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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Trumpeter Swan Counts 2016/2017

Apr. 19, 2017:

TRUS adults 11
Juv. 8
Total 19
27 additional swans (5 adults, 22 juveniles) were seen at Comox Bay Farm but not included in the official total. The swan count is now finished for the season.

Apr. 11,2017:

TRUS adults 72
Juv. 41
Total 113
Some swans still lingering in the valley so the count will continue next week. Other birds noted included Sandhill Cranes, Common Yellowthroat, Savannah Sparrow & Northern Harrier.

Apr. 4,2017:

TRUS adults 383
Juv. 135
Total 518
The swan count will continue next week.

Mar. 28,2017:

TRUS adults 718
Juv. 171
Total 889
24 swan counters gathered at Plates for lunch after the count. Another dead swan was found in the Minto Rd. area. 22 Snow Geese were at the Guthrie Rd. fields. Most swans are still in the Valley so the weekly counts will continue into April.

Mar. 21,2017:

TRUS adults 810
Juv. 190
Total 1000
19 swan counters gathered at Plates after the count. Another dead swan was found. Other birds reported include Peregrine Falcon, Northern Shrike, and Yellow-rumped Warblers.

Mar. 14, 2017:

TRUS adults 1041
Juv. 179
Total 1220
17 swan counters gathered at Plates after the count. Other birds reported include Snow Geese, Peregrine Falcon, Northern Shrike, Meadowlark, and the first Yellow-rumped Warbler of the season.

Mar. 7, 2017:

TRUS adults 950
Juv. 203
Total 1153
20 swan counters gathered at Plates after the count. Other birds reported include Peregrine Falcon, Red-tailed Hawk, and Meadowlark.

Feb. 28, 2017:

TRUS adults 942
Juv. 201
Total 1143
17 swan counters gathered at Plates after the count. 21 Snow Geese were also reported.

Feb. 21, 2017:

TRUS adults 883
Juv. 248
Total 1131
14 swan counters gathered at Plates after the count. The snow is gone so swan numbers are up again. Other birds of note include a Cooper’s Hawk and Red-tailed Hawk.

Feb. 14, 2017:

TRUS adults 464
Juv. 126
Total 590
11 swan counters gathered at the Grotto after the count. With snow still on the ground, many swans may not be using the fields. Other birds noted include Western Meadowlark and Ring-necked Pheasant.

Feb. 7, 2017:

Count cancelled due to slippery roads.

Jan. 31, 2017:

TRUS adults 764
Juv. 213
Total 977
18 swan counters gathered at the Grotto after the count. Swans continue to be dispersed through the Valley.

Jan. 24, 2017:

TRUS adults 830
Juv. 175
Total 1005
16 swan counters gathered at the Grotto after the count. Swans are more dispersed through the Valley with numbers at Headquarters Rd, Guthrie Rd and Marsden Rd areas. Other highlights included a Red-tailed Hawk, Peregrine Falcon and Meadowlarks.

Jan. 17, 2017:

TRUS adults 903
Juv. 209
Total 1112
22 swan counters gathered at the Grotto after the count. Snow has disappeared from the fields. Unfortunately another deceased trumpeter swan was found, this time on Knight Road , the possible cause being a collision with the hydro lines.

Jan. 10, 2017:

Count cancelled due to slippery roads.

Jan. 3, 2017:

TRUS adults 819
Juv. 243
Total 1062
15 swan counters gathered at the Grotto after the count. Swans were mainly at Headquarters Rd and Guthrie Rd fields. One dead swan was found in the Endall Rd area.

Dec. 27, 2016:

No count due to holidays.

Dec. 20, 2016:

TRUS adults 732
Juv. 183
Total 915
16 swan counters gathered at the Grotto after the count. There was still snow on the ground in most places. Swans locations have shifted somewhat with many now at Comox Bay Farm and Knight Rd.

Dec. 13, 2016:

TRUS adults 571
Juv. 114
Total 685
22 swan counters gathered at the Grotto after the count. There was snow on the ground making counting a challenge. Once again the largest groups of swans were in the Bridges & Headquarters Rd area.

Dec. 6, 2016:

TRUS adults 603
Juv. 201
Total 804
15 swan counters gathered at the Grotto after a frosty morning count. The largest groups of swans were in the Bridges Rd area.
Two Northern Harriers were spotted and eight to ten Meadowlarks at Comox Bay Farms.

