a Great Horned Owl whisk by his window at ten in the morning recently.

The meeting adjourned at 9pm.

What is the OVN?

The Otter Valley Naturalists consists of about 50 members.  We are members of a much larger provincial body known as Ontario Nature (ON). Ontario Nature includes over 160 clubs and over 35,000 members from across the province of Ontario.

The OVN meets monthly, usually the 2nd Monday of each month, September through June, at the Vienna Community Centre.  The club  has speakers and activities every month. Some of the activities include: the Christmas Bird Count, the Baillie Birdathon (in Conjunction with Bird Studies Canada), a summer butterfly count, Monarch Butterfly tagging, a spring cleanup, nature walks, education and outreach, habitat creation and rehabilitation projects.

We look forward to seeing you!