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Hike Leader Agreement
BIRDING HIKE LEADER GUIDE The Friends of Point Pelee provide birding hikes throughout the Festival of Birds. This important service provides enhanced opportunities for visitor experience at Point Pelee during the Festival and are integral to its success. Welcome to the team-you are part of an important program. The hike leaders’ duties are outlined in this document. Please read it and sign the portion at the bottom indicating that you are willing to follow the conditions, policies and rules set out. 1. Hours of work a. Birding Hike Shifts Your will be assigned 4 hour shifts, either in the morning, afternoon or early afternoon.(note the evening shifts are shorter than 4 hours, however, you will be compensated for the four hour block.) During your shift, you will assigned a 2 hour hike and will be asked to staff the Birding Information Center. Other duties may be assigned during your shift as required . Hike leaders are asked to fill out their time sheets at the end of each shift. In the event that a leader leaves before the end of their shift and has not made arrangements with the manager, they will only be paid for the hours they were present. Hours for the birding hike shifts are as follows *Morning hikes-7:00 am – 11:00 am or 8:00 am -12:00 pm * Afternoon hikes- 12:30 pm-4:30 pm or 1:00 pm—5:00 pm * Twilight hikes- 6:15pm-9:30 pm Hikes leaders are asked to report to the Nature Nook-- 30 minutes prior to the hike start to Obtain their list and bands or receive special instructions for the hike. Please notify the person In Nook where you are taking your hike. Leaders should be at the hike meeting location 15 Minutes prior to hike start to take attendance and hand out bands, etc. Twilight hike leaders Should pick up their list and bands during the day. b. Changes to the schedule In the event you need to change your shift, please contact the hike coordinator at least 24 hours in advance. Please try and switch shifts with another leader, or find another leader willing to take over your shift. Ensure that the schedule is changed to reflect the update and that the manager is aware of all changes. c. Cancellation of hike due to lack of participants The hikes are usually well attended and the hike co-ordination is such that all leaders listed on the schedule should be working . If that is not the case, then the need for hike leaders will be determined by which position they are on the list. For instance, the first person listed has priority for the hike, and then the second, and so on. d. Length of Hikes Daytime hikes are two hours long. Hike leaders are expected to return to the VC after a 2-hour period to ensure that all participants are receiving the same value for their dollar. Twilight hikes start at 6:30 pm and end after the American Woodcock display. Hikes will last longer than two hours—this extended hike is accepted practice for twilight hikes only. e. Scouting and parking Morning and afternoon scouting is optional, but will help determine where the birding is best. It is advantageous to have the hike leaders check different locations and share their results with the other. Parking can be difficult in peak periods so please arrive early. Should you know you’re going to be late, contact the manger ASAP, so that other leaders can cover until you arrive. f. Birding Information Center Hike leaders are required to staff the Birding Center during their daytime and afternoon shifts. When leaders return from their hike, they will be responsible to staff the center and provide visitors with guidance as needed. You should be updating the sighting board and creating a migration update to be posted to ONTBIRDS. Postings must be bilingual-a bilingual bird list will be provided by the park staff. Park staff will also provide an iPad and training for creating the posting the ONTBIRDS report. Afternoon leaders will update the board and assist the park staff in the creation of a migration report to be posted on the doors for information after hours. Only official hike leaders, on duty, should be behind the desk at the Birding Information Center and should be wearing a name tag that clearly indicates who they are. All spouses, significant others, friends etc, should not be behind the desk or hanging around as it deters visitors from approaching and asking questions. g. Lunch breaks Leaders should have enough time between morning and afternoon shifts to have a 30 minute lunch. There should be enough leaders to cover each other. You are asked not eat at the Sightings Desk. You are welcome to eat in the staff lunchroom or any other area in VC, h. Number of Hike Participants In order to be fair to participants and leaders, hikes will have up to 12. The only exceptions will be at the hike leaders discretion. When taking attendance, sometimes participants have been split from friends or family, and wish to be together. With some juggling , the leaders might be able to solve those issues. If Participants want to switch groups due to wanting a different leader, it is not a wise idea to do in front