PG Naturalists Club Events & Notes August 15th, 2014

Club Events

1. Weed Pull at Carrie Jane Gray Park, Saturday August 16, 9 AM to noon
Come join Club members in a weed-pull at Carrie Jane Gray Park. Help us to control invasive plant species at the canal flowing into the Hudson’s Bay Wetland. Weed pulling will alternate with breaks and snacks provided by the Northwest Invasive Plant Council. Participants are advised to wear good shoes (no sandals), long pants and long shirts. Gloves are provided. We’ll meet at the parking lot behind the ball diamonds. Please email pgnaturalists@hotmail.ca if you can help out or would like more information.

2. Presentation: The Naturalist in Arizona, 7:00 pm, Thursday, August 21, The Exploration Place
Arizona is a quite extraordinary place for naturalists.  Photographic presentations from Mike Nash, Barry Booth and Clive Keen will show just how extraordinary it is.

Club Trip Report

A Not Very Scientific Report on the Naturalists’ Trip to the Shelley Lagoons, August 3, 2014
Submitted by Dora Hunter

Shows a young Goshawk in flight

Goshawk

Once again the Shelley lagoons did not disappoint with all participants, birders and generalists, enjoying an interesting outing under Clive Keen’s leadership. For this birder, it was a day that provided opportunities for unhurried views of field marks and comparisons of a number of species: the white eye-ring of the Solitary Sandpiper, the dark mask of the Red-necked Phalarope, the Semipalmated Plover versus the Killdeer, the flat-winged profile of the immature Bald Eagle letting us know it wasn’t a Turkey Vulture. Real treats were the Wilson’s Snipe returning our enthusiastic viewing with a baleful stare from its hideout in the cattails, and the Northern Waterthrush working the willows for breakfast. All this was in a mix of Barn and Rough-winged swallows in the sky; Lesser Yellowlegs, Least Sandpipers and Dowitchers, probing the flats; Common Mergansers, Mallards, Shoveller and Ruddy Ducks, Coots and mama Ring-necked with her teen-aged brood cruising the lagoons; flitting Song, Savannah, Lincoln and Chipping Sparrows and Yellow-rumped Warblers; the brilliant flash of a Yellow Warbler; the lazy, late-season song of a Common Yellowthroat; and the Canada Geese, with the young now looking like adults, wheeling about practising touch-and-goes. For the generalist there was the chocolate-brown Snowshoe hare posing mid-lane, the sweet scent of the Canada thistle masking the lagoons odorous assault and, sadly, the run-over corpse of a large garter snake and her brood. Thank you, Clive, for a delightful morning on which no participant left The Lagoons without benefiting from your expertise and patient tutelage.

Photo: This young Goshawk flew over the heads of three club members at the lagoons a few days after the above trip.

Notes

Perseid Meteor Shower
Wednesday night (13 August) was the final night of this year’s Perseid meteor shower. In the absence of clear skies, there’s some very fine shots on the web – just ask Mr Google.

Bird Banding Updates
Between July 19 and August 7, 1347 birds, of 44 species, were banded at Mugaha Marsh near Mackenzie. The banding station in the Okanagan, at Vaseux Lake, bands many fewer birds, but today (13 August) came up with something completely unexpected: an adult male Yellow Warbler that had been banded there as 2 year old in 2006. At 10 years and 2 months old, this is one of the oldest Yellow Warblers ever recorded.

David Suzuki coming to Town
An Evening With David Suzuki is scheduled for 1 November, 7 pm, Vanier Hall. For information, go to http://bluedot.ca/ .

PO Box 1092, Prince George, BC V2L 4V2
pgnc.wordpress.com
hbwetland.wordpress.com
pgnaturalists@hotmail.ca

PG Naturalists Club Events and notes, 28 July 2014

Upcoming Club Events

There are four club events in the next  few weeks:

  1. Beekeeping Demos, 7:00 pm, Wednesday, July 30 and Thursday August 7

If you’d like to know more about bees or beekeeping, head along on one of these club evenings, hosted by Executive member Alice Lee. For safety and equipment reasons, each evening event is limited to six guests, so please pre-register if you plan on attending, by contacting Alice at alice.leebc@gmail.com.  She’ll give details on where to meet.

  1. Visit to Shelley Lagoons, 9:00 am, Sunday, 3 August

The shorebirds are coming through now in good numbers. Yesterday, among 42 species of bird spotted, there were 20 Long-billed Dowitchers, and 16 Wilson’s Snipe. To get a full list, take a look at http://Birdsearch.org, type in Prince George, move to the lagoons east of town, and click on the bird symbol.

