Special Notice Wednesday Walk May 23, 2018

SPECIAL NOTICE: WEDNESDAY WALK MAY 23. 
 
A dead moose has been found on the private property on which we planned to hike on Wednesday. We have few details, but it seems prudent to assume that it is a bear or cougar kill and would pose a danger to anyone hiking in the area. We will walk instead from the UNBC parking lot along the Greenway/Blue Spruce Trail. A good variety of shrubs and herbs is to be found on these paths, and with Fairybells and Early Blue Violets having made an appearance elsewhere and spring migration underway, there should be much to see.

 
Meet in the parking lot at the Spruceland Shopping Mall at the corner of 5th Avenue and Hwy 97 under the big Save On Foods sign at 9:20 a.m. to sign a waiver and arrange for carpooling. Departure time is 9:30 a.m., with return in the noon hour. Please dress for the weather, wear sturdy footwear, bring water and a snack. These slow walks to observe nature are open to members and non-members. For more information, or to join an email contact list contact Dora at hunterdora@shaw.ca 
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PGNC Club Event May 17 Presentation on Native Bees

Club Event

Presentation on Native Bees, The Exploration Place, Thursday May 17, 7 to 9 p.m. 

In the Club’s final presentation night of the season, the focus is on native bees, with the main discussion on bumble bees. Jennifer Catherall, Instructor, CNC Quesnel, will touch on declining bee populations, but not in regards to honey bees. She will also cover which garden plants/flowers are best for native bee food and how to plant for food throughout the growing season. This event is presented in partnership with The Exploration Place. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. The presentation starts promptly at 7 p.m.

K3A_4887

A queen Tricoloured Bumble Bee on female catkin of Bebb’s Willow, Cottonwood Island Park, May 11. (Jack Bowling photo)

 

PGNC Memberships

It’s never too late to join the PGNC or renew your membership. Arrive a few minutes early at the May 17 presentation to join or renew in person. Or visit https://pgnc.wordpress.com/membership/ to join or renew by PayPal or by regular mail.

PCNC Club Events, May 9 to May 17

Club Events

  1. Wilkins Regional Park Field Trip, 9:20 a.m. to noon, Wednesday May 9

On May 9 the Wednesday Walkers will head to Wilkins Regional Park, hopefully to spot warblers in the shrubs, violets on the paths and perhaps the first fiddleheads of the season. Meet in the parking lot at the Spruceland Shopping Mall at the corner of 5th Avenue and Hwy 97 under the big Save On Foods sign at 9:20 a.m. to sign a waiver and arrange for carpooling. Departure time is 9:30 a.m., with return in the noon hour. Please dress for the weather, wear sturdy footwear, bring water and a snack. These slow walks to observe nature are open to members and non-members. For more information, or to join an email contact list, contact Dora at hunterdora@shaw.ca.

  1. World Migratory Bird Day Field Trip, 8:45 a.m., Saturday May 12

All are welcome to attend a field trip to Cottonwood Island Park on Saturday, May 12, to celebrate World Migratory Bird Day.  Bring your binoculars and cameras and let’s see what migrating birds we can find! Meet under the big Save-On Foods sign at the Spruceland shopping centre at 8:45 a.m. for waiver signing and carpool arrangements. In the event that the Cottonwood trails are too flooded to traverse, a back-up field trip location has been arranged.

  1. Presentation on Native Bees at The Exploration Place, 7 to 9 p.m., Thursday May 17

The focus of the evening is on native bees, with the main discussion on bumble bees. Jennifer Catherall, Instructor at the CNC Quesnel campus, will touch on declining bee populations, but not in regards to honey bees. She will also cover which garden plants/flowers are best for native bee food and how to plant for food throughout the growing season.

