Curlew Field Trip, Sunday April 23, 2017

The Long-billed curlews have returned in good numbers! To see them, you can join the P.G. Naturalists for a trip to the fields of Shelley on Sunday, April 23. Meet at 10:30 a.m. at Spruceland shopping centre under the big Save-on-Foods sign at Spruceland Shopping Centre on Central Street. Bring your binoculars and cameras. We’ll have a spotting scope at hand. We’ll be facing south, so hats and sunglasses may be useful. Dress warmly
Long-billed Curlew at Shelly-2

PG Naturalists Club Events and Notes, 19 April 2017

Notice


Field Trip Co-ordinator Needed

Following the Club AGM, the Executive has appointed officers to all positions with the exception of Field Trip Coordinator. This is an important position. Supported by other members of the Executive, the Field Trip Coordinator works to develop a regular program of naturalist field trips. (The trips themselves are  normally led by other volunteers.) The Coordinator is a member of the Executive, which meets from 7:00 – 8:30 pm on the second Wednesday of each month at the fish hatchery on River Road.
If you feel you could serve in this role, would like to nominate someone for the position, or would like further information, email clive_keen@hotmail.com or speak to any executive member at one of the upcoming Club events. Please don’t hesitate – the Club is only as strong as its volunteers.
Club Events
1. Film: Toad People, 7:00 pm, Tuesday, April 18, UNBC
The evening was well received. Fifty people attended The Wilderness Committee’s film about the struggle to save BC species at risk. A short 10-minute film was shown first: Their Land: Last of the Caribou Herd, describing the work of the people of Moberly Lake  to save the declining caribou herd.
2. Presentation and Open Floor on Edible Plants, 7:00 pm, Thursday, April 20, Exploration Place
Elena Thomas will give a presentation on edible wild plants in the Prince George region, including mushrooms, followed by an open floor for people to share their plant lists, edibles list, recipes, personal expertise, and tips on acquiring wild plants suitable for this region. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Arrive early to take out a membership in the PG Naturalists Club or to renew your membership. Everyone welcome.
3. Wednesday Walkers: April 26
The Walkers will visit the trails tucked between the Pittman aggregate operations, Foothills Blvd and the Nechako River. Negotiations between the City and Pittman may lead to this 40-acre site becoming a city park. The trails are relatively flat walking, woodsy, and with one bordering the Nechako River. As always, meet under the large Spruceland sign for car pooling and waiver-signing in time for a prompt 9:30 a.m. departure. Walks finish around noon.
Notes
1. Donation to Wetland Project
The  Club is delighted to announce the receipt of $1,000 from Sinclar Group Forest Products Ltd towards the Hudson’s Bay Wetland Project. Sinclar office employees had raised funds throughout 2016 with their Jeans Day Fridays, and during the Christmas season held a silent auction with gifts that the Company received throughout the year. The Company noted that the Wetland Project fits within their focus to support projects in the Community that promote an active and healthy lifestyle.
2. Rarity in PG
An Iceland Gull was spotted by Christopher Coxson at the confluence by Cottonwood Island Park, and has since been observed by a number of Club members. Iceland Gulls are very rare visitors to western North America – this is just the second sighting in the PG region.
 
3. Foxes-Geese Standoff
An unexpected counter between foxes and geese can be seen at:

Presentation on Edible Plants, Thursday April 20, 2017 at The Exploration Place

Elena Thomas will give a presentation on edible wild plants in the Prince George region, including mushrooms, followed by an open floor for people to share their plant lists, edibles list, recipes, personal expertise, and tips on acquiring wild plants suitable for this region. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Arrive early to take out a membership in the PG Naturalists Club or to renew your membership. Everyone welcome (photo courtesy of Peel’s Nurseries).

R.-woodsii

PG Naturalists Club Events and Notes, 6 April, 2017

1. Wednesday Walkers

  • April 12: The mosses are a brilliant green, the buds are swelling and the ants are already sunning themselves on their patios on the sunny south-facing slope in Moore’s Meadow. By April 12 when the Wednesday Walkers visit the park perhaps the last of the ice will be gone, but just in case it lingers, pack your grippers for this outing. The slopes will be gradual for this walk that will start through the evergreens at the top of the ridge and then make its way down to the more open path along the bottom of the ridge. That’s where we are bound to see the early thrushes and perhaps a Yellow-rumped Warbler.
  • April 26: The Walkers will visit the trails tucked between the Pittman aggregate operations, Foothills Blvd and the Nechako River. Negotiations between the City and Pittman may lead to this 40-acre site becoming a city park. The trails are relatively flat walking, woodsy, and with one bordering the Nechako River.

