PG Naturalists Club Events and Notes, 23 September 2014

Club Events
1. Presentation on Important Bird Areas (IBA),  7:00 pm Friday, September 26, Fish Hatchery, River Road

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

Meeting Place

James Bradley of the IBA Program will be giving a short presentation on Friday evening and then, on Saturday, leading a field trip to the IBA of Tachick and Nulki Lakes.  The field trip departs at 7:30 am from under the Spruceland Shopping Centre sign. To find more about IBAs, head to http://www.ibacanada.ca/.

2.  Presentation on Northern Fungi, 7:00 pm Thursday, October 16, Exploration Place
It’s moving into fungi season, so UNBC’s fungi expert Hugue Massicotte will give a timely talk entitled “Exploring and managing northern mycological resources” –  a slideshow on things we know and things we wish we knew.

Notes

1. Brief Wetland Project Update
– MP Bob Zimmer, and the Vice-President of the Pacific Salmon Foundation – which has provided significant funding to the Wetland Project – will be touring the wetland in November, and getting an update on progress.
– Work will be starting on one of the channel-side trails in the coming days.
– Ducks Unlimited have committed to being a major partner on the wetland project.

2. Club Social
The Club Social last Saturday was very well attended, and lots of fun. Thanks go in particular to Allan Carson for proposing and organizing the event, which is likely to become an annual affair.

Shows a small Pygmy Owl being held in a hand by just a few fingers.

Pygmy Owl

3. Mugaha Marsh Bird Banding
Today is the final day of operations for the 2014 season (July 19 – September 23).  More than 3000 birds have been banded this season – including the station’s first Pygmy Owl (photo courtesy of Chris Coxson). A final report will be circulated soon via ncenbird.

4.  Tumbler Ridge designated a UNESCO Geopark

Congratulations to Charles Helm and his team on yesterday gaining UNESCO designation of the Tumbler Ridge area as a Geopark. A Geopark is a unified area with geological heritage of international significance, and Tumbler Ridge is just the second to be so designated in North America.

PO Box 1092, Prince George, BC V2L 4V2
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pgnaturalists@hotmail.ca

Prince George Naturalists Club Social

Prince George Naturalists
Club Social

All members and prospective new members are welcome to a wonderful evening event.

Where: Spruce City Capital Fish Hatchery
When: September 20th, 2014 from 6-9pm

Evenings activities will include:
Wine and Cheese
Nature trivia with PRIZES!!
Trivia categories will include: Geography Genius, Brilliant Botanist, Bird Brain and Mammal Master
50/50 Tickets
Slideshow of PGNC members (and non-members) nature photography

For those members who know others that would like to be a member of the club, please feel free to forward this invite. For those who are parents, children are welcome to this event.

If you would like to share your pictures from this summer’s nature adventures, you can send your pictures to Allan at allan.carson@alumni.unbc.ca and we will have them displayed for all to see.

Admission fee is $5. A great selection of cheeses, fruits and non-alcoholic beverages (i.e., coffee, tea, juice) will be available. All proceeds from the event will go to supporting future club events.

Please RSVP for the event to Allan by email at allan.carson@alumni.unbc.ca

PG Naturalists Club Events and Notes – Sept 11th, 2014

Club Events1. Presentation:  7:00 pm, Thursday, September 18, The Exploration Place
Erin O’Brien will give a talk entitled “Effects of male plumage colour and habitat quality on mate choice in mountain bluebirds.” Erin is currently a Postdoctoral Researcher at UNBC and has extensively researched the effects of environmental and individual variation on the life-history strategies on tree swallows, mountain bluebirds, and great tits.

2. Club Social, Saturday, 20 September

All members and prospective new members are welcome to a wonderful evening event.
Where: Spruce City Capital Fish Hatchery
1384 River Road, Prince George, BC
When: September 20th, 2014 from 6-9pm
Evenings activities will include:
Wine and Cheese
Nature trivia with PRIZES!!
Trivia categories will include: Geography Genius, Brilliant Botanist, Bird Brain and Mammal Master
50/50 tickets
Slideshow of PGNC members (and non-members) nature photography
For those members who know others that would like to be a member of the club, please feel free to forward this invite. For those who are parents, children are welcome to this event.
If you would like to share your pictures from this summer’s nature adventures, you can send your pictures to Allan at allan.carson@alumni.unbc.ca and we will have them displayed for all to see.
3. Important Bird Areas  – talk and field trip, 26 and 27 September
James Bradley will be coming through Prince George at the end of the month and will be giving a talk on IBAs on Friday 26th and leading a field trip on Saturday 27th. Details are still being worked out, and will be given either through this email link or through the ncenbird listserv.

Notes

1. Membership
The club now has 71 paid-up members. It would be great to have 100 for the City’s centenary, to confirm the commitment of the City to the enjoyment, understanding and protection of the natural world. Consider bringing a friend to the social on Saturday 20th.2. Arizona Presentation follow-up
As a follow-up to the presentation on August 21, Mike Nash has a slideshow of the April 2014 trip at:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hvebYBUnYzA&feature=youtu.be

3. Salmon Run
You’ve probably heard that this is a banner year for salmon in the Fraser, but perhaps not there’s a new platform for watching the run at Valemount. See:
http://www.anglersatlas.com/photo/688847?utm_campaign=EmailFollowers&utm_source=reply&utm_medium=OminecaRegion&utm_content=photo

4. Access to Shelley Lagoons
If you’re not on ncenbird, and need access to the Shelley Lagoons for birding, contact Clive Keen for information.

5. Tabor Mountain Recreation Society – grand opening of the Dougherty Creek Senior and Wheelchair Trail, September 19, 10:45 – 2:00
Dougherty Creek nature trail is located 23 km south of Prince George. You take hwy 97 south to Buckhorn road till you reach a major bend in the road (6.8km) where you turn left onto Scott Road. Travel to the end of Scott Road (2.4km) to where the gravel starts and take the first right (.2km) and then travel to the main parking lot. You are at the trail head.

6. Water Gratitude Society
There are three Rivers Day events this month:1. September 13, Water Prayer Pot workshop with Leanna Carlson and Fraser River Clay, 1-4 pm $25
2. September 16,  Beaded Bracelets For Your Water Taps with Kate Roxburgh, 6:30-8:00 pm $15
3. September 28, The Bank of Gratitude – World Rivers and Culture Day, 10am-2pm. Free.  Fraser riverbank.

Details can be found at www.thebankofgratitude.net

Clive Keen

Prince George Naturalists Club Social

PGNC logo color horizontal

Prince George Naturalists Club Social

All members (and prospective new members) are welcome to a wonderful evening event.

Where: Spruce City Capital Fish Hatchery
When: September 20th, 2014 from 6-9pm

Evenings activities will include:
50/50 tickets
Wine and Cheese
A nature quiz contest with PRIZES!!
Slideshow of photos from this summer
The company of fellow members

For those members who know others that would like to be a member of the club, please feel free to forward this invite. Members who bring a prospective member to the event will receive an additional drink ticket for FREE!!

If you would like to share your pictures from this summer’s nature adventures, you can send your pictures to Allan at allan.carson@alumni.unbc.ca and we will have them displayed for all to see.

Entry to the event is by donation ($5 is suggested). All proceeds will go to supporting future club events.

Please RSVP for the event to Allan at allan.carson@alumni.unbc.ca

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
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pgnaturalists@hotmail.ca