To find the lagoons, drive east of town on highway 16 for about seven kilometres past Mr G, turning left on Shelley Road. (You’ll see a sign to the Links of Maggie May.) About two kilometres along Shelley Road you’ll see a dirt road to the left. Take that road, and drive past the transfer station to the end of the road – it’s just a couple of hundred metres. Make sure you don’t block the gate.

Shows a bird with long legs walking among reeds in mud.

Sora

Visits normally take a couple of hours, so a lunch is not necessary, but binoculars and a field guide will be very useful. For those with a sensitive nose, note that sometimes the septic lagoons can be less than fragrant, though at present they are OK. Sorry, no dogs. The birds are very easily disturbed, and it’s important to move quietly and slowly. Here is a Sora that was spotted this week in the lagoons.

  1.  Weed Pull at Carrie Jane Park, Saturday August 16, 9 a.m. to 12 noon

Wanted! At least ten adults to participate in a Naturalists Club weed-pull at Carrie Jane Park. We’re aiming to control invasive plant species at the canal flowing from Carrie Jane Park to the Hudson’s Bay Wetland. The weed-pull includes an orientation about invasive weeds. Weed-pulling will alternate with snacks and breaks. The Northwest Invasive Plant Council will provide the snacks. They’ll also provide a $250 honorarium to the Club for a successful morning of pulling weeds. This event will be of interest to gardeners as well as naturalists - it’s sometimes a shock to find that a beloved garden plant is invasive in this region. Please email the Club at pgnaturalists@hotmail.ca if you can help out or would like more information.

  1. The Naturalist in Arizona, 7:00 pm, Thursday, August 21, The Exploration Place

Arizona is a quite extraordinary place for naturalists. Photographic presentations from Mike Nash, Barry Booth and Clive Keen will show just how extraordinary it is.

Club Trip Reports

  1. Mount Robson Bird Blitz, June 6-8, 2014

In spite of the road washout making travel complicated, 105 species were recorded for the two day blitz. Noteworthy sightings included Rock Wren and Mountain Bluebird. Thanks to the participants and especially Nancy Krueger who did all the compiling and maintains her perfect record of attendance.

  1. Livingston Springs Plant Walk, Sunday July 20

Seven Club members enjoyed a trip to Livingston Springs on July 20 to observe plants and other natural features. Sunshine and cool temperatures made our walk a pleasure. We created a plant list that includes several orchid species. The list will be posted on the Club blog as soon as it’s complete. A highlight of the walk was the intriguing saprophyte, pinedrops, with its thick reddish brown, sticky-hairy stalk and nodding flowers. It looked like a transplanted alien. At the Springs a large flock of cedar waxwings worked their way back and forth over the mossy logs and islands of yellow monkey flower on the water. We observed a juvenile eagle on a nest, supervised by an adult in a nearby tree. A wren made it clear we should get on our way. Overall it was a lovely day, moving at botanist speed (very slowly!). Many thanks to Sandra Hepburn for leading the way.

Notes

  1. Mugaha Marsh Bird Banding

The banding station started its work again on July 19, and banded 100 birds on the very first day, and 491 birds from 35 spewcies in the period 19-25 July. Chris Sukha and Kathryn Hoo are the banders this year, with UNBC students Chantelle Reed and Courtney Berdan providing assistance. A club trip is likely in September.

  1. Hawk Owls breeding in the area
    Pete Zwiers reports seeing a family of four Northern Hawk Owl chicks in the region of the Grizzly Den cabin. The adults were not seen, presumably out getting supper for the chicks somewhere.
  1. Exhibition Booth Volunteers Needed

The Northwest Invasive Plant Council (NWIPC) will be attending the BCNE from August 7th-10th at Exhibition Park and would welcome any volunteer help from the Naturalists Club at the NWIPC booth. All volunteers receive free admission into the BCNE on the day that they volunteer and get a free “Got Weeds?” t-shirt. If interested, Email Lindi at resources@nwipc.org or call 250-564-4115 ext. 256.

Clive Keen for The Prince George Naturalists Club

PG Naturalists Club Events and Notes, July 21 2014

Forthcoming Club Events

1. Beekeeping Demos, 7:00 pm, Wednesday,  July 30 and Thursday August 7

If you’d like to know more about bees or beekeeping, head along on one of these club evenings, hosted by Executive member Alice Lee. For safety and equipment reasons, each evening event is limited to six guests, so please pre-register if you plan on attending, by contacting Alice at alice.leebc@gmail.com. She’ll give details on where to meet.

