The Peninsula Naturalist

Newsletter of The Peninsula Field Naturalists’ Club

Volume 253
Spring 2022

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Upcoming Outings


A Message From the President

S ince my last comments on urban sprawl and the preservation of woodlots, there appears to be no reduction in the gradient of the slippery slope.

Niagara Parks
The Irish Grove Woodlot in fall.
© Jean Hampson

The Irish Grove Woodlot, Thundering Waters Forest and Waverly Woods were discussed in Volume 246 of The Peninsula Naturalist in November 2017. Fort Erie’s creek/forest/ wetland complex (Frenchman’s Creek), provincially significant wetlands in Welland and a frog pond in Thorold can be added to the list. It is a ponderous chain. Observing the cutting that has recently occurred in the Thundering Waters Forest while driving along the Chippawa Parkway is disheartening.

But I feel my spirits lifted when groups such as Community Voices of Fort Erie and Biodiversity and Climate Action Committee Niagara raise concerns and inform citizens of Niagara of the environmental and historical importance of the remaining woodlots and wetlands in this region. Marcie Jacklin, recipient of the 2021 Canadian Wildlife Federation’s Stan Hodgkiss Outdoors Person of the Year Award and Liz Benneian, Director of A Better Niagara and founder of Biodiversity and Climate Action Niagara, are champions for the environment. Community advocates do make a difference.

The senseless destruction of woodlots and provincially significant wetlands must stop. However , responsible development is possible in the 21st century. If you have notThe senseless destruction of woodlots and provincially significant wetlands must stop. However , responsible development is possible in the 21st century. If you have not already, I ask that you add your signature to the over 9,100 individuals that have already signed the Save Waverly Woods in Fort Erie petition. Together, we advocate, educate and participate in conserving natural resources and green spaces.

Bob Highcock, President

A Visitor at Dufferin Islands by Ken Smith

I f you had been to Dufferin Islands in Niagara Falls last fall, you might have spotted a duck with a cool slicked back haircut and bright pink socks. This Black- bellied Whistling-Duck had been visiting since at least August of 2021.

Black-bellied Whistling-Ducks
© Jean Hampson

According to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Black-bellied Whistling-Ducks usually prefer to stay in Central and South America and the southern coast of Texas, Louisiana, and Florida. However, the map of eBird sightings shows a scattering of individuals seen all across eastern North America. Generally, they do not migrate, although some individuals living in the Southern US will fly a short distance to Mexico for the winter. The Black-bellied Whistling-Ducks are increasing in number and expanding their range because they do well in habitats altered by humans. They like our agricultural fields, golf courses and parks.

The Cornell Lab website says they usually look for cavities in trees to use as a nest. They don't usually build a nest; instead, they'll just lay their eggs on whatever material happens to be there. Sometimes the female will sneak her egg into the nest of other Black-bellied Whistling-Duck females. The fact that they prefer cavities means that they do like nest boxes. However, there's probably no point in building a nest box for our visitor, considering they don't have a partner.

Is our visitor just a lost soul doomed to be alone, or are they the scout for species expansion soon to arrive? We won't know for a while, but I am surprised that the winter hasn't scared the duck back to the Southern USA. If you get a chance to look them up online, check out their calls and pictures in flight. Their calls sound to me more like a finch species than a duck. In flight, they have a hunched back, which along with their eye-ring, makes them look like Marty Feldman in Young Frankenstein. But, despite the Marty Feldman appearance, they are stunning-looking birds. You have to love that incredible haircut, bright pink socks, and the red beak with blue at the tip.

Editor's Note: At the end of January 2022, Milagro, the name people gave the duck (Spanish for miracle), was captured and taken to a rehab facility due to injuries from the ice and temperatures. Even with all the human intervention, Milagro passed away.

A Greener Future by Janet Damude

R ochelle Byrne was first interested in and studied fashion. However, she had grown up in a small community in cottage country, where she had developed an appreciation for nature, leading to her decision to go back to school for Environmental Science.

