2016 Events

About Our Volunteer Interpretative Programbusiness

We offer a program of interpreted and guided outings and other events that enhance the experience of park users. This initiative originates from our strong attachment to Taylor Head Provincial Park and our passion for the natural world.

The guides and interpreters are volunteers. We have limited resources in terms of the scope and level of assistance that we are able to offer to participants who cannot safely participate without special attention or supervision. In particular, if you have mobility, endurance, or cognitive limitations we ask that you read the program details very carefully to ensure that the activity you choose is right for you. We have included some events in the program that are less demanding and hopefully within the capabilities of a broad range of people with mobility or other issues that impose limits to their enjoyment of our wonderful park.

Through a partnership agreement between The Friends of Taylor Head Provincial Park (the friends) and NS Department of Natural Resources, the Park enters an extension period beyond the regular October 11, 2016 closing date. During the extension period, the NS Department of Natural Resources does not maintain the park but the friends are responsible for garbage collection and toilet maintenance.

for 2016

shapesSLOW and EASY, FUN and FRESH AIR WALKS

Monthly, on the second Wednesday, from June to November.
Time: 10:00am – 1:00pm
Meet at 10:00 a.m. at the Park Info Kiosk at the last parking lot. Level of difficulty – EASY

Our volunteers will lead a slow-paced, low-intensity walk on the park’s easiest trails and on the Park Road which is one of the most scenic coastal roads on our fabulous eastern shore. There will be options for duration and pace of walks. We hope these “Fun and Fresh Air Walks” will appeal to people of all ages including those with limited mobility. Please understand that, as volunteers, we may not be able to provide the level of personal assistance that you need if you have mobility limitations. In these cases, we ask that you bring a friend or family member to assist you.

This is in partnership with Halifax Parks and Recreation, Sheet Harbour.

Contact: Warren Parsons 902-772-2207 

MIGRATION COUNT

Saturday, May 14. Time 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Meet by the kiosk at the last parking lot.
Level of difficulty – Difficult

This is an annual event sponsored by the Nova Scotia Bird Society and is conducted on this date (second Saturday in May) throughout North America. All the trails in the park will be covered and all birds will be counted – not only migrants. We can expect to see cormorants (Greater and Double-Crested), Long-tailed Ducks, Willets, Greater yellow-legs, Swainson’s and Hermit Thrush, Magnolia Warblers, Fox, and Song Sparrows, etc. Weather is usually cold and raw this time of year so dress warmly. Bring a lunch, hot drink and any equipment you use for birding. Don’t worry if you are new to birding as we will be working together. No rain date.

Leader: Jim Cameron 902-885-2970
Alternate contact: Warren Parsons 902-772-2207

HIGHWAY 7 ROAD CLEANUP

Sunday, May 29 Time: 9:00 a.m. – noon
Meet at park gate on highway 7

Garbage along the roads detracts from the scenic beauty as visitors drive to Taylor Head Park. Within the park boundaries, the roadside and ditches are generally trash-free. However, Highway 7’s ditches sprout coffee cups, bottles, and cigarette packages at an alarming rate. In the spring and autumn of each year, the Friends of Taylor Head organize a trash pickup along Highway 7 between the Mushaboom Bridge (near Mushaboom Road) and Twin Bridges road. This keeps about 3 km. clean and tidy.  Often we finish earlier than noon.

Volunteers meet at the entrance to Taylor Head Park where there is ample vehicle parking space. Safety vests and garbage bags are provided, along with a brief safety talk for newcomers. We welcome both members and any other volunteers that would be willing to assist. The only restriction is that you must be at least 12 years of age. Watch for our fall clean-up event.

Contact: Steven Mildenberger  902-885-2394

ABRAHAMS LAKE BIRD WALK

Sunday, June 19. Time: 9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Meet at 9 a.m. at the MacPhee House Visitors Information Centre in Sheet Harbour.
Level of difficulty – Difficult

The MacPhee House  is the first building on your right as you cross the bridge on the West River (as you come from Halifax). Abrahams Lake Preserve is owned by the Nature Conservancy of Canada and is located 38 km. from Sheet Harbour in the Liscomb Game Sanctuary. This preserve has one of the few old growth forests in the province and is changing rapidly due to insect infestation, disease and blow downs. Birds nesting by the trail includes Ravens, Goshawks, Hairy Woodpeckers, Black-backed Woodpeckers, Swainson’s Thrush, and Bay-breasted Warblers. Birds nesting in the sanctuary are Greater Yellowlegs, Red-tailed Hawks, and Common Mergansers. It will be a 6.5 k. walk and we will eat lunch by Abrahams Lake. Bring a lunch, water, and good hiking footwear. There is no rain date.

Leader: Jim Cameron 902-885-2970
Alternate contact: Warren Parsons 902-772-2207

NATURAL HISTORY WALK #1: Wildflowers, Wildlife, and Geology

Sunday, June 26. Time: 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Meet at the kiosk at the last parking lot.
Level of difficulty – Difficult

Early summer is a special time in Taylor Head Park. The wildflowers are in full bloom, the vegetation is fresh and lush, and wildlife is very active.

