Mike McPhail Bird Viewing Shelter opens near lagoons

Official dedication & opening of the MVFN Mike McPhail Bird Viewing Shelter

On September 5, 2018, the MVFN Mike McPhail Bird Viewing Shelter was officially dedicated to Mike McPhail, and opened by Mississippi Mills Councillor Val Wilkinson and Linda McCormick, President of the Mississippi Valley Field Naturalists (MVFN).

The Ribbon Cutting of the official opening. Left to right:  Mary Vandenhoff, Amber McPhail, Christine McPhail, Peggy McPhail, Cliff Bennett, Councillor Val Wilkinson and MVFN President Linda McCormick.  Photo by Howard Robinson

This beautiful bird viewing shelter is located on the westernmost decommissioned Almonte Lagoon, behind the Municipal Water Treatment facility on Wolf Grove Road, west of Almonte, and is open to all birders.

Its construction by many MVFN volunteers was made possible by the Mike McPhail Memorial Fund, which was designated to MVFN.  We are very proud to dedicate this shelter to Mike, who was a former MVFN President, and a very strong and energetic advocate for the preservation and restoration of natural spaces in our beautiful Lanark County, and a true Champion of Nature.

The dedication of the Memorial Plaque to Mike McPhail:  Amber McPhail, daughter Eleanor Gannon, Christine McPhail, Peggy McPhail, Cliff Bennett, MM Councillor Val Wilkinson.  Photo by Howard Robinson

MVFN’s annual “Wednesdays in September Open Houses” continue at the shelter on September 19 and 26.  MVFN volunteer birding experts with scopes will be there at the shelter 3 – 5 p.m. on these dates.  They will help you identify and learn about the many species of water and shorebirds that stop at the lagoon for sustenance and rest on their way to the sunny South, as well as summer resident marsh, field and woodland birds seen or heard along the path to the lagoon.  Please join us if you can, or visit on your own any time.

You can access the path to the MVFN Mike McPhail Bird Viewing Shelter from Concession #8, turning right off Wolf Grove Road.  The path is located a few hundred meters up Concession #8, across from the far end of the Auld Kirk Cemetery.  Parking is permitted on both shoulders of the road, except in front of the gate.  The rather hard-to-see path entrance is just beyond the second gate on the right, marked by a yellow arrow.  Please respect the “Rules of Etiquette” on the path and in the shelter.