NATURE MONCTON FEBRUARY MEETING
Tuesday February 15th, 2022 at 7:00 pm
Virtual Meeting
“New Brunswick’s Newest Avian Immigrant:  The Wild Turkey”
Presenter:  Jim Wilson


Never in our history has a new bird discovered our province on foot – until now. Slowly and quietly during the past two decades, hundreds of Wild Turkeys eluded border officials and slipped into New Brunswick from Maine, where a vibrant population of the birds is firmly established in all 16 counties. But how does a bird of this size, a species that was never here historically, cope with finding food in deep winter snow and cold, compete with native bird species and evade potential new predators? Well, Wild Turkeys are doing just that, and quite successfully. Our Wild Turkeys now number in the thousands. This talk will explain how they do it.

All are welcome, Nature Moncton member or not.




Milkweed Survey for Monarch Butterflies

Date:            Sunday July 31st
Time:            1:00 to 4:00 (approx.)
Meeting Place:    1827 Amirault St. in Dieppe (Rhéal Vienneau’s place)


Want to learn more about the Monarch butterfly, which was added just last week to the endangered species list of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature?  Are you interesting in doing your little part to help out this beautiful insect? Nature Moncton is offering you a great opportunity to do just that this coming Sunday. In the context of the International Monarch Monitoring Blitz fostered in the province by Nature NB, we will first take part in a quick information session on the Monarch with local butterfly expert Rhéal Vienneau and then go on an outing to survey a couple of known local Milkweed patches (the Monarch host plants) for eggs and caterpillars.

Rhéal has a great love of butterflies in general and has in particular observed, studied and even bred and released Monarchs (and other butterflies) for many years, so he will be a great guide for us on this mission to help out the Monarchs. So why not come and join us this Sunday July 31st at 1:00 in Rhéal’s yard situated at 1827 Amirault St in Dieppe? After talking to us a bit about the Monarch and the importance of the egg and caterpillar monitoring blitz, Rhéal will then show us with live specimens how to recognize the eggs and caterpillars of the Monarch. From there we will follow him to a couple of known local milkweed “hot spots” which we will explore to look for the presence of Monarch eggs and caterpillars. Bring water and bring a snack if you think you will need it. The territory covered should be open and level, making for easy walking. See you there!




September, 2022


NATURE MONCTON FIELD TRIP TO THE MAPLETON ACADIAN FOREST TRAIL IN ELGIN
Date:     Saturday October 8th  (Rain date:  Sunday Oct. 9th)
Time:    9:30 AM
Meeting Place:  The Elgin Country Kitchen and General Store (from there, we will go together to the entrance of the trail)



Mapleton Acadian Forest Trail

Last spring, we enjoyed an outing on this trail, but it’s worth a visit in every season.
October will bring highlights not seen in May, especially an abundance of wild mushrooms
and the beauty of the fall colours.  This will be a full day outing, so bring a lunch.  As some of you may remember, the trail winds through a superb example of a mature Acadian forest characterized by a mix of evergreen and deciduous trees growing in a relatively humid environment. This creates fertile soil and good habitat for all kinds of living things that will be waiting for us there, and much to investigate for mushroom lovers.
 
The Mapleton Acadian Forest Nature Preserve was established in 2016 to conserve in perpetuity this otherwise endangered habitat in the province. The preserve is the result of a partnership between The Elgin Eco Association and the Nature Trust of New Brunswick. It covers 160 acres and boasts an excellent 3 km nature trail with several interpretive panels which will help us understand the natural beauties and also historic aspects of the preserve, like an old manganese processing plant from the 1930’s, a sugar camp, and some remnants of old-time forestry. On the nature side there will be much to see like huge mature trees of several species, in particular a stand of towering hemlocks several centuries old.

How to get there and difficulty level:

The entrance to the Mapleton Acadian Forest Trail is located 4.4 km down the NB-895 after turning off the NB-905 just before Elgin.  We will meet first at the Elgin Country and Kitchen General Store in Elgin which is located at # 4 River Rd.  Take exit 233 from the Trans Canada highway onto NB-905 and follow it down until it changes to River Rd.  From the store, we will all go together to the trail entrance, so no one gets lost.  

Be aware that the trail has some difficult sections.  There are some hills to be climbed on uneven ground, so please be sure you are in good physical shape.  Appropriate footwear and clothing are advised.  