In 2014 she founded 'A Greener Future.' It is a non-profit organization whose purpose is to clean up the lakes, collect data on what they gathered and study the data to see where litter is coming from. The organization has two main programs, "Love your Lakes" and "Butt Blitz." They have four full-time staff and twenty core volunteers. The staff manages the volunteers, analyzes and studies the data, and arranges insurance and permits. They also have had 800 other volunteers, and they find that many groups want to participate, including high schools, for their volunteer requirements.

"Love your Lakes" is to clean up the litter around the lakes, and "Butt Blitz" raises awareness about cigarette butts. Cigarette filters do not compost and are toxic to the earth. Therefore, they should be disposed of safely instead of being thrown anywhere. When collected, there is an organization that makes the butts into park benches.

Rochelle lives in the Oshawa area, so they started by picking up litter on the Lake Ontario shoreline. There was litter everywhere. Creeks and rivers carry inland litter to the shore. Lake Ontario is the last lake of the flow among the great lakes, so it receives the most debris. It also has a higher surrounding population, so it was easy to find people eager to help. Municipalities clean up some areas using paid employees, and many volunteer organizations do their part.

Studying the data, A Greener Future found that most litter is plastic. It consisted of shingles, food wrappers, straws, zip lock bags, plastic caps, shell casings, plastic bottles, etc. So it is not all intentionally discarded but still makes litter. They also noted where the litter was coming from: overflowing garbage pails or ones without lids and wind disbursement. In addition, raw sewage was found, probably from older treatment plants. So we must watch that we do not flush toxins down our toilets. Rochelle also stressed how hard foam is to discard, which does not recycle well, and she felt it should be banned and a substitute found. Another big problem is "nerdles'. They are plastic pellets used in manufacturing, frequently spilled, and they are hazardous to wildlife and challenging to pick up and remove from the shorelines.

The programs were put on hold during the pandemic, so Rochelle decided to raise awareness and money with "Paddle Against Plastic." She spent eighteen days of July on a paddle boat around Lake Ontario. She stayed with friends and camped as she travelled from Kingston towards Hamilton and finished in Niagara-on-the lake. Due to the weather, it took the whole month of July. However, she saw so much garbage in the lake that it made her want to do even more. Unfortunately, it is hard to develop a solution to all the litter that reappears even after a clean-up.

A lively discussion followed the presentation. Rachelle spoke of her family's lifestyle changes to reduce their plastic products and packaging use. Viewers were anxious to learn what they could do, so she recommended simple actions such as to keep learning by reading and watching documentaries, taking part by picking up garbage when you walk and supporting by donating money and volunteering.

She also recommended taking small steps at a time to reduce the amount of plastic waste you contribute.

We can all learn. I'm sure Rochelle Byrne's presentation inspired us to help clean up the environment and reduce our waste.

Tracks and Scat by Ken Smith

E ver since I watched Kimberly Adriaansen's presentation about Tracks and Scat (or Pawprints and Poop as she likes to call it), I've been thinking about how many signs of life I've overlooked while I've been searching for birds. I'm sure that I've stepped over (and on) lots of interesting discoveries while my focus has been up in the trees.

Ms. Adriaansen has a Bachelor's in Biology and a Master's degree in Environmental Interpretation, and she works at the Tifft Nature Preserve in Buffalo, New York. The area where Tifft Nature preserve is located was originally a dairy farm and stockyard owned by George Tifft. Over 100 years ago, it became a shipping and railway centre, then a city dump. Finally, it was abandoned and became overgrown with invasive species such as European Buckthorn. Currently, it is a 264-acre nature Page 2 preserve with five miles of trails and staff offer guided tours and school field trips. Restoration programs have helped remove invasive plant species and replace them with natives making it an ideal location for wildlife, including the Blue-spotted Salamander.

