Too Many Choices at the 2016 BC Nature Conference?

Trying to decide which of the over thirty activities you would like to take in during the 2016 BC Nature Conference and AGM? Some of the more popular Field Trips are almost fully booked, but there are lots of wonderful trips available. May we suggest the following.

MARS Friday, May 14th 1:30

The friendly and knowledgeable staff at Mountainaire Avian Rescue Society will take you on a guided tour of their bird care and rehabilitation facility. With a bit a luck, you may even get to see the fledging Class of 2016. The MARS Ambassadors include a number of individuals who, for various reasons, cannot be returned to the wild. Two of them are Shakespeare a Barred Owl, and Scarlet, a Red-tailed hawk. For more, visit    http://wingtips.org/

Child Nature Education, Thursday May 12th, 8:30 am

Join Jarrett, the Director of Cumberland’s Hand-In-Hand Early Years Nature Education Program, for an educational and inspiring workshop at Coal Creek Historic Park, Cumberland. Jarrett brings 16 years of environmental education to the Valley, with experience in teaching and learning with children from preschoolers to grade 12 in an outdoor setting and exposing youth to our wonderful world of nature.

Allan Brooks and Mac Laing Tour, Friday May 13th, 1:30 pm

Allan Brooks (1869 to 1946) was a internationally known bird artist and ornithologist who moved to Comox after 1918. He organized the first Comox Valley Christmas Bird Count in 1921.  His work was featured in numerous publications including National Geographic Magazine in the early 1920’s and 1930’s, and Birds of Canada (Taverner, 1934). For more on Allan brooks visit https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allan_Brooks

Ornithologist and naturalist writer Hamilton Mack Laing (1883 to 1982) moved to the Comox Valley in 1922. A visionary, in 1929 Laing wrote an article “Oil – Black Death of Waterbirds – The Bird World Faces a New Menace – Oil – Polluted Waters – A Tragedy on the West Coast”, sadly still a concern to us  86 years later.  For more information visithttp://macklaingsociety.ca/about-mack-laing/

The tour will include walking the Laing property and viewing the magnificent Comox harbour he loved so much.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Bird Outing Report: Kye Bay, Feb. 4, 2016

After a few days of wind and rain, 9 birders enjoyed a break at Kye Bay and Little River Ferry where we found 38 species. Highlights were the large numbers of waterbirds and eagles – perhaps anticipating the herring spawn.

American Wigeon
Mallard
Greater Scaup
Harlequin Duck
Surf Scoter
White-winged Scoter
Black Scoter
Long-tailed Duck
Bufflehead
Common Goldeneye
Barrow’s Goldeneye
Common Merganser
Red-breasted Merganser
Pacific Loon
Common Loon
Horned Grebe
Red-necked Grebe
Double-crested Cormorant
Pelagic Cormorant
Great Blue Heron
Bald Eagle
Black-bellied Plover
Dunlin
Mew Gull
Thayer’s Gull
Glaucous-winged Gull
Rock Pigeon
Anna’s Hummingbird
Belted Kingfisher
Pileated Woodpecker
Northwestern Crow
Common Raven
Chestnut-backed Chickadee
Pacific Wren
American Robin
European Starling
Song Sparrow
Dark-eyed Junco

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Bird Outing Report: Union Bay, Jan. 28,2016

After a night of heavy rain, 13 birders enjoyed a sunny morning at the Union Bay coal hills where we found 32 species. Highlights included a pair of Barrow’s Goldeneye in nice light, several Red-throated Loons, and nine Killdeer on the shore.

Surf Scoter
White-winged Scoter
Bufflehead
Common Goldeneye
Barrow’s Goldeneye
Hooded Merganser
Common Merganser
Red-breasted Merganser
Red-throated Loon
Pacific Loon
Common Loon
Horned Grebe
Red-necked Grebe
Double-crested Cormorant
Pelagic Cormorant
Great Blue Heron
Bald Eagle
Black-bellied Plover
Killdeer
Marbled Murrelet
Mew Gull
Glaucous-winged Gull
Anna’s Hummingbird
Steller’s Jay
Common Raven
Chestnut-backed Chickadee
Red-breasted Nuthatch
Golden-crowned Kinglet
Ruby-crowned Kinglet
Dark-eyed Junco
Spotted Towhee
Pine Siskin

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Botany Outing Report: Trip Planing, Jan. 11th, 2016

Botany Group Report January 2016
A small group gathered at Karin’s to talk about potential trips for the Spring, and to view a video entitled The Red Deserts (Kyzyl Kum in Central Asia), one part of the series “In the Realms of the Russian Bear”. The main focus was how members of the animal kingdom survive in such a harsh environment, but of botanical interest were the stunning spring flowers that flourish briefly in the wake of the melting snow – brilliant red tulips (among the 16 species of tulipa endemic to Central Asia) and poppies (they looked very like Papaver rhoeas?) and the stately giant fennel (Ferula sp.).
Potential trips mentioned: Tree Island in late March or early April, Yellow Point or Gabriola in April or May? The 9k bog and the Puntledge bog ( on the south side of the river downstream from the dam) should also be visited. Jocie offered to host a study of edible weeds in her yard, probably in June.
Further suggestions can be considered at the February meeting.
For February 9th we decided on a beach walk, focussing on seaweed, at Kye Bay (starting from Airforce Beach) and for March 8th Morrison Creek.

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