And a new announcement:

2. The Naturalist in Arizona, 7:00 pm, Thursday, August 21, The Exploration Place

Arizona is a quite extraordinary place for naturalists.  Photographic presentations from Mike Nash, Barry Booth and Clive Keen will show just how extraordinary it is.

Club News

Monthly Presentation Schedule Developed

Following recommendations at the open planning session of June 18, the Club Executive have developed a standard monthly schedule for club presentations – the third Thursday of the month, except for December. Each presentation will start at 7:00 pm at The Exploration Place. The dates for the coming year are thus:

August 21, September 18, October 16,  November 20, January 15, February 19,  March 19, April 16, May 21

This regular partnership with The Exploration Place is an exciting step forward in the Club’s development.

Notes

1. Forest Practices Board positions

Club member Mike Nash is completing his sixth and final year as a part-time board member with BC’s Forest Practices Board – British Columbia’s forest practices watchdog. He  passes on the Board’s formal invitation for expressions of interest  in the part-time board positions becoming vacant this fall. If you feel that you may have something to contribute, head to  http://www.fpb.gov.bc.ca/ and follow the links.

2. Counting the successes

A record 82 Whooping Crane nests have been found in Wood Buffalo National Park this breeding season, up  from 74 last year. In a month or so, we should have figures on how many chicks hatched and survived to fledge. The wild Whooping Crane population is now likely to be significantly over 300 – up from just 16 in 1940.

3. The Night Sky

In case you wonder about the bright “star” low in the southwest sky — it is Mars. To the left of Mars the next brightest object is another  planet:  Saturn. The brightest star in the sky (as against planet) is in fact Sirius, also  known as the Dog Star, and that is why these are the “dog days of summer”. (With thanks as always to Maurice Sluka for the information.)

Shows a young spotted sandpiper with a green grass background

Spotted Sandpiper

Photo: one of the many bundles of fluff – it’s a very young Spotted Sandpiper – currently being raised around Prince George.

Clive Keen

PO Box 1092, Prince George, BC V2L 4V2
http://pgnc.wordpress.com
http://hbwetland.wordpress.com
pgnaturalists@hotmail.ca

PG Naturalists Club Events & Notes, 12 July 2014

Club Events

Livingston Springs plants

Spruceland shopping centre sign on top with save on foods sign on bottom

Meeting Place

Sunday July 20 at 9 a.m.; Sandra Hepburn will lead a field trip to view plants at Livingston Springs. Meet at 9 a.m. under the big sign at Spruceland. Bring a lunch and bug dope.

 

 

Beekeeping Demos

7:00 pm, Wednesday,  July 30 and Thursday August 7; If you’d like to know more about bees or beekeeping, head along on one of these club evenings, hosted by Executive member Alice Lee. For safety and equipment reasons, each evening event is limited to six guests, so please pre-register if you plan on attending, by contacting Alice at aliceleebc@gmail.com. She’ll give details on where to meet.

Notes

Wetlandkeepers

Shows the group of people that attended the wetlandkeepers course

Wetlandkeepers

This and another sixty photos of the course, taken by the organizers and participant Joanne Francis,  can be seen on Flickr.

And yes, we did look like a bunch of kids having fun.

Information on Wetlandkeepers

Trip and Event Facilitators Needed

If you can facilitate any of the following day trips, please get in touch by return email or by talking to any members of the Club Executive – these are now listed on the club website at http://pgnc.wordpress.com .

  1. Salmon spawning trip
  2. Geology field trips
  3. Building bird, bat, and mason bee houses
  4. Fossil hunting trip
  5. Edible plants and fungi  & eco-friendly foraging
  6. Visiting ecological reserves

Signing Trip Waivers

We know it’s a pain to sign waivers, and we wish it wasn’t necessary, but it’s a condition of our insurance, and a necessary protection for club officers and trip leaders. Signing a waiver for each trip is thus a condition of participating in any field trip.

Clive Keen

PG Naturalists Club News, Events and Notes, 25 June 2014

News

Major Additional Funding for the Hudson’s Bay Wetland Project

REAPS and PGNC have received a $13,300 grant from TD Friends of the Environment to develop a trail on the north side of the Hudson’s Bay Wetland east of Queensway Street. The trail will be built to the same standard as the walking trails in Cottonwood Island Park, and will link to Fort George Park via a ramp. Read the full media release.