This is the first in a series of two hikes this summer focusing on natural history. During this outing on the Headland Trail, you will have the opportunity to identify wildflowers, plants, birds and geological formations. This hike will be about five hours long and the trail is challenging in places. Bring a lunch, water, binoculars, and wear sturdy footwear.

Leader: Peter Oickle  902-499-4114. 
Alternate contact: Warren Parsons 902-772-2207.  

BEGINNING BIRDERS FIELD TRIP

Saturday, July 9. Time: 10 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Meet at 10 a.m. at the end of the Taylor Head Provincial Park access road at the info kiosk at the last parking lot.
Level of difficulty – Moderate

Prior to the walk, we will discuss equipment, guidebooks, and audio and visual aids useful to birders. We will take a casual walk along Powers Pond and look at nesting birds such as Common Terns, Willets, Lincoln’s Sparrows, and Spotted Sandpipers. The walk will take about three hours and we will eat lunch on the trail. Take binoculars if you have them, a lunch and water. There is no rain date.

Leader: Peter Oickle  902-499-4114. 
Alternate contact: Warren Parsons 902-772-2207.  

SLOW and EASY BIRD WATCHING FIELD TRIP

Sunday, July 17 Time: 10 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Meet at 10 a.m. at the end of the Taylor Head Provincial Park access road at the info kiosk at the last parking lot.
Level of difficulty – Easy

This is a bird walk designed for those that have difficulty navigating most of the trails in the park or wish a more sedate pace than our regular walks.
We will start at our meeting place at the kiosk walk to the boardwalk down to the beach, walk along the beach to the second boardwalk and return by the short grassy trail joining the two boardwalks. We will complete our walk by driving back along the access road (probably stopping to watch birds from our cars) and be stopping at the Bull Beach trail head. At Bull Beach, we will hike two short trails and have lunch at Bull Beach. Total trail covered will be about 1 kilometre. We should see or hear Common Eiders, D.C. Cormorants, Willets, Northern Flickers, Yellow-bellied Flycatchers, Swainson’s and Hermit Thrushes to name only a few. Take binoculars if you have them, a lunch and water. There is no rain date.

Leader: Jim Cameron 902-885-2970
Alternate contact: Warren Parsons 902-772-2207

NATURAL HISTORY WALK: WILDFLOWERS, WILDLIFE and GEOLOGY

Sunday, July 24 Time: 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 at p.m.
Meet at the kiosk at the last parking lot.
Level of difficulty – Difficult

This is the second of two events that focus on natural history of the park. During this mid-summer outing along the Headland Trail, you will have the opportunity to identify plants and wildlife of the seashore, barren headland, and wetlands of Taylor Head. We will also examine some of the Park’s fascinating geological features as we traverse the margin of one of Nova Scotia’s most prominent coastal headlands.

This hike will be about five hours long and the trail is challenging in places. Bring a lunch, water, binoculars, and wear sturdy footwear.

Leader: Peter Oickle  902-499-4114. 
Alternate contact: Warren Parsons 902-772-2207. 

NOVA SCOTIA BIRD SOCIETY, MID-SUMMER BIRDWATCHING WALK

Saturday, August 6. Time: 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Meet at 9 a.m. at the Park Info Kiosk at the last parking lot.
The level of difficulty – MODERATE for the morning walk.  If you continue to the Headland Trail, this level would be considered DIFFICULT.

This will be a joint trip with the Friends of Taylor Head and the Nova Scotia Bird Society.   We will hike the Spry Bay Trail in the morning and eat lunch beside Powers Pond. We will watch (in the protected area across Powers Pond) nesting and brood Common Tern, Cormorants, Eiders, Willets, and Spotted Sandpipers. Migrating Whimbrels should be present along with other waders. The terrain is rugged so sturdy boots are recommended. Take a hearty lunch, water, and proper footwear. You will have the option of a second walk to the scenic headland on the Headland Trail after lunch. No rain date.

Leader: Jim Cameron 902-885-2970
Alternate contact: Warren Parsons 902-772-2207

Full day GUIDED HIKE

Sunday, August 7 Time: 9:00 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Meet at 9:00 a.m. at the Park Info Kiosk at the last parking lot.
Level of difficulty – DIFFICULT

Are you tired of hiking alone? This is your chance to hike one of the most spectacular parks in the province. This park, jutting out into the Atlantic Ocean has approximately 16k of hiking trails. We will leave the trailhead at the parking lot and hike the Bull Beach Trail (7 k.) returning by the access road to the parking trailhead. At that time depending on interest we will continue our walk to the headland (9 k) on the Headland Trail. The total hike will take about 8 hours and portions of the trail are difficult. So, come equipped with water, a lunch, and equipment suitable for continuous exercise over difficult terrain.

