Last night was the KFN's Annual General Meeting, followed by our Speaker, Chris Robinson, whose talk was entitled "The Constricted Constrictor: The Life of the Black Rat Snake". Highlights of the AGM will follow here, but since we learned some interesting things about black rat snakes, highlights of the talk will appear in a separate post.
Several Announcements were made:
*Please note that the butterfly field trip that was scheduled for Saturday, April 23rd, has been POSTPONED due to the predicted cold rainy weather, and rescheduled for Saturday, May 14th with a rain date of Sunday May 15th.*
Owl Woods Management Plan. This Plan has been completed, the next step is to follow through with recommendations that were made. One of the items in the works is to form "Friends of the Owl Woods", similar to some local "Friends" groups around the area who help out with education and maintenance of conservation areas. The Owl Woods is well known and appeciated by many as a unique area giving people the opportunity to see unusual owls and other species. If you are interested in participating, contact Chris Grooms. *
*contact information will appear at the end of this list.
Bio Blitz. Anne Robertson and the Bio Blitz Committee have completed plans for the 2011 Bio Blitz that will take place June 10th and 11th at the new addition to the Lost Bay property near Gananoque. Anyone interested in participating can contact Anne and she will send out the information by email. This is a fun event open to both KFN members and the general public, come on out and see how many species you can find.
Talk on Climate Change. Transition Kingston will be hosting a talk by Grant Linney on Climate Change at the Wilson Room of the Kingston Public Library on Tuesday, April 26th, 7:00 p.m.; admission is free.
Teens/Baillie Birdathon: The Teens will be participating in the Birdathon again this year, Anne is taking pledges for the event.
May Dinner Meeting. It should be a good one this year, Terence Dickinson, a local well known astronomer is our Speaker, his talk will be "A Voyage to the Edge of the Universe". Tickets are on sale for $30.00 per person. We will also be having our Silent Auction, many good books on natural history and other items will be up for bid, as well as the 8x10 photos that were entered into the competition, winners published in the 2011 KFN calendar.
Butterfly Field Guide. John Poland has printed another 100 copies of his "Pictorial Pocket Guide to the Butterflies of the Kingston Region" and has them available for sale.
Bug Exhibit. A travelling insect exhibit will appear at the Cataraqui Town Centre May 5th to 7th.
* contact information for most of the people/events above are listed in your newsletter and Blue Bill, or go to the KFN main website for contact information. If you can't find it there send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org .
There were not as many observations reported as you would expect this time of year, the cold rainy weather has slowed things down. Some birds have shown up, a great egret was seen off Dalton Ave. on April 1st, making this an early record arrival for this species. Peregrine falcons were flying over Queen's University. A Carolina Wren was found in Kingston. One yellow-rumped warbler was found at the head of the Rideau Trail, kicking off the warbler season. An osprey nest is active in Amherstview near the water tower, and a white-throated sparrow was also seen near there. Loggerhead shrikes have been slow to arrive this year and are on average 2 weeks late. So far only 7 have been found in the Napanee area. One was observed north of Opinicon Rd. during a recent ramble. Crows are nesting in a tree in downtown Kingston, and are getting feisty in protecting their nest. A squirrel was seen to be chased off by the crows, and their aggression got to the point of chasing the squirrel across a lawn, picking it up in their claws and then dropping it.
Members were reminded that the peak of Lyrid meteor shower takes place on the 21st/22 and 22/23, and some auroras are possible. Predictions of cloudy weather, however, cast doubts on whether these can be seen.
Annual Reports. Our Committees have been busy this year. Janis gave an overview with highlights of the work and achievements by the various Committees and Volunteers during the past year, details will be published in the June issue of Blue Bill.
The 2011/2012 Executive has been voted in, there are a few minor changes with a couple new people coming on board.
Just a reminder about our Volunteer List: Throughout the year events will pop up that require help from volunteers, and often these arise quickly between meetings and newsletters with no time to inform Membership. Often we have heard "Oh, I would have liked to have helped with that". So...we created a Volunteer List that Members can sign up for to be kept updated. Please be assured that by putting your name on the list you are not obligated to any of the requests, the Executive will simply send out an email to the Volunteers telling of what event is coming up, and then if your are interested in helping out just reply to the contact information.