Nature Moncton April meeting
April 20, 2021 at 7:00 PM
Virtual Meeting
Presenter: Greg Stroud
“Sable Island: Canada’s newest National Park”

Canada’s newest National Park, Sable Island, off the coast of Nova Scotia may be difficult to arrange a visit to and chances are many of us may never get that opportunity. That is about to change on April 20, 2021 when the Nature Moncton April meeting will pay a virtual visit to this unique place guided by Greg Stroud, a veteran to guiding naturalists.

Sable Island is home to special members of Mother Nature’s wildlife community. Yes, the special feral horses taken to Sable Island since the mid 1700’s are still present and surviving this unique environment. Walrus are no longer present; however, some seal species call it home, and sharks visit the area with seals in mind. It is also the summer breeding ground of the Ipswich Sparrow, a subspecies of the Savannah Sparrow.

Greg Stroud, Operations Coordinator for Sable Island National Park Reserve, who lives on Sable Island 6 months of the year and is intimately familiar with it, will be our private guide to showcase this special place to us.

Greg is no stranger to guiding naturalists. Greg has been a professional Nature guide for various tour companies as well as worked at various positions at National Parks across Canada. Greg is an avid birder and when not birding can be found canoeing or kayaking in the backcountry or exploring on his mountain bike where he lives in Annapolis Valley, Nova Scotia.

This not to miss presentation will be virtual due to Covid 19 restrictions. The link for anyone anywhere to join will be posted on the Nature Moncton BlogSpot a few days before the presentation.


Workshop (Virtual): Thurs. April 22nd from 7:00 to 9:00 pm.

Outing:  Sat. April 24th (rain date: Sun. Apr. 25th) from 10:00 into the afternoon. (**Bring a lunch)

Meeting Place for Outing:  Rte. 114 and Steeves St., Hillsborough (meet at the lot in back of the post office, near the fighter jet at the far end).

Presenter and Guide: Roger Leblanc

Registration (for outing only):  with Louise Nichols –

Cost:  $5:00 for members/$10.00 for non-members (to be paid at the outing on April 24th)

  With the arrival of spring, many bird species that have left us for more moderate climes will be coming back.  Amongst the first to return, and certainly some of the most colorful, are ducks.  Now some ducks, mostly sea ducks, have toughed it out and stayed with us through winter, but their habits and behaviors are so different that they justify a separate treatment.  At this workshop/outing, we will concentrate only on dabbling and diving ducks found on inland bodies of water.  So what is the difference between dabbling and diving?  In this workshop we will learn the answer to that question and how to tell them apart.

  Dressed in their spring finest, dabbling and diving ducks have already started coming back to us.  On arrival, they first congregate in bays, waterways and impoundments before getting down to the arduous matter of producing next year’s offspring.  This makes April the perfect time to learn to recognize them or simply brush up on your duck ID skills.  And if you are just getting into “birdwatching,” ducks are a perfect place to start because they are big, colourful, have a tendency to stay put long enough for one to study them and many are jam-packed with identification-helping field marks.  Still some, females in particular, can be confusing.  So to help you out with this, Nature Moncton is offering this combination workshop and outing.

With our own Roger Leblanc, we will first have an online weekday evening workshop to study the 14 species of dabbling or diving ducks that can be expected in the region now. We will learn how to separate them by habitat, behavior, and field marks. Roger will also share with us his experience-based “tools of the trade” for duck identification. Then on the weekend we will head out to a couple of duck hot spots in the Hillsborough region where ducks are findable in mixed groups at this time of year.  There, with Roger’s help, we will work on using the knowledge learned in the workshop to ID them to species.  All in all, a great learning and fun-filled experience that should help you better answer the question: “What’s that duck?”

All are welcome, Nature Moncton member or not. 

** Bring a scope if you have one, and binoculars.  Roger will have an extra scope and binoculars available if anyone needs them.

Nature Moncton Members:
Annual General Meeting (AGM)
Tuesday, February 09, 2021, 7;00 PM.

The Annual General Meeting is fast approaching.  As a club member you are welcome to attend.  The meeting will address the Annual Report sent out to all members and to elect the Executive committee for the next year. This meeting will be held on Tuesday February 9, 2021 at 7:00 PM.  This meeting to be held on line at the following link.

I hope you can attend. Acting President Fred Richards. 

February 16, 2021 at 7:00 PM

Presenter:  Mike Holland, Minister of Natural Resources and Energy Development
“Protected Areas of New Brunswick”

In October 2019, the government of NB announced it would more than double the amount of conserved land in the province in the next 14 months bringing the total up to 10%. That would translate into the creation of a good number of new Protected Natural Areas (PNA) in which conservation is the focus. The events of 2020 delayed the project a bit, as well as many other things, but the province is still on track to fulfill this commitment and has put forward a consultation process to help it along. For naturalists this should be of great interest and that is why we thought it would be good to have someone come and give us a talk on the subject. And who better to do that than Mike Holland the minister of the Department of Natural Resources and Energy Development. Minister Holland is a fervent outdoorsman himself and it should be of great interest to all to hear how he sees the future of conservation in our beautiful province.

