Nature Moncton December Meeting
“Cape Town: Its Unique Biodiversity and the Work the Municipality Does to Protect it”
Date: December 11th, 2018
Time: 7:00 pm
Location: Mapleton Park Rotary Lodge
Speaker: Ulrike Irlich

Cape Town (South Africa) is located within the Cape Floristic Region, one of six floral kingdoms on the planet.  Cape Town is a global biodiversity hot spot and has been labeled as the “most biodiverse urban area in the world.”  Cape Town is the proud custodian of over 3300 plant species, 365 bird species and 83 mammal species, and much more.  On top of this, the city boasts high levels of endemism.
This presentation will showcase the unique biodiversity found within the city and highlights some of the work the municipality does to protect its natural heritage.  Ulrike worked for the municipality for 6 years and will talk about Cape Town’s biodiversity and some of the special adaptations and conservation projects around the city.

May 2019

Nature Moncton September Meeting
How Marshes Became Dykelands
Date: September 18, 2018
Time: 7:00 pm
Location: Mapleton Park Rotary Lodge (across from Cabela’s)
Speaker:  Ronnie-Gilles LeBlanc

As naturalists and bird watchers, we roam over many wild places.  And in our quests we often find ourselves in or near the very rich-in-biodiversity salt marshes of the region.  But many of the most accessible marshes having now been converted to dykelands, have you ever asked yourself why and how that happened?  The presentation offered at Nature Moncton’s September meeting will focus on this subject.  The talk given by well- renowned historian Ronnie-Gilles LeBlanc, who has had a long and illustrious career with the Université de Moncton and Environment Canada, will help us understand better these very special places.  Without people realizing it, much of the Bay of Fundy's polders or dykeland in both New Brunswick and Nova Scotia offers some of the best farmland in the world which has been achieved thanks to the « aboiteaux ».  This technology, which originated in North America with French settlers nearly four hundred years ago, has evolved very little over the centuries.  Considered among the first major civil engineering works on this continent, the aboiteau system allowed the Acadian people to prosper until the middle of the eighteenth century and it is thanks to this technology that the agricultural regions of the Bay of Fundy flourished in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.  This presentation will address issues such as the origin of the aboiteau system as well as its operation, with illustrations from yesterday and today that will illuminate for us the complexity of a device designed to cope with the most powerful tides in the world.  As naturalists, knowledge of nature is always something we strive for and this presentation should help us understand much better an important part of the natural world that surrounds us.  Don’t miss it!

Amazing Bird Migration
March 19, 2019 at 7:00 PM
Mapleton Park Rotary Lodge (across from former Cabela’s)
Presenter:  Jim Wilson

Each fall and spring millions of birds make an amazing journey from Canada to their southern wintering areas and back again. Ever wonder how they do it? What about the Robin that disappears at the end of summer but is back next spring, singing in the same tree? Do hummingbirds migrate to Mexico by riding on the backs of geese? Do birds fly at night, and if so, how do they see? What do they do in a hurricane? This talk details some of the incredible feats they accomplish as they are confronted by adverse weather, man-made obstacles and a host of other challenges.

Nature Moncton January meeting
January 15, 2019 at 7:00 PM
Moncton Rotary Lodge (across from former Cabela’s)
Members Night

Have you had an interesting encounter with nature in the past year?  Have you taken some good photos of birds, insects, animals or anything else in the various habitats of New Brunswick?  Have you taken a trip where you were able to experience aspects of nature different from what we have here?  The January Nature Moncton meeting belongs to members like you who wish to share their nature photos and experiences in 15 to 30 minute presentations.   It’s a special night when we get to hear from each other and perhaps learn some things from the everyday experiences of the nature enthusiasts who belong to the club.

Please advise President Gordon Rattray if you have a presentation to share at or call Gordon at 874-6458, so we can line up the evening.

Nature Moncton is a very diverse group with an equal diversity of interests. Let’s share them on January 15, 2019!

As always, all are welcome Nature Moncton member or not.


Field Trip postponed one week to May 11th.