A small ruler and a book on animal tracks are the main items that Ms. Adriaansen said would be useful when searching for signs of animals. Other items she said to consider are a magnifying glass, a camera, and a journal. She suggested that we search for tracks and scat like a mystery novel or like telling a story. For example, a set of talon prints with wing prints on either side in the snow might be from a bird of prey trying to catch a mouse or rabbit. Other tracks nearby might reveal more of the story.

In addition to looking for pawprints and poop, Ms. Adriaansen told us to watch for animal-made shelters, chew marks, body coverings, and food remains such as owl pellets and squirrel middens. She pointed out that getting kids to look for clues and figure out stories is a great way to get them interested in nature. It is rare to see a fox or deer during most of our hikes, but clues of their existence are everywhere if you look for them. Kids love mysteries and searching for clues. As Ms. Adriaansen pointed out, this allows them to become the animal and figure out what happened.

If you need some help with learning to identify scat, then the website Acorn Naturalists sells models of different animal poop. You could put the models all over your house to be ready the next time you're hiking in the woods.

Following this excellent presentation, I will remember to look down sometimes instead of always looking up.

Honouring Life in Alert Bay by Janet Damude

W in Laar gave this outstanding presentation after she, her husband Kal and daughter Naomi visited son Dean and his friend Hayley in Alert Bay.

Alert Bay is on Cormorant Island, just off the eastern shore of northern Vancouver Island. It is in the ocean channel stretching between Vancouver Island and the BC coast. The trip took them to five airports, three plane rides, three car trips, and finally, Dean met them for the ferry ride in rain and fog. They had arrived.

The Big House.
The Big House. © Win Laar

Alert Bay is a small community with a vibrant First Nation population, the 'Namgis, who live in harmony and share their culture. They admired the burial ground marked with totem poles and learned the stories associated with other totem carvings on an initial walking tour. They admired the 'Namgis' Big House because of the vast cedar construction and the exterior artwork. Inside surrounded by seating, was a large area with a fire pit and a huge drum. The world's tallest totem pole drew their attention. The base tree is 163 feet with a 10-foot tree top extension.

smoking salmon
'Namgis elder smoking salmon for the potlatch. © Win Laar

Later they walked along the coast and found a man smoking salmon. He explained that he was preparing for a potlatch the next day at the Big House and had a lot of cooking to do. Dean, who is a chef, offered to help.

They got a call from Dean to come to the Big House in the morning. They were allowed to witness a 'Namgis Wiping of the Tears ceremony. The ceremony was women honouring the lives of loved ones who had died in the last year, and no photos were allowed.

On the boat Seasmoke, they took a whale watching tour in the afternoon. Everyone wears a bright orange flotation suit. They learned how tails,

Totem in burial ground
Totem in burial ground. © Win Laar
markings and calls could identify different whale species and different individual whales. Interestingly a blow from a whale is a big breath that warms in the lungs, and when exhaled, the moisture condenses, appearing like a fog. They were lucky and saw Orcas and Humpback whales.

The next day Naomi and Dean were in a kayak race. Naomi got a lesson with a kayak in the vegetable garden because kayaks are slightly different from canoes. Naomi and Dean dressed in appropriate costumes, so Win and Kal, the cheerleaders, also dressed up. The race has entrants from all across Canada and USA who paddle all around Cormorant Island, about four kilometres. The first three to finish received a monetary prize, but everyone received a gift. Win enjoyed seeing the historical dugout canoe carved from a vast cedar and beautifully painted. While the race was on, Kal and Win had a picnic lunch on the wharf and then walked along the coast to enjoy the colours of rocks and plants.

An enjoyable time was spent visiting Telegraph Cove. It's named for a coastal telegraph station built a century ago and the end of the telegraph wire from Campbell River. The OrcaLab located here monitors whale sounds from the ocean. A pleasant visit was to the Whale Interpretive Centre. The area has lovely restaurants, and a picnic lunch and a coastal walk completed the day.

