PG Naturalists Club Events and Notes, 14 August 2016

Club Events
The Wednesday Walkers
  • Wednesday, August 24: Hillside trail through the woods from the south end of Foothills Blvd to the University Way bridge over Shane Creek.
  • Wednesday, September 14: Anne Allgaier will lead the walkers on some of her favourite trails along the fields and through the woods off Peardon Road on Cranbrook Hill.
As always, meet under the Spruceland sign for car pooling and the usual waiver-signing, in time for a prompt 9:30 a.m. departure. Walks finish at around noon. Natural history guide books, binoculars and cameras will be useful. For more details about the twice-monthly Wednesday Walkers trips, go to: https://pgnc.wordpress.com/trips/
Club Notes
 
1. Deadline Looming for Early-bird Registration to BC Nature FGM
Don’t forget to register before August 19 for the General Meeting hosted by our Club, as late registration will cost more. Check out the website for details — http://www.pgfgm2016.ca — and spread the word.
2. More Wetland Enhancements
The City of Prince George has been working on several improvements around the Wetland. In conjunction with the Club, a memorial bench, commemorating the Val Goodwin family, has been added at the edge of the ponded area off Queensway (other elements funded by the Val Goodwin bequest will follow). New signs have been added in the small parking lot, and both picnic benches will be replaced in the next few weeks. Finally, those old, much-graffiti’d, metal signs will shortly be removed.
3. NatureKids Seeking Volunteers
NatureKids (www.naturekidsbc.ca) is currently recruiting for two volunteer co-leaders for the Prince George Family Club. The co-leaders help organize monthly ‘Explorer Day’ field trips, to help children have fun, connect with, and learn about nature. Contact Tammy Keetch, Clubs Coordinator at coordinator@naturekidsbc.ca. References are required.
Trips Report
 
July 27 Wednesday Walkers 
Six keen naturalists set out on the inaugural Wednesday Walkers’ “expotition” to examine the flora, birds and insects of the shady, west side of the McMillan Creek Park trails. It is berry time for many shrubs with, among others, the blueberries, black twinberry, red-osier dogwood and soopolallie all fruiting. The mossy forest floor is home to Indian-pipe, wintergreens, twinflower, single delight and several species of ferns. Feathery seed clusters of blue clematis twined through shrubbery.  The Hooker’s fairybells presented us with a challenge as we strained to see the definitive tiny, forward-pointing hairs on the leaf margins confirmed by Bob Steventon’s photo. 
Hooker's Fairybell
The Pungent Lagoons, Sunday, August 7
The weather, the aroma and the shorebirds were at their most co-operative for this trip, and a sizeable group of club members had a particularly rewarding visit. 37 bird species were spotted (see http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S31008231) including 14 species of shorebird. Bob Steventon’s shots can be seen at:  https://flic.kr/s/aHskBxsXhH.
Below is one of the many stars of the show: a Wilson’s Phalarope acting, unusually, like a normal sandpiper. Fifteen Red-necked Phalaropes were in another lagoon acting the way Phalaropes usually do — swimming in demented circles.
wiph

PG Naturalists Club Events and Notes, August 1, 2016

Club Events
1. Shorebirding, 9:00 – 11:00 am, Sunday, August 7
Shorebirds are now coming through in some numbers on their migration back south, and depending on the weather, a good assortment can spend a few days locally at the Shelley sewage lagoons. Thirteen species were spotted there over the long weekend, including a dozen of the showy Long-billed Dowitchers. Bring binoculars and a willingness to put up with what sometimes can be a very strong aroma not reminiscent in the least of roses. Meet for car pooling and waiver signing at the seven-eleven (Mr G’s as was) on Highway 16 east of the Yellowhead bridge for a 9:00 departure.
 
