Thank you to all who helped Support Botany & Birding Event

Organizers were relieved when light morning rains ended early Saturday and mother nature cooperated for the remainder of the Niagara Land Trust’s Botany and Birding on the Beach event at Windmill Point. Day guests began to arrive shortly before 9 AM while the overnight guests were still enjoying their breakfast cooked by Niagara Land Trust Director Tom Staton and host Kevin Rung.

Shortly after 9 AM expert birder Marcie Jacklin began the day’s outings by leading everyone out onto the Windmill Point shoreline of Lake Erie. The very first birds spotted were a pair of eagles flying high over the cottage. Other noteworthy species of birds listed during the day included red tail hawk, belted kingfisher, yellow-shafted flicker, semipalmated plover, killdeer, great blue heron, and a late great egret. A few migrating warblers were heard. The highlight of the bird tour was an eye-level flyby of a mature bald eagle, close enough for some participants to snap photos.

photo by Mary-lee Sampson
photo by Mary-lee Sampson

Returning to the cottage, everyone enjoyed a lunch of fresh perch and fries catered by Kristine of By the Water Café. Albert Garofalo, the botany leader arrived, and participants were car pooled to the starting location for our afternoon hike. On the way a quick stop was made to photograph a rare and showy stand of bottled gentian.

Noteworthy species listed during the botany trip included spice bush, turtlehead, lizards tail, and the prickly pear cactus. The group found a giant swallowtail caterpillar on a provincial rare hop tree and was later surprised and delighted to see an adult giant swallowtail butterfly gliding through the forest.

Arriving back at the cottage around 4 PM, the day’s participants were thanked for their support of the Niagara Land Trust and told all funds raised during the event would go towards the acquisition of a property to be conserved in Niagara. Before overnight guests began getting ready for the gala dinner, they were surprised to learn they would be joined by a very interesting couple from California. This couple are both professional canoe paddlers, one of whom has won an Olympic medal.

Land Trust Board members Don Campbell, Paul Robertson and Tim Seburn, as well as Carla Carlson of Niagara Nature Tours, who supported the weekend event joined the group for Saturday’s candlelight dinner. Dinner was again catered by By the Water Café. Host Kevin Rung and his wife Elizabeth did a wonderful job entertaining guests.

The Niagara Land Trust would like to thank all those who supported this event including Mary-lee Sampson Photography from St. Catharines, Harbour Estates Winery, Kacaba Vineyards & Winery, The Grand Oak Culinary Market, Niagara Nature Tours, Marcie Jacklin, Albert Garofalo and especially the Rung family for making their wonderful historic cottage on Windmill Point available for this event.