Our Mission

To foster awareness and appreciation of nature through education, observation and experience.
To promote the protection and conservation of the environment through community activities.

What We Do

We provide educational opportunities and foster awareness of nature, particularly the flora and fauna, as well as earth sciences and astronomy.

We lead and facilitate field trips to learn and experience nature. We promote the protection of nature, biological diversity and sustainability within North Durham.

We carry out projects in co-operation with other community groups, to conserve and protect the environment within North Durham.

Next Meeting

January 24, 2023- Members Night and Annual General Meeting
Scugog Memorial Library at 7pm

Join us in Scugog for our annual Members night and AGM! After the club business in the AGM portion we will be treated to a series of 5-minute presentations by members, showing off information and photographs on a variety of topics and locations. Always a treat! If you have a topic you would like to present on, feel free to contact James at northdurhamnature2@gmail.com .


Next Outing

Christmas Bird Counts

No walks are scheduled for December, but reach out to local compilers to participate in our two North Durham Christmas Bird Counts. We have two counts: one in the south and one in the north of our region.

Uxbridge CBC
Date: Tuesday December 27, 2022
Compiler: Derek Connelly - ndnature7@gmail.com

Beaverton CBC
Date: Friday December 30, 2022
Compiler: John McLean - jsmclean33@gmail.com

Check out this map to see the count circle areas, and other count circles across Canada!

Stay tuned on our Walks page for information on upcoming activities in the New Year

Announcements and News

Uxbridge Countryside Preserve – Scot Pine Thinning Day – Protect Habitats for Grassland Species

Township of Uxbridge and Uxbridge Trails Committee -Call for Volunteers

Date:  Saturday, November 26, 2022 
Time:  9:00 am to 12:00 Noon; Rain or shine.   Sign in at 8:45 AM
Location :  Uxbridge Countryside Preserve Main Parking Lot (12 Wellwood Drive – Behind Walmart) 

Volunteers will be cutting small Scot Pine trees in meadows as part of the commitment to protect the open landscape and habitat for grassland species. Volunteers should bring work gloves and wear appropriate foot wear.  If possible, bring your own loppers and/or hand saws to cut small pines. Volunteers under the age of 12 should be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

For more information please contact: Don Cook at 905-852-9181 ext 506 or dcook@uxbridge.ca

Download the Media Release here

The Scot Pine is a prolific seed producer and its progression into open meadow areas is very common in Ontario.  To control the spread of the Scot Pine an annual spring and  fall event will be scheduled to remove regenerating plants.

The Uxbridge Countryside Preserve is owned and managed by the Township of Uxbridge for recreation use.   The preserve has approximately six kilometers of sign posted multi-use trails (sorry motorized vehicles are not permitted in the Preserve).  The park covers approximately 56.7 hectares (140 acres).   It is also home to a diverse wildlife habitat in a semi-urban setting.  In addition, nesting boxes for bluebirds and other species have been installed throughout the property.

Butterfly Pocket Guides for Sale

Want to study up on your butterflies for next spring? Looking for a stockingstuffer for a fellow nature enthusiast (or something for yourself)? With over a 100 photos on a laminated folding card you are ready for the field or your garden.

Video preview of the guide

Only $15 Contact Derek by email or text in Uxbridge to arrange pick up.

647-965-8765 text 

Canadian Bat Box Project

Birds aren't the only thing that live on boxes! Karen Vanderwolf is leading a 3-year monitoring program in cooperation with Canadian Wildlife Federation and the Wildlife Conservation to monitor bat box usage across the country. To learn more or find out how to participate or see the latest newsletter, check out the links below.

Program Overview
Building or Buying, and Installing a Bat Box
Project Newsletter Fall 2022

Project Feeder Watch 2022-23

Hi Naturalists!
Here are the top ten birds most seen at feeders last winter:

#1 - Black capped Chickadee
#2  though #10 - Blue Jay, American Goldfinch, Dark-eyed Junco, American Crow, Mourning Dove, Downy Woodpecker, European Starling, American Robin, Hairy Woodpecker.