2. The Wednesday Walkers:  10 August – Ferguson Lake
This is the second of the new slow-walk series (note corrected date). Natural history guide books, binoculars and cameras are very welcome, but with the exception of guide dogs, we leave our dogs at home. Meet under the Spruceland sign for car pooling and the usual waiver-signing, in time for a prompt 9:30 a.m. departure. Gas contribution for local trips: $3. Dress for the weather and bugs, and bring a drink and small snack. Walks finish at around noon.
Club Notes
1. Tansy Control at Hudson’s Bay Wetland
Early in July a six-man crew from Groundwork PG spent a day digging out invasive common tansy. The crew worked primarily along the bank on the north side of the Channel using shovels, a pick-axe and a lot of physical strength. The crew filled 28 contractor bags until work had to stop at 4 p.m. when a thunderstorm rolled in. The Club is very grateful for the help provided by Groundwork PG as the tansy in this area is too entrenched for volunteers to tackle.
Work was carried out as part of a joint effort between PGNC, the City of Prince George and community groups to control the spread of tansy on the north side of the Channel from the Fraser River to Queensway. The intent is to prevent the tansy from spreading into the riparian area below the bank where it becomes very difficult to remove. The Channel is an important refuge for young salmon during the Fraser River spring freshet. Tansy control efforts are supported by a grant from TD Friends of the Environment and the invaluable assistance of the Northwest Invasive Plant Council and REAPS.
 Groundwork PG at Hudsons Bay Wetland
2. New Platforms for the HB Wetland
Now that bird-nesting season is coming to an end, ground work should soon begin on the next phase of enhancement to the Hudson’s Bay Wetland. First should be an elevated platform on the north side of the large pond west of Queensway. If design and the various permissions can be completed in time, this will be followed by a new overlook at a high point on the Heritage Trail.
 
3. $1,000,000 for Ancient Forest Access
More congratulations to the Caledonia Ramblers and partners, following the announcement that the provincial government will contribute a million dollars for improvements to the intersection and parking facilities. The project has indeed been a spectacular success.
4. BC Nature Fall General Meeting, September 22-25
Early-bird registration for the Fall General Meeting, which we are hosting, is now open until August 19 – don’t delay, as registration will cost more. Check out the website for details — http://www.pgfgm2016.ca — and spread the word.
5. Mugaha Marsh Banding Station 
The station has been up and running since July 19, with Chris Sukha and James Bradley as banders, Sarah Chalmers as Assistant Bander, and David Powe as the summer student. For those interested in the species banded, reports are circulated on our listserv: you can subscribe by heading to http://mail.bcgroup.net/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/ncenbird . If enough interest is shown – please indicate by return email – a club trip might be arranged. Note before signing up that a very early departure from Prince George is required.
6. Federation of Mountain Clubs of BC Campaign
The Federation is asking anyone accessing provincial parks to be on the lookout for signs of neglect. See
http://mountainclubs.org/time-to-show-what-a-lack-of-funding-has-done-to-our-parks/
7. Perseid Shower, August 11-12
This year’s Perseid Shower is expected to yield twice as many meteors as usual. The best viewing will be between midnight and dawn on August 12.

PG Naturalists Club Events and Notes, 14 July 2016

Club Events
The Wednesday Walkers:  New Regular Club Event
This is a new series, with the aim of taking slow walks to observe natural history, both floral and faunal.  There will not be a “trip leader” as the intention is to share curiosity and knowledge: natural history books, binoculars and cameras are very welcome. With the exception of guide dogs, we will leave our dogs at home, and we’ll respect the setting by following the old rule “leave nothing but footprints, take nothing but pictures, and kill nothing but time.”
The trips will be on the morning of the second and fourth Wednesday of the month from April to November and the second Wednesdays of December to March. Walks will finish at around noon. Each time, meet under the Spruceland sign for car pooling and the usual waiver-signing, in time for a prompt 9:30 AM departure. Gas contribution for local trips: $3. Dress for the weather and bugs, and bring a drink and small snack.
The first walks are:
     • Wednesday 27 July: McMillan Park – the dark side
• Wednesday 10 August: Ferguson Lake
Later trips will be decided by participants in discussion with the co-ordinator, Dora Hunter.
Club Notes
1. VLA Family Barbeque, Saturday, July 16 at Milburn Park, 12 noon – 2:30 pm
The Club will be staffing a stand at the barbecue as part of the process of promoting and explaining the Hudson Bay Wetland project. It would be good to see PGNC members there.
2. BC Nature Fall General Meeting, September 22-25
Registration for the Fall General Meeting, which we are hosting, is now open and currently underway. Check out the website below for details and spread the word.
3. Membership Numbers
The Club now has 89 paid-up memberships – getting close to the target of 100 by 2017. If you’ve forgotten to renew, don’t forget that you can do it easily by Paypal at pgnc.wordpress.com/membership/

4. Evening Presentation Series
The Executive is working on the schedule for 2016-17. If you have any suggestions for presenters, please let us know at pgnaturalists@hotmail.ca

5.  Mount Robson Bird Blitz, 3-5 June
The results of the blitz, at which 82 species were spotted, are attached. Tennessee warblers are obviously very much at home in Robson – 96 were seen. Robson Weekend Tally updated2016
6. Stargazing Note from RASC Prince George
Today until Saturday you can watch Venus and Mercury get close together just after sunset. At 9:00pm Venus is bright and low over the northwest horizon, and today Mercury is the next brightest object the left. On Saturday Mercury will be just above Venus.

