St.Thomas Field Naturalist Club Inc.

Welcome to the St.Thomas Field Naturalist Club Inc. home page. We are a long standing field nature club, having been formed in 1950, incorporated in 1985. Please feel free to browse our blog and learn more about our club and its activities. Regular meetings are held at 7:30 p.m. at Knox Presbyterian Church, 55 Hincks Street, St.Thomas, on the first Friday of the month, October to May.

Friday, May 03, 2013

Thank you Ted

The members of the St Thomas Field Naturalist Club would like to thank you for all your hard work establishing an Internet presence for the club all these years. Best wishes for the future We hope it brings you all the happiness you deserve Many thanks. This site will stay up for all to see old posts, new posts will now be at St Thomas Field Naturalist Club. There is also a new Flickr site for members to post photos at STFN Flickr group.

I'm retiring the site

I am going to retire from managing the blog to sit back, relax and enjoy the sunshine and of course the shade of my trees. Ted

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Annual Banquet

St.Thomas Field Naturalist Club Inc.
Annual Banquet
Friday, November 4th, 2011
Knox Presbyterian Church
Rick Kiriluk
$20.00WWWWWWWWWWDoors Open 6:00

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Notes from Al Sharpe

Just a reminder of the Great Backyard Bird Count.
Above link will have some information on it.

There is now a Canadian site where you can download instructions on the brd count. This site also has a bird check list that ou can customize to your area. There are included instructions for uploading your sightings. All very neatly packaged.

Elgin Hiking Tril group is having a walk at 10 am at the southwld Earthworks on this Saturday, February 12th. Marg Hulls will be the leader. Directions: take Fingal Rd past Fingal to Iona Rd turn right, earthworks are just arond the corner.

The Feb 14th meeting of Otter Valley Naturalists presentation will be on a Brief Walk Through the Everglades with Joe Stephenson presenting some photos of his recent trip to Florida.

Also don't forget the owl prowl on Feb 16 at 7 pm at the Archie Coulter Conservation Area.

Tom Hayman had a nice article in the London Free Press on West Elgin Christmas Bird Count. Amazing number of owls reported.

Thankfully the ground hog saw his shadow only 4 more weeks of winter. ;-)
Take care
Al Sharpe

Savannah Sparrow

Ron Kingswood sent this photo of a savannah sparrow to Diane Dobson on February 2, 2011, with the comment "I don't get this bird too often at this time of year".

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Elgin Heritage Trees Web Site

The Elgin Heritage Trees web site has been established and can be reached at Elgin Heritage Trees. Once you have opened the folder and clicked on Heritage Trees Map - St.Thomas, you will need to click on the small line view larger image to get to the map proper. It is a large site and does take a few minutes to load, dependent on the speed of the computer, etc. The site is a work in progress, with St.Thomas almost complete, requiring just a few more seasonal photos. The West Elgin site shows the locations of all of the trees, but so far no photos. The East Elgin site has just been started and shows just a few tree locations but no photos.

Thursday, December 30, 2010


This photo was sent by Evelyn and Ray Knight of St.Thomas. It is believed to be a Cooper's Hawk. It caught a bird in their backyard and proceeded to eat it! This gave time for Ray to get a good photo.

Cheers, Diane.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Report from Diane Dobson

Hi Everyone, here is a short report sent to me by Ron Allenson. The Port Burwell Group held their count on Sunday.

Yo Diane: So glad you are checking!!!! I'm out to lunch. Spent most of the day today, checking out the reports of interesting birds for our CBC which took place on Sunday. (I think we will round out at 83 or 84 species. Can't believe it but it is all those celebrity birds who want to be a part of the Port Burwell-Vienna count) Wishing and hoping that for the St.Thomas count as well) The highlight of the day was observing an immature Golden Eagle, at Richmond, at the broiler farm. There were 17 Red-tailed hawks, and the one Golden Eagle. What a treat as I watched him/her soar in the clear blue sky.
As an alert to the counters in St.Thomas perhaps our results could serve as a watch "to be on the look out for" those species moving south along the shoreline.
We had two Brown Thrashers, 2 Mockingbirds, 5 Eastern Towhees, Red-Shouldered Hawks are also about. Tell the observers to look out for hermit thrush, we missed Woodcock (observed the day before the count), Turkeys were really high, . . . who knows what we will see . . . What an adventure. Ron

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Annual Banquet

Friday, November 5, 2010
Knox Presbyterian Church
Laura Hathaway
$20.00 - Doors open 6:00 p.m.
DINNER 6:30 P.M.

Thursday, July 15, 2010


Hi Diane:

I expect you have seen him on your list by now but thought I'd tell you about him anyway. I saw this little guy this afternoon (May 28). Lots of competition with red-winged blackbirds but a great big field of grass for them. He was on the south side of Crinan Road just west of the place at 26437 Crinan Road between Dunborough and Graham, if you want to try to find him. Bobolinks aren't that common any more because you do not see fields like this very often. Don't know if there are plans to cut the field but the farms on either side didn't look to prosperous so they might leave it alone long enough for babies to fledge.

See you soon - Jan

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Merlin Nest in St.Thomas

Hi Everyone, I know some of you got this last night (July 12) but I just got this message from Bob Hubert saying that Jim Dunn, at 126 Redan Street, would be happy to have bird watchers viewing the family of Merlins on his property. You can also see them from the Canadian Tire parking lot.

Don Fowler says he thinks that's a first for St.Thomas.


Dave Martin adds: It's the first known Merlin nest in Elgin County making it the farthest south nest in Canada. London has had a breeding pair for two years now making that pair Middlesex's first known breeding pair. They are moving south quickly but even at the end of the latest Breedng Bird Atlas there were only 4 records in the Carolian Zone. By the next atlas they'll be everywhere.