Totem in burial ground
Vessicled Rockweed © Win Laar

Another day Hayley took them out in her motorboat. She has an immense responsibility to avoid the whales, logs and other safety monitoring. While she remained alert, the family enjoyed the scenery. They saw Harbour Seals and one Stellar Sea Lion, and they examined the kelp in the ocean closely. Kelp is algae and commercially valuable. Along the shore were American Oystercatchers, Black T urnstones, Bald Eagles and a mother Black-tailed Deer with two young.

Another place they visited was Alert Bay Ecological Park, or Gator Gardens, as the locals refer to it. It did not look attractive. A salmon company had needed fresh water, so they dammed the stream in the swamp, which killed the tall old trees. The trees had been many stories tall and now were broken and down. The dead trees looked very spooky, covered with Witch's-hair Lichen. Bald Eagles and Ravens were numerous, with ravens making many of their numerous calls. Win also saw Bunchberry, Huckleberry, Coral Fungus, and the huge trees' artistic remains.

Alert Bay does not have a large population now. Fifty years ago, it was jam-packed with fishing boats, mining, logging and had a vibrant nightlife. The 'Namgis had built wealth on logging, fishing and mining copper. Now, most of the economy is tourism. Cruise ships dispense large crowds to shop, visit museums, go whale-watching and enjoy the small, interesting town. Tourists may think many of the Totem poles look neglected. However, First Nations people feel that when the totem poles fall, the honoured are free to go to their ancestors.

The potlatch was a ceremony for funerals, marriages, and for the wealthy to redistribute their wealth. In 1881 the government banned the potlatch, and a lot of the ceremonial gear was taken by private collectors and museums worldwide. Some of it is now being returned. Alert Bay has built a cultural centre called U'mista, the "return of something important."

A lot can be learned from this talk. Thank you Naomi, for contributing and teaching and Win for agreeing to share.

Freshwater Mussels by Ken Smith

I f you would like to contribute to science by making new discoveries, Sarah Richer suggests looking at freshwater mussels. In her talk on February 28 to the Peninsula Field Naturalists, she said that for many of the forty-two species native to Ontario, we do not yet know their lifespan, maximum size, age when they reach sexual maturity, and preferred host species. Observations by citizen scientists and iNaturalist sightings could help us learn more about these interesting and vitally essential animals. She also pointed out that the number of native species is a reasonable number to recognize and memorize (much easier than the 270 species of birds or 2797 species of plants).

Ms. Richer began her talk by explaining that mussels are part of the phylum Mollusca, including snails and slugs. Within this group of squishy and soft animals are the bivalves, including mussels. They are flattened and have a shell connected by a hinge. A single mussel can filter 40 litres of water per day which is why Ms. Richer refers to them as the 'Britas of the Great Lakes.' In addition to filtering the water, Ms. Richer said they are also crucial to ecosystems because they consume bacteria and algae.

Ms. Richer also described how mussels are more interesting than just shells sitting at the bottom of lakes quietly filtering. Mussels spend part of their lives as parasites of fish. A female mussel will disperse its larvae by spraying them into the fish's face. The larvae will take nutrients from the fish until eventually they detach themselves and drop off. They will then start to grow and ultimately filter in their new location. Scientists believe that the larvae are merely irritants to the fish and not deadly.

Most of the mussels prefer to use a specific fish species. Ms. Richer explained some of the exciting tricks that the mussels use to attract the correct fish species. For example, some mussels can inflate themselves to look like leeches, crayfish, or smaller prey species of fish. These displays will lure in the desired species, which the mussel can then spray with its larvae.

Sadly, life is very tough for Ontario's native mussel species. Ms. Richer told us about the takeover of zebra and quagga mussels. As well, our native mussel species do not do well in water bodies surrounded by pavement or contaminated with pollution since they need other lifeforms to survive (such as fish to carry their larvae and bacteria and algae to feed on).

