March 9, six birders spent a cold but otherwise pleasant morning at Point Holmes and Kye Bay. The herring fleet was actively harvesting off Point Holmes. Although the number of species was low (16 species), there were thousands of gulls around.
Western x Glaucous-winged Gull (hybrid)
Herring x Glaucous-winged Gull (hybrid)
Saturday 18th March: Public Walk Comox Ecological Reserve
Loys and Allison will be leading a tree and moss public walk at the Comox Lake Bluffs ecological Reserve. This reserve features one of the most northern enclaves of Mediterranean ecosystems, with Arbutus, Manzanita and one of only three areas on Vancouver Island where Rocky Mountain Juniper occurs in land and above sea-level. The area is also noted for its large number of spring flowers. Dress for the weather, and wear hiking boots with good traction, as some of the paths can be slippery. The 47 ha reserve has small inclines with a maximum elevation change of 140 meters. Meet at Old Church on Harmston Rd, Courtenay at 9:30 am to car pool. The links below are to the BC Government page for the Reserve, and our own web site.
Saturday 4th March, 9:30 am; Union Bay Coal Hills
The annual herring spawn in Baynes Sound has not materialized yet, and so we will not be going on a “sea-cruise” this day. Instead, Loys will be leading us on a walk around the Union Bay’s Coal Hills. The Union Bay Coal Hills site is a very special post-industrial ecosystem in the Comox Valley, with a rich local history. It is a south-facing heat absorbing area which can present many interesting biological features. It is an excellent location to appreciate the return of early spring, and the many restoration and enhancement efforts that have mitigated the sites coal mining impacts. Dress for the weather, and meet at Old Church on Harmston Rd, Courtenay at 9:30 am to car pool.
The Annual General Meeting of Comox Valley Nature will be held on February 19 at 7:00 pm sharp in the Florence Filberg Centre. The AGM will feature a panel discussion consisting of four well-known environmentalists from the Comox Valley. The title of the discussion is “Conservation and Sustainability to 2030,” and the Panelists will address the question “Where do we expect environmental concerns to be 13 years from now in the Comox Valley.
The panelists are all residents of the Valley, and have many years of conservation experience behind them. They are Tim Ennis, a Conservation Biologist with Comox Valley Land Trust; Jarrett Krentzel, Program Director of Hand-in-Hand Early Years Nature Education; John Tayless, retired Coral Reef Biologist and Past President of North Island College, and Loys Maingon, retired Biologist and the BC Director and Webinar Host of the Canadian Society of Environmental Biologists.
The year 2030 was chosen as it is the target date of the United Nations’ initiative on Sustainable Development Goals, and was meant to provide a time frame to the Panelists. Topics will likely include the expected effects of climate change, our need for reliable drinking water, a vision of sustainable development in the Valley, and protection of our native species and habitats. The Panelists will, however, be free to discuss items they consider important to our Valley in the near Future. If time permits, questions and comments from the audience will be taken. If you care about the Comox Valley, and are concerned about its continued viability and vitality, be sure to attend this meeting.
Meetings and lectures of the Comox Valley Naturalists Society are held on the third Sunday of most months at the Florence Filberg Centre, 411 Anderton Avenue, Courtenay. Meetings and guided walks are open to the public, including children and youth. The panel discussion is free, though a $4 contribution from non-members is appreciated. New memberships are always welcomed.