Visit our North Durham Nature Youtube Channel to view webinar recordings
March 23rd, 2021 – Life in the Desert by Mark Dorriesfield - Webinar

Deserts may be harsh, dry, unforgiving places, but that doesn’t mean there is nothing to find there! From giant cacti to Joshua Trees, thrashers to roadrunners, rattlesnakes to Gila Monsters, these environments are home to some amazing plants and animals adapted to thrive under these difficult conditions.  Mark will take us through three of North America’s four major deserts, the Great Basin, Mojave, and Sonoran, describing the different habitats and the wildlife found within them. Mark is a biologist who has conducted avian fieldwork throughout North America over the past 9 years. He is particularly fond of the American Southwest, having spent 5 of those seasons working and exploring Nevada and Arizona.

February 23rd, 2021 - The Cross Canada Adventure of Sonya and Sean - Webinar 

Sean and Sonya are passionate about nature, birding and exploring new places. In June 2019 they left their jobs, sold their house, and began walking The Great Trail of Canada from Cape Spear, Newfoundland to Victoria, British Columbia. They will continue the journey north by canoe from Edmonton, Alberta to Tuktoyaktuk, Northwest Territories. They are not just looking for adventure – they are walking and paddling to connect families and youth to nature through birding and to raise awareness of the importance of the boreal forest. This journey is about connections – people to people, people to nature, past to present, and coast to coast to coast. To learn how their adventure is unfolding, join NDN for a webinar presentation at 7:00 p.m. on February 23!

January 26th, 2021 - Delightful Dozen - Annual General Meeting (AGM) - Virtual

The AGM will be a members night where we are looking for mini presentations which we are calling “Delightful Dozen”.  Interested members are encouraged to pick out 12 photo images on a natural history theme of their choice.  It could be birds in your backyard, spring wildflowers, a trip to an exotic destination, whatever you like.  Presentations, and the AGM will be delivered using Zoom.

November 24, 2020- "Asian Carp" - Andrew Reeves  - Webinar

Four species of Carp native to Asia have been introduced into the southeastern U.S. and are wreaking havoc as they overwhelm and alter aquatic ecosystems.  They are likely to invade southern Ontario in the next few years thereby changing our waterways forever.  Andrew will tell the story of these fish, how they got here and what it means. Andrew Reeves is an author and geographer who has recently published "Overun: Dispatches from the Asian Carp Crisis", a bestseller which examines the history and impact of the four carp species in North America.

September 22nd, 2020 - “Bats"- Dr. Christina Davy – Webinar

Bats have been long misunderstood and even feared, but research in recent decades has provided much insight into their mysterious lives and their role in the ecosystem. Bat populations have suffered significant population declines from White Nose Syndrome and from wind turbines. Christina will present on issues around bat conservation. Dr. Davy is a research scientist with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry, and is also an adjunct professor at Trent University. Her varied research has involved genetic and behavioural responses of small and declining wildlife populations to environmental changes.  

June 23rd, 2020 - 20 Years of Butterfly Counts - James Kamstra - Webinar

Butterfly counts involve groups of dedicated volunteers who spend an entire day in the field to seek out and count all the butterflies they encounter. After 20 consecutive years of these counts, much data has been assembled and some trends in butterfly populations have become apparent. James will highlight the observed changes in some species and describe how the counts have given us greater understanding of the local butterfly fauna.  James Kamstra is an ecologist who has coordinated two butterfly counts in Durham for the past 20 years. He is the Ontario Regional editor who compiles all of the provincial counts for the North American Butterfly Association.  

2019 Talks

2018 Talks


Click underlined text links for reviews
Saturday October 3rd, 2020; 10:00 am – Autumn Forest and Fungi Walk at North Walker Woods - (2 hour duration)

It was a fresh autumn day, when the subterranean strands of fungal mycelium sent their spore-producing mushrooms to the surface to impress the humans.  Taking advantage of this opportunity James Kamstra led a hike into the rich forest at North Walker Woods followed by 13 participants eager to learn what they could about these strange life forms.  Many species were encountered ranging from the diminutive conical Mycenas, various Polypores, banded Turkeytails, smoking Puffballs, Aborted Entolomas and abundant delectable Honey Mushrooms.

2019 Walks 1
2019 Walks 2
2018 Walks

PAST Special Events

2020 Christmas Bird Count Results 

Uxbridge hits new record, Beaverton not far behind! -Thank you all!

Both north Durham counts benefited from the influx of northern finches adding to the Christmas lists. Uxbridge’s hit 61 species  surpassing its previous high of 53 in 2014. Beaverton hit 55 species its third highest.  Participation was up for both counts in particular Uxbridge’s count and weather in Uxbridge was clear making conditions ideal. Beaverton’s weather was poor but the birds showed up though in smaller numbers and Feeder watchers found the diversity. Evening and Pine Grosbeaks, Common and Hoary Redpolls, Pine Siskins, Red Crossbills , Bohemian Waxwings  were all seen in Uxbridge with Common Redpoll flocks (totaling over 2000) topping the individual count which was also a new high almost 12,000 total birds for Uxbridge.  Follow the link for bird lists for 2020 CBC. Note minor changes may occur if rare bird species are rejected and late reports added. 

Beaverton CBC            Uxbridge CBC

2020  Butterfly Counts

June/July, 2020 -  Summary - Thank you to all participants!

Oshawa (Sunday, June 28) 

13 participants formed 7 parties 

We had a total of 41 species and 2246 individuals. 

Results (click on underlined link to view results)

Sunderland (Sunday, July 5)

Thank you so much for all participants who contributed on this exceptionally hot day.  Could not have done it without you.