July, 2022


NATURE MONCTON FIELD TRIP TO THE BAIE VERTE NATURE RESERVE AND PORT ELGIN LAGOON


** Postponed to Sunday, May 29 **

DATE:    Saturday May 28th (rain date: Sunday May 29th)
TIME:   9:30 AM
MEETING PLACE:  The parking lot of Saint James United Church at the corner of Main St. (Rte 970) and Siddall Rd. in Baie Verte.
GUIDES:  Louise Nichols (location) and Roger Leblanc (birds)



The end of May can be a very active time in Nature. While this is the case everywhere there are some spots where the “show” seems to be concentrated. And one of these is certainly the coastal region between Baie Verte and Port Elgin. Situated at the northeastern end of the Isthmus of Chignecto it is clearly on a bird migration route but also harbors vast marsh and coastal habitats that favor a lot of life forms from insects to plants and more.  On this field trip, we’ll explore a couple of special spots in this unique region.  From the starting point at the church, we will drive down Siddall Rd. until we get to the Baie Verte Nature Reserve, protected by the Nature Conservancy of Canada.  We will then walk an easy trail (about 2 km one way) that passes through some marsh areas, open fields and woods until it finally reaches the beaches of the Northumberland Strait.  The area’s diversity is good for birds, but also butterflies, dragonflies, and a variety of plant species.  We will pass by an Osprey nest which was active last summer.

Afterward, we’ll drive along Rte 970 to Port Elgin where we’ll stop and visit the lagoon in the centre of town.  This lagoon (not widely known) tends to attract a different variety of waterfowl from some other lagoons, with more diving ducks, especially Buffleheads in the spring and fall.  The lagoon also attracts swallows to the nest boxes erected at the lagoon and many warbler species to the treed areas around it.  If we have time, we can walk a moderately rough trail about half a kilometre through the woods that ends in a marshy area along the shoreline of the Gaspereau River.

Bring a lunch and snacks.
All are welcome, Nature Moncton member or not.



October, 2022

February, 2022

November, 2022


NATURE MONCTON OUTING
Shorebird ID “uncomplicated”
Date:            Saturday Sept. 10th
Time:             2:00 pm
Meeting Place:    One Fish Bistro (5670, Rte 15 in Shemogue)

It’s interesting to note that of the 38 species of shorebirds ever recorded in the province you could (with a bit of luck … well maybe more than a bit) see all but 5 any given year at many spots where water meets land in the province. But that said there are some very special places where your chances are not only better of seeing large numbers but also diversity of species. For numbers, the Johnson’s Mills to Dorchester Cape site is well known and certainly offers a very special spectacle to take in. But IDing an individual bird in a group of several thousand is far from easy and diversity is not actually at its highest at that location.  If you want diversity, there are better spots and one of the best in recent years has been the Petit-Cap Dune, and more precisely, the lagoon it protects. At low tide the exposed flats create an “all you can eat” banquet for shorebirds as well as other sea birds.

Nature Moncton is offering a guided outing to Petit-Cap with our own shorebird expert Roger Leblanc.  For shorebird viewing, tides are of the essence, so the following date and time frame is very important. The date will be September 10th and the meeting for the outing will be at 2 pm in the parking lot of One Fish Bistro at 5676 Route 15 in Shemogue.  This is just at the corner of Route 950 which we will drive down, and in less than 5 minutes we will arrive at the Petit-Cap Dune. The walk on the beach is an easy hike on to the point where you can access the mud flats behind the dune. Birds can be expected on the beach but should also mostly be feeding on the mud flats that will be exposed by low tide at that time. Once there, you might want to walk in a bit of water to get closer to the show so bring appropriate footwear, or just be ready to go shoeless. Roger will help us find and ID the shorebirds (as well as the many other feathered friends hanging around). He will also share with us his knowledge of the great migration phenomenon that will hopefully be unfolding right before our eyes.

Hope to see you there!
All are welcome, Nature Moncton member or not.





Nature Moncton June Meeting
Tuesday evening, June 21 at 7:00 PM
Mapleton Park Rotary Pavilion
The World of New Brunswick Moths
Speaker: Jim Edsall



June is that time of year when many of the beautiful creatures of the night, particularly moths, get their seasonal missions underway.
We have hundreds of moth species resident to New Brunswick. Some may be small and drab, but many are strikingly beautiful, both large (very) and small.  And moths are extremely important pollinators for many of our plant community.
When it comes to identifying moths, Jim Edsall is one of the top experts and Jim will join us on Tuesday, June 21, to share with us how to attract these creatures of the night to our yards, where to find them away from our yards, and some helpful ways to identify them.
This presentation will take place at the Rotary Pavilion of Mapleton Park but will be live streamed virtually as well for those who cannot participate in person.
Let’s all go on the night shift to fly with the moths!