Overall it was a delightful and fun presentation. I'm almost positive it is the first presentation to the Naturalists Club where the phrase 'knocking boots' came up during the discussion. I will be keeping an eye out for mussels whenever I'm near the water.

A Walk at Mountain Locks Park by Doug Gillard

O n October 17, seven of us met for an outing around Mountain Locks Park. The club thought it was time to try to have a few outings in the Fall, and with COVID in mind, we limited the number of people and encouraged social distancing for the duration of the excursion.

Merritt Trail
© Bob Highcock

There is a lot to see in this park. I’m interested in local history, so I was looking forward to visiting here again. Mountain Locks Park contains locks 15 – 21 of the Second Welland Canal, and the locks are very well preserved. Locks 16 – 21 are also known as “Neptune’s Staircase” because they are in a straight line, climbing the escarpment. After crossing Glendale Avenue, we came to lock 15, the first lock in the park. Looking at this lock, it’s unbelievable to think the boats back in that time were so small. The Second Welland Canal was only in operation from 1845 to 1887 because the boats were being made bigger and bigger. When they planned the Fourth Welland Canal, they made the locks huge, thinking boats would never get that big, but look at the ships now, and they barely fit into the locks. As we walk along the wide path parallel to Bradley Street, we pass the only remaining Lock Tenders house dating back to when the canal was in operation 150 years ago.

© Bob Highcock

This park is always an excellent place to see birds, and today wasn’t a disappointment. Our list for the morning consisted of a Great Blue Heron, seven Turkey Vultures, a Red- tailed Hawk, two Eastern Phoebes, five Golden-crowned Kinglets several other birds.

Eastern Phoebe
Eastern Phoebe © Jean Hampson

A good part of the lovely morning was still left when we finished our outing at Mountain Locks Park, so we went to Niagara College Ponds and then to the Outlet Mall Pond. There were 24 Northern Shovelers and 70 Green-winged Teals at the Niagara College ponds, which was great to see, along with many other birds.

We only had a few outings in the Fall of 2021, and as COVID concerns heightened, we had to put more restrictions on them. We need to socialize and get out into nature, but we also need to do our best to remain healthy. So, hopefully, we can plan more outings soon.

Hiking the Jordan Valley by Bob Highcock

© Jean Hampson & Bob Highcock

O n the sunny morning of October 24, 2021, eight members of the Peninsula Field Naturalists enjoyed a walk along Twenty Mile Creek in the Jordan Valley.

© Jean Hampson & Bob Highcock

Our group hiked along a wooded trail to reach the pond that can be seen from the village of Jordan above. People browsing in the shops might not know that the pond is used as a rest stop for migrating waterfowl and can yield a few surprises too. Our group had great looks at a Pied-billed Grebe, a first for eBird at this hot spot.

We continued walking on the trail between the pond and the creek, observing finches, sparrows, woodpeckers and chickadees. At the south end of the pond, one can walk up the stairs to the village or carry on towards Jordan Hollow. We carried on but chose to stop along Twenty Mile Creek before returning to the parking lot on Twenty-First Street.

© Jean Hampson & Bob Highcock

Regardless of the time of year, there can be many sights on the Twenty Valley Trail. It’s a good spot for spring migrants and flowers, dragonflies in the summer and counting birds during the St. Catharines Christmas Bird Count.

Bird species observed during the walk include Mallard, Pied-billed Grebe, Mourning Dove, Ring-billed Gull, Double-crested Cormorant, Great Blue Heron, Red-bellied Woodpecker, Downy Woodpecker, Northern Flicker, Blue Jay, Black-capped Chickadee, White -breasted Nuthatch, Carolina Wren, American Robin, Cedar Waxwing, House Finch, American Goldfinch, White- throated Sparrow, Song Sparrow, Red- winged Blackbird and Yellow-rumped Warbler.