Leader: Jim Cameron 902-885-2970
Alternate contact: Warren Parsons 902-772-2207

BIRDWATCHING: EARLY FALL MIGRANTS

Saturday, September 24 Time 10:00 a.m. – 3:00p.m.
Meet by the kiosk at the last parking lot.
Level of difficulty – Difficult

This activity will be along the Spry Bay and Headland Trails which will take about four hours to complete. It should provide a good photo opportunity for migrating Waders,  Blackpoll Warblers, Black-backed Woodpeckers, and Common Yellowthroats. You will encounter rugged terrain so it is advised to wear hiking boots. Bring snacks or a lunch and water, and don’t forget your binoculars and camera.

There is no rain date, we’re pretty serious about birds and we absolutely love all levels of bird enthusiasts at all our events. Join us!

Leader: Jim Cameron 902-885-2970
Alternate contact: Warren Parsons 902-772-2207

MAGICAL, MYSTERIOUS, MUSHROOMS

Sunday, October  2 Time: 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. 
Meet by the kiosk at the last parking lot.
Level of difficulty – Difficult

Forests wouldn’t grow without them!
Orchids wouldn’t bloom without them!
Some even glow in the dark, and there are more mushrooms in Nova Scotia than there are plants! Throughout history mushrooms have been regarded with fear and fascination – sometimes revered, sometimes hated, but always mysterious.

Join C, co-founder of the Halifax Field Naturalists and mushroom expert, on a foray to learn more about this much-maligned group of organisms.

Find out what is fact and what is fantasy, what is edible and what is poisonous and where (and when) to find them. Discover how fungi are absolutely essential to our well-being.

You will encounter rugged terrain so it is advised to wear hiking boots or sneakers. Bring water, snacks or a lunch, and don’t forget your camera.

There is no rain date because mushrooms love moisture, right?

Leader: Dr. Scott Cunningham

For more information call Warren Parsons at 902-772-2207

PARK EXTENSION ACTIVITIES

October 11 – December 05, 2016

Through a partnership agreement between The Friends of Taylor Head Provincial Park and NS Department of Natural Resources, the Park gate is open beyond the normal season. The friends are responsible for garbage collection and toilet maintenance during this period.

HEADLAND HIKE WITH HIKE NOVA SCOTIA

Saturday, October 22 Time: 11:00 a.m.
Meet at kiosk at the last parking lot

This hike is part of the Halifax October Trail Challenge Guided Hikes 2016. This rugged, but rewarding, coastline trek to Taylor Head Point provides the best experience. This is a 2.5-hour hike (8km). Please wear comfortable hiking boots or other sturdy footwear is recommended. Pack a lunch and water.

Participants may win a “trail” prize. Thanks to our partners for organizing the hikes on the ground, Halifax Regional Municipality and to the NS Department of Communities, Culture and Heritage for its support.

HIGHWAY 7 ROAD CLEANUP

Sunday, October 23 Time: 9:00 a.m. – noon
Meet at park gate on highway 7

Autumn of each year, the Friends of Taylor Head organize a trash pickup along Highway 7 between the Mushaboom Bridge (near Mushaboom Road) and Twin Bridges road.

Volunteers meet at the entrance to Taylor Head Park where there is ample vehicle parking space. Safety vests and garbage bags are provided, along with a brief safety talk for newcomers. Everyone is welcome! The only restriction is that you must be at least 12 years of age.

Contact: Steven Mildenberger  902-885-2394

BIRDWATCHING: WINTER BIRDS

Sunday, November 20 Time: 10:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.
Meet at the kiosk at the last parking lot.
Level of difficulty – Difficult

This will be a leisurely walk to the Headland Trail. Expect to see lots of Eiders, Grebes, Scoters, Dovekies, Guillemots, Mergansers, Harlequin Ducks, Long –tailed Ducks, and Purple Sandpipers. Depending on weather conditions lunch may be eaten at the Headland.

Bring waterproof boots, warm clothing, snacks and lunch, and a hot drink.

This should be a good warm-up to the Christmas Bird Count.

Bring your binoculars.

There is no rain date because we’re pretty much prepared for any kind of weather in these parts. Bird enthusiasts of all levels are welcome at all our events – who knows, maybe we’ll learn something from you?

Leaders:
Jim Cameron 902-885-2970
Warren Parsons 902-772-2207

CHRISTMAS BIRD COUNT

Thursday, December 15. Time: 7:30 a.m. to 5:00 pm.
Meet at the Spry Bay Community Hall (opens at 7:30 a.m.)
Level of difficulty – Difficult

The Nova Scotia Sheet Harbour (NSSH) Christmas Bird Count is one of about 25 around the province. The count area extends in a circle around Taylor Head Park and from Tangier to Sober Island. All the trails in the park are covered in this survey. Birders are organized into groups from two to four and given designated areas to count.

If you have a bird feeder, you’re also encouraged to send in your count.

Birders will meet after the count, to sum up the day’s count and have a delicious meal at the Spry Bay Community Hall.

These counts are sponsored by the National Audubon Society, Bird Studies of Canada, NS Bird Society and the Friends of Taylor Head Provincial Park Society.

Contact:
Jim Cameron 902-885-2970
Warren Parsons 902-772-2207

Flickers at Taylor Head Provincial Park


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