BC Nature Fall General Meeting 2016

The Prince George Naturalists Club (PGNC) is pleased to host the BC Nature Fall General Meeting (FGM) from September 22 – 25, 2016 in Prince George, BC. Prince George is a hub for outdoor recreation and offers unique natural wonders to outdoor enthusiasts.

PGNC logo color horizontalWe invite all interested BC naturalists to join us and participate in field trips, enjoy presentations from knowledgeable speakers from throughout the north, and help guide BC Nature’s objectives to support conservation, education, and outdoor recreation. We look forward to sharing this wonderful and unique part of BC with you.

For full information on events, registration and more, go to: PG Fall General Meeting 2016

 

PGNC Events and Notes, 9 June 2016

Club Events

Field Trip

Wilkins Regional Park, Sunday June 12, 2016, 8:30 a.m. start

Heather Meier will lead a birding/nature walk through Wilkins Regional Park. Located along the Nechako River, the trails are a gentle 3 km loop through a variety of forest habitats. We will look and listen for the large variety of breeding birds, check out the enormous cottonwood trees and other interesting plants and fungi, and stop for anything else of interest. Everyone welcome but no dogs please. The park has pit toilets available at a few locations along the walk. Meet at Spruceland Mall under the usual Spruceland/Save on Foods sign at 8:30 am (you might need to zoom in on the map to see where the sign is.) Carpooling will depart at 8:40 am. Suggested fee for car pooling is $3. Trip will conclude by noon. Please contact Heather at chickadeebc@gmail.com if you have any questions.

Other Events and Notes

The World’s Most Endangered Flyway

From Club member Mike Nash: The BBC World Service Discovery program is doing a series of four half-hour programs throughout the month of June on the world’s most important and critically endangered flyway. The first, starting with Australia, has just been posted, and they can all be accessed online at:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p002w557/episodes/downloads

Club Membership

Individuals and families can join the Naturalists Club or renew memberships at https://pgnc.wordpress.com/membership/. Payment is by PayPal or a cheque in the mail.

From Anne Hogan for Clive Keen on behalf of the Prince George Naturalists Club

hbwetland.wordpress.com
pgnaturalists@hotmail.ca

PG Naturalists Club Events and Notes, 14 May 2016

Club Events

1.  Presentation by Dave Leman and Cheryl Livingstone-Leman, 7:00 pm, Thursday, May 19, The Exploration Place

The Leman team will be giving a prop-rich talk on conservation in Africa. Dave has been to Africa seven times, for up to a year at a time, and in August will be co-leading a two-week trip to Tanzania, focussing on the regional biodiversity and ecology, wildlife conservation, and natural resource management issues.
2. 28th Mt Robson Bird Blitz, June 3 to 5
Participants will be staying at Robson Meadows Campground: the notice board at the campground entrance will indicate at which sites. For information, contact Gail Ross at gailross1@telus.net, or Nancy Krueger at 250-563-7896. Note that in future the Bird Blitz will be held every second year rather than annually.
Club Event Reports

1. Hudson’s Bay Wetland Cleanup, April 24

It was a cool and damp Sunday morning. Despite this, 13 hardy volunteers turned out, including several members of the Prince George VLA Enhancement Association. We picked up litter around the western end of the Wetland at Norwood Street and along the waterway from Norwood to the Carrie Jane Gray underpass in Strathcona Park. We had a needle disposal kit but found few needles, just a few spent cartridges. Most of the litter was what you would find in any well-used park or open space except for a couple of large items of furniture that had been tossed in the bush near the Wetland. Members of the VLA team hauled them out and disposed of them in the bin provided by the City of Prince George. The biggest problem we observed was the blocked culverts along the waterway through the VLA, reducing or preventing the flow of water into the Wetland. Special thanks go to Lee from the VLA for hosting us at the Green Space on Oak Street and to Terri at REAPS for her support and for delivering hot coffee donated by Tim Hortons. We are grateful to BC Nature for their financial support to help clean up the waterway into the Wetland.

