This easy walk starts at the Union Bay Boat ramp and explores the remains of Dunsmuir’s Coal terminal, located on both sides of Hart (Washer) Creek. In 1887 Robert Dunsmuir had a deep water coal terminal 600 feet long built to load wind and steam freighters which carried the high quality coal from Cumberland around the world. Little of the infrastructure, which included coke ovens, a coal washer, and workers barracks remain. What does remain are mounds of low quality coal and coal dust, removed before shipping to ensure that only the best coal went aboard. Coal dust is explosive and water from Hart Creek was used to remove much of it here. Use of the site only stopped in 1960, and various uses of the area have been suggested over the years since then. This site is a fascinating, if toxic site, and a reminder of how poorly we treated the environment not that long ago. More information is available at these three web sites:
The Comox Valley Annual Spring Bird Count was held on Sun. April 30 and resulted in a total of 135 species. Notable birds included House Wren, California Quail and Bullock’s Oriole.
Greater White-fronted Goose
Great Blue Heron
Northern Rough-winged Swallow
Black-throated Gray Warbler
Total species: 135
Jan Gemmell and Jim Palmer will be leading today’s walk through the Morrison Creek Headwaters, off Lake Trail Road. You will have the opportunity to see the wetlands created by the geology at the east end of Comox Lake, and by the symbol of Canada; the beaver. The paths wind their way around numerous ponds, marshes and wetlands, and you will be glad that Jan and Jim know their way around the area. This land is owned by Hancock Logging, and CVN thanks them for allowing us access.. This area is home to the Western Brook Lamprey, an at risk species. See the piece from Fish and Oceans Canada in the Conservation section below.
Parking at the trail head is very limited, so you are requested to carpool to reduce the number of cars going. Meet at Old Church on Harmston to car pool; No facilities, and dress for the weather with good boots. For more information check out the Morrison Creek Streamkeepers here: http://morrisoncreek.org/
Today, April 27th, thirteen birders spent a pleasant morning at Cumberland Marsh; the rain started just as we finished. We found 29 species; highlights were many spring arrivals, Anna’s Hummingbird on a nest, and breeding plumage Wood Duck and Hooded Merganser.
Great Blue Heron