PGNC News and Notes, May 1, 2018

Club Events

  1. Saturday May 5, Birding Field Trip on eBird Global Big Day

Birding field trip for eBird Global Big Day on Saturday May 5th will meet at Cottonwood Island park main parking lot (next to Railway Museum) for 8:30 a.m. departure. We will meander through the park for a few hours trying to spot as many birds as possible. There should be lots of migrants moving through.  Heather will be happy to explain how eBird works and demonstrate the eBird mobile app that makes counting on the go fun and easy.

  1. Wednesday May 9, Field Trip to Wilkins Regional Park

On May 9 the Wednesday Walkers will head to Wilkins Regional Park, hopefully to spot warblers in the shrubs, violets on the paths and perhaps the first fiddleheads of the season. Meet in the parking lot at the Spruceland Shopping Mall at the corner of 5th Avenue and Hwy 97 under the big Save On Foods sign at 9:20 a.m. to sign a waiver and arrange for carpooling. Departure time is 9:30 a.m., with return in the noon hour. Please dress for the weather, wear sturdy footwear, bring water and a snack. These slow walks to observe nature are open to members and non-members. For more information, or to join an email contact list contact Dora at hunterdora@shaw.ca.

  1. Thursday May 17, 7 to 9 p.m. Presentation Night at The Exploration Place

This is the Club’s last presentation night of the spring season. It’s all about bees! Presenter is Jennifer Catherall, Instructor at the CNC Quesnel campus.

  1. Friday June 8 to Sunday June 10, Mount Robson Biennial Bird Blitz

The longstanding Bird Blitz now occurs every second year. This year participants will gather before or on the evening of Friday June 8. Birding area sign-up will be on Friday night at Robson Meadows campground. Signs will be posted at the campground entrance to indicate the signup location. For further information, and to let her know if you plan to participate, please email Gail Ross at gailross1@telus.net.

2018 Memberships

It’s never too late to join the PGNC or renew your membership. Visit https://pgnc.wordpress.com/membership/ to join or renew by PayPal or regular mail.

Club Reports

Presentation night, April 19, 2018

Many thanks to Guy Scharf, SEP Community Advisor, BC Interior North, for providing a comprehensive history of attempts at fish conservation in BC, including discussion of competing interests for protecting and enhancing coastal vs. interior fisheries. He noted that the Salmon Enhancement Program (SEP) engages over 30,000 participants in classroom projects to protect and rebuild salmon stocks. For more about the history of the Program see: DFO Salmonid Enhancement Program

Thanks also to Natasha Ewing, new BC Parks Community Engagement Officer, for her discussion of her work with Ocean Networks Canada (http://www.oceannetworks.ca) prior to her new position with BC Parks. In relation to BC Parks, she talked about the Park Enhancement Fund which provides funding for organizations interested in running interpretive programs in / on behalf of BC Parks: http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/bcparks/partnerships/pef.html

Walrath Road and Marsh Field Trip April 21, 2018

On April 21, the Club hosted a field trip to Walrath Road in Shelley to see the Long-billed Curlews and to visit the nearby marsh. Ten people showed up with coats and mitts, ready to embrace the 6 degree weather, the gusting winds and the spotty sunshine!  There were at least 50 Curlews in the field, and they put on exciting flight displays and courtship routines.  Migrating raptors like both Red-tailed and Rough-legged hawks, and an American Kestrel, made appearances along the back edge of the field.

The marsh water was only partially open, but there were a variety of waterfowl taking advantage of the melt.  Canada Geese, Bufflehead and Hooded Mergansers kept us entertained.  In the surrounding cattails and woodland, we worked to identify slinking Lincoln’s Sparrows, White-crowned Sparrows and quick-moving Ruby-crowned Kinglets.  A yellow and blue wave of 35 Yellow-rumped Warblers passing together through the cattail was a beautiful thing to witness.