2. Hudson’s Bay Wetland Planting Party, May 8

This time it was a cool, damp Sunday afternoon – perfect conditions for planting. Fifteen volunteers met at the observation deck by the footbridge to remove invasive plants and plant native shrubs. See Bob Steventon’s photos at https://www.flickr.com/photos/bubba55/sets/72157665742611333/. We combined forest industry-style planting with gardening tricks to try to improve the plant survival rate in this inhospitable environment. Eric, Katryna and Breanne from Spectrum Resources led the way by digging over 100 large planting holes using pick-axes and shovels (a task beyond the ability of most volunteers). Others followed behind to plant prickly roses, black gooseberry, willows and red-twig dogwood using lots of compost, water and a special teabag fertilizer developed for forestry replanting. Volunteers also dug out two large contractor bags of the dreaded common tansy roots, and replanted bare areas with wild grasses and fast-growing fescue and annual rye seed. Anne Hogan and Sandra Kinsey filled over 90 4L jugs with water and hauled them to the site along with the plants. Penni Adams and Northwest Invasive Plant Council provided hand tools and gloves and a shelter tent. We are grateful to Allan Carson, Naturalists Club Board member, for making us aware of the teabag fertilizers; to the City of Prince George for staff support; and to Heather Meier (Club Vice-President) for lending us her shelter tent as cover from rain showers. Pacific Salmon Foundation provided funding for the replanting project.
 
Other Events and Notes
1. Aquatic Invasive Species
An Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) Workshop will be held on Thursday June 16th, from 11:00am-4:00pm. in Quesnel, BC, atThe at the Billy Barker Casino Hotel Showroom in Quesnel. Supported by the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations, this event will bring regional stakeholders together, raise AIS awareness and identify actions to protect the Cariboo from the threats of these harmful invaders. See https://www.regonline.com/QuesnelAISworkshop .
2. BC Birding Atlas
The BC Birding Atlas, the result of five years of observations and the efforts of 30 authors, 20 editors, 45 coordinators, 1,300 field volunteers, 40 photographers and 150 partners, supporters and special contributors, is now complete. You can explore it at www.birdatlas.bc.ca.
3. Global Big Day
Today (14 May) has been the Global Big Day, during which more than 10,000 birders will have recorded sightings of 5,000+ species of birds. You can see the results at ebird.org/globalbigday/.

PGNC Events and Notes 6 May 2016

Club Events

  1. Hudson’s Bay Wetland Planting Party Sunday May 8, 12 noon to 4 p.m.

 “Don’t pick flowers for your Mother – plant a native plant and pull a weed in her honour!” Volunteers are invited to a planting party at the Hudson’s Bay Wetland. We will be working near the deck and trail on the south side of the channel, close to the footbridge that crosses the channel. Parking is available at The Exploration Place in Lheidli T’enneh Memorial Park. From there it’s a short walk across the grass to the footbridge. People can also walk in from Regents Crescent along the paved trail.

This event will be of special interest to Master Gardeners in Training and natural resources and environmental studies students, as it will provide first-hand experience of the challenges of planting in difficult soil and moisture conditions.

We will plant native plants and remove competing invasive plants. Native plants include prickly rose, black gooseberry, willow, red twig dogwood, yarrow and a native grass. Our efforts will improve habitat for birds, pollinators and other wildlife. All plant and nature lovers are invited to participate!

Volunteers should wear closed shoes. If possible bring your favourite work gloves, digging tool and a wheelbarrow, large pail or a bucket to carry compost a short distance to the planting areas. We will provide shovels, spades, hand clippers and extra work gloves, also water, juice and energy bars. A shelter tent will be available for people to take breaks from the sun. For more information please contact Anne at pgnaturalists@hotmail.ca.

  1. Bird House Auction at the Home Show Benefits the Wetland Project

The Prince George Home Show, run by the Canadian Home Builders’ Association of Northern BC, has contributed a remarkable $1,000 towards the Wetland project, resulting largely from their inaugural bird house auction. All kudos to Laurie Hooker and Terri McConnachie.

 Other Events

Mt. Robson Bird Blitz, June 3 to 5

From Gail Ross: The 28th Mt Robson Bird Blitz will be held on June 3rd to 5th. We will be staying at Robson Meadows Campground (and the notice board at the campground entrance will indicate at which sites). For those who are planning to come, please let me know by email at gailross1@telus.net, so that I can provide any additional information to you closer to the date.  After this year, we are going to have the Bird Blitz every second year.

Are you receiving this newsletter by email after events have happened? You can reset your email delivery from Weekly to Instantly or Daily.