of the group. Try to avoid this if possible. i. General Hike Info Weather Conditions Hikes go rain or shine. Leaders will try and pick more sheltered areas in the event of inclement weather. Hikes will only be cancelled if there is a safety concern caused by either high winds or thunderstorms. In the event a hike is cancelled, a full refund will be issued to participants. Person can switch hikes if space is available or donate the cost of hike to the Friends. In the event a participant is not on the list, you will need to ask to see a receipt. Clerical errors can happen, however, there are also people who try to attend even tho they have not paid. When in doubt, check with staff in store. In the case of the NW hike, and they don’t have their receipt, try calling the store 519-326-6173,. If you have room on your hike and people come to the meeting place and ask to join, send them into the nook to pay and bring back their receipt. If on trail and they want to join, ask for the $20.00 fee or remember at end of hike to bring them in to pay. j. Twilight hikes The hike is generally also known as the Woodcock walk, and so the key sighting should be that species. Depending on the conditions, it often turns into a general nature or even a history walk with the pioneer building discussed. If you have scouted the trails, you will know where the most bird activity is going to be. You can explore the DeLaurier Trail, the Anders footpath or the Pioneer picnic area and the bike trail across the road. The woodcock usually start “peenting” by sunset and start flying about 20 minutes after sunset. Wind conditions will change the directions of flight. Depending on weather conditions the birds might fly later or earlier by a small margin. Wherever you are, get over to either the parking lot or along a side trail to watch for the birds in good time. Discuss the biology of the woodcock as you’re waiting for their flights. Sometimes the parking lot is rather full of other people waiting for the flights so you might have to move to the side trail near the weather station. In the last few years the male near the weather station at the south side of parking area has been the most dependable. Try to pick a spot where the setting sun is behind the flying bird, as it stands out better against the sky. In case of rain, use your discretion. If at all possible at least get a hike for general nature, birds, history etc. If its too rainy, and not woodcock, it may be necessary to cancel the hike Check your cell phone –weather radar to see if there will be a window to have the hike. If you cancel the hike due to weather—people can apply for a refund, reschedule or donate. Please remind people to be out of the Park by 10:00 pm and to watch for animals. k. General info A general announcement should be made after attendance and before groups disperse, typically by the first hike leader on the list. THANK the participants on behalf of the FoPP and mention how the money goes toward providing shuttle drivers, the nature nook book store etc. Introduce your fellow hike leader and if necessary, give any announcements regarding the hikes in general. You may ask your participants if they have been to Point Pelee before, how many have been birding before etc. Since some are total novices, it might be good to practice spotting inanimate objects with the binoculars before you start. Help them get ready for viewing, to focus , and adjustments. Typically you would go to the Tip in the morning and can separate groups once you are there. This gives the newcomers a chance to hopefully see new migrants and hear about the most southerly point on Canada’s mainland. Tilden Woods or Woodland Nature Trail for afternoon. Hikes. The NW hike meets in the NorthWest Beach parking lot. The hike can cover the picnic area, the marsh, Blue Heron seasonal trails and north into Sanctuary picnic area. Never leave the Park with a group If you decide to travel with your group to another part of the Park, you must have Unanimous agreement of all participants. Hide leaders should use official park trails. Seasonal birding trails are not designed To accommodate large groups and should only be used with small groups. When using the roadway, have the whole group move to one side of the road as the shuttle approaches. When birds are not cooperating, fill in the gaps with info on the Park, where to bird in the area, and your birding experience. Try to keep it interesting. Dogs have sometimes caused problems on the hikes, but there is not particular rule banning Them. Participants often just show up with a dog. It is up to the hike leader to determine if The dog will be a problem for the group , ex. Alllergies, getting in the way on the trail or Causing problems with the bird sightings. One suggestion is to have the dog at the back of the group. Any concerns or suggestions concerning the above document, please feel free to let me know ASAP Your input will gladly be looked at. THANKS AND HAVE A GREAT SEASON DEBBIE/MANAGER

Welcome Hike Leaders! Thank you so much for your interest in being a Hike Leader for the Festival of Birds 2023.