Wednesday, March 9, 2016

A Good Birding Companion. Maris P. Apse 1942-2016

Sunrise at Long Point Tip

It is with heavy heart that I write this post.  Just as I sat down for supper this evening, I received a call my friend Pete Chapman  indicating Maris Apse had died.  It was just last Monday I talked to Maris at the Lambton Wildlife Meeting and we talked about recent birds and the upcoming season.  He talked about chasing Gyrfalcons on the Toronto waterfront, as well as our experiences looking for the Heerman's Gull.

I first met Maris over twenty years ago at Rondeau Park.  He always stopped for birding on weekends in May.  I never really knew Maris at first, but he seemed to be a regular visitor and eventually I got to know him. We became good friends.
He taught school in Oakville and was keen on nature and birds.
Upon retirement he and his wife Penny built a house in Beach 'O Pines at Grand Bend.

We spent many times doing Christmas Bird Counts, doing OFO field trips, and in the summer, butterfly counts.

In July 2007, along with Heather Campbell and Diane Salter, Maris and I spent four days at the Tip of Long Point.  It was a lot of fun.

In recent years, Maris always helped me in my section of the Rondeau CBC, Wallaceburg CBC and some others.  It was always a joy to have him along on these or any outing.

Maris and Penny were so friendly and I always enjoyed their company.  When my father died, they came down from Grand Bend for a visit even though they had never met him.  That really meant a lot to me.

I do not know what else to say, but there is now a big void in my hobby of birding/nature.
You will always be remembered, Maris!


  1. Certainly a sad day for the birding community. Maris was always super friendly, eager, encouraging and helpful, and generally fun to be around.

    1. Thanks for commenting, Allen. And thanks to others who have sent personal emails.

  2. Blake, so sad to hear this news. I knew you and Maris were very good friends. Hopefully time will heal the pain.

  3. Well said, Blake. So sorry for the loss of your friend. Maris was a wonderful man.

  4. Bake: How very sad to read your blog just this a.m. I, too, considered
    Maris a good friend, and always looked forward to seeing him in Rondeau
    each Spring while Birding. He was "The Best" guide on the OfO tours at
    Rondeau, and super helpful at Niagara too! My heart goes out to Penny.
    This must have come as a great shock. Let us know the Funeral Home
    arrangements. My sympathy to you Blake.

  5. Thanks to all who commented or sent personal emails, too numerous to respond to all individually. Maris was a friend to many and a very special person.
    I know last weekend he got to see the Warwick Gyrfalcon, so at least he managed to see one last decent bird.

  6. Hello Blake--so sorry to read about Maris--I have been away awhile now but remember his help a few times as well while birding. You will miss him as many people will. A very nice Tribute to your friend Blake.
    Dorothy S.

  7. Hi Blake: it is so very sad when a long-time friends passes .. I know your sorrow and pass on my condolences to you,and his family. I knew Maris for many years and always enjoyed both his good humour and zest for life. Geoff

    1. Thanks Geoff. Maris was one very special man and led an interesting life.

  8. Hi Blake: I knew Maris for many years and always enjoyed his good humour and zest for life. I am sorry for your loss and for the family's as well. Geoff