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What a beautiful day for a paddle!  The weather looked threatening but by 9:30 it had cleared up and the sun even came out.  We began our paddle at the Wilkesport Boat launch and a few minutes after leaving we were lucky enough to see a muskrat swimming along the shore.

Where the Sydenham splits into Bear and Black Creek we stopped and talked about the numerous species that can be seen along, and in, the river – several of which we were lucky enough to see on our paddle.  There are 34 species of Mussels that have been found in the Sydenham River (11 of which are on the species at risk list) – more mussel species than any other body of water in Canada! The Sydenham also has 83 species of fish, many of the turtle species that can be found in Ontario (all of which are at risk) and many bird species.

As we talked about the importance of the Sydenham River a Green Heron flew right toward the group – it was a great sight as usually these birds fly away from you, not toward you!  A little further down Bear Creek we spotted the Great Horned Owl – which we got to see several more times – what a treat.  We also saw several Map and Painted Turtles, muskrats, Great Blue Herons, Spotted Sandpipers, and many other bird species.

Everyone who came out enjoyed the paddle.  A big Thank You to Dawn Mumford and the Wallaceburg Canoeing Club for providing canoes for the outing.

(Photo credits: Tricia Mclellan and Paul DeLaDurantaye)

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Bear Creek is a beautiful tree-lined river with many opportunities to see birds, turtles, and other wildlife.  Please join us as we meander along this ecologically important waterway.

If you are interested in participating in this canoe/kayak outing please contact Roberta Buchanan at roberta.buchanan@icloud.com or phone 519-864-1475.

Date:  June 2, 2018

Place:  Wilkesport boat launch

Time: 9:30 am – 12 noon

What to Bring:  water, insect repellent, hat, sunscreen (Safety equipment will be provided by the Wallaceburg Canoe Club)

The Wallaceburg Canoe club is providing the canoes so the number of participants needing a canoe is necessary.  If you are bringing your own canoe please let us know. 

For more information on location and what to expect please visit: http://lambtonwildlife.com/blog/natural-areas/paddle-the-sydenham-river/

Spring Wildflowers of Reid’s Conservation Area #2

May 13, 2018 @ 12:30 pm4:00 pm

Sunday, April 29 and Sunday, May13, 2018

Meet: 12:30 pm at Lambton Mall parking lot near Canadian Tire or 1:00 pm at Reid’s CA on Duthill Road.

Join Felicia on a leisurely walk identifying the woodland wildflowers on two seperate outings to see the different wildflowers blooming. These spring ephemerals bloom before the forest canopy leafs out taking advantage of the available sunlight.

Leader: Felicia Syer-Nicol 519-402-2326

Take a tour of the new Sydenham River Nature Reserve this Saturday, May 5th, 2018.

Lambton Wildlife joins the Sydenham Field Naturalists group to walk around and explore the new reserve.

Meet at 10am at the end of Oil Springs Line, 2 kilometres east of Nauvoo Road.

Leader: Larry Cornelis 519-330-8981

Wednesday, May 2nd.

Meet: 6:00 pm at the entrance to Tarzanland

Eric will skillfully find migrating songbird for all to see and learn about. Great birding right here in Sarnia.

Leader: Eric Marcum 519-332-6122

Spring Wildflowers of Reid’s Conservation Area #1

April 29, 2018 @ 12:30 pm4:00 pm

Sunday, April 29 and Sunday, May13, 2018

Meet: 12:30 pm at Lambton Mall parking lot near Canadian Tire or 1:00 pm at Reid’s CA on Duthill Road.

Join Felicia on a leisurely walk identifying the woodland wildflowers on two seperate outings to see the different wildflowers blooming. These spring ephemerals bloom before the forest canopy leafs out taking advantage of the available sunlight.

Leader: Felicia Syer-Nicol 519-402-2326

Camping and birding on Pelee Island is coming up fast. Just under a month to plan for the spring migration adventure!

Thursday, May 10th to Sunday, May 13th.

If you haven’t contacted Dick Wilson yet, please do so soon.

You should also be calling to make reservations for your ferry trip across.

Call 1-800-661-2220 to make a reservation and get your binoculars out!

 

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As we learned at the March Indoor Meeting, Canadians have been collecting weather data for a long time!

The video below shows the installation of weather stations across Canada since the 1840s.

What you maybe didn’t know (because I sure didn’t), as Guest Speaker, Professor Alan MacEachern explained, is that the information collected from these stations was done on a volunteer basis by members of the local community by hand and sent by mail for inclusion in the records.

While much of the data that volunteers recorded was quantitative such as temperature or precipitation readings, those volunteers also recorded personal qualitative remarks, and up until now, that data has never been analyzed.


Western University professor, Alan MacEachern, talks about compiling Canada’s climate history

McEachern and his team are interested in the qualitative remarks that were made by the volunteers, some more than 150 years ago, and are also working towards making that information public and digital such that people like you and me, can ask questions such as “What was the weather like on the day I was born?”, or “What date has my favourite migratory bird arrived in my home town over the last 100 years”. These observations may also help us to understand how the annual cycles or phenology of some species are being affected by climate change. For example, has the date in which a certain plant species begins to flower been earlier and earlier over time?

Quite an interesting talk through the history of weather and nature observations, through the eyes of Canadians over the last 150+ years.

If you are interested in learning more about historical weather data in Canada, you can visit the Government of Canada’s Historical Climate Webpage here: http://climate.weather.gc.ca/

ANNOUNCEMENTS AND REMINDERS

LWI Board member, Mary Martin, providing updates and announcements to audience that attended the March Indoor Meeting.

  1. The AGM will be here soon- for those who have purchased tickets, we will see you there on Saturday, April 14th!
  2.  Speaking of the AGM, we are still in need of some bucket draw items. If you have anything you wish to donate, you may bring with you to the AGM (just come a little early to do so)
  3. On May 6, 2018, from 10 am to 1 pm, the Thames Talbot Land Trust is hosting a nature outing. If you are interested, please RSVP.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Puddle Ducks

March 31, 2018 @ 9:00 am2:00 pm

Meet: 9:00 am at the Clearwater Arena or 10:00 am at the St Clair National Wildlife area. Tens of thousands of ducks and other waterfowl use the Lake St. Clair wetlands as a migratory stop over. In this case, we will be viewing mainly puddle ducks (aka dabblers) such as American widgeon, northern shoveler, wood duck and pintail to name a few. Lunch at Mitchell’s Bay.

Leader: Deryl Nethercott

Canadians and Climate

March 26, 2018 @ 7:00 pm9:00 pm

Social gathering to start at 7:00 pm. Join other members for refreshments. Presentations will begin at 7:30 pm.

Throughout the 19th and 20th centuries, the predecessor agency of Environment Canada encouraged its daily weather observers to make remarks about the changing seasons, extreme weather, etc. but it never figured out a way to use these remarks. With the Environment Canada collection of weather observations now at Western, Prof. Alan MacEachern is studying what they tell us about Canadians and climate.