Click underlined text links for reviews
Saturday November 6, 2021: Waterfowl and Other Waterbirds on Lake Simcoe

James Kamstra led an enthusiastic group looking for migrant waterfowl along the south shore of Lake Simcoe. Geoff and others helped with spotting, and there were up to five scopes in use at one time! Nine species of waterfowl were spotted on this calm, sunny day, along with had 45 loons and 2 Horned Grebes. A great day out! 

Friday October 22, 2021: Health Benefits of a Walk in Nature
With Derek Connelly and Pat Baldwin

A very cold 5C windy morning greeted the 5 participants on this fall hike. Despite the cold, the group did spend two hours in the Uxbridge Countryside Preserve & received the benefits of forest therapy.

Pat had a number of stops planned to explain the Japanese Forest Bathing concept. After orientation to the Preserve map and post system by Derek Connelly, and a quick yoga stretch led by Pat, we began our 2 km stroll.

The sounds of the Uxbridge Brook, the attention to birds and nature's sounds (even if hard of hearing), the visual stimuli of 'nature's fractals' or patterns in the forest and meadow scenes, and the gases/phytoncides given off by trees all worked together to make us healthier and to heal us.

Studies show lowered heart rate & blood pressure and if repeated regularly the body defends and heals itself. Pat explained the benefits of these volatile organic compounds (VOCs) or 'essential oils' given off by trees which we breathe or contact when we touch the bark are because of their purpose for trees. The essential oils have natural antimicrobial and insecticidal qualities that protect the tree from germs and parasites which help our immune system.

Participants were from Oshawa, Stouffville, Port Perry, Uxbridge, Cannington & Georgina. Thanks all for joining us & to Pat for enlightening us about forest therapy!

Report by Derek Connelly

Saturday August 21st, 2021; 10:30 am - National Flight of the Monarch

Led by Derek Connelly, we counted the monarchs before they head to Mexico! Wandering the Uxbridge Countryside Preserve our group learned about monarchs, their life cycle and migration and tallied as many monarchs as we could find as a part of the National Flight of the Monarch event.

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:  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

© Copyright North Durham Nature