The highlights of the trip were on the way back to the cars, when 8 Mountain Bluebirds were spotted close by on the fence line, hawking insects.  As we watched them, a Rufous Hummingbird quietly passed by overhead, a sure sign that spring had indeed arrived!  Thank you to all who came along on the trip, and we look forward to seeing you all at the next one! (Emily Williams report)

Wednesday Walkers April 25, 2018

A warm, sunny day, with the Nechako running high and muddy in spring runoff, greeted us at Wilson Park. A thoughtfully quiet group as we approached a bay off the Nechako ensured that everyone had an opportunity to spot the Northern Pintail, Wigeons, Mallards, Lesser Scaup, Bufflehead and the Red-necked Grebe feeding and resting there. Anne Allgaier’s photo of the Douglas Fir stump reminds us of the danger of living too close to the river. Happy exclamations greeted a first-of-the-year Bumble bee, and puzzled expressions the spring-time appearance of the Beaked Hazelnut. The photo from another, proven specimen, shows the red female and yellow male flowers. (Dora Hunter report)

Anne A. Stump

Beaked Hazelnut (2)

Hudson’s Bay Wetland Clean-up April 29, 2018

On April 29, the Club hosted the Hudson’s Bay Wetland Clean-up, as part of a city-wide spring garbage collecting event.  The weather was sunny and cool, with a slight breeze – a perfect day for helping to make the Wetland clean.  Aside from the 3 members planning the event and manning the booth, only 1 person came out to volunteer at our station, so we would like to give a huge shout-out to Nancy Muirhead for showing up and giving us a hand! Between the 4 of us, we managed to clean up a good portion of the trails around the Wetland.  If you forgot to come out or didn’t hear about it in time, we will likely be hosting the event next spring too and we would love to see you there! (Emily Williams report)

Notes

Flickers at the Marriott: Here’s the recent news item and video clip quoting Club member Jack Bowling when Northern Flickers were pecking holes in the new Marriott hotel in April: http://ckpgtoday.ca/article/524104/new-hotel-gone-birds

Chickadee lovers will enjoy this video forwarded by Mike Nash: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6bKgVTjwgYI

PGNC News and Notes, April 16, 2018

Club Events

Thursday April 19, 7 to 9 p.m. at The Exploration Place, A Very Fishy Evening

This evening will be of interest to all fish lovers in Prince George, whether we study fish, catch fish or eat fish! Guy Scharf will provide background history of Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO), to set the stage for the current environment for fish and what is being done to improve the lot for salmon and their habitats both regionally and locally. He will talk specifically about Stewardship and Outreach through his role as a Community Advisor for the Salmonid Enhancement Program within DFO in the Upper Fraser Watershed.

Natasha Ewing, new Community Liaison Officer for BC Parks Northern Region, will also contribute to the evening. Guy notes, “I hope to take advantage of Natasha’s ocean outreach/education experience where possible and weave it into my program. Given the direct connection and limited resources we’ve had to date so far inland, she’s a welcome addition to the Upper Fraser (and beyond) environmental family”. Natasha is looking forward to talking about her work including her fishery connections, and meeting members of the local naturalists community.

Saturday April 21, 10 a.m. Annual Curlew Field Trip

Meet at 10 a.m. in the parking lot at the Spruceland Shopping Mall at the corner of 5th Avenue and Hwy 97 under the big Save On Foods sign to sign a waiver and arrange car-pooling. For more information contact Sandra at sjkinsey@direct.ca.

Wednesday April 25, 9:20 a.m. Wilson Park nature walk

Join the Wednesday Walkers for a visit to Wilson Park. Meet at 9:20 a.m. in the parking lot at the Spruceland Shopping Mall at the corner of 5th Avenue and Hwy 97 under the big Save On Foods sign to sign a waiver and arrange car pooling. We will leave promptly at 9:30 a.m. and return in the noon hour. Please dress for the weather, wear sturdy footwear, bring water and a snack. These slow walks to observe nature are open to members and non-members. For more information, or to sign up on an email contact list, email Dora at hunterdora@shaw.ca.

Sunday April 29, 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Clean-up at Hudson’s Bay Wetland Nature Park

Everyone is invited for a few hours of working together to pick up refuse at Hudson’s Bay Wetland Nature Park. Meet at 9:30 a.m. at the Nature Park parking lot on Queensway. Participants are encouraged to bring their own work gloves. Garbage bags and disposable gloves will be provided.

