Upcoming Walk: Sunday 30th April 2017, Airport Camas & Garry Oaks,

Sunday 30th April, Airport Camas & Garry Oaks, Knight and Kye bay Road, 

The Garry Oak (Quercus garryana var. garryana), the only native oak species in BC,   depends upon fire for its survival. These trees are early-succession species, and without disturbance, oak groves get overtaken by Douglas fir. Although natural wildfires help with maintaining a population of oaks, our oaks had good friends in the indigenous peoples of the Comox Valley. First Nations histories, backed up by soil samples and early records of settlers, show that Garry oak grasslands were often purposefully set fire to create and maintain an environment that supported a natural cultivation of camas,   chocolate lilies and other food sources.

Mature Garry oaks are resistant to low levels of fire, and much of the area from the estuary to Grantham was once a Garry oak and camas prairie. A possible side benefit was that the elimination of much of the undergrowth of shrubs and young firs permitted easier hunting of deer and other animals. With a reduction in the burning patterns, oak groves have been taken over by firs or cleared off agricultural lands, so the small groves we have must be maintained as the oak woodlands are critical habitats for a number of species that are rare or extirpated otherwise.

Meet at end of the Comox Airport runway corner of Knight Road and Kye Bay Road. For more details check out this link:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quercus_garryana

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Earth Day (April 22nd 2017) planting of over 80 native shrubs at Courtenay Airpark

Earth Day (April 22nd 2017) 

brought in volunteers from many Comox Valley organizations to assist in the planting of over 80 native shrubs and small trees at the Courtenay Airpark.  This was truly a community effort with Project Watershed leading the effort to clean up the shore of the lagoon of debris and Himalayan blackberry. A big shout out to the Courtenay Airpark Association for the excavator work on the site and their generous donation to buy native plants. The Broombusters were out in force and assisted by removing blackberry and Scotch broom from the site.
Comox Valley Nature supervised the plantings and were assisted by several students from Mark Isfeld Secondary School. Thanks to all the volunteers who came out to assist us in this project.  It is wonderful to see the cooperation between many volunteer groups to achieve a common goal which will benefit the Courtenay River estuary and all the creatures we share this special place with.
Frank Hovenden

 

 

 

Following are descriptions of photos:
earthday 1; Work near viewing platform, north end of Lagoon
earthday 2; Excavator work in preparation for Earth Day
Earth Day c; Morning Crew (30 volunteers came in a.m.)
Earth Day h; Frank giving tips on planting shrubs & trees
Earth Day n; Dan Bowen (PW), Bev Agur (Broom Busters), Frank H. and Murray L (both CVNS)
Earth Day p; Morris Perrey (Courtenay Airpark Association) and Frank

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Bird Outing Report: Lazo Marsh & Nature Park, Apr. 20,2017

Today, April 20th, we finally had a Thursday with a break in the weather . Twelve birders spent a sunny morning at Lazo Marsh and Lazo Wildlife Park and found 35 species. Highlights were many spring arrivals including Purple Martins and Chickadees working on a nest cavity.

Canada Goose
Mallard
Turkey Vulture
Bald Eagle
Eurasian Collared-Dove
Rufous Hummingbird
Belted Kingfisher
Red-breasted Sapsucker
Northern Flicker
Pileated Woodpecker
Hammond’s Flycatcher
Northwestern Crow
Common Raven
Purple Martin
Violet-green Swallow
Chestnut-backed Chickadee
Bushtit
Red-breasted Nuthatch
Brown Creeper
Pacific Wren
Marsh Wren
Bewick’s Wren
Golden-crowned Kinglet
Ruby-crowned Kinglet
American Robin
Orange-crowned Warbler
Common Yellowthroat
Yellow-rumped Warbler (Audubon’s)
Chipping Sparrow
Golden-crowned Sparrow
Song Sparrow
Spotted Towhee
Red-winged Blackbird
Purple Finch
American Goldfinch