All are welcome, Nature Moncton member or not.





NATURE MONCTON OUTING
TOUR OF AN EARTHSHIP HOUSE
DATE:  Saturday March 19, 2022
PLACE: Memramcook (see address below)
TIME:  1:30 pm




Have you ever wondered if it would be rough to live off the grid in harmony with nature?  No water main? No Hydro?  Well, wonder no longer.   Come out on Saturday March 19, 2022 at 1:30 for a guided tour of a wonderful off grid, sustainable, green home designed and built according to the Earthship model -- a passive solar home built with natural and upcycled materials.  If time permits, we can go for a walk in the area following the tour.  This new home is located at 16 Rockland No. 1 Road, Taylor Village.  NB.  There will be a limit of 20 people (two groups of 10).  If you would like to come to this activity please contact fredrichards@rogers.com , susan_richards@rogers.com or phone 506-334-0100 to reserve a spot.



 

April, 2022


Nature Moncton November meeting
Tuesday, November 15, 2022, at 7:00 PM
Subject: Getting to Know Common Lichens
Speaker: Kendra Driscoll - New Brunswick Museum
Moncton Rotary Lodge



Lichens are a fascinating community in Mother Nature’s world and they are with us to enjoy all year long.
Kendra Driscoll, Curatorial and Research Technician for Botany and Mycology at the New Brunswick Museum, is a specialist in lichens and has helped us appreciate the lichen photos submitted to Nature News with her always nice-to-know commentary.
Kendra will tailor her presentation to amateur lichen appreciation by introducing 10 of the most commonly encountered species with some identification features of each to help us enjoy our outdoor experiences all the more by being able to call several by name.
Expect Kendra’s contagious enthusiasm to get us all looking a bit more closely at something that cooperatively will stay still to be checked out and does not have to be stalked to look at!

All are welcome, Nature Moncton member or not.








NATURE MONCTON APRIL MEETING
April 19th, 2022 at 7:00 PM
Virtual Meeting
Leach’s Storm Petrel in Atlantic Canada: Status, Research, and Conservation
Presenter:  Laura McFarlane Tranquilla



Leach’s Storm Petrels are robin-sized, dusky-grey seabirds that spend nearly all their lives far out to sea, coming to offshore colonies during the summer months to lay eggs and raise chicks.  This seabird has a global distribution, occurring in both Pacific and Atlantic oceans; and we can be proud that the world’s largest colony, at ~2 million pairs, is in Atlantic Canada, on Newfoundland’s Baccalieu Island.  However, despite being one of the most common seabirds in the North Atlantic, Leach’s storm petrel populations are in trouble.  Declines on Baccalieu Island (estimated ~ 42% decline, from 3.4 to 1.9 million pairs over 29 years)  and at other colonies in the North Atlantic have caused the species to be listed in 2016 on the IUCN red list as “vulnerable” , and as “threatened” in 2019 with COSEWIC (2020). The trouble is, though the species faces a number of threats, there is no single threat that stands out to explain this dramatic decline.  This talk outlines the biology of Leach’s Storm Petrels, the conservation threats they face, and ongoing efforts in Atlantic Canada to study and monitor this interesting seabird.

All are welcome, Nature Moncton member or not.




NATURE MONCTON OCTOBER MEETING
Tuesday OCTOBER 18th, 2022 at 7:00 PM
Mapleton Lodge
Building a Pollinator Garden
Presenter: Neil Vinson


We are fortunate to have Neil Vinson present us with the information to develop a pollinator garden at our homes.  Nature needs all the help we can give to support this basic need in the ecosystem of our yards and beyond.
Originally from Halifax, NS, Neil Vinson has been living in Moncton since graduating from the Maritime College of Forest Technology in 2014. Shortly after graduation, Neil started working in resource conservation at Fundy National Park, where he is now into his ninth year. Neil’s love of plants and birds started in school but flourished during his time spent at Fundy. In his day-to-day work, Neil conducts forest bird monitoring, battles with invasive plants, and measures forest growth in permanent sample plots.
 
Neil has been involved with Fundy’s 400m2 native plant pollinator garden since its inception in 2019 – adding new species, knocking back overly-aggressive ones, weeding, and performing general maintenance. Through this work Neil has developed a passion for gardening with native plants and spreading the word on the importance of reintroducing our native species back into our urban landscapes.



March, 2022


NATURE MONCTON OUTING:  GAGETOWN ISLAND

Due to mechanical problems with the boat transport to the island this outing has been cancelled.  Attempts will be made to reschedule possibly the next year.

