In our past two beach talks, we moved back towards discussions of the birds that inhabit the Huron Fringe. We are a bird group, after all, and we had some great opportunities to go out as a group after the presentations to watch the fledglings foraging. For those of you who wanted to attend but couldn’t, here is a quick summary!
Birds and Ecology Along Lake Huron Shore
Mark Wiercinski is always a crowd pleaser and he did not disappoint! While Mark talked about the Piping Plovers living along the shores of Lake Huron, he went on to talk about the many species of birds inhabiting Bruce-Grey. Mark emphasized the significance of the predator populations in our area, explaining how the populations of Merlins, Bald Eagles, and Osprey that we are lucky to have demonstrate the health of local ecosystems. As he said in the presentation, if an Osprey is eating the fish, you know you can safely eat the fish here as well. He asked us not to dislike the predators for doing what they must do to survive. Mark went on to encourage us to see the extraordinary behaviours in the backyard birds we see every day. Instead of dismissing a Blue Jay, we should look closely at its behaviour, as it carefully watches Black-Capped Chickadees hide seeds for winter and later returns to cache those seeds for itself. Mark inspired everyone to view every bird as an integral part of our local ecosystem and we were very glad to have him.
Sauble’s Super Survivors: A Piping Plover Prop Talk
Alicia Fortin, Plover Lovers Outreach and Education Coordinator worked to bring everyone up to speed on the progress of the Piping Plovers this summer on Sauble Beach. We have found this summer to be one of many surprises, from the birds nesting in unconventional vegetated areas to chicks swimming across drainage ditches! In spite of (or maybe thanks to) the chilly, rainy weather this spring, the Piping Plovers have managed to raise 7 fledglings who will be leaving the beach any day now. We were surprised again when the Piping Plovers had kindly stayed at the “pool” in front of Huron Feathers to forage when we went outside to see them! They were joined by Sanderlings and Semipalmated Plovers as well. We continue to be surprised by these amazing shorebirds, and we hope that they will continue to have success in the years to come!
We still have two upcoming Beach Talks to wrap up our series. Learn more about what makes our sandy shorelines special with Peter Middleton when he presents Beaches: A Lot More Than Sand on Wednesday, July 26. Peter’s theme will continue on August 2nd when Erinn Lawrie comes to talk about some other special species that spend time at our beaches; turtles! Beach Talks take place at 6:30pm every Wednesday at Huron Feathers Presbyterian Centre in Sauble Beach.