Nature Moncton Field Trip
Cocagne River Flood Plain
Date & Time:  May 11th, from 1:30 pm to 4:30 pm
Meeting Place:  At Roger Leblanc’s home in Notre Dame,  Civic # 3764, route 115 

Spring has arrived. Well kind of. And with it, floods and the problems they cause. But often lost in the news is the fact that annual spring floods are natural events because of which ecosystems have evolved. And one of the most interesting examples of this is the vegetation of the flood plain. From trees to ferns and wild flowers, many species have learned to take advantage of the disturbed, wet, fertile soil and early reproduction season made possible by the annual spring flood. To help you take in this very special habitat, Nature Moncton is proposing a Flood Plain Outing on Saturday, May 11th, on the banks of one of the most ecological pristine rivers in the region -- the Cocagne River. We will first meet up at Roger Leblanc’s place and from there proceed to the bridge on Rte 115 where we will walk about one km up the river, taking in plants and other wildlife we encounter. Then we will make a short cross-country trek to a woodland trail that will lead us back to Roger’s place. This walk will be of medium difficulty and should last around 3 hours. 

Dress details: Dress for the weather. Rubber boots are recommended.

If you want to pick some of the Fiddle Head ferns that might already

be present, bring a knife and something to carry your prize in. 

All are welcome, Nature Moncton member or not.


January 2019

Nature Moncton Workshop and Outing, WHAT’S THAT BIRD???
Date: June 16th, 2018
Time: 9:00 am (workshop); outing in the afternoon.
Location: Tankville School.
Leader: Roger Leblanc.
Cost: $8.00

Are you just getting started in bird watching and asking yourself these kinds of questions:
-  Where do I start to identify a bird? There are so many.
-  What about guides, apps, sites and equipment? What should I get?
   And once I have the toys what should I do with them?
- What about places to bird? Field vs.feeders.
- Where do I find what bird?
- Where do I find help out there?
- How do I get better at birding?

Nature Moncton recognizes that a lot of new bird enthusiasts are joining our ranks but also that it’s not easy getting started.  In order to share the great pleasure and sense of accomplishment one gets from learning to know birds and nature better, we are offering a birding workshop for beginners with our own Roger Leblanc. Roger, a well known birder and bird expert with more than 20 years of experience, will explore all these questions with you and any others you might have. He will also share with you his expertise on finding and identifying birds as well as many tips on various aspects of bird watching. And after a couple of hours indoors talking about birds and birding, we will put it all together by --“YES” -- going birding together. At this point you can put your newfound know-how to the test in the field again with the help of Roger. As many have said, bird watching is all about time spent in the field and so we will go out to see what the nesting season has in store for us. Some extra binoculars and scopes will be available.
All are welcome, Nature Moncton member or not.

Nature Moncton May Meeting 
Environmental Planning and Management for the City of Moncton 
Tuesday, May 21, 2019 at 7:00 p.m. 
Mapleton Park Rotary Lodge 
Presenter: Elaine Aucoin, P.Eng

Elaine Aucoin’s role as Director of Environmental Planning and Management for the City of Moncton is to manage potential environmental issues on City projects as well as develop and implement environmental programs and initiatives for the Corporations.  Amongst other projects, she is currently working on advancing climate change adaptation initiatives as well as greenhouse gas reduction projects.  As part of this presentation, Elaine could discuss the following: 

Surface water quality (issues and implemented measures)
Naturalized Storm Water Management and constructed wetlands
Watershed management
Climate change adaptation initiatives
Recent greenhouse gas emissions reduction initiatives 

The City of Moncton has received national awards for some of the environmental projects the City has initiated and put in use. Elaine will have a lot to share on what is happening on our doorstep that many of us are not aware of.

All are welcome, Nature Moncton Member or not.

April, 2019

Type: You paragraMarshland Outing – follow-up to Acadian Dikes Presentation
Date: September 29, 2018
Meeting Time: 8:00 A.M.
Meeting Place: Champlain Place parking lot behind the Burger King
Guide: Roger Leblanc

Many of the great birding and nature watching spots in our region are situated in or around salt marshes, as are several towns and cities. But these habitats have also been used historically for agricultural production. The intensive dike and water control methods used for this are considered one of the first engineering feats on the continent and a monument has even been erected by the Canadian Society of Civil Engineering to recognize this. As Nature Moncton’s September meeting featured a presentation on this subject we thought it would be a good idea to do a follow-up outing to the diked marsh below Fort Beauséjour near the NB -NS border where it is still possible to see the remnants of this work as well as the monument. Bird life and nature are also very present there at this time, so this would be a chance to mix a bit of history and nature observation. The outing will be led by our own Roger Leblanc and the meeting point for the outing and car pooling will be at 8:00 AM Saturday the 29 of September in the Champlain Place parking lot behind the Burger King.