The club has also received a $1,500 award from the City of Prince George’s MyPG Social Development Fund, which will be put towards signage. See http://ckpg.com/a-funding-boost-for-local-community-groups.

Funding is now in place for all elements of phase 1 of the project — the section between Queensway and the Fraser — with the exception of an observation tower. Fundraising for this will continue.

Forthcoming Event

Arizona Presentation

An evening event on Arizona for Naturalists is currently being planned, and two speakers are lined up. If you have photographs and naturalist stories of Arizona/New Mexico you’d like to share, to add to this event, let us know.

Recent Club Events

1. WetlandKeepers Course, June 20 – 22

Shows attendees around a table listening to a lecture

WetlandKeepers

17 Club members (or soon-to-be Club members) attended this engaging weekend course, and learned a great deal about fens, marshes, bogs, and swamps (including the fact that they’re not the same). Trips to a fen at Eskers, and to the bulrush areas of the Hudson’s Bay Wetland gave participants some valuable hands-on experience. The degree of enthusiasm of presenters and participants bodes very well for the future of the local wetlands.

2. Open Planning Meeting, June 18

Thanks to the 14 members and one member-to-be that turned out for this. Lots of good information came out of this meeting to inspire the Executive: details will be given in future Notes and Events.

3. Hudson’s Bay Wetland Information Night, May 29

Twenty Club members met at Exploration Place on the evening of May 29 to review the Hudson’s Bay Wetland Work Plan for 2014. The group walked the proposed universal access trail around the Channel between the Fraser River and Queensway Street. Members provided excellent suggestions for refinements to the proposed trail and observation features. McElhanney Consulting Services Ltd. is now proceeding with the legal survey for the trail as well as chasing down all the required permissions. The 2014 Work Plan is made possible thanks to grants from BC Naturalists Foundation, TransCanada, Pacific Salmon Foundation, TD Friends of the Environment, and the City of Prince George. A big thank you to all who came out to this important event!

4. Hudson’s Bay Wetland Cleanup, April 27

Shows volunteers emptying a wheel barrow into a dumpster

April Cleanup

From the Better Late Than Never Department: 24 adults and three youth turned out on April 27 to help clean up around the Wetland. The Club occupied Hudson’s Bay Slough Park for the day with a tent canopy, cleanup supplies, and coffee and doughnuts for volunteers. Sara Sparks coordinated the event. Allan Carson provided the loan of a large folding table. Dora and Heather brought wheelbarrows that turned out to be invaluable for hauling large objects to the dumpster. Special thanks go to Birthe Miller of David Douglas Botanical Garden Society who kindly entrusted us with the loan of her tent canopy. There seemed to be less garbage than last year. Despite that, the dumpster filled up nicely by early afternoon.

Notes

1. BC Nature Survey

BC Nature, our parent organization, is working on a five-year plan and is seeking members’ views. This gives an important opportunity for Club members to influence the organization’s strategy and services. Let them know your views by completing this survey.

2. Books & Company Photographic Exhibition

Club member Li Wan currently has an exhibition of photographs on the second floor — Art Space — of Books & Company. The exhibition includes dozens of scenery and wildlife photos from the Arctic and Atlantic regions, and runs until the end of June.

3. White Sturgeon Conservation Centre Opens

The grand opening of the Nechako White Sturgeon Conservation Centre, located at 3030 Burrard Avenue, Vanderhoof, took place on June 17. If you’d like to follow the ongoing work to repopulate this critically endangered species — Cory Williamson gave us a fine talk on it a while back – keep your eye on the Nechako White Sturgeon Recovery Initiative website.

Clive Keen

PG Naturalists Club Events and Notes, 8 June 2014

Club Events

1. Planning for the Future, Wednesday June 18, 7 pm, Spruce City Wildlife Resource Centre, 1384 River Road. Doors open at 6:30 p.m

Please join us for an interactive evening for members as we discuss and share ideas about how to strengthen the Naturalists Club for the future. What type of trips would you love to go on? What would you love to learn more about with guest speakers and presentations? What projects do you want to see the Club involved with? Bring your ideas and your passion for nature! To set the scene, Clive Keen will give a short presentation on his recent adventures in Arizona with a naturalist perspective. Coffee and cookies provided. New members are welcome to sign up at this event. For more information contact me at marshallshanelle0@gmail.com – Shanelle.