This presentation will be virtual with anyone anywhere welcome to join.  The link to the presentation will be published on the Nature Moncton BlogSpot for a few days before the presentation.


DATE:  Saturday July 18th, 2020 (Rain date:  Sunday July 19th, 2020)

TIME:  9:00 am

PLACE:  Meet in the parking lot of Lillas Fawcett Park, off Morice Dr. by Silver Lake, Sackville.

GUIDES:  Roger Leblanc as birding guide; Louise Nichols who is familiar with the area



Two interesting areas to explore in one day!  After meeting at Silver Lake, we will travel up to White Birch Rd. which provides access to an extensive area of marsh and impoundments.  As this is one of the few areas where Black Terns breed, we may possibly see some of these birds flying and even be lucky enough to see the adults with the juveniles.  Waterfowl, warblers and other songbirds will also be present as we visit some of the marsh area along the road and walk on the dyke through a very large wetland.

After exploring the impoundments, we will turn our attention to a bog which runs alongside one of the impoundments where we will be able to see bog plants, insect life and even more birds.  Keep in mind that much of this walk – and the walk through the wetland and the bog -- will be in the sun without benefit of shade, so a hat will be a good idea.  The bog is not extremely wet, but shoes that can withstand some wet ground or rubber boots should be worn, at least for that part of the trip.

In addition, bring a lunch, water, sun screen and insect repellant.  

All are welcome, Nature Moncton member or not.


January, 2021


“The Great Trees of New Brunswick”
Date:              Dec. 8th, 2020
Time:              7:00 PM
Presenter:    David Palmer

** This will be a virtual meeting.  Check the Nature Moncton Information Line BlogSpot for updates on how to connect. **

David Palmer obtained his MSc in Forestry from UNB and is past president of both the Canadian Forestry Association of New Brunswick and the Conservation Council of New Brunswick.

He has recently co-authored the book Great Trees of New Brunswick, 2nd Edition, a wonderful guide to the “more than five billion trees, many native to [New Brunswick’s] forests, some introduced by settlers.”  The book acts as both a guide to identifying the trees of the province and a collection of stories connected to the most notable individual trees that New Brunswickers are drawn to.

Join David Palmer for a fascinating journey that will take us across New Brunswick to learn about the many trees that surround us and to appreciate the endurance and grandeur of some of the province’s greatest trees.

** If we were meeting in person, David would have copies of his books for members to purchase.  Undoubtedly, he will tell us where best to order them.


DATE: Saturday June 20th, 2020 (Rain date: Sunday June 21st)

MEETING PLACE:  At the entrance parking lot by the large White Rock sign.  Follow Rte. 114 Hillsborough from Moncton.  In Hillsborough turn right on to Golf Club Road at bottom of the hill as you go through Hillsborough.  Follow the road past the Gray Brook pond, about 2KM from the start.  Area is on the right before the Golf course.

TIME:   9:00 AM 

LEADER:  Roger Leblanc, assisted by Gordon Rattray

REGISTRATION:  Louise Nichols at

The White Rock Recreation area is a multi-use area with many bikers and walkers.  There is an extensive network of paths in the area so we will only see a small part of the total area.  You will see gypsum out-crops and many springs coming out of the banks.  We can expect to see many of the expected wood dwelling birds.  I observed 13 of our Warbler friends as well as two thrushes this spring.  We will follow the path of Gray Brook with many ferns and other flora along its route. 

Because of regulations restricting the size of group gatherings, we will take registrations for this trip.  If we have a large number who are interested, we may divide the participants into two groups.  We will also keep abreast of any new developments in provincial Covid-19 guidelines and will adjust accordingly while keeping participants informed.

So come join us for a day of birding in a beautiful environment.  Be prepared for a round trip hike of 5 to 8 kms.  There will be some uphill travel of a moderate climb.  Dress accordingly for the weather with good waterproof footwear.  Bring a lunch, water and snacks. 

All are welcome, Nature Moncton member or not.


June 2020

November, 2020

March, 2021

Nature Moncton March Meeting
March 16, 2021 at 7:00 PM

Virtual Meeting

Presenter: Dr. Jack Terhune
“Maritime Seals: The Permanent Residents and Winter Visitor

Harp and Hooded seals come to the Gulf of St. Lawrence to breed in March before they head back to the Arctic for summer feeding.  Harbour and Grey seals live in the Gulf of St. Lawrence and Bay of Fundy year-round.  Their breeding biology emphasizes avoiding predators and there are two nursing strategies: stay-at-home mums or working mums.  For Harbour and Grey seals, finding a safe place to rest is important and the high tidal range in the Bay of Fundy means that they must stay awake on shore. 