Bring Back the Brookies Tree Planting by Jean Hampson & Bob Highcock

O n the day before Halloween, club members Jean, Carol, Doug and Bob, along with representatives from the NPCA and other volunteers, helped with a tree planting on private property along the St. John’s branch of Twelve Mile Creek.

Planting a tree
Carol Horvat and Doug Gillard planting a tree.
© Kerry Kennedy

Kerry Kennedy, the Project Coordinator of the Niagara Chapter of Trout Unlimited Canada, organized the event. This restoration project aims to establish a canopy cover that will create and maintain a healthy Twelve Mile Creek and suitable habitat for Brook Trout.

Before commencing with the tree planting, the volunteers learned about Brook Trout by playing a round of life cycle frisbee. We discovered that the trout need gently flowing oxygenated water with cool temperatures. Native trees, shrubs and flowering plants will help keep the creek cool and prevent erosion. It was muddy and damp work, but the number of volunteers and soft, wet ground enabled us to complete the task quickly. As a bonus, a calling Pileated Woodpecker flew over the group during the tree planting.

The group of volunteers.
The group of volunteers.
© Kerry Kennedy

It is beautiful to see property owners getting involved in the restoration, and they deserve thanks for allowing this restoration project to occur. They deserve an additional thank you for providing cookies and coffee afterwards.

The PFN looks forward and will be happy to continue volunteering at future restoration projects in Niagara. Bring back the brookies!

In Search of the Purple Sandpiper by Barb West

N ovember 7, 2021, was a gorgeous fall day as we set out once again to look for the Purple Sandpiper (we didn’t find it). We did, however, see many birds along the way. These included Mourning Doves, Robins, a Northern Cardinal, House Sparrows, Mallard ducks, Goldfinches, Chickadees, Starlings, Canada Geese, Golden-crowned Kinglets, Juncos, Cormorants, Greater Scaup ducks, Bufflehead ducks, a Green-winged Teal duck, and Long-tailed Ducks. Out on Lake Ontario, we saw a Herring Gull, Ring-billed Gulls, Red-breasted Mergansers, a Common Loon, a Red-throated Loon and a Bonaparte Gull. As well, we heard White-throated Sparrows and Northern Flickers.

We did see some exciting wildlife. A Muskrat was swimming in the pond, and a Mink ran across our path.

Although we didn’t see the Purple Sandpiper, there is always next year.

Birds on the Niagara Walk by Jean Hampson & Bob Highcock

© Jean Hampson & Bob Highcock

T he Peninsula Field Naturalists were invited to participate in the only international birding festival in North America. The Birds on the Niagara is a winter celebration of birds that was held from February 10 to 13 this year. This year’s festival was packed with virtual and live programs for all to enjoy. Many organizations contributed to making the event a great success.

© Jean Hampson & Bob Highcock

There were walks on both sides of the Niagara River too! On the Canadian side, the Bert Miller Nature Club, Ontario Field Ornithologists and Peninsula Field Naturalists led hikes on Saturday and Sunday. The Upper Falls, Dufferin Islands, Nelson Park, Brown’s Point and the Queenston area were the spots to be that weekend.

Northern Cardinal.
Northern Cardinal. © Jean Hampson & Bob Highcock

We led the guided walk on the General Brock Side Trail at Brown’s Point in Niagara-on-the-Lake. We had eight participants, and we observed birds both on the river and in the wooded grove along the trail. Birds that were seen included White- winged Scoter, Long- tailed Duck, Common Merganser, Red- breasted Merganser, Bonaparte’s Gull, Ring-billed Gull, Herring Gull, Red-bellied Woodpecker, Downy Woodpecker, Hairy Woodpecker, Blue Jay, Black- capped Chickadee, American Robin, Dark-eyed Junco and Northern Cardinal.

It was a wonderful morning to be outdoors and enjoy the natural beauty of the Niagara River. We look forward to participating in the Birds On the Niagara 2023.