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BC Nature eNews April 2017

Dear Member
Upcoming Events
  • AGM 2017 – May 4-6, 2017 Haven’t registered yet, there’s still time. Please visit Lilloet Naturalists AGM website for updates
  • Earth Day – April 22, 2017
  • Skagit Valley Bird Blitz May 12, 13, 14
  • Manning Park Bird Blitz June 16, 17, 18
  • BC Nature Scholarship deadline for submissions – June 2, 2017
  • FGM 2017 – Your hosts North Okanagan Naturalists invite you to join them for “Lakes, Grasslands, Forests” in Vernon, September 21 – 23, 2017. Registration information will be in the Summer Magazine and on the BC Nature Website.
  • September 24, 2017 – “World Rivers Day”
Proposed wildlife management plans alarm BC’s naturalists
Nature-lovers across BC are expressing concern over a proposed new method for managing wildlife in the province. Speaking on behalf of BC Nature, the federation of naturalist clubs across BC, president Dr. Alan Burger said “Our members are alarmed by recent statements by government ministers indicating that wildlife management might be handed over to an external agency supported by special interest groups, specifically hunters and guide-outfitters”. This model of wildlife management will undoubtedly work against the interests of the vast majority of British Columbians, added Burger. For the complete press release, please follow this Link
Issue 58
Date April 2017
Young Osprey – Lillooet
BCnature Summer Magazine
Members receiving or downloading “electronic” pdf versions of our magazine, you will be notifed after the long weekend in May of the availability of the Summer Magazine. Members receiving Canada Post versions (Paper) – can expect to see the magazine in their mailboxes by the first week of June.
About Town Events and outings in your area!
March for Science Vancouver is a local satellite march for the global phenomenon March for Science taking place on April 22, 2017 (Earth Day). We want to ensure that the march is inclusive, with scientists and science supporters from a wide range of disciplines and backgrounds. Website for more information or search Facebook for March for Science.

Children and Nature Network Conference April 18-21, 2017, For Events Listing

Interesting Links, Articles and Websites
From the Prince George Citizen – Birding updates from Prince George Article Link

From Coast Mountain News – Ooligan Grease Camp – Bella Coola Article Link

Getting the Big Picture with eBird Link to ebird

Neville Recording – Bird Song of the Month Link to hear the recording

Good News Section Good News Section
Off-road vehicle fees to help fund trail upgrades, enhance rural economies – Link to Press release

The Cod are coming back to Newfoundland National Post Article

New Species added to the Species at Risk Act (Good news that protection is now afforded these species, bad news that we have to have this protection at all!) Link to Nature Canada Website

Spring brings increasing interest in bat health and public reports of bats
Fortunately for the bats of BC, it has been a quiet winter. The BC Community Bat Program, in collaboration with the Province of BC, is on the lookout for signs of White-Nose Syndrome (WNS). WNS is a fungal disease harmless to humans but responsible for the deaths of millions of insect-eating bats in eastern North America. WNS was first detected in Washington State in March 2016. To monitor the spread of this disease, Community Bat Program coordinators have been collecting reports of unusual winter bat activity across southern BC and ensuring that dead bats are sent to the Canadian Wildlife Health Centre lab for disease testing. To-date, no WNS has been reported in the province.
We are asking the public to report dead bats or any sightings of daytime bat activity to the Community Bat Project (CBP) as soon as possible (1-855-922-2287 ext 24 or info@bcbats.ca)” says Mandy Kellner, coordinator of the BC Community Bat Program. Reports of unusual bat activity will help focus research, monitoring and protection efforts. How can you help? Through Citizen Science, please visit Link
News From Our Peace Region
From the Fish and Wildlife Compensation program
$2.2 million for fish and wildlife Caribou, bats, migratory birds, moose, Bull Trout, Arctic Grayling, and wetland and riparian species will benefit from the 26 projects approved by our Peace Region Board. Work will continue this year as part of our multi-year project to gather data on mercury levels in fish in the Williston and Dinosaur reservoirs. We will also continue our multi-year project to investigate limiting factors affecting moose in the Peace Region, alongside the Provincial moose study. Our Peace Region Board approved approximately $2.2 million for fish and wildlife projects. Read our 2017 – 2018 project list.
More than 100 projects across B.C. A total of 102 fish and wildlife projects, valued at $9.4 million, have been approved by our three regional Boards. The conservation and enhancement projects will start after April 1, 2017 in our Coastal, Columbia and Peace Regions, and conclude by March 2018. Each one went through a three-stage review and evaluation process. And each project addresses one or more conservation priorities from our action plans.
BC Nature AGM and FGM Conferences
For members who have not entertained attending a BC Nature Annual General Meeting (AGM) or Fall General Meeting (FGM) – you’re missing out on some great nature education, presentations and even greater field trips (walks and talks.)
The misnomer in our “conferences” is that participants are not trapped in meetings all day. Instead, the host BC Nature Club transforms these meeting rooms into presentation class rooms and then extends these classrooms to the great “out of doors.” Our BCN club members (local experts) lead walks and talks in their local parks and surrounding area on a variety of nature topics.
A day of presentations from experts in their fields, on a variety local nature topics, followed by a day and a half of field trips are the norm on these conference weekends.
Not to mislead you, there are a few hours of business that must be conducted in order that we carry on as a Society, but even these meetings are very enlightening for nature! Lively discussions on Conservation of Nature and other Nature Related topics are the norm at these meetings.
Think about attending one of these great conferences in the future. What a chance (from a Naturalists Point of View) to be educated on the area of our host BC Nature club town!
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