Dr. Jack Terhune is holding out at UNB Saint John at the moment, but his extensive research career has taken him to do research in Denmark, ice fields east of Greenland, and Eastern Antarctica as well as closer to home in the Gulf of St. Lawrence and the Bay of Fundy.

Jack will share his wealth of knowledge with us that will be welcome information for naturalists to have in their backpacks.

Dr. Terhune comments that his retirement in 2012 “did not take” and he is still very active with students and ongoing research collaborations.

A do not miss presentation!

This presentation will be virtual with anyone anywhere welcome to join.  The link to the presentation will be published on the Nature Moncton BlogSpot for a few days before the presentation.

February 2021

August 2020

October 2020

May 2020

July 2020

December, 2020

April, 2021

JANUARY 19, 2021 AT 7:00 PM



Covid-19 and the necessity of virtual meetings will not stop us from holding our usual January “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? This past year brought nature especially close to all of us and many of us developed a stronger and more intimate relationship with the outdoor world. 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 and he will instruct you how to present on our virtual platform (very easy!) and do a short practice run with you.

Let’s start 2021 off the right way – by sharing with one another our positive experiences of the natural world around us!

For those who want to attend the meeting, check the Nature Moncton Information Line the day before for a link to connect.  All are welcome, Nature Moncton member or not.


DATE: Saturday May 30th, 2020

MEETING PLACE:  At the Crooked Creek Lookout.  Follow Rte 114 towards Alma from Moncton.  In Riverside-Albert by the Forest Dale Home and the Albert Medical Centre, Rte 114 takes a 90 degree turn.  At this point, turn right onto Forestdale Rd, and drive to the end.

TIME:   8:00 AM for those who want to come for some early stationary birding in that area

            9:00 AM for those who would prefer to arrive later

LEADER:  Roger Leblanc

REGISTRATION:  Louise Nichols at

We have visited the Caledonia Gorge Protected Area twice in the fall, but never in the spring when the birds are in full song.  Roger Leblanc will lead the group through this special area full of natural beauty, concentrating on the birds of spring which many of us appreciate now more than ever given the isolated conditions we’ve experienced in the last couple of months due to Covid-19.

For those of you who are up early, Roger will be at the site at 8:00 AM to lead the group in some birding on site.  Those who wish to arrive later can join at 9:00 at which time, the hike will begin.

Because of regulations restricting the size of group gatherings, we will take registrations for this trip.  If we have a large number who are interested, we may divide the participants into two groups.  We will also keep abreast of any new developments in provincial Covid-19 guidelines and will adjust accordingly while keeping participants informed.

So come join us for a day of birding in a beautiful environment.  Be prepared for a round trip hike of 5 to 10 kms.  Dress accordingly for the weather with good waterproof footwear.  Bring a lunch, water and snacks. 

All are welcome, Nature Moncton member or not.

“Dragonflies and Damselflies of New Brunswick”

Date: Oct 20, 2020
Time: 7:00 pm

LOCATION UPDATE:  "Because we are now in the orange phase of Covid-19 restrictions, this meeting will no longer take place in person at the Rotary Park Lodge.  We will be broadcasting the presentation on Zoom instead.  Instructions on how to connect to the meeting will be posted soon."

Speaker: John Klymko

Dragonflies and damselflies, collectively known as the Odonata, are a group of insects that have long fascinated naturalists. Here in New Brunswick, we're lucky to have a relatively rich Odonata fauna, with 139 species recorded; only Ontario and Quebec have more! Join John Klymko, zoologist at the Atlantic Canada Conservation Data Centre, for an introduction to the natural history, diversity, and conservation status of our Odonata.

We are hoping to broadcast the meeting live on ZOOM for those wishing to participate from home, and a recording of the meeting will be available afterward.

Instructions on how to connect to the broadcast will be posted closer to the meeting date.



Because of the pandemic, Nature Moncton cannot offer its beloved annual bird feeder tour which normally brings us together in mid-winter for a day of birds, friendship and food.  So this year, we’ve decided to offer a virtual gathering which can at least bring us together online to share our winter bird feeding experiences.

Our plan is to have about 6 or 7 presenters for this event with each presentation taking no more than 10 minutes.  So those of you who have good feeder yards, send us some photos or videos of the action at your place.  We’d like to see your best photos of birds that visit, especially any unusual feeder birds, but we’d also like to see your feeder set-up.  Do you have a special feeder that works well, or an arrangement of feeders that helps bring in the desired birds while keeping the less desired out?  Do you find a particular food more attractive to certain species?  Let us know how your feeder system works, so we can all learn from each other’s successes!