This will be a full day outing. Bring a lunch, check the weather and dress accordingly.

Nature Moncton February Meeting
Our Small Rodent Community and Those That Depend on Them
Mapleton Park Rotary Lodge, February 19, 2019 at 7:00 PM
Presenter: Nelson Poirier​

The small rodents may be some of the most populous members of Mother Nature’s community and are no doubt some of the most 
significant members of that community for the reason that they provide food to larger mammals like foxes, wild cats, coyote, 
weasels, mink, etc., and to birds up the food chain that we all appreciate so much, such as owls and other raptors.​
As numerous as the small rodents are, we don’t often get to see them
due to their secretive, nocturnal, and sometimes only ground-level life.
Let’s spend a few moments getting to know these smaller creatures by
their first names and learn about their very interesting lives and times,
and also become more aware of the critters whose existence depends upon them.​​​​

Moncton’s Parks, Trails, Urban Forestry.

Date: June17th, 2018.
Time: 7:00 PM.
Location: Mapleton Park Rotary Lodge (across from Cabela’s).
Speaker: Dan Hicks. 

Moncton’s Parks, Trails, Urban Forestry, etc. Dan Hicks is Director of Parks and Leisure Services for the City of Moncton which leaves Dan to oversee Moncton’s Trail system, urban forestry, horticultural plantings, and recreational facilities. Dan has completed advanced studies in urban forestry to make him a key person in the development of Moncton as a green municipality. Dan will touch on the present system and what the plans are for the future, and he will also touch on what the City has done in the field of wetland management that led to a recent award from Ducks Unlimited which recognized the City’s approach to managing such crucial habitat.

This is the last presentation till September.

February 2019

Nature Moncton Workshop and Outing
The Warblers Are Coming
Saturday May 25, 2019
Place:  Tankville School, 1665 Elmwood Dr.
Presenter and Guide:  Roger Leblanc
Time:  Workshop will begin at 9:00 AM; Outing (around Moncton) will begin after 12:00 noon.

** If you want to have a chance to see some early morning warblers, show up in the parking lot of the school at 8:00 AM and Roger will lead the group to some trails behind the school as a pre-workshop warm-up. 

Cost for Workshop:  $8.00
Reservations:  Contact Louise Nichols at


In our region we are blessed to be in one of the best places for diversity of wood warblers. Twenty-three of these singing beauties nest in the province. And since they all leave in winter for warmer climes (and they say they have ”bird brains”!) spring is a time of great rejoicing when they come back to us dressed in their finest colors, singing their little hearts out, and very active with the new breeding season. But there are lots of species and they are small and don’t stay put for long, so learning to identify them is not always easy.  However, since they are quite colorful and vocalize a lot, it is possible to become familiar with them -- and the reward is surely one of the best experiences bird watching has to offer. 

SO if this your year to finally “learn the warblers” Nature Moncton has prepared a workshop/outing especially for you. Our own Roger Leblanc, who has been working at figuring out warblers for decades, will first take a couple of hours indoors to go through the nesting species of NB with a special emphasis on the 18 species or so that can be found around Moncton. After lunch we will head out to previously scouted spots were it should be possible to find most of them and try out the ID knowledge learned in the workshop.  We will take full advantage of the wood warbler spring extravaganza! Why not come out and join us?  

All are welcome, Nature Moncton member or not.


March 2019

Nature Moncton Field Trip
Date: Saturday, July 28, 2018
Time: 8:30 am start from Moncton, or 10:00 am start at location (for the day)
Location: Grand Lake Meadows
Leader: Gart Bishop

Gart Bishop kept a packed house audience in awe at the photos of unique flora in the Grand Lake Meadows area at a Nature Moncton meeting in April. The opportunity for a hands-on visit is waiting. Explore the flora of Grand Lake Meadows on Saturday, July 28 and get the chance to touch New Brunswick’s smallest plant. We will see two species of poison ivy, sweet flag, silver maples, many pond weeds, begger ticks, bryozoa, and potentially much more. And wherever there is good plant habitat, there is also good bird habitat, so we will have a chance to check out the birds too while we’re there. Those who are interested in participating in this field trip are asked to register with Louise Nichols at We would like to have as much car-pooling as possible which is good for the environment and good for socializing with fellow club members! When you register, please also indicate whether you would be willing to drive others OR if you need a drive just so we can ensure we have enough vehicles.
Those who are joining others for car-pooling and leaving from Moncton will meet in the parking lot of the coliseum on July 28 th at 8:30. Otherwise, we will all meet with Gart at Turner’s One-stop store parking lot at 10:00 at Jemseg, located just south of the TransCanada Highway on Route 339. Make sure to bring drinking water, lunch, insect epellent, raincoat if indicated, rubber boot footwear, binoculars, and magnifying lens (if you have a pair). Please note that there will be a maximum of 20 participants for this trip. All are welcome, Nature Moncton member or not.