As always, meet under the large Spruceland sign for car pooling and waiver-signing in time for a prompt 9:30 a.m. departure. Walks finish around noon.
2. Presentation and Open Floor on Edible Plants, 7:00 pm, Thursday, April 20, Exploration Place
Elena Thomas will give a presentation on local edible plants, including mushrooms, followed by an open floor for people to share their plant lists, edibles list, recipes, and personal expertise.

3. Film: Toad People, 7:00 pm, Tuesday, April 18, UNBC Weldwood Theatre (7-238)
The Club is co-hosting with The Wilderness Committee this film about the struggle to save BC species at risk.  “Toad People” is a 75-minute inspiring new documentary produced by the Wilderness Committee about people in communities across British Columbia who are taking action to save the wildlife in their backyards. A short 10-minute film will be shown first: Their Land: Last of the Caribou Herd. Admission by donation (suggested: $10).
Club Notes

1. Spring has Seriously Sprung
Larry Joseph counted 1,500 Trumpeter Swans at Riverside Park in Vanderhoof; fifteen curlews are already at Walrath Road; Canada Geese, gulls and robins are everywhere; six long-toed salamanders were seen crossing the Greenway trail; there are reports of Sandhill Cranes and sapsuckers  – and if you head to the Club’s new observation decks around the ponded area of the Hudson’s Bay Wetland you’ll see a mass of returning ducks. While the Trumpeters were by far the week’s most impressive sight, Cathy Antoniazzi came a good second with this superb sighting of a Lynx near Buckhorn Lake.
DSC_5590
2. Volunteering at Mugaha Marsh
The Mackenzie Nature Observatory is looking for volunteers for the banding station at Mugaha Marsh. if you are interested in spending some time volunteering  and assisting the banders, contact Vi Lambie at:  JLambie@telus.net .
3. Earth Day Celebration, April 22, 8:30 – 3:00, PG Farmers Market, 1074 6th Avenue
Hosted in PG by REAPS, Earth Day is the largest, most celebrated environmental event worldwide, and will act as the kick off for the City’s Spring Cleanup. More about the club’s involvement in future emails.
4. BC Parks is Now Hiring 28 Full-time Senior Park Rangers
Act fast, as the closing date for applications is 10 April. For details head to: https://search.employment.gov.bc.ca/cgi-bin/a/highlightjob.cgi?jobid=39518.
5. Citizen Science: Monitoring Moose for Ticks
The BC Government’s Moose Winter Tick Surveillance Program is now in high gear, as this is the time of year we start seeing signs of moose infested with ticks. Naturalists are asked to help document observations of moose — whether they are infested with ticks or not — in order to understand the severity and distribution of winter ticks within our moose populations. For details head to www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/environment/plants-animals-ecosystems/wildlife/wildlife-health/wildlife-health-matters/moose-health/moose-winter-tick-survey .
6. Breeding Birds Survey
Environment and Climate Change Canada is looking for experienced birders to help conduct annual breeding bird surveys, as part of a program to track the status and trends of North American bird populations. Details can be found at www.pwrc.usgs.gov/bbs/about/. The survey period starts in late May. If you are interested, contact Kate Campbell: ec.ron-bbs.ec@canada.ca.
7. CD Release: Thank You Water by Danielea Castell
Local eco-artist Danielea Castell just released her first CD of songs from her gratitude ceremonies with local bodies of water, including Fraser River and Quesnel Lake. The digital album can be found at  www.danieleacastell.bandcamp.com, and CDs are available at Books & Co.
8. And Now for Something Completely Different
For some seriously unexpected roadrunner / hummingbird behaviour, head to https://youtu.be/onVbjDW-tqQ