Date:                          July 16, 2022 (rain date: July 17, 2022)
Meeting Time:         10:00 AM
Meeting Place:        Gagetown Marina
Cost:                           $10

 

Not many of us have visited Gagetown Island, one of New Brunswick’ hidden gems in the middle of the St. John River.  It’s a place we have all passed possibly hundreds of times, but not ventured out to. The island has a very old historic homestead; it is also home to a breeding Black Tern colony, and no doubt holds many other of nature’s surprises.

Nature Moncton is planning an exploration visit to the island on Saturday, July 16, 2022.

The island is only a short boat ride from the Gagetown Marina. Frank Merrill with Ducks Unlimited has kindly offered to ferry folks over to the island. Local historian John Johnston will also be present to provide an historical perspective. Gart Bishop will join us as well to help us out with our botanical discoveries.

We will meet at the Gagetown Marina at 10:00 AM to make sure not to miss the boat! The visit will end when it ends, but folks who wish to depart earlier can be transported back. Be prepared for biting insects and wet areas, and a packed lunch will be a necessity. The walking may be a bit rough at times, so please consider your level of physical fitness --don’t expect any groomed trails.

For those who are able, it’s a short canoe/kayak crossing if you   wish to join by paddling.

Early registration is suggested with Louise Nichols, Activities Committee chairperson, at nicholsl@eastlink.ca with name and contact email as numbers may have to be limited to 20 people on the boats.

Nature Moncton members will be given priority and can register up to June 15th. After that registration will be open to both members and non-members.

A Personal Floatation Device or Life Jacket will be required to be worn on the boat.

Join us for this unique adventure!

 

May, 2022

January, 2022

June, 2022


NATURE MONCTON JANUARY MEETING
JANUARY 18, 2022 AT 7:00 PM
VIRTUAL MEETING
MEMBERS’ NIGHT

 

Once again, we have decided to hold our annual Members’ Night meeting virtually in order to keep everyone safe from Covid-19.  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? The January Nature Moncton meeting belongs to members like you who would like to share their photos and stories of that world in short 15-minute presentations. 

If you have something you’d like to share, contact Fred Richards at fredrichards@rogers.com and he will instruct you how to present on Zoom (very easy!) and do a short practice run with you if you’d like.

Let’s start 2022 off the right way – by sharing with one another our positive experiences of the natural world around us!

All are welcome, Nature Moncton member or not.






NATURE MONCTON FIELD TRIP TO THE MAPLETON ACADIAN FOREST TRAIL IN ELGIN
Date:     Saturday May 7th   (Rain date:  Sunday May 8th)
Time:    9:30 AM
Meeting Place:  The Elgin Country Kitchen and General Store


(from there, we will go together to the entrance of the trail)
Mapleton Acadian Forest Trail



A full day outing (bring a lunch) to the Mapleton Acadian Forest Trail near the village of Elgin is very interesting at any time of year but on May 7th, at the peak of spring, it should be exceptional. The trail winds through a superb example of a mature Acadian forest characterized by a mix of evergreen and deciduous trees growing in a relatively humid environment. This creates fertile soil and good habitat for all kinds of living things that will be waiting for us there.
 
The Mapleton Acadian Forest Nature Preserve was established in 2016 to conserve in perpetuity this otherwise endangered habitat in the province. The preserve is the result of a partnership between The Elgin Eco Association and the Nature Trust of New Brunswick. It covers 160 acres and boasts an excellent 3 km nature trail with several interpretive panels which will help us understand the natural beauties and also historic aspects of the preserve, like an old manganese processing plant from the 1930’s, a sugar camp, and some remnants of old time forestry. On the nature side there will be much to see like huge mature trees of several species, in particular a stand of towering hemlocks several centuries old. Botanists should also find all kinds of woodland plants and flowers just starting to bloom.  Mammals, while also present, might be quite shy of humans (and who could blame them). Still we should see signs. For instance nesting boxes have been placed along the trail for Northern Flying Squirrels for which this is perfect habitat. And the timing will certainly also be perfect for birds which should be in full song and display at the start of breeding season. Returning wood warblers should be the star of the birding show and at least 10 to 12 species of those can be expected.

How to get there and difficulty level:
The entrance to the Mapleton Acadian Forest Trail is located 4.4 km down the NB-895 after turning off the NB-905 just before Elgin.  We will meet first at the Elgin Country and Kitchen General Store in Elgin which is located at # 4 River Rd.  Take exit 233 from the Trans Canada highway onto NB-905 and follow it down until it changes to River Rd.  From the store, we will all go together to the trail entrance, so no one gets lost.  