June 2018

Saturday March 02, 2019
10:00 am (bring a lunch).  We should be done around 3:00 pm
Southeast ECO 360 Landfill site -- community room
Presenter and Guide – Alain Clavette
Cost -- $8.00​​​ 
(Please reserve a spot with Louise Nichols at

For many birdwatchers, both beginners and more seasoned birders, the group that is the most challenging to identify in the field is often the LARIDS ...the GULLS!  In fact, they can be so challenging, they are often totally overlooked. 

‘’That's really a shame because the possibilities of finding wonderful vagrants in the Maritimes are always there with these great hardy travelers’’ Alain Clavette, a convinced LARIDOPHILE, will tell you: ‘’Remember the story of Jonathan Livingston Seagull? “ 

Gulls are strong, powerful, hardy birds that can travel long distances without touching land. They can rest on the water and they can survive very intense storms. And who is more resourceful than a gull when it comes to finding food it can survive on pretty much anywhere? 

On February the 16th, COME GULLING!! And learn the basics of NB’s gull identification. Join birder and U. de Moncton ornithology teacher Alain Clavette at the Moncton landfill where there are a lot of gulls to learn from. We will start the day at 10:00 am in the community room where Alain will show you a few tips on gulls via a PowerPoint presentation.  After lunch, we will go outside amongst hundreds of birds to watch and learn. 

*Bring appropriate clothing as it is usually QUITE A BIT COLDER over there on the hill in the wind.

All are Welcome, Nature Moncton Member or not.

​(Pictures by Alain Clavette.)

June, 2019

December 2018

Nature Moncton April Meeting
Spring Flowers
Mapleton Park Rotary Lodge, April 16, 2019 at 7:00 pm
Presenter: David Mazerolle

The warming weather and longer days bring rapid change in our forests, fields and wetlands, as perennial plant life re-awakens from its winter slumber. For annual wildflowers, life begins anew as sprouting seeds bring on the new generation. For some animals, the springtime blooms offer sustenance; for others, they are an enticing preview of the bountiful fruit harvest to come. Attentive naturalists know that even as early as mid-April we are surrounded by blooms of various kinds. Some are quite showy and easy to spot, while many more require a trained eye.

This talk will briefly cover some basics on flowers (evolution, structure, function, diversity, etc.) and will touch on various reproductive strategies used by our native plant species. With this little bit of theory out of the way, we’ll take some time to go through a parade of photos that will showcase some of our region’s most characteristic springtime flowers as well a number of inconspicuous ones and intriguing rarities. This will be a good opportunity to learn a few things about our diverse native flora and will serve as a good primer for “budding” botanists.

Presenter and Guide:  Roger Leblanc
Date: March 30, 2019
Time: 9:30 at Sobeys on Elmwood Drive (workshop); then gather in the Sobeys parking lot at 1:00 pm to depart for outing along the coast.
Cost:  $8.00 (workshop).  The outing part of the event is free. 


We all know what a duck is. They are one of the most recognizable groups of birds. They are big, colorful (males in particular) and not hard to find. But the reality of waterfowls gets a bit more complex when you scratch the surface. You have dabbling ducks that eat mostly vegetation on inland ponds and diving ducks that go for live prey deeper down, often out on the coast. Some species are kind of in between and will be a bit of both. These feeding habits condition behaviors and migration patterns. And then there is the group that can be loosely referred to as “sea ducks”. In our area we are lucky to be near a natural phenomenon, which can be quite impressive. In early spring a lot of sea ducks will follow the Northumberland coast up to their northern breeding grounds. En route, they will often stop to feed and rest in large numbers. And this is our chance to observe them at a time when breeding behavior and vocalization is not only possible but also expected.  

To help you explore this natural spectacle, Nature Moncton is offering a workshop /outing on sea ducks. You will first have a chance to gain or brush up on your abilities to ID the birds and better understand their behavior (workshop); and then we will head out to find them on the water. Roger Leblanc will be our leader on this quest.  He has been studying the sights and sounds of sea ducks on the Northumberland coast for decades and is always pleased to share that knowledge with others. 

