Although the Piping Plovers may have left the Sauble Beach area for the summer, there are still many opportunities to brush up on your shoreline knowledge! Attend one of the Lake Huron Centre for Coastal Conservation Coastal Community Workshops taking place in Saugeen Shores and Point Clark on August 15 and 22 respectively.
Alicia Fortin, Plover Lovers Outreach and Education Coordinator will be at MacGregor Point Provincial Park to speak about Piping Plovers and species at risk on August 22. The presentation begins at 7:00pm. If you are unable to attend or have more questions at our 2017 Wrap-up Celebration on August 23 (beginning at 6:30pm at Huron Feathers in Sauble Beach), you can also find Alicia at Pioneer Park in Southampton at 7:00pm (see the poster below or click here for more information!
Learn more about both Piping Plovers and the coastal environments they depend upon in these local workshops and presentations!
At long last, we have had to bid a reluctant but fond farewell to the ‘Sauble Seven.’ That’s right, the Sauble Beach 2017 Piping Plover fledglings have left Sauble and are on their way south for the winter.
Now that the fledglings are safely on their way, we can provide a season summary for all of you eager number crunchers. Here are the stats:
– 13 adults passed through Sauble Beach
– 9 known adults stayed to build nests
– 4 nests were built, with 4 eggs each (and one pseudo nest with only 1 egg laid before it was abandoned), for a total of 17 eggs laid
– Nest 4 clutch of eggs was lost to small mammalian predator June 8
– 12 chicks hatched between June 16 and 23
– All Nest 2 chicks lost, likely to gulls by June 30
– 1 Nest 3 chick lost to a gull
– 7 chicks (from Nest 1 and Nest 3) fledged between June 15 and 21
– All adults left the beach by July 29
– All 7 fledglings left the beach by August 9
For more stories about the Piping Plovers this summer and to celebrate their successes, join us Wednesday, August 23 at 6:30pm at Huron Feathers Presbyterian Centre for our Wrap-Up Celebration! The Piping Plovers have continued to delight and surprise us on Sauble Beach, and we are looking forward to sharing stories from this summer. We would like to extend a big thank you to volunteers and Plover Lovers at large, municipal and enforcement staff, the MNRF, and beachgoers for the interest, care, and dedication you have shown to protecting one of Ontario’s amazing species at risk and for sharing the shore. We look forward to more successful seasons in the years to come as we all work to build understanding and compassion for the environment we live in.
With last evening’s presentation from Tineasha Brenot from the Lake Huron Centre for Coastal Conservation, we wrapped up our summer 2017 Beach Talk Speaker Series. Just in case you missed Tineasha’s talk, here are some highlights!
Coastal Ecosystems and Turtles
Tineasha Brenot led us through an exciting peek into the lives of Ontario’s eight species of turtles. We learned about Snapping Turtles and their small plastrons that do not allow them to hide in their shells. We were interested to learn that Northern Map Turtles will actually eat invasive zebra mussels in Lake Huron! We also talked about the Spiny Softshell turtle, with its soft shell and nose that acts as a snorkel, and the secretive Musk Turtle. Everyone was excited for the special guests, a Red-eared Slider and Box Turtle, who are pictured above with some Plover (and turtle!) Lovers. Tineasha emphasized that all of our turtles with the exception of Painted Turtles are species at risk. Our turtles are reliant upon coastal wetlands, rivers, and the Great Lakes that they are connected to. We can all help by protecting our wetlands and keeping our beaches clean! Learn how to help a turtle to cross the street below!
The seven presentations in our Beach Talk Speaker Series this summer have allowed us to piece together a broader image of coastal ecosystems, specifically in the Great Lakes. From Piping Plovers to Lake Sturgeon and dynamic fish populations in the Great Lakes to birds, beach botany, and turtles, we have seen a common theme of resilience in our Beach Talks. We have many coastal species and habitats facing primarily human-based threats, however, we still see these species working to carry on. Despite all odds this season, we have had 7 Piping Plover chicks fledge, turtles marching all over the region to lay their eggs, and Lake Sturgeon slowly making a comeback in the Great Lakes.
Perhaps one of the most common themes in the series was also the importance of learning and understanding. Arunas Liskauskas demonstrated that with some investigation, humans were able to assist in controlling the invasive Sea Lamprey population, introducing and reestablishing aquatic predator populations, and restoring an equilibrium in the Great Lakes. We have seen that humans can and often do hurt the environment, but we always have an opportunity to learn and change. Each presenter has sought to generate an interest and deeper understanding of coastal environments so that we will be inspired to change some of our actions or conversations to create a brighter future for the flora, fauna, and people that we have grown to love.