The trail can be described as medium difficulty.  There are some hills to be climbed and appropriate footwear and clothing are advised.  




NATURE MONCTON MAY MEETING
May 17, 2022 at 7:00 PM
Location: Rotary Pavillion at Mapleton Park (live meeting)



"A Virtual Field Trip: Fisheries Science and Long-term Monitoring in the Southern Gulf of St. Lawrence and Maritimes Region of Atlantic Canada"
Presenter:  Andrew Darcy

As the weather warms up and we think forward to enjoying outdoor activities, fisheries scientists at the Department of Fisheries and Oceans gear up for another busy field season.

Andrew Darcy is currently a technician with the Marine Fish and Mammal group which operates out of the Gulf Fisheries Center in Moncton, New Brunswick, and functions under the Ecosystem Science division of Fisheries & Oceans Canada.

His presentation will include an overview of the department's current research objectives with a focus on lab and field activities. A virtual field trip will take us through the day-to-day activities of being aboard a research vessel conducting trawl surveys in the Gulf region. We will learn about fishing methods and sampling techniques used on these surveys, as well as an introduction to the diversity and identification of a variety of vertebrate and invertebrate marine species that are commonly encountered on a daily basis while at sea. Please join us for what is sure to be a "fintastic" evening and explore a world that is seldomly seen by most.



Nature Moncton Field Trip - Northumberland Coast Outing: Port Elgin to Cape Jourimain

Date:   Saturday, November 19th
Time:   8:15 AM (or 9:00 AM) to late afternoon (or as long as folks want to stay)
Meeting Place:  a) Behind Burger King at Champlain Mall (8:15 AM)
            b) Shell gas station, Port Elgin (9:00 AM)
Guides:  Roger Leblanc and Louise Nichols




When you think of great birding, what comes to mind first is the migration periods of May and September. But although those are times when birds are moving in big numbers with such breathtaking phenomena as the return of warblers in spring and the passage of shorebirds in fall, did you know that statistically the best month for mega-rarities is actually November? But at any time, location, location, location is the magic word. And one of the best places to go looking around here in November is the most south-easterly part of the province along the Northumberland coast from Port Elgin to Cape Jourimain National Wildlife area. And so that is where Nature Moncton is proposing a full day outing.

What to expect and where:


At this time of year, variety will be lower than it would be in spring, but lots of species are on winter territory or still on the move, in particular water-loving birds like ducks and gulls that can be in huge numbers at specific spots. For that reason, our first stop will be the Port Elgin water treatment lagoon where high numbers of sea ducks and Bonaparte’s Gulls could be present with whatever else might have followed them there. From there we will follow the coast, stopping at many well-known spots (and some maybe not so well known) on the shore but also inland. There we will look again for water birds but also upland species. We will continue our adventure with a stop at Cape Tormentine where the village and the infrastructure of the closed down ferry terminal as well as the still active wharf have proven time and again to be attractive at that time of year to many interesting species. We will then finish our day with a stop at the Cape Jourimain National Wildlife Area where the many ponds and trails on the peninsula have also been magnets in the past for some very good birds in late fall. So all in all, we should be in for a good number of species and who knows what “rare one” might be present at some of those spots that have proven over the years to be very productive in November.


Where to meet and when:

Those in the Moncton area who wish to carpool to Port Elgin can meet Roger Leblanc at 8:15 AM behind the Burger King in the Champlain Mall parking lot.  Others can meet Louise Nichols at 9:00 AM in the parking lot of the Shell gas station on Hwy 16 at the Port Elgin roundabout.


Bring a lunch.  All are welcome, Nature Moncton member or not.














NATURE MONCTON MARCH MEETING
Tuesday March 15th, 2022 at 7:00 PM
Virtual Meeting
“Monitoring Caribou Habitat in Canada’s Changing North”
Presenter: Ryan Danby



Many of Canada’s large northern caribou herds have declined over the last two decades. While the herds are known to fluctuate naturally, the magnitude of their recent declines is well outside of historical observations. Climate-related changes in habitat condition may be partly responsible, and this presentation will explore the use of modern satellite mapping technologies for examining this.

Presenter: Dr. Ryan Danby is an associate professor of Geography and Environmental Studies at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario. He has been conducting research in Northern Canada and Alaska for the last 25 years with the aim of better understanding the causes and consequences of ecosystem change and their implications for conservation.

Given that Caribou once roamed in areas north of New Brunswick, this presentation is of interest to us all.



All are welcome, Nature Moncton member or not.