Roberta and Mark Buchanan are nature enthusiasts who are always eager to share their outdoor experiences with others. Roberta is a retired educator with a passion for birding, and Mark is a retired engineer who enjoys photography.
The National Conservation Strategy for all Native Ash Species in Ontario is being led by the National Tree Seed Centre. The Forest Gene Conservation Association (FGCA) is supporting this effort by conducting field research. In the fall of 2018 Melissa Spearing, the field researcher for the FGCA, visited woodlots from Guelph to Windsor in search of live Ash trees (white, green, black, blue, and pumpkin) that fit with the following criteria:
- Trees in a native stand (not planted), i.e. forest, hedgerow.
- Larger trees (>20 cm DBH) with healthy crowns (for survivor DNA samples).
- Viable seed of good quality (filled embryos, low insect damage)
We heard about this project through the St. Clair Region Conservation Authority (SCRCA) after being part of the Fifty Million Tree Program. On one of the site inspections we showed Jeff Sharpe (from the SCRCA) our live Green Ash trees and asked him if he had any thoughts on why they had survived when most of the Ash trees had succumbed to the Emerald Ash Borer. When he heard about the FGCA research he remembered our conversation and passed the information on to us.
We contacted the FGCA and informed them that we had live Green Ash trees that met the criteria (our live Ash trees have a DBH of 26 cm). On October 11, Melissa Spearing visited our farm. It was an interesting morning as we learned about the research that was being done and helped Melissa as she took DNA samples and seeds from our Ash trees. She used pole pruners to do “cut leaf” and bud sampling for the DNA testing, and a throw line and tarp to gather seeds.
The DNA samples are being studied by the Canadian Forest Service; and the seeds are being sent to the National Tree Seed Centre.
The FGCA has also set up an iNaturalist project to gather reports from citizen scientists. The information that they gather will serve for planning this upcoming season. If you know the location of live Ash trees that meet the criteria please visit the iNaturalist site and submit the data (or let us know and we will submit the information).
This research is crucial as our once abundant, valuable Native Ash trees are on the brink of extinction due to the invasive beetle; the Emerald Ash Borer. Ash trees are on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red list as critically endangered, with a decreasing population trend as the Emerald Ash Borer continues to expand its range.
Fifty-three species of birds were reported at the Sydenham River Nature Reserve during the Breeding Bird Survey on Saturday June 8, 2019. There were five Species at Risk reported during the survey: Bald Eagle, Cerulean Warbler, Eastern Wood Pewee, Red-headed Woodpecker, and Wood Thrush. This biologically important nature reserve is owned by Ontario Nature with Lambton Wildlife and Sydenham Field Naturalists as stewards of the property.A big thank you to both Larry Cornelis for organizing the survey, and to all the volunteers who came out to assist: Quinton Wiegersma, Blake Mann, Edward lavender, Mike Kent, Larry Cornelis, Peter Chapman, Paul Carter, Roberta Buchanan, and Mark Buchanan.
A BIG Thank You to all of the volunteers who came out to help with the Mandaumin Woods Nature Reserve spring clean-up. On Sunday April 6 nine volunteers enjoyed a beautiful spring morning clearing rotting planks, trimming trails, and picking up garbage. On Tuesday April 16 we had 14 brave souls come out on a cold, rainy morning to continue the clean-up of the trails! Again thank you to all of the volunteers for helping to take care of Mandaumin Woods Nature Reserve.
Once again the projects at the annual Lambton County Science Fair were outstanding. The Lambton Wildlife Inc. Natural Environment Award is presented to the students whose project best demonstrates a keen interest in Nature and the Environment. A total of seven cash awards were presented to deserving students during the Awards Ceremony on Saturday April 5, 2019.
Here is a list of the winners of the Lambton Wildlife natural Environment Award:
Riley Edmunds and Warren Kimball (Carbonated Water vx. Tap Water, which one works better?)
Nithilan Sathish (Green Plastics)
Cyndi Rayson (Does eco-friendly soap lye?)
Ryleigh Murdock and Lizzy Kuykendall (Beans Beans)
Isabelle Robert (All A-BOAT Sulphur Emissions)
Ameera Almalki (Garbage to Some Treasure to Others)
Jessica Feniak and Parker Murdock (Salty Solution)
Due to high winds up to 60 kph being forecast, this event is cancelled. There are numerous dead ash tress in the woods with the potential to be blown over. Sorry for any inconvenience.
Contact: Roberta Buchanan (email@example.com or 519 864 1475)
Hawk Cliff is recognized as one of the prime fall migration hawk watching destinations in all North America.
Every year hundreds of birders (and non-birders!) from Canada, the U.S. and other countries visit Hawk Cliff. Birders can normally expect to see 15 different raptor species, with typical count totals reaching several thousand birds per day. On a few exceptional occasions lucky visitors have witnessed the amazing spectacle of over 100,000 raptors of various species migrating past Hawk Cliff in a single day!
Others come to enjoy the many song birds and Monarchs that also pass Hawk Cliff on their journey to warmer climes, or to walk the beautiful trails of Hawk Cliff Woods. This is a stunning 230 acre property and is one of the most significant deep interior forests in Elgin County. Hawk Cliff Woods is a maple-beech forest with many Carolinian specialties, including the Tulip-tree and Pignut Hickory as well as the Endangered Butternut and American Chestnut. Rare birds such as Eastern Wood-Pewee, Acadian Flycatcher, Louisiana Waterthrush, and Wood Thrush thrive in the deep woods.
Please Contact Roberta Buchanan at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone 519-864-1475.
Date: September 22, 2018
Place: Lambton Mall parking lot – Carpooling is an option as it is an 80 minute drive.
Time: 8:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. (bring your lunch or visit nearby Port Stanley for lunch)
Daily Live-bird Demos at 11a.m. and 2 p.m.
What to Bring: water, insect repellent, hat, sunscreen, lawn chair, binoculars, lunch
Point Pelee National Park is an amazing park filled with natural wonders. There is a large diversity of habitats, from the sheltered canopy of the southern Carolinian forest to the expansive sea of cattails in the marsh. In autumn, songbird migration is in full swing, while dragonflies and Monarch butterflies drift by.
For further information visit the Lambton Wildlife Website: http://lambtonwildlife.com/blog/point-pelee-national-park-camping-trip-2017/
Paul Carter at 519-466-8555.
Date: September 4-7, 2018 (Please note the change in dates from the program)
Place: Point Pelee National Park
Time: Anytime Tuesday through Friday – When you arrive at the front gate let them know that you are with the Lambton Wildlife Group
What to Bring: Camping gear, bicycles, canoe (if you have one – rentals are available)
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)