If you are interested in participating in sharing your feeder yard, please send your best photos or videos to Roger Leblanc at, no later than midnight on February 27th.  Roger will put all material received together in a PowerPoint presentation, so you won’t have to worry about that.  On the day of the virtual event, Fred Richards will take care of the technical sharing of the PowerPoint, so all you need to do is provide some commentary and stories about your material while Fred is showing the visuals.  As we would like to limit each presentation to a maximum of 10 minutes, we ask that each participant limit their number of photos/videos accordingly, perhaps to no more than 10.

We can’t be together in person, but we can still come together online and share our bird feeding adventures while enjoying some coffee, hot chocolate, or a glass of wine in the comfort of our own homes!

Nature Moncton November Meeting

“The Mysterious Coyote” 

Date: November 17, 2020

Time: 7:00 PM

Presenter: Jonathan Cormier


One of the most elusive members of our New Brunswick fauna is the Coyote.  We may hear them more often than we get eye contact.  However, the Coyote is very widespread throughout our woodlands and grasslands, even encroaching into our urban areas.  Join Jonathan Cormier, wildlife biologist with the New Brunswick Department of Natural Resources, for an evening of fascinating details about the life and times of these secretive animals. 

** This meeting will be virtual.  Details on how to participate online will be outlined closer to the meeting date.

Nature Moncton Wild Mushroom Field Trip
Sunday, October 4, 1:00 p.m. 
Roger LeBlanc’s yard at civic # 3764, Rte. 115 in Notre Dame


Nature Moncton will sponsor a Field Trip to give an overview of wild mushrooms, identification tips, which ones make good edibles, which ones do not, which ones are toxic, some culinary tips where applicable, or whatever participants want to hear more about or contribute to the exchange. The event will be led by Nelson Poirier. 

Participants are asked to start gathering specimens up to 5 days in advance to bring to display on set-up show-and-tell tables where specimens can be identified and discussed. Try to gather fresh specimens where possible, place them in damp moss in a flat container or place in a paper bag, and refrigerate with a large felt marker label "Do Not Eat".  Do not store them in plastic bags. The collections participants bring in will be an important part of the event as we will get to see a much greater variety of specimens this way than an outing to just one habitat. 

Please take note that some Covid-19 protocols will apply. Participants who bring specimens will be asked to place them on a set-up table themselves. Nelson will point out features and commentary using plastic gloves and then all will go into a garbage can to be disposed of unless photos are wanted first, but no touching a second time. Physical distancing will apply except for participants within their bubble. Participants will have to be limited to 20 to help observe restrictions. The walk through Roger LeBlanc’s woodlot afterward will require similar restrictions which by now we are getting used to. 

Please register with Activities Committee Chairperson Louise Nichols at as soon as possible due to the limit on participants to observe Covid-19 restrictions.

As always all are welcome, Nature Moncton member or not. Just bring your enthusiasm and mushrooms!

(Updated with new destination and meeting place)


TIME : 1 :00 pm 






 Even though we are smack in the middle of a beautiful warm summer, fall migration has already started. No, not so much those confusing autumn warblers or hard-to-differentiate flycatchers yet, but shorebirds for sure. Now the simple mention of shorebirds can bring a glazed look to the eyes of many, and for good reasons. There are dozens of species and they are often seen in mixed flocks far off in a marsh on a mud flat or beach.  Plus here in the Maritimes, we mostly see them at a time of year when they are in drab basic or winter plumage that is essentially the same for all: a bicolored combination of darkish gray on top, with white on the bottom -- great for hiding from predators but not so good for birders to figure what they are. So all of this explains the fact that some just call them peeps and move on to more “reasonable” birds. But shorebirding can be lots of fun and we are in fact fortunate, in our region, to be near some great shorebird migration stopovers, even just minutes from the city centre along the Petitcodiac River. But how are we supposed to identify those little gray birds all the way out there on the mud flat that just won’t stand still and don’t vocalize a lot? 

 Once again Nature Moncton comes to the rescue. On Saturday August 22 we are offering a shorebird outing. Our own Roger Leblanc will lead this outing and will share with us the tricks of the trade that he has honed over several decades to help us put names on most of the shorebirds out there. As well as lead the outing, Roger will focus on field marks, habitats, behaviors and other clues that can help birders more easily identify the dozen or so shorebird species we should see. So if you have been hoping to find something to do bird-wise to bridge the extravanza of spring birding and the allure of autumn rarities, this is your chance. Don’t miss it. 

Bring binoculars, and a scope if you have one. 

All are welcome, Nature Moncton member or not.