Saturday May 5, Birding Field Trip on eBird Global Big Day

Save the date and join a birding field trip on eBird Global Big Day to see how many birds can be counted in one location in one day. Check out all the details at  https://ebird.org/news/global-big-day-5-may-2018 Time and place will be publicized soon. Please contact Heather at chickadeebc@gmail.com if you plan to attend, so she can have an idea of numbers.

Thursday May 17, 7 to 9 p.m. at The Exploration Place

This is the Club’s last presentation night of the spring season. It’s all about bees! More details to come.

Friday June 8 to Sunday June 10, Mount Robson Biennial Bird Blitz

The longstanding Bird Blitz now occurs every second year. This year participants will gather before or on the evening of Friday June 8. Birding area sign-up will be on Friday night at Robson Meadows campground. Signs will be posted at the campground entrance to indicate the signup location. For further information, and to let her know if you plan to participate, please email Gail Ross at gailross1@telus.net.

2018 Memberships

It’s never too late to join the PGNC or renew your membership. Visit https://pgnc.wordpress.com/membership/ to join or renew by PayPal or regular mail.

 Club Reports

Wednesday Walkers April 11, 2018 (report by Dora Hunter)

Cottonwood Island Nature Park never disappoints. Early in the season, with winter lingering and the woodland floor still snow-covered, the Cottonwoods revealed their role as apartment towers for feathered and furred alike. It was, however, the sixteen species of birds that provided the day’s highlights. A selection of Sandra Einfeldt’s fine photographs (see below) give a taste of the day. Who wouldn’t be charmed by the light touch of a bold and trusting Chickadee, or amused by the American Crow telling the Mallards and American Wigeons to go back where they came from, or impressed by the vehemence of the drake Wood Duck telling the other seven, out of sight, Wood Ducks that this duck’s dance card is full, or spellbound by the sight of the Hooded Mergansers courting in the reflection of the Red-osier Dogwood? Won’t you join us on April 25th to see what nature has in store to delight us when we visit Wilson Park?!

P1200243 Feeding Chickadees

 

P1200634 Crow Scolding

P1200255 Wood Ducks Pair

P1200279 Hooded Mergansers

Notes

Friday May 4, Sturgeon Release in Vanderhoof

The Nechako White Sturgeon Conservation Centre is releasing juvenile white sturgeon into the Nechako River at Riverside Park in Vanderhoof. This annual event is open to the public. Club members who would like to volunteer for this remarkable event can email Michelle Roberge at michelle@mrconcepts.cafor details. Help is needed in the areas of data entry, photography, streamside release and floater.

BC Nature Camps

Space is still available in several BC Nature camps. Please email manager@bcnature.cafor enquiries and registration form for each camp.

  • Tofino Camp – There are still TWO spots available for this camp. Spots have become available due to cancellations.
  • Tumbler Ridge Camp – FOUR spots available due to cancellations.
  • Tatalayoko Camp – Still SEVEN spots available.

Nature Canada

Here’s a message from Nature Canada about the need to ban harmful insecticides:

“Neonics” are a type of insecticide used on farms that science shows are very harmful to birds and bees. Eating even a few seeds coated with neonics can emaciate a bird, interfere with reproduction and navigation, and even lead to death. France has banned neonics entirely, and other European countries are looking to follow suit. There are safer alternatives. The Canadian government is reviewing neonics right now, but so far has only proposed half measures that would allow the dangerous insecticide to continue being widely used. That’s not good enough for our declining bird and bee populations.