Outings Update by Jean Hampson

Mountain Locks Parks
Mountain Locks Park outing. © Debbie Wright
Ice cream
The reward at the end of a long walk. © Bob Highcock

W ith things opening up again, your Outings Committee will be meeting soon to create a schedule of walks and special events for club members. After two long years of restrictions with only a few opportunities to hold pop-up outings, we look forward to bringing you a full roster of field trips, planting events and possibly even a chance to enjoy an ice cream with our fellow members. The first four are listed here. Watch for more announcements soon on our website, on Facebook and in your E-mail.

Please send RSVP to to attend the following walks:

Earth Day Walk - Malcolmson Eco-Park
Saturday, April 23 at 9:30 am
Meet at the parking lot off Lakeshore Road at Niagara Street
Jean Hampson and Bob Highcock

Wildflower Walk - Louth Conservation Area
Sunday, May 1 at 10:00 am.
Meet at the Louth C.A. parking area 3193 Staff Ave, Jordan Station
Jean Hampson and Bob Highcock

Evening Bird Walk - Cherie Rd Park
Tuesday, May 10 at 6:00 pm
Meet at the trail entrance at 73-71 Cherie Rd off Cindy Drive
Doug Gillard

Bird Walk - Malcomson Eco- Park
Saturday, May 14 at 8:30 am
Meet at the parking lot off Lakeshore Road at Niagara Street
Barb West

St Catharines Christmas Bird Count by Jean Hampson & Bob Highcock

T he Peninsula Field Naturalists held their annual Christmas Bird Count on December 19, 2021. The daytime temperature was -2°Celsius throughout the day, and the skies were partly clear.

Thanks to all the participants who assisted with the count. Special thanks to Sharon Wilson and Carla Carlson for allowing access to their properties during the count.

New high counts were recorded for Gadwall (45), Cooper's Hawk (21), Red-bellied Woodpecker (83), and American Goldfinch (586). A first for the count was four Sandhill Cranes observed by John Stevens in Area 1 of the circle. It was not a record high, but 110 Hooded Mergansers were observed during the count. The average recorded for the previous five counts is 68.6. The record high count was 123 in 2015. Although Snowy Owl was observed along Fifth Avenue Louth in west St. Catharines before and after the count, the species was not observed on December 19. Snowy Owl is noted as a count-week bird.

A virtual roundup was held in the evening to discuss birds observed during the day. Hopefully, in 2022 we can return to having our in-person potluck roundup.

For this year's count, we had 48 participants:
John Black, Sam Brockington, Paul Chapman, Sue Chapman, John Ciemitis, Paula Clark, Emily Cornfield, Rachael Cornfield, Trevor Cornfield, Stephanie Dagg, Rob Dobos, Philip Downey, Kathy Ellis, Christopher Escott, Doug Gillard, Jean Hampson, Shirley Harrison, Bob Highcock, Shannon Hingston, Carol Horvat, Myra Kennedy, Mike Kershaw, Terri Kershaw, Nabil Khairallah, Nabila Khairallah, Laurie King, Olivia King, Kara Kristjanson, Jeff Lewis, Debbie Loveridge, Sandy McCutcheon, Joan Preston, Bill Rapley, Melad Razzouk, Judy Robins, Diane Roy, Kayo Roy, Marlene Sanders, Karin Schneider, Tim Seburn, Bill Smith, Ken Smith, Nancy Smith, Roy Sorgenfrei, John Stevens, Katherine Stoltz, Sally Tasane, Tom Thomas, Gina Turone, Elizabeth Yates.

