Category Archives: author – McIlveen

2014 Halton Hills Christmas Bird Count

by W. D. McIlveen - In contrast to the weather experienced for the 2013 Christmas Bird Count in the aftermath of the ice storm that year, the weather for the 24th annual Christmas Bird Count on December 27, 2014 was quite delightful. Although there was a very brief light shower around noon, the lack of snow made for excellent survey conditions. The temperatures that got to approximately 10C in the afternoon were probably the second highest in the 24 years that … Continue Reading ››

Going Viral – The Real Way

by W.D. McIlveen - All readers must surely have heard of the ongoing outbreak of the Ebola hemorrhagic fever that is occurring in several countries in West Africa. The disease is indeed a nasty one that starts with a fever, muscle pain, and headache followed by vomiting, diarrhea, and impaired kidney and liver function. Internal and external bleeding may also occur. The mortality rate of the current outbreak stands at about 70%. As of 14 October 2014, 9,216 suspected cases and … Continue Reading ››

The Significance of the Transit of Venus

By W.D. McIlveen About two years ago, there was an event that made a notable item in the news. This was the phenomenon where the planet Venus traces a course across the face of the sun. This happened on June 5, 2012. A similar transit took place on June 8, 2004. Transits of Venus are rare events, occurring in pairs about eight years apart but separated by periods of over a century. As notable as this recent event might have been, … Continue Reading ››

Report on Evening Walks for 2014 – South Peel Naturalists And Halton North Peel Naturalists

By W. D. McIlveeen During the summer of 2014 (May 26 to August 25), a total of 14 evening walks were organized for various areas of Halton and Peel Regions. The site locations are listed in the following table along with the names of the leaders and the numbers of participants on each walk. An attempt was made to alternate sites in the south and the north part of the area. Overall, there were five different leaders (Ray Blower, Kirsten Burling, … Continue Reading ››

Return of the Phosphorus : Algae Issue

by W.D. McIlveen On February 27, 2014, the International Joint Commission [I.J.C., 2014] released a report on the most recent algae bloom problem in Lake Erie. That report had much in common with a similar problem that existed in the Great Lakes about 50 years before. That problem was the association between phosphorus loading in the water column and the subsequent growth of algae, most conspicuously Cladophora glomerata, though blue green bacteria and other species constitute additional problems. Continue Reading ››

Results of the 2013 Halton Hills Christmas Bird Count

by W.D. McIlveen - Halton/North Peel Naturalist Club
The 23nd annual Christmas Bird Count that took place on December 27, 2013 will be a most memorable one. The outstanding feature of the Count will be remembered not so much for the count results as for the weather that occurred a few days earlier. That weather included freezing rain that amounted to at least three cm of ice over all exposed surfaces. The consequence of the ice was extensive breakage of tree … Continue Reading ››

A SolstICE to Remember

by W.D. McIlveen
There is little doubt that the winter solstice of 2013 will be one to remember for a long time to come. The situation was certainly not unprecedented for some freezing rain occurs in most winters. And the amount of rain that fell was less than that that which happened in the great ice storm of 1998 in Ontario. Yet the extent of area that was impacted and the number of people affected in 2013 might well be much … Continue Reading ››

One Step Forward, One Step Back – Recent Changes in Invasive Species

by W.D. McIlveen
Figure 1. Adult Hypena opulenta
Figure 1. Adult Hypena opulenta
The situation regarding invasive species is never static. Periodically we get good news mixed in with the gloomy reports of some new species that has appeared at our door. And so it is that we have some recent changes in local matters pertaining to invasive alien species. Starting with the bad news first, the … Continue Reading ››

Disappearance of European Hare from the GTA

Ontario is home to five species of rabbits and hares. These include the Arctic Hare (Lepus arcticus), White-tailed Jack Rabbit (Lepus townsendii), Snowshoe Hare (Lepus americanus), Eastern Cottontail (Sylvilagus floridanus), and the main subject of this report, the European Hare (Lepus europaeus). The first two species do not extend into our area at all. Arctic Hare barely get into the most northern parts of the province while the White-tailed Jack Rabbit is included on the basis of a few records … Continue Reading ››