Dave Martin.

Saturday, May 08, 2010

Wednesday Evening Spring Walks - 2010

Meet at Site at 6:30 p.m.

April 14
Aylmer Wildlife Management Area. Eighteen walkers participated in this walk when the following birds were sighted; American coot, pie billed grebe, geese, mallards, ducks, song sparrow, blue heron, 1 tundra swan, green winged teal and American widgeon.

April 2
Twenty walkers were on hand at the Yarmouth Natural Heritage Area to see 1 bald eagle and many spring flowers, which were early, including bloodroot, yellow and white dog toothed violets, marsh marigold, early meadow rue, bluebells and trillium.

April 28
Home of Shirley Griffith. Eighteen walkers were present. Very few birds were sighted, including swallow, house wren, bluebird and cowbird. Nice walk around the pond and through the pine tree planting.

May 5
Rained out.

Next Walks -

May 12 - Corner's Corner.
May 19 - Hawk Cliff then to Port Stanley for Wimbrels.
May 26 - Pat and Bruce McLeans for walk and wiener roast. Hot dogs and condiments provided. Bring lawn chair, any goodies and beverage.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Ruby-crowned Kinglet

Ruby-crowned Kinglet by Ron Kingswood, April 12, 2010.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Rufus Towhee Sighted in Belmont

I live in Belmont and on February 22, 2010, a Rufus Towhee was feeding at my feeders for about 5 days when there was some heavy snow. Then he reappeared again on March 14. I am told that this is quite a rare sighting for this bird.

Joan Hodges

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Bird Sighting Reports to April 9, 2010

At the April 9th meeting of the St.Thomas Field Naturalist Club Inc, many new bird sightings were reported by the members. This spring Ron Kingswood sighted American Woodcock, Yellow-rumped Warbler, American Egret, Double-crested Cormorant, Hermit Thrush, Northern Mockingbird, and Tree Swallow to name a few.

Gary and Gillian Crowther sighted a Sandhill Crane near Port Stanley on April 7th.

During the Duck Rally several duck species were reported. Al Hurst saw Gadwills, Canvas Backs, Hooded Mergansers, American Widigeon and a Snow Goose in the last few weeks.

To us birders, the spring is like an amazing treasure hunt of the birds arriving back from their winter havens.

Happy Birding, Diane.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Signs of Spring

On Thursday, March 11th a pair of blue-winged teal were spotted, in the water, at the Aylmer Wildlife Management Area behind the Police College. We also saw red-winged blackbirds and robins on that property. In a field east of Half Moon Road there were several killdeers.

On Sunday March 14 we saw bufflehead and ring-necked ducks at lagoon #4 at the viewing stands at Port Stanley.

Marg Hulls and Joanne Burditt.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Christmas Bird Count 2009

The St.Thomas Field Naturalist Christmas Bird Count, which occured on December 26th, was an unusual one.

The weather, which is always a factor, was really good for the birders. Most thought this would result in great birding. The air was clear and often sunny, the roads were excellent; however, the birds were just not active.

No one really knows how the birding will go, and this year the number of species was down with an unofficial total of 67 on the day of the count. The total number of birds was relatively good at 23,616, but 4,274 were Canada Geese, 3,559 were European Starlings, and over 6,500 were gulls. Most birders called it a slow day because of the low number of species.

Here is a comparison of species and numbers of birds back to 2006.
2006 Birds 29,081 Species 90;
2007 Birds 17,327 Species 77;
2008 Birds 23,695 Species 80.

Participants can report new species up to December 29, so the count may change before it is over. Hopefully a few more species will be added by then.

The birders met at Knox Presbyterian Church for a pot luck dinner and to collect the information. The meal was delicious as usual.

Attached is a photo of John Harbaruk searching for birds on the December 26th count day.

John Harbaruk

We had two more species added to our Christmas Bird Count! Al Hurst saw a Fox Sparrow at his feeder and Irene Bouris identified a Chipping Sparrow! We are up to 70 species now.

Best regards, Diane Dobson, compiler.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Bird Report, April 27, 2009

The bird sightings are coming in as the weather warms...Ron Kingswood reported Nashville Warbler and Northern Oriole. Gill Crowther also reported a Northern (Baltimore) Oriole. Pat Harwell McLean saw something amazing at her pond again, she saw a Louisiana Heron. Look it up! It is very unusual I think. Mom (Norma Cook) and I were out birding on the weekend and found Brown Thrushers, and a Yellow Warbler at Hawk Cliff. We also went up to the two Eagle Nests near Wallacetown and both had an eagle sitting on the nest. Awesome! Also, we saw two herons on nests on the Bush Line. Great birding day.

Keep those reports coming! Diane Dobson

For some excellent photos of the Brown Thrusher click on

For photos of the Louisians Heron click on

Friday, April 24, 2009

Bird Sightings

Ron Kingswood sent this picture of a Yellow-rumped Warbler he saw in his yard earlier this week.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Pat Hartwell McLean had a pleasant surprise at her pond this week. A Black Crowned Night Heron arrived on April 18th, and stayed for a day, then went on its way.


Monday, April 20, 2009

Ruby-crowned Kinglet, taken April 18, 2009.

Ron Kingswood sent this lovely photo of the Ruby-crowned Kinglet, taken April 18, 2009.
Bird Sightings Report. Ron Kingswood has sent in reports of Hermit Thrush, American Egret, Barn Swallow, Rough-winged Swallow, Pine Warbler, Purple Martins, Chipping Sparrow, Tree Swallow and Cormorants in the last week, along with the pretty little Ruby Crowned Kinglet shown here.

Happy Birding Everyone, Diane