The real highlight of the count was an Atlantis Fritillary found and photographed by Rayfield Pye.  Not only was it a new species for the Sunderland Count, but it had not been previously recorded in Durham Region.  Record high numbers of Eastern Tiger Swallowtail and Silver-spotted Skippers turned up. 

Results (click on underlined link to view results)

Butterfly Guides for sale!  "A Pocket Guide to Butterflies of Southern and Eastern Ontario (and Southwestern Quebec)" by Rick Cavasin are available for purchase from NDN for $14.  Please e-mail NDN's Treasurer Kim Adams at to pay through e-transfer, and to arrange pick-up/drop off of the guide.  A portion of the proceeds goes to support NDN.


Christmas Bird Counts

15th Annual Uxbridge Bird Count Results - December 27th, 2019

44 species 5157 individual birds 

24% of birds seen were starlings 

Fog and limited open water reduced numbers

Swamp sparrow unusual .  Details on attached links 

Bird List

Beaverton Bird Count - December 30th, 2019

Bird List

Butterfly Counts

Sunday July 14th, 2019 – Oshawa Butterfly Count 

Sunday July 7th, 2019 – Sunderland Butterfly Count 

The late spring butterflies emerged a week or two later and therefore some of the regulars were missed or in very low numbers on the Sunderland count.

The Oshawa Count was delayed by two weeks since I had to travel north with work.  This was a blessing since many of the later species are usually missed on this count such as hairstreaks and sedge skippers.  The 53 species was the second highest species recorded in the 25 years of this count!  The Hickory Hairstreak which I found near Utica was a new species for the count

Thank you so much to all the participants who came out to help find all these butterflies.

James Kamstra

Click on the following links for the results:  2019 Butterfly Count Results

June 2019 - Beaver River Walk - Beaver River Wetland Rail Trail

6 club members joined Geoff as we hiked the rail trail through part of Beaver River Marsh. Lots of birds delighted us including American Bittern, Green Heron, Sora, Marsh Wren and Virginia Rail.

On the way to the starting point we were treated to spectacular views of a pair of Sandhill Cranes that took an unprecedented interest in some Turkey Vultures that were sitting in a field. At first we thought the vultures might be scavenging on a dead crane because they were so close to each other but later Geoff entered the field with permission of the landowner and determined that there was no that crane there. Not sure why the vultures were there but it was certainly a happier ending than we anticipated!

June 2019 - Bird Loop Walk - Uxbridge Countryside Preserve

Sixteen people participated in yesterday’s walk in gorgeous sunshine! Four NDN members including Kim & Anne Adams who helped with bird ID and anecdotes; many visitors from the GTA; and 4 ORTA members.

Bird activity was quiet however the bird houses guaranteed three species with good views. Indigo Bunting was a highlight! Ovenbird & Red-eyed Vireos demonstrated and their calls were heard by all a number of times. Green Frogs, Grey Treefrog, Painted Turtle were other sightings.

Thanks to Kim for explaining the Apps and Anne for spotting the treefrog and other birds. Others added their own bird experiences making for an enjoyable morning.


Saturday, March 17th, 2018 - Ontario Turtle Conservation Centre - Peterborough

Early Saturday morning, during March Break, 16 North Durham Nature membersand friends, met and carpooled together, on this excursion to the Ontario Turtle Conservation Centre, organized by North Durham Nature.  Upon arrival, Wendy, an education leader at the centre, and a volunteer, gave an interactive presentation on the 8 different species of turtles in Ontario, what makes them unique, their at risk status, the threats they are facing and how we can help.  A volunteer brought several live turtles around for participants to see up close, and told us their rescue stories.  Paddy, a 35 year old snapping turtle, graciously let Wendy use him to demonstrate how to safely pick him up and transport him to the side of the road, in the direction he was going of course!  The turtle nursery was also a highlight.  A fun time had by all!

Event Archives - 2019


January - Members Night - Various NDN members

February - Flora and Fauna of Goodwood Tract - Gavin Miller (TRCA)

March - Baffin Island Backpacking Trip - Jay and Bev Thibert

April - Mushrooms of Ontario - Patricia Burchell

May - Five-lined Skink Ecology - Josh Feltham

June – Cattail Research - Sarah Pieper

September - Uganda and Tanzania - Geoff Carpentier 

October – The Wonder of Wetlands - Cara Gregory

November - Lynx and Bobcat in Ontario - Dr. Jeff Bowman 


January:  Feeder Tour 2019 - Derek Connelly

February 2019:  Winter Wetland Snowshoe Adventure - Friends of Nonquon

March 2018 - Bird Photography - Stephen Wright

April - Amphibians - Friends of Nonquon

April - Forest Bathing - Patricia Baldwin

May - Frog Walk - Canoe Hike - Jay Thibert

May - Spring Wildflowers of the Uxbridge Countryside Preserve trails (two times) - Derek Connelly

May - Bird Hike - Derek Connelly

May - Birds and Wetland on Scugog Island - James Kamstra

June - Evening Marsh Birds at the Beaver River Wetland - Geoff Carpentier

June - Bird Loop Hike - Uxbridge Countryside Preserve - Derek Connelly

August - Native Plants - Derek Connelly

September - Hawk Watch in Cranberry Marsh - Geoff Carpentier

September - Trees - Patricia Baldwin

October - Mushroom Walk at Glen Major Forest - James Kamstra

October - Beaver River Wetland Hike - Cara Gregory

November - Lake Simcoe Waterfowl Outing - James Kamstra and Derek Connelly

November - Christmas Bird Count for Kids - Patricia Baldwin

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