Who will be number one this year? What rarities will show up?Stock up the feeders and join us, keeping track of this winter's feathered visitors ! 

For more details, check out https://feederwatch.org

Global Bird Rescue October 3-9, 2022

You can help save the world’s birds during Global Bird Rescue from October 3-9, 2022. Join FLAP Canada, bird conservation groups and members of the public around the world to rescue and document birds that have collided with buildings in your community, while working to make the built environment safer for birds. Migration is a critical time for our birds as adults and young move south to their wintering grounds, and they can use your help!

Download the GBR Manual to learn about the event, how to participate, what to do if you find a bird, and how to report it.

To view reported bird collisions, or to report your own, check out the interactive online map:
(note you need to create an account in order to report on the map, check out the manual above for instructions)

And to learn more, visit globalbirdrescue.org.

Call for Plywood for Snake Monitoring

NDN is helping Ontario Nature with a snake survey in Uxbridge! For the survey we need 24 untreated 1/4 inch plywood  2 x 4 foot pieces.

If you have any old plywood that we can use that would be great! We hope to set up the snake habitat this fall. 

Contact Derek ndnature7@gmail.com if you can help. Thanks in advance!

North Durham Nature at the Uxbridge Farmer's Market

Directors of North Durham Nature Club set up a booth at the Uxbridge Farmers Market on SundayJune 12 to tell the locals and visitors about the club. Numerous visitors stopped by to have a chat about nature and the club with Cara Gregory, James Kamstra, Kim Adams, Lynda Kamstra, Mark Dorriesfield, and Mark Humphrey. Many thanks to the market for providing a free tent cover which was essential on this unsettled rainy day.


Native Planting at the Uxbridge Countryside Preserve

North Durham Nature members Derek Connelly James Kamstra, Mark Humphrey and trail volunteer Norine Blyth planted 70 native grasses and 25 wildflowers in the Uxbridge Countryside Preserve Sunday morning. This restoration will help compete with the invading exotics. Autumn olive shrubs from China were found growing in one planting area. Anyone interested in helping maintain these natural areas can contact Derek Connelly at ndnature7@gmail.com

Support Geoff Carpentier in the Great Canadian Birdathon for NDN

Once again Geoff is supporting North Durham Nature with his birdathon, where he will race to observe as many bird species as possible in the name of conservation! Check out the poster below for more information, and click the link below to donate.


Wild, Weird and Wacky Weather Links

For those who enjoyed David T. Chapman's April webinar, he has Twitter and Instagram pages showing more of his spectacular imagery:

Also a couple excellent websites for learning more about current weather conditions:

Upcoming Election and Proposed Greenbelt Expansion

North Durham Nature has recently signed in support of two letters with Ontario Nature and other member groups, prompting environmental commitments by party leaders in the coming election and pushing for more meaningful action in the proposed expansion to the Greenbelt.

Check out our Advocacy page to read these letters and see other initiatives the Club supports.

Envision Durham Interactive Map - Development Planning for 2051

Durham Region is updating their Official Plan to inform planning decisions for the year 2051, by which time the population of the Region is projected to grow by almost 50%. This involves defining the areas of proposed developmental expansion as well as refining the current Natural Heritage System.

We are being provided with an opportunity to comment on this map to identify natural areas perhaps not considered or to reinforce important areas that have already been included.  There are two ways to respond:

  1. Interactive map  to add pins to natural areas that may not currently be included in the NHS
  2. PDF map for review, and comments can be submitted by email to EnvisionDurham@durham.ca

See the Envision Durham Website for more information:  https://www.durham.ca/en/doing-business/envision-durham.aspx#Regional-Natural-Heritage-System-NHS--draft-map-available-for-comment

Advocacy with Ontario Nature

North Durham Nature recently signed in support of two pieces of legislation in conjunction with Ontario Nature and other naturalist groups from across Ontario.