PG Naturalists Club Events and Notes, 12 March 2017

Club Events
Club AGM and Gadgets/Members Night, 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m., Thursday,  March 16, Exploration Place
  • 6:30: New memberships and membership renewal – annual membership is still just $25 single, $40 family, $15 student.
  • 7:00: AGM, including election of directors. (There are at least three vacancies, so nominations are very welcome.) If you are considering letting your name stand, here is some helpful info about the role of director:
    • 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: Gadgets/Members night. Be prepared to share if you’ve caught something interesting on your trail cam or other technology, have an unusual photograph, or a naturalist experience worth recounting. Please email Shanelle at marshallshanelle0@gmail.com if you have something to share. You can bring it to the meeting on a USB drive for use on an available laptop. Or you can use your own laptop if it has an HDMI port to connect to the big-screen TV.
 Notes

 

1. Travelling World Community Film Festival, 

The Festival continues March 12 through 15. The full schedule is here:  2017 Travelling World Community Film Festival.  For film descriptions see

https://pgnc.wordpress.com/i-of-i/ or  https://www.facebook.com/PGTWCFF

     7 p.m. Wednesday, March 15, ArtSpace above Books & Co. 1685 Third Avenue
     The Prince George Naturalists Club is sponsoring the films on the final night of this festival. They are:
  • 7:00 p.m. Keepers of the Coast – 38 min
  • 7:45 p.m. Sonic Sea – 61 min
  • 8:50 p.m. Planetary – 53 m
The poster is attached. Feel free to share. 

Travelling Film Festival 2017 03 15

2. Adult Speaker Series, 7 p.m. Monday March 13, The Exploration Place.
Changing Climate, Changing Landscapes in Northern BC: Perspectives from the Ground. This presentation will use field-based observations to assess the rapidly changing climate of northern BC and impacts to land, snow and water. There will also be a discussion on the impacts of human activities on northern BC’s landscapes and their interactions with climate change.

About the speaker: Dr. Stephen Dery is an internationally recognized climate scientist. He joined UNBC as a Canada Research Chair in Northern Hydrometeorology and his research focuses on many aspects of snow and ice, including the influence of forestry and forest clearance on snow cover, snow melt, hydrology and micro-meteorology and the impact of local conditions and large-scale forcing on river discharge in BC and the Arctic.
 
No charge for admission. Cash bar with beer and wine available. Note that the Galleries will be closed.
3. Life Aquatic exhibition by Erich Franz, Two Rivers Gallery, March 9 to April 23, 2017
Life Aquatic is an exhibition of drawings that honour the meditative act of fly-fishing and tying. Erich Franz is a dedicated Spruce City Wildlife Association volunteer. Gallery hours: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. except Sunday 12 noon to 5 p.m. and Thursday 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Free admission on Thursdays. 
 
4. Douglas-Fir Beetle: A Threat to Local Forests and Homeowner Trees
The Ministry of Forests, Lands, and Natural Resources has produced a two-page leaflet with information for home-owners about the beetle’s life cycle and recommendations for prevention or remedial measures. The PDF can be found at:: https://pgnc.wordpress.com/i-of-i/
 
5. PGNC Facebook Discussion Group
All readers are invited to join the Prince George Naturalists Club Discussion Group on Facebook. It’s a good place to share information of interest to naturalists. If you’d like to join, head into Facebook and enter “Prince George Naturalists Club Discussion” – note that it’s a separate address from the more usual Prince George Naturalists Club Facebook page.

PG Naturalists Club Events and Notes, 27 February 2017

Club Events
1. Wednesday Walkers, March 8
The Walkers will explore the trails on the sunny north slope of Moore’s Meadow, which will be accessed from 1st Avenue to avoid the steeper hills off Foothills Blvd. As always, meet under the large Spruceland sign for car pooling and waiver-signing, in time for a prompt 9:30 a.m. departure. Walks finish around noon. Natural history guide books, binoculars and cameras are useful.
 
