The Peterborough Field Naturalists were well represented in this year’s Carden Challenge, a birding and biodiversity competition in the Carden Alvar, northwest of Lindsay.  It is also a major fund-raiser for the Couchiching Conservancy, a land trust.  Over $22,000 was raided this year.

PFN member Kathy Parker was part of the team known as the Carden Catbirds.  Other team members consisted of Susan Blayney of Fenelon Falls, Alex Mills of Barrie and Chris Evans of Orillia.  They participated in the Carden Alvar Biodiversity Challenge.  They had to identify species of birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians, butterflies, dragonflies and damselflies within a 24 hour period.  All identifications had to be confirmed by two members of the team.  Bonus points were awarded if the species are recognized as species at risk by either the Federal or Provincial Governments.

The Carden Catbirds earned 182 points to capture the new Biodiversity Challenge Award, which was donated by Martin and Kathy Parker.  There were a total of four teams in the Biodiversity Challenge, with the 2nd place team earning 178 points, and the other two teams obtaining 152 and 172 points.

PFN members Sean Smith, Matthew Toby and Martin Parker along with Dan Bone of the Kawartha Field Naturalists comprised a team called ‘The Wylie Road Runners’.  They came in second in the Carden Cup which is for competitive teams.  The winning team ‘The Lagerheads’ observed 133 species of birds and were awarded the ‘Carden Cup’.  The ‘Wylie Road Runners’ observed 122 species with the other two competitive teams observing 117 and 103 species.

The Carden Challenge commenced at 6 p.m. on Friday May 24 and lasted until 6:00 p.m. on Saturday, May 25.  All observations had to occur within in an area contained within a circle of radius 24 kilometers centered on the Carden Alvar, just north of Kirkfield.  Some teams birded all night while other had a few hours’ sleep.  The event ended with a catered supper and awards presentation.

For additional information contact Martin Parker – 705 – 745 – 4750

Categories: Sightings

Drew Monkman

I am a retired teacher, naturalist and writer with a love for all aspects of the natural world, especially as they relate to seasonal change.