The Plover Lovers would like to thank Bruce Power for the opportunity to offer free public admission. We would also like to extend a huge thank you to our speakers and all of you who have attended; for your questions, your interest, and your passion to learn about the world around us. We hope to see you next year!
This season has been full of ups and downs for both the Piping Plovers and the individuals watching over them! Join us for a celebration and season overview on August 23! We will be serving cake at 6:30pm so that by 7:00pm our wrap up presentation will be underway.
Join us for videos, photos, and stories about this year on Sauble Beach. Visit with other Plover Lovers in the region and smile with us as we reflect upon the season we have had and look forward to those to come!
The wrap-up will take place at Huron Feathers Presbyterian Centre in Sauble Beach (located at 303 Lakeshore Blvd N, Sauble Beach, ON). Thank you for your interest!
While many of us expected the Piping Plover fledglings of 2017 to leave the beach earlier this week, they have surprised us yet again by sticking around! We have continued to see both Flagboy, the male from Nest 3, along with chicks from both Nest 1 and Nest 3. In fact, yesterday Flagboy was seen foraging with one chick from Nest 1 and one chick from Nest 3. Flagboy seems to have determined that his chicks are now grown up enough to forage with the older fledglings on the beach!
The Piping Plovers have become more difficult to find on the beach because the fledglings are very proficient flyers. They seem to come out of nowhere as you are walking along the beach, meaning that while only 3 were spotted on the beach today, there may still be others around! We will continue to keep an eye out for them to determine their final date of departure. If you have not had the chance to go out and see the fledglings on the beach, now may be the time! We are always happy to hear about your experiences and see your photos, so if you find these free-flying fledglings this week, tell us your stories in the comments below or on our Facebook Page!
With only one Beach Talk left to go, now seems like the perfect time to discuss the way in which our series is wrapping up. Peter Middleton is known to many as a knowledgeable interpreter and engaging presenter, and he certainly drew us in to his talk about beaches on Wednesday night. Beginning with the way in which waves shape the beach, Peter drew us in to a story about the importance of all flora and fauna growing on our Great Lakes Beaches.
We learned about the age-old sand on the shores of Lake Huron and how the grasses on the beach help to hold the sand in place. Peter explained the lichens that anchor the dunes together, and the small orchids (various species of Twayblades) that grow in the local area. Peter went on to discuss the ways in which plants on beaches have many similar adaptations to desert plants, for example, fuzzy leaves to help retain moisture, and explained how morning mists help plants to take in the moisture they need to survive the long dry days at the beach. We learned of the insects along the shore and the camouflaged grasshoppers we may not have noticed before. Peter brought these diverse species together, continually pointing out their place and the way in which Piping Plovers fit into the complex living puzzle. We’re positive that we will notice the incredible biodiversity on our local beaches in the weeks to come.
Our Beach Talks are not finished yet though! Join us next week for our final talk, Coastal Ecosystems and Turtles as we continue to expand our knowledge of the species living along the Great Lakes with an expert from The Lake Huron Centre For Coastal Conservation. The Talk will take place at Huron Feathers Presbyterian Centre on Wednesday, August 2 at 6:30pm! Hope to see you there!
Who wants a fantastic new shirt? We are Plover Lovers T-shirts for between $15-$20 (depending on the size of the order) for those who would like to further support Piping Plover conservation activities and awareness-raising! We are offering two different styles of t-shirts; v-neckline (women’s sizes) and rounded neckline (men’s sizes). Both styles can be seen in the above photo! The deadline for ordering a t-shirt is August 2nd. T-shirts will likely be ready for pick-up by mid August.
Take a look at the t-shirt image below! We are grateful to Leah Ferguson for her creative design!
PLEASE NOTE: it is your responsibility to pick up your t-shirt. The shirts can be paid for upon pick up. When we know when the order is available, we will determine pick up times and locations in Sauble Beach and the surrounding area, so ensure that you are available to make a trip to Sauble Beach in August! Email firstname.lastname@example.org to ask questions about pick-up accommodations. The final pick up date will be at Huron Feathers Presbyterian Centre in Sauble Beach on August 23.
If you would like to order a t-shirt, for have questions, please email Alicia Fortin, Outreach and Education Coordinator for the Plover Lovers at email@example.com. Make sure to include the size, style (V-neck or round neckline), and the number of t-shirts you would like to purchase.