Friday, 18 March 2011

Welcome to The Kingston Field Naturalists' blog!

Welcome to the blog of the Kingston Field Naturalists! This modern age of internet communications provides us with another venue to keep Members updated on the latest news. We've decided to start a blog, and hope to keep up with field trips, rambles, events, and natural history sightings that our Members may be interested in. It seems only fitting that we start in spring while the snow melts and the migrating birds return, bringing the promise of nature awakening from another snowy winter.
General Meeting, March 17, 2011
We can start with last night's General Meeting. Our Speaker, Leslie Hale, talked about Ontario Bats: The Impact of Wind Power and the White-Nose Syndrome. Leslie is a lively Speaker, and with many good slides told us of the challenges faced by bats when encountering wind turbines, and how the white-nose syndrome (WNS) is spreading rapidly across eastern North America, threatening bat populations. Leslie provided handouts giving  information about WNS and instructions for building bat houses.
During Members' Observations there were several reports of migrating birds returning to the area. Robins and redwing blackbirds are found all over the area, we're starting to hear killdeer calling over the fields. In the open waters of Lake Ontario thousands of ducks and geese are gathering, ready to make their way inland. Hundreds of snow geese and one Ross' goose were gathering near Waupoos-Kaiser sideroad in Prince Edward County on their way north. A fisher and a raccoon were filmed on Queen's University property with an automatic camera. A bald eagle was seen flying over the Helen Quilliam sanctuary, hawks and falcons were reported over Kingston. Another harbinger of spring was reported: pussywillows are starting to bloom. As the snow melts and warmer weather arrives it won't be long before we start to find coltsfoot and other early flowers making their appearance.  No doubt from the field trip scheduled to Wolfe Island this weekend we'll receive more reports of arriving migrants.

Migrating birds, like these geese photographed at Little Cataraqui Creek Conservation Area  in spring 2010, are arriving and setting up territories.  Photo: R. Burke

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