Canada Goose 1675
Mute Swan 9
Trumpeter Swan 9
Gadwall 45
American Black Duck 19
Mallard 280
Canvasback 5
Redhead 42
Ring-necked Duck 12
Greater Scaup 3
Surf Scoter 1
White-winged Scoter 16
Long-tailed Duck 35
Bufflehead 55
Common Goldeneye 97
Hooded Merganser 110
Common Merganser 196
Red-breasted Merganser 240
Wild Turkey 15
Double-crested Cormorant 45
Great Blue Heron 3
Turkey Vulture 2
Northern Harrier 6
Sharp-shinned Hawk 4
Cooper’s Hawk 21
Northern Goshawk 1
Bald Eagle 8
Red-tailed Hawk 128
Sandhill Crane 4
Bonaparte's Gull 4
Ring-billed Gull 531
Herring Gull 69
Iceland Gull 1
Glaucous Gull 1
Great Black-backed Gull 3
gull species 4
Rock Pigeon 492
Mourning Dove 931
Eastern Screech Owl 13
Great Horned Owl 6
Belted Kingfisher 4
Red-bellied Woodpecker 83
Downy Woodpecker 94
Hairy Woodpecker 15
Northern Flicker 27
American Kestrel 24
Northern Shrike 1
Blue Jay 486
American Crow 81
Horned Lark 22
Black-capped Chickadee 271
Tufted Titmouse 21
Red-breasted Nuthatch 25
White-breasted Nuthatch 37
Brown Creeper 1
Winter Wren 6
Carolina Wren 42
Golden-crowned Kinglet 6
Ruby-crowned Kinglet 1
Eastern Bluebird 63
American Robin 338
Northern Mockingbird 20
European Starling 8229
Cedar Waxwing 29
American Tree Sparrow 256
Dark-eyed Junco 843
White-crowned Sparrow 144
White-throated Sparrow 20
Song Sparrow 16
Northern Cardinal 213
Red-winged Blackbird 14
Common Grackle 1
Brown-headed Cowbird 141
House Finch 312
Purple Finch 5
Pine Siskin 12
American Goldfinch 586
House Sparrow 1790
Total number of species 77
Total number of individuals 19304
The Peninsula Field
Naturalists' Club
PO Box 23031 RPO Carlton
St Catharines, ON L2R 7P6

2022 Executive

President - Bob Highcock

Vice President - Carol Horvat

Secretary - Jean Hampson

Treasurer - Doug Gillard

Membership Secretary - Barb West

Directors - Janet Damude - Mary-Lou Davidson
- Roman Olszewski - Marlene Sanders
- Don Stevenson

Newsletter Editor - Lorraine Brown-Joyce

Webmaster - Adrian Lawler

T he Peninsula Field Naturalists' Club is a non-profit organization started in 1954 with the objectives to preserve wildlife and protect its habitat, to promote public interest in and a knowledge of the natural history of the area, and to promote, encourage and cooperate with organizations and individuals having similar interests and objectives. We are affiliated with Ontario Nature and Nature Canada.

Currently, our meetings are held on the fourth Monday of each month from September to April (except December) at 7:30pm via Zoom. We may offer various popup outings around the Niagara area. Please check our Facebook page for more information.

T he Peninsula Naturalist newsletter is published twice per year, in Spring and Fall. Submissions for the next newsletter should be received by the end of March or September for publication.

Club members are encouraged to send in articles, photos, stories, observations and outing reviews to Material accepted may be edited and will be used subject to space allowances.

Views expressed are not necessarily those of the Peninsula Field Naturalists Club or the Editor.

Thank you to all the members who volunteer their time to our club and also to those who make submissions to make our newsletter fabulous!

Spring is in the Air...

Wild Turkeys.
Wild Turkeys.
© Win Laar
Grey Willow.
Grey Willow.
© Jean Hampson
Spring Peepers.
Spring Peepers.
© Jean Hampson
White Trilliums.
White Trilliums.
© Jean Hampson
Mourning Cloak butterfly.
Mourning Cloak butterfly.
© Jean Hampson
© Win Laar
Eastern Bluebird.
Eastern Bluebird.
© Jean Hampson
Virginia Bluebells.
Virginia Bluebells.
© Win Laar