Thursday night’s Thank You BBQ for Volunteers and wrap-up presentation served as a wonderful epilogue to a successful 2015 Piping Plover (PIPL) nesting season at Sauble Beach.
Twenty-one volunteer Monitors and supporters including MNRF personnel and some of the Sauble Beach Bylaw Enforcement staff gathered at Huron Feathers Presbyterian Church on Lakeshore Drive in Sauble Beach to celebrate the year.
Together for the spring orientation and then again for the wrap-up, volunteers rarely see one another during the summer unless it is during a chance crossover encounter as they complete their shifts. Thursday night they came together to share their common bond of unselfishly looking out for this endangered species and exchange a few stories about experiences with the birds and beachgoers.
Volunteer coordinator, Faye Bender bridged from the BBQ gathering to the wrap-up by thanking volunteers and reminding everyone of the key stats for the summer: 4 nests, 15 eggs laid, 8 hatched and 3 fledged. Volunteers were recipients of Plover Lovers t-shirts as an expression of thanks for the many hours logged on the beach through all sorts of weather monitoring the birds, logging their observations and educating beach-goers. Photo credit: Pamela Katch.
Thirty-one volunteers and community-at-large attended the wrap-up presentation by Committee Chairperson, Norah Toth, including a healthy number of Bruce Birding Club members.
Norah has volunteered as a monitor since the plovers returned in 2007 and this year took on the added responsibility of chairing a Steward Grey Bruce committee dedicated to support the PIPL recovery in this area. Her love of birds and her devotion for lifetime learning were clearly evident to all those in attendance.
The highlight of her broad-ranging presentation for many was the recognition of super-Monitor, Don Kennedy who surveyed the beach every morning from April through August and each day, issued a much awaited email update. Another highlight was the acknowledgement that Mr. Lonely, a bird who failed to find a mate this summer, was no longer lonely as he has found companionship with close to 50 other PIPL wintering on Anclote Key State Park, Pinellass County Florida.
Additional thanks were extended to Huron Feathers for their hospitality both for the evening and for providing storage facility for our materials throughout the season. As well, the contribution of a beautiful cake and beverages by MNRF Owen Sound staff was sincerely appreciated.
As we hunker down for the fall and winter, the committee will turn its attention to some requisite report writing and ongoing monitoring of Facebook reports of PIPL returning to the Gulf of Mexico and beyond in the Caribbean. Perchance, a winter field trip is in order.