A Message From the President
pring is upon us, and the Peninsula Field Naturalists Outings Committee has
scheduled several hikes for the season. I'm looking forward to talking to
members and the public, as we walk along the trails of a municipal park,
conservation area and the local Provincial Park. To make it even more
interesting, we will be keeping track of the types of flora and fauna we
encounter during our PFN walks.
Screenshot of a hike from INaturalist.
Thanks to the suggestion of Executive member Ken Smith, the Peninsula Field
Naturalists now has an eBird account and a project listed on the
iNaturalist site. Birds observed on a club hike can be shared to the PFN
account and other species such as wildflowers, lichens, insects, and
mammals will be recorded in the Peninsula Field Naturalists Hikes project
on iNaturalist. If you're on one of our outings, please share your
iNaturalist submissions with the project.
In addition to our planned outings, the PFN will be participating in events
scheduled during the month of April. Executive member Mary-Lou Davidson
will be volunteering at the Niagara Children's Water Festival on April
25 - 27 at Brock University. This is an educational program for grade
3 and 4 students, based around different water themes, and is led by the
Niagara Region. The NPCA leads a number of the activities at this event and
Mary-Lou will be assisting with these. Jean and I will be leading a bird
hike for the Friends of Malcolmson Eco-Park Earth Day celebration on
Saturday, April 22.
With our trip leaders, volunteer activities and citizen science accounts,
I'm pleased to say the PFN continues to advocate, educate and participate
in the conservation of natural resources and green spaces in the Niagara
Bob Highcock, President
TSC CBC 2022
By Jean Hampson & Bob Highcock
he Peninsula Field Naturalists held their annual St Catharines Christmas
Bird Count on December 18, 2022. Throughout the day, the daytime
temperature hovered around the freezing mark and the skies were mostly
Thanks to all the participants who assisted with the count, as well as to
Sharon Wilson and Carla Carlson for allowing access to their properties.
Jean, Paula, and Bob appreciated the lunch of scrambled eggs prepared for
them by Carla Carlson.
A special thank you to Rob Dobos, who announced his retirement from the St.
Catharines CBC in 2022. Rob first started doing the count in 1988, and he
recalled that he has only missed it a couple of times since then. In
Rob's words, "The lakeshore area has been awesome, and I've
been fortunate to see many great birds on this count over the years
including Ross's Gull, California Gull, Pomarine Jager, Black-legged
Kittiwake, Little Gull, King Eider, Harlequin Duck, Harris'ss Sparrow,
Cape May Warbler, Common Yellowthroat and Fish Crow, amongst others."
Rob always enjoyed the post-count wrap-up gatherings over the years, and he
mentioned they were the best he has attended for any CBCs.
Snowy Owl on December 16, 2022
© Kayo Roy
New high counts were recorded for Snow Goose (9), Mute Swan (25), Trumpeter
Swan (17), Gadwall (95), Hooded Merganser (157), duck sp. (175), Bald Eagle
(11) and Peregrine Falcon (2). Although Snowy Owl was observed along 5th
Avenue in west St. Catharines before the count, the species was not
observed on December 18. Snowy Owl is noted as a count week bird for the
second year in a row.
For this year's count, we had thirty-seven participants, including Lisa
Bacon, John Black, Shirley Chambers, Paul Chapman, Sue Chapman, Paula
Clark, Emily Cornfield, Trevor Cornfield, Philip Downey, Christopher
Escott, Doug Gillard, Jean Hampson, Bob Highcock, Shannon Hingston, Carol
Horvat, Myra Kennedy, Nabil Khairallah, Ramsey Khairallah, Laurie King,
Olivia King, Kara Kristjanson, Renee Kuchapski, Sandy McCutcheon, Joan
Preston, Diane Roy, Kayo Roy, Karin Schneider , Ken Smith, Nancy Smith,
Roy Sorgenfrei, John Stevens, Katherine Stoltz, Tom Thomas, Diana Werezak,
Rick Werezak, Debbie Wright, and Elizabeth Yates.
One of the count areas.
© Bob Highcock
Jean and Bob on the shore of Twenty Mile Creek with the Jordan Station
Railway bridge and stone pillars from the prior bridge in the
© Jean Hampson