1. Amending the Ontario Building Code to require new buildings to follow Bird-friendly building design standard to prevent collisions with windows,
Read the letter here

2. The creation of a new Conservation Reserve along the south shore if Prince Edward County to preserve the habitats for rare plants, at risk wildlife, and vital stopover habitat for migrants,
Read the letter here

For more information on this and other items NDN supports, check out our Advocacy page.

North Durham Nature Newsletter is now Online!

Looking for some interesting, local nature content, but you've already finished January's installment of NDN's Newsletter? Well you're in luck! Old copies of our newsletter are now downloadable from our website for your reading pleasure.

Click here to check out seven years of content starting with our very first newsletter back in January 2014, or find the link under the "Friends and Links" tab up in the navigation bar.

Not a club member yet, but like what you see? Become a member to receive our most recent newsletters straight to your email.

Christmas Bird Counts 2021

Between Christmas and New Year's, both of our North Durham Christmas Bird Counts were conducted. Here are some quick stats, and click the links below each for the full summary of species:

Uxbridge CBC
Date: Monday, December 27, 2021
# of species: 53
# field observers: 37
# feeder watchers: 32
Highlights: Wood Duck (new), Bufflehead (new), Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Winter Wren,
Count Week: Merlin
Full Report

Beaverton CBC
Date: Thursday December 30, 2021
# of species: 58
# field observers: 25
# feeder watchers: 14
Highlights: Mute Swan (new), Tundra Swan, Peregrine Falcon, Winter Wren, Swamp Sparrow
Count Week: Greater Scaup, Long-tailed Duck, Iceland Gull, Glaucous Gull, Great Black-backed Gull, Snowy Owl,
Full Report

Lafarge Bird Box Cleanout

North Durham Nature met up with Lafarge's Eastern Canada land managers during our annual bird box cleanout at the Lafarge property south of Uxbridge. They came from as far as Montreal for a Toronto team meeting, and the Bird Box project was their field trip. They were keen to learn about the project (and birds) and helped clean out the 48 boxes in the Uxbridge gravel pit on the Seventh Concession. Our project is a one of a kind for Lafarge in Ontario. Our success over eight years with over 80% of our bird houses being used is also significant. Senior Land manager Chris Galway was positive and keen to work with us at keeping the project going and working with us at further restoration of the gravel pit.

NDN Member Receives DEAC Award

Congratulations to Keith Stait Gardner for habitat restoration on his property which resulted in the Dr. J. Murray Speirs Restoration Award!

This award is presented by the Durham Environmental Advisory Committee. The DEAC Environmental Achievement Awards is an annual awards program established in 2003 to recognize and acknowledge environmental achievements of individuals and organizations in the public, private, and non-profit sectors within Durham Region. The awards program has eight categories, which were named in memory of past environmental leaders.

Keith is one of our members who helped us with the "Mouseproof" metal Bird Box construction project donating his workshop space. Well done Keith!

Canadian Bat Box Project

Birds aren't the only thing that live on boxes! Karen Vanderwolf is leading a 3-year monitoring program in cooperation with Canadian Wildlife Federation and the Wildlife Conservation to monitor bat box usage across the country. To learn more or find out how to participate, check out the links below.

Program Overview
Building or Buying, and Installing a Bat Box
Project Newsletter Spring 2021
Project Newsletter Fall 2021

Scugog and Uxbridge TV - NDN Nature Nugget Videos

Mike Duhamel, a NDN resident and creator of both ScugogTV and Uxbridge TV, has offered to video record, edit and post short informative NDN nature videos to help us further share our passion for nature with the local community.  If you haven't seen our Nature Nugget videos click the link below, or look for a shared post on our own NDN Facebook page.  We welcome you to share our videos with others on your social media.

To see our recent videos, click here.

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