2.  Wetlandkeepers course, Friday June 20 to Sunday June 22

The course is now full (25 people), which is extremely encouraging for the future of the Hudson’s Bay Wetland, but space might become available. If you’d like to be added to a waiting list, let us know or head to www.eventbrite.ca/e/wetlandkeepers-prince-george-bc-registration-10424880097?aff=eorg

Notes

1. Urban tree walk, June 5

Shows a group of people under tree branches in Fort George Park listening to Angus Mcleod talk about the urban trees

Urban Trees

Angus McLeod, a retired CNC faculty member, led a group of 16 people on an urban tree walk through Fort George Park last Thursday. It was a TREE-mendous evening filled with species identification and rich historical and ecological backgrounds. Highlights included the elegant Weeping Birch, the common Green Ash and the much loved American Elm. For any interested in taking a stroll through the Fort George area on their own, there is an urban tree guide available through the city of PG:

Thank you to Angus and all who attended! – Shanelle.

2. Chinook Fry Salmon Release at Hudson’s Bay Wetland, Monday June 9 to Friday June 13

Everyone is invited to observe the release of chinook salmon fry at the Hudson’s Bay Wetland footbridge (See a map to the footbridge), June 9 to 13 between 9:00 a.m. and 2 p.m. Students from twelve Prince George elementary schools will be releasing salmon fry into the waters of the Fraser River at intervals of an hour and a half starting at 9:00 a.m. each day. The students rear and release the fry as part of the Salmonids in the Classroom program run by REAPS since 2008. For more information, contact salmonids@reaps.org

Clive Keen

 

Naturalists Club: Events and Notes, May 26, 2014

Club Events

1. Hudson’s Bay Wetland Project Information Night, Thursday May 29 from 6:30 to 9:00 pm, Exploration Place

This evening is for members. New members can sign up at the start of the meeting. The meeting will first provide an overview of the overall project in general and Phase One in particular, and describe what the Channel trail project might look like based on field visits and professional advice. This will be followed by a walk around the route to get feedback and any new insights. The goal is to get Phase 1 completed this year, so feedback from members is needed as soon as possible.

2. Urban Tree Walk, Thursday June 5,  from 7 to 9 p.m. Fort George Park and Millar Addition

Angus McLeod will lead us on a walk through Fort George Park and Millar Addition to identify a variety of native and introduced trees that grow well in an urban environment. Meet at the parking lot at Exploration Place at 7 p.m. Everyone welcome!

3. 26th Mount Robson Provincial Park Bird Blitz, Friday June 6 to Sunday June 8‏

A reminder about the annual weekend of birding by Prince Georgians in Mt Robson Provincial Park. For information call Nancy Krueger at 250-563-7896 or email Gail Ross at gailross1@telus.net.

4.  Wetlandkeepers course, Friday June 20 to Sunday June 22

Three spaces are still available. If you are interested in finding out about it, or wish to sign up, head to www.eventbrite.ca/e/wetlandkeepers-prince-george-bc-registration-10424880097?aff=eorg

Notes

1. Lost Lake Plant Walk, Saturday June 7, 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

Shows a small section of a map with a red dot indicating a location to meet at

Meet Here

Everyone is invited to join a Lost Lake Plant Walk led by Barb Rayment, owner of Birch Creek Nursery and author of several books including “From the Ground Up:  A Horticultural Guide For Northern Gardeners”. Meet at the junction of Marvin and Big Fir Road at 9:30 a.m. The outing is rated as EASY and the walking distance walked is short. Brush is encroaching on the trail in places and some trees have fallen over the trail. The more fit among us are invited to bring pruning shears or a hand saw to clear parts of the trail as we go. Please be aware that bears are active in the area, including one large male and possibly a sow with cubs. Email Doug Beckett druid@pgweb.com for more details.

2. Chinook Fry Salmon Release at Hudson’s Bay Wetland, Monday June 9 to Friday June 13

Everyone is invited to observe the release of chinook salmon fry at the Hudson’s Bay Wetland footbridge, June 9 to 13 between 9:00 a.m. and 2 p.m. Students from twelve Prince George elementary schools will be releasing salmon fry into the waters of the Fraser River at intervals of an hour and a half starting at 9:00 a.m. each day. The students rear and release the fry as part of the Salmonids in the Classroom program run by REAPS since 2008. For more information, contact salmonids@reaps.org

Anne Hogan for Clive Keen

Prince George Naturalists Club
PO Box 1092
Prince George BC V2L 4V2
Website: http://pgnc.wordpress.com
Hudson’s Bay Wetland: http://hbwetland.wordpress.com