Please take a moment to send a note to the Canadian Health Minister who has jurisdiction over this issue and encourage her to ban neonics entirely. If enough of us raise our voices, we can ensure Canada catches up to other places in protecting our birds and bees from harmful chemicals. Go to http://naturecanada.ca/get-involved/take-action/sign-to-ban-neonics/

 

PGNC News and Notes March 31, 2018

Club Events

 
Wednesday April 11, 9:20 a.m. to noon Wednesday Walkers
In a sure sign of spring, the Wednesday Walks return after a long winter. Enjoy a slow walk at Cottonwood Island Nature Park to observe natural history, both floral and faunal. Meet in the parking lot at the Spruceland Shopping Mall at the corner of 5th Avenue and Hwy 97 under the big Save On Foods sign at 9:20 a.m. to sign a waiver and arrange car-pooling, for a 9:30 a.m. departure time, with return in the noon hour. Please dress for the weather, wear sturdy footwear, bring water and a snack. These slow walks to observe nature are open to members and non-members. For more information, or to join an email contact list, contact Dora at hunterdora@shaw.ca. See the full list of dates and locations on the PGNC blog at: https://pgnc.wordpress.com/trips/
 
Thursday April 19, 7 to 9 p.m. at The Exploration Place, A Very Fishy Evening
This evening will be of interest to all fish-lovers in Prince George, whether we observe them, catch them or eat them! Guy Scharf will provide some background history of Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO), to set the stage for the current environment for fish and what is being done to improve the lot for salmon and their habitats both regionally and locally. He will talk specifically about Stewardship and Outreach through his role as a Community Advisor for the Salmonid Enhancement Program within DFO in the Upper Fraser Watershed.
 
Natasha Ewing, new Community Liaison Officer for BC Parks Northern Region, will also contribute to the evening. Guy notes, “I hope to take advantage of Natasha’s Ocean outreach/education experience where possible and weave it into my program. Given the direct connection and limited resources we’ve had to date so far inland, she’s a welcome addition to the Upper Fraser (and beyond) environmental family”. Natasha is looking forward to talking about her work including her fishery connections, and meeting members of the local naturalists community. 
 
Saturday April 21, 10 a.m. Annual Curlew Field Trip
Meet in the parking lot at the Spruceland Shopping Mall at the corner of 5th Avenue and Hwy 97 under the big Save On Foods sign at 10 a.m. to sign a waiver and arrange car-pooling. For more information contact Sandra at sjkinsey@direct.ca.
 
Thursday May 17, 7 to 9 p.m. at The Exploration Place
The Club’s last presentation night of the spring season. It’s all about bees! More details in future newsletters.
 
Friday June 8 to Sunday June 10, Mount Robson Bird Blitz
The longstanding Bird Blitz now occurs every second year. This year participants will gather before or on the evening of Friday June 8. More details to come. Contact person is Gail Ross: gailross1@telus.net.
 
2018 Memberships
It’s never too late to join the PGNC or renew your membership at the presentation night on Thursday April 19. Visit the PGNC blog at https://pgnc.wordpress.com/membership/ to join or renew by PayPal or regular mail.
 
Club Reports
 
March 15, Annual General Meeting
Eight directors were re-elected to the Executive for 2018-2019: David Breault, Sandra Hepburn, Anne Hogan, Angie Joiner, Sandra Kinsey, Dave Leman, Heather Meier and Doug Wilson. The Executive Report to the AGM on 2017 Club activities is now available on the Club blog at: https://pgnc.wordpress.com/737-2/
 
Following the AGM, members received a progress report on the Hudson’s Bay Wetland Project and took part in a discussion session with Robert Teetaert and Kim Klaczek of McElhanney Consulting Services Ltd. Over the past six months the Club and McElhanney have worked together to develop options for a proposed footbridge west of Queensway; prepared a detailed map of the City of Prince George’s Hudson’s Bay Wetland Nature Park; and redesigned the proposed ramp between the Wetland and Lheidli T’enneh Memorial Park to a 5% slope to make it more accessible for people using mobility devices. The Club continues to work on this project in 2018.
 
February 15, The Great American Eclipse
Mike Nash’s presentation on his trip down south to observe last summer’s solar eclipse provided interesting insights into the passion of thousands of viewers observing a total solar eclipse. He also shared helpful tips for finding campsites near  the most popular national parks in the US.