2. Club AGM and Gadgets/Members Night, 6:30 / 7:00 pm, Thursday,  March 16, Exploration Place
  • 6:30: New memberships and membership renewal – annual membership is still just $25 single, $40 family, $15 student.
  • 7:00: AGM, including election of directors. (There are at least three vacancies, so nominations are very welcome.)
  • 7:45: Gadgets/Members night. Be prepared to share if you’ve caught something interesting on your trail cam or other technology, have an unusual photograph, or a naturalist experience worth recounting.
A poster is attached. Feel free to share.
small_agmposter
3. Presentation and Open Floor on Edible Plants, 7:00 pm, Thursday, April 20, Exploration Place
Elena Thomas will give a presentation on local edible plants, including mushrooms, followed by an open floor for people to share their plant lists, edibles list, recipes, and personal expertise.
4. Update on the Status of Moose, 7:00 pm, Thursday, May 18, Exploration Place
Mike Klaczek and senior biologist Shelley Marshall will give an update on the status of the moose population. More details will be given nearer the event.
Club Notes

1. Travelling World Community Film Festival, Wednesday, March 15, Artspace
The Club is sponsoring the films on the final night of this festival. They are:
  • 7:00 p.m. Keepers of the Coast – 38 min
  • 7:45 p.m. Sonic Sea – 61 min
  • 8:50 p.m. Planetary – 53 min
2.  Awards!
  • Willa Crowley (aged 12) of Fort St James, nominated by PGNC members, has received a Young Birders Award from the BCFO ¬ see http://bcfo.ca  for the details. If you go to that page and scroll down, you’ll also see that Bob Steventon provided the front cover photograph for the BCFO’s latest news magazine.
  • Bob Steventon was also an award winner, this time for the American Marten photograph below, which was a Judge’s Pick for photographs submitted to Project Feederwatch. Seehttp://feederwatch.org/birdspotter2016/#58240  .
american-marten
3. PGNC Discussion Group
All readers are invited to join the Prince George Naturalists Club Discussion Group on Facebook. It’s a good place to share information of interest to naturalists. If you’d like to join, head into Facebook and enter “Prince George Naturalists Club Discussion” – note that it’s a separate address from the more usual Prince George Naturalists Club Facebook page.
4. Bats – White Nose Syndrome
The Province, in partnership with the BC Community Bat Program, the caving community and other concerned groups, is asking us to be on the lookout for dead or sick bats that may have contracted the invasive fungal disease WNS. This could include seeing bats flying during the day, or finding dead or dying bats. The link to government news release with full information is at https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2017ENV0013-000301 .
Other Events 

Presentation on Conservation, Friday, March 3, UNBC Canfor Theatre, 3:30-4:30
This Friday’s NRESi colloquium features Dr Jim Pojar, who will be talking about Conservation in the Anthropocene.

 

PG Naturalists Club Events and Notes, 14 February 2017

Club Events

1. Presentation by Carolyn Ibis, 7:00 pm, Thursday, 16 February, Exploration Place
Carolyn will speak on her solo adventures in Peru and Bolivia through a range of ecosystems including mountains, jungle, salt flats and the Altiplano. Highlights include the Inca Trail, Machu Picchu, Lake Titicaca, Salar Uyuni, and a bicycle ride down Death Road.
Come on out and renew your membership or join the Naturalists Club. The 2017 membership cards will be available. Meet others, and enjoy coffee or tea courtesy of The Exploration Place.
2. Club AGM and Members Night, 7:00 pm, Thursday, 16 March, Exploration Place
The annual AGM will be followed by a Members’ Night. More details will be provided in the next club email, but meanwhile, if you’ve caught something interesting on your trail cam, or have an unusual photograph or experience, be prepared to share. As always, the most important part of the AGM will be the election of new directors – see the note below.
Notes

1. New Club Directors needed
Three directors are stepping down at the AGM this year, and need to be replaced if the Club is to stay healthy. Think about putting your name forward or nominating someone you believe would be suitable. The only requirement of Directors is that they attend a ninety-minute meeting on the second Wednesday of the month at the Spruce City Wildlife Fish Hatchery, 1384 River Road. Some directors also become officers or take on tasks which interest them, but this is entirely optional.

2. Seedy Saturday, 10:00-3:00, February 18, Exploration Place
The Club will have a presence as usual at this weekend’s event.
Shows corn cobs and seeds with date time of Seedy Saturday
3. 20th Annual Great Backyard Bird Count, February 17-20, 2017
You can join 100,000 other naturalists this weekend by counting your yard birds for at least 15 minutes and reporting your sightings online. See http://gbbc.birdcount.org/ for details.
Clive Keen  for