This morning, January 12, five birders spent a cold but otherwise pleasant morning at Point Holmes and Kye Bay. We had good numbers of a variety of waterbirds, shorebirds, and gulls. This gave us a good opportunity for gull study. A highlight was a very cooperative Brown Creeper. The following 33 species (and hybrid gulls) were seen:
Western x Glaucous-winged Gull (hybrid)
Herring x Glaucous-winged Gull (hybrid)
Comox Valley Nature is pleased to host Dr. Sarah Dudas for a lecture on “Microplastics in the environment and implications for the Salish Sea”. Recently featured on the CBC for her work on microplastics, Dr. Sarah Dudas is Canada research chair at the Shellfish Research Centre at Vancouver Island University in Nanaimo , BC. Her research of micro-plastic impacts on marine food chains has drawn international attention, and on the national webinar series of the Canadian Society for Environmental Biologists. She is currently supervising a project tagging some 3,000 shellfish Vancouver Island to study the impacts of micro-plastics on marine food-chains.
The impact of micro-plastics ingested by marine organisms is a growing recent concern. Relatively little is known about the fate of micro-plastics and their ultimate potential impacts on marine food chains. The ability of micro-plastics to sorb a large variety of chemicals makes them a potential danger for natural ecosystems and human health. Dr. Sarah Dudas , together with Dr. Katie Davidson, is the author of one of the few recent in-depth study on the presence of micro-plastics on manila clams in Baynes Sound and potential impacts of micro-plastics. She is currently undertaking a project to monitor some 3,000 shellfish in the Salish Sea.
The lecture is on Sunday, January 15 and will start after introductions at 7pm in the Rotary Room of the Filberg Seniors Centre 411 Anderton, Courtenay. Lecture is free, though a $4 contribution from non-members is appreciated. New memberships are always welcomed.
27 hardy CVNS members came out for the first outing of the new year, along the Royston Seaside Trail starting at the Royston wrecks breakwater. Art Martell gave a background on the K’omoks Important Bird & Biodiversity Area, the second most important IBA in BC, particularly for congregations of wintering waterfowl. Kathryn Clouston & Bill Heidrick provided detail on the eelgrass planting and shoreline restoration work of Project Watershed in the area. Along the 1 km trail northward there were several opportunities to scan for waterbirds, including good looks at Common Loon, Hooded Merganser, Common Goldeneye, and Surf Scoter. Several interpretive signs along this short but rewarding Regional District trail highlight its numerous points of interest including its fascinating history as a former logging railway right-of-way.
The 117th Annual Audubon Christmas Bird Count for the Comox Valley was held on Thurs. Dec. 22 (postponed from Sun. Dec. 18) and resulted in a total of 108 species, including a MEGA-Rarity: a Red-flanked Bluetail, found by Shane Tillapaugh and confirmed on Dec. 29.
Here is a great blog post by Nathan Hentze about the bird.
Greater White-fronted Goose
Great Blue Heron
Glaucous-winged Gull x Western Gull (hybrid)
* Red-flanked Bluetail *
Additional highlights were Snow Goose, Canvasback , Ruddy Duck and Glaucous Gull.
Total species: 108