So why not join us Saturday March 30th for an informative workshop and then a spectacular outing?  The group will assemble at 9:30 AM in the community room of the Elmwood Dr Sobeys in Moncton. Pre registration is advised as space is limited.  The workshop will cover field ID and interesting facts about the dozen or so duck species that we could / should see during the outing. After lunch we will leave the Sobeys parking lot at 1:00 PM and head down to the coast of the strait which we will explore roughly from Shediac to Bouctouche, stopping at many spots along the way that are well known by Roger as staging areas for sea ducks at this time of year.  So if you have always wanted to know more about sea ducks and their habits, this activity is for you. Come join us for a fun learning activity.


Register with Louise Nichols at

All are welcome, Nature Moncton member or not.​​


September 2018

July 2018

Nature Moncton June 2019 Meeting
June 18, 2019.  7:00 pm
Mapleton Rotary Lodge (across from former Cabela’s)

Wasps, Hornets, Bees and Insect Ecology Research in Our Region
Guest Speaker:  Gaëtan Moreau, entomology professor UdeM

Hymenoptera are the second most diverse animal order on the planet after beetles, with more than 230,000 species described and many new species documented every day. They are, however, unpopular, largely due to the bad reputation of wasps, hornets and ants. Even species essential to our way of life such as honeybees and wild bumblebees are victims of this bad press because of widespread confusion among non-specialists as to their identification. In this presentation, we will discuss the importance of this order, their ecological role (what is a wasp doing other than stinging people) and their identification. Finally, we will discuss insect ecology research currently carried out in Southeastern New Brunswick.

This presentation is open to the public and as always all are welcome,
Nature Moncton member or not.

Saturday, January 26, 2019
8:30 am at Coliseum Parking Lot

Nature Moncton’s annual bird feeder tour will take place on Saturday January 26th . Participants are asked to meet at 8:30 AM at the northeast corner of the coliseum parking lot. 

The first stop will be the Renton’s in Stilesville to see the many birds in their well-stocked feeder yard while socializing over a delicious pot-luck breakfast. Participants are asked to bring food contributions.  After leaving the Renton’s, the group will travel to Mapleton Park for a quick stop to see the ducks, then on to a few other feeders to finally end up at Nelson and Pat Poirier’s in the afternoon. Come and enjoy a day with fellow birding enthusiasts along with the excitement of seeing what turns up at the visited feeders.

All are welcome, Nature Moncton member or not.​

Rescheduled to Wednesday June 13. 

Nature Moncton Field Trip, OUT TO THE WOODS.
Date : June 13th, 2018.
Time : Meet at 5 :45 pm (to 9 :00 pm)
Location : Meet at Tankville School and we will proceed from there up Rte 115.
Leader : Roger Leblanc and Mathieu Leblanc.                                                        

 It’s spring! Migratory birds are coming back, plants are flowering, insects are flying  (yes even mosquitoes) and soon mushrooms will be coming out. And a lot of that is happening in or around the forest. In fact a veritable cornucopia of natural sights and sounds is available in forested areas at all times of the year, but spring is special and some of us will be passing quite a bit of time birding and conducting other activities in forested habitat during the coming season.  But how much do we really know about the beautiful Acadian forest around us? And then there is forestry? Wood is one of the main resources of the province.

 If any or all of these questions have been on your mind Nature Moncton will give you a chance to learn more. On Friday June 8th we will be offering an evening outing to a working woodlot about 20 km North of Moncton in Notre Dame at civic # 3764 on route 115. The owner of the land, our own Roger Leblanc, cuts firewood for his own use on these 150 acres and he will be there to talk about that but also show us the birds that nest there and some of the things, like owl nesting boxes, he does to help out our feathered friends. An added bonus will be the presence of Mathieu Leblanc a local forester who operates a sustainable commercial harvesting company. He will talk about the trees and forest types we cross on our approximately two-kilometre walk that will go at a leisurely pace on easy trails and last about 3 hours. Mathieu will also explain the services he offers to his clients that in a nutshell are able to make some profit from his land while still making sure its biological integrity is preserved for future generations.  So why not join us for this outing of discovery? And who knows? -- if they are still there we just might end the walk with a visit to a nesting family of Saw-whet Owls Roger has been lucky enough to host this spring.

All are welcome, Nature Moncton member or not.