Nov. 29, 2016:

TRUS adults 565
Juv. 161
Total 726
20 swan counters gathered at the Grotto after the count. The largest groups of swans were in the Headquarters Rd area with some at the Anderton Rd area. Just 7 Snow Geese were reported.

Nov. 22, 2016:

TRUS adults 806
Juv. 196
Total 1002
21 swan counters gathered at the Grotto after the count. The largest groups of swans were in the Headquarters Rd area. There were no reports of Snow Geese this week. A White-throated Sparrow was seen at Evansdale Farm.

Nov. 15, 2016:

TRUS adults 156
Juv. 36
Total 192
21 swan counters gathered at the Grotto after the count. A total of 118 Snow Geese were spotted this week west of Black Creek. Other birds of interest include kestrel, harrier, shrike and meadowlarks.

Nov. 8, 2016:

TRUS adults 98
Juv. 20
Total 118
19 swan counters gathered at the Grotto after the count. Trumpeter Swans were mainly seen at the Courtenay flats (Comox Bay Farm) & Tyee Valley Rd. Sandhill Cranes were seen off Endall Rd. A total of 536 Snow Geese were spotted. Not only are these unusually large numbers, they seem to be staying longer than normal. Usually they just pass through on their way from their nesting grounds in the NE coast of Siberia and Wrangel Island, Russia to winter homes in the U.S.A.

Nov. 1, 2016:

TRUS adults 311
Juv. 54
Total 365
17 swan counters gathered at the Grotto after the count. Trumpeter Swans were seen in the fields at Knight Rd, Headquarters Rd, and Smith Rd. 770 Snow Geese , a record number, were seen within the count area.

Oct. 25, 2016:

TRUS adults 58
Juv. 28
Total 86
16 swan counters gathered at the Grotto after the first swan count of the season. Trumpeter Swans were seen in the fields at Knight Rd. Other notable sightings were Western Meadowlarks on Cox Rd; Snow Geese at Comox Bay Farm & off Endall Rd; and Sandhill Cranes at Endall Rd.

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Upcoming Walk: Sunday 23rd April 2017, Exhibition Grounds Fawn Lilies Public Walk

Sunday 23rd April, Exhibition Grounds Fawn Lilies Public Walk , 9:30 am

Flooding is nothing new to the Tsolum River, and over the centuries a deep layer of silt and fine soil has been laid down along its lower stretches, before it joins the Puntledge to create the Courtenay River. The result is a fertile and soft bed suitable for tender bulbs like pink and white Fawn lilies, and Trilliums. Their flowers can carpet broad areas. As befits a flood plain, today’s walk is flat and easy, with wide well-identified pathways, which visitors are asked to stay on. The area is about 12-ha in size and is shared by hikers and horseback riders. Alison and Loys will lead todays Public walk. We will meet in Exhibition Grounds Parking Lot, near the Curling Area at 4835 Headquarters. For further details check out our CVNS website information at this link:

Tsolum River Floodplain Trails

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Macdonald Wood AGM Features Speaker Art Martell

Noted local birder Art Martell is guest speaker at the Macdonald Wood Park Society (MWPS) annual general meeting on April 18th.

Art’s new talk is entitled “Some of our Common Forest Birds and their Conservation”. As the Volunteer Caretaker for the K’ómoks Important Bird Area, and active with BC Field Ornithologists and Bird Studies Canada, Art brings an admirable breadth of knowledge to his topic. It promises to be an informative and engaging presentation.

The free talk is on Tuesday, April 18, starting at 7:00 PM in Room ‘A’ at the Comox Recreation Centre on Noel Avenue. All are welcome, members and non-members. Refreshments will be available. The business meeting will follow.

Macdonald Wood Park was dedicated in April 1996, the result of a broad community effort to protect a valuable heritage space. Spring offers a great time for a stroll along the paths and the Rotary boardwalk. In addition to birds, the park is now filled with forest-floor flowers and, near the foreshore, skunk cabbage lanterns. Mac Wood’s main entrance is on Balmoral Avenue at Croteau Road in the Town of Comox.

MWPS is the park’s volunteer steward group, with recent attention to the removal of invasive species and the planting of new trees and shrubs that respect the forest’s natural succession.

New members are always welcome. For more information, email MWPS@shaw.ca or come to the 2017 AGM on April 18th.

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