Notes

Bird Photos Wanted
Ken Otter is seeking high quality photographs of Canadian birds. He says, “I am helping organize the Canada Evening at the International Ornithological Congress in Vancouver this summer, and part of that gala evening is a slideshow playing in the background during the social portion of the night that highlights Canada’s birds.  We are inviting people to submit photos for consideration. Each person would have to give me photos for consideration, which I would keep in a folder with individual’s names. We would then code them and the committee will decide which they want to use. We would then contact the individual photographers of those shots.” Please see the attached poster and send photos directly to Ken at ken.otter@unbc.ca no later than May 1.  Poster ad for bird pictures
Friday May 4, Sturgeon Release in Vanderhoof
The Nechako White Sturgeon Conservation Centre is releasing juvenile white sturgeon into the Nechako River at Riverside Park in Vanderhoof. This annual event is open to the public. Club members who would like to volunteer for this remarkable event can email Michelle Roberge at michelle@mrconcepts.ca for details. A Club field trip is also possible depending on level of interest.
 
Jasper National Park
Parks Canada reports annually to Canadians on their progress in implementing the Jasper National Park Management Plan through this report. You can download the document at this address: https://www.pc.gc.ca/en/pn-np/ab/jasper/info/plan/rapports-reports Thanks to Mike Nash for sending this link.

PGNC News and Notes, March 8, 2018

Club Events

Annual General Meeting, 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m., Thursday,  March 15, 2018, Kordyban Learning Centre, The Exploration Place
Doors open at 6:30 p.m. for people to join or renew their memberships before the meeting starts.
7 p.m.  Annual General Meeting including election of directors to the Executive. There are several vacancies so nominations are very welcome. Bring your skills and talents to a short monthly meeting to help foster awareness, appreciation and understanding of our natural environment. If you are considering letting your name stand, here is some helpful information:
  • Directors are elected for one year.
  • We hold 90-minute Executive meetings on the second Wednesday of the month at the Spruce City Wildlife Fish Hatchery on River Road.
  • Email access is essential as all communication is by email.
7:45 p.m. Hudson’s Bay Wetland Progress Report: What we’ve accomplished to date and where the Project is headed. Were looking for input from members. Resource people from McElhanney Consulting Services will also be on hand to provide detailed information and answer technical questions.
 
PGNC Membership cards

You can pick up your 2018 membership cards at the AGM on March 15. The cards are very useful for such things as 10% discounts on bird seed at Spruce Capital Feeds. You can renew your membership, or join for the first time, at this event, or through Paypal at https://pgnc.wordpress.com/membership/. Membership ($25 single, $40 family, $15 student) also brings you  membership with BC Nature and receipt of its excellent quarterly magazine.

Notes

Birding in Prince George
CKPG interviewed longtime Club member Sandra Kinsey on February 22 about Eurasian Collared Doves and other birds in the Prince George area. Here’s the link: http://ckpgtoday.ca/article/518685/eurasian-collared-dove-numbers-rise
 
Friday March 9, 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. Room 8-164, UNBC. NRESi/FWCP Colloquium
Darwyn Coxson, Dezene Huber, Mark Shrimption, Aynsley Thielman and Al Wiensczyk will discuss the impact of stocked kokanee on nutrient enrichment in tributary streams to the Williston Reservoir. See the attached notice for full details.
Colloquium Poster Mar 9 Shrimpton and awards.jpg
Caribou deaths
Tragic news from mid-February about protected caribou killed north of Prince George: http://www.ckpgtoday.ca/article/517984/two-caribou-shot-and-killed-kennedy-siding 
Caribou: Support from Fish & Wildlife Compensation Program Peace Region
On a happier note, here’s a link to a map and details about caribou projects in the Peace-Williston Region, including identification of a new herd: http://fwcp.ca/supporting-risk-caribou-herds/