Naturalists Club Events and Notes, April 24, 2015

Club Events

1. Hudson’s Bay Wetland Cleanup, Sunday, April 26, 10 am to 2 pm
The PG Naturalists Club will be cleaning up the Hudson’s Bay Wetland this Sunday. Everyone is invited to come out for a few hours to help. Meet at Hudson’s Bay Slough Park off Queensway across from Regents Crescent. We recommend that you park on Regents Crescent or on the east side of Queensway as parking is almost non-existent at the park site. Please RSVP Heather Meier via email chickadeebc@gmail.com so the right number of bags/gloves can be provided. Coffee and donuts are available for those arriving at 10 a.m!
Please consider bringing:
1. Your own gloves (especially if you have very large or small hands)
2. Wheelbarrows and similiar tools
3. Reusable coffee cup and/or a water bottle to save on paper waste

2. Curlews?
The Shelley Curlews haven’t so far appeared in the huge numbers of previous years. Just a dozen have been seen at a time so far, so the annual Curlew Watch might be called off this year. Fingers remain crossed for the snake hibernaculum.

Other Events

1. Free Pacific Stream Keepers Federation Training Opportunity, September 14-16/2015 
The Pacific Stream Keepers Federation is prepared to hold a free stream keepers training session this fall at a location between Williams Lake and Prince George. Topics may include:

•         Stream Habitat Survey Introduction
•         Water Quality/Quantity
•         Stream Invertebrates
•         Spawner counts

Interested attendees will receive the Streamkeepers Handbook (value $30). If interested in participating, please contact Guy Scharf at Guy.Scharf@dfo-mpo.gc.ca or  Judy Hillaby at Judy.Hillaby@dfo-mpo.gc.ca for more details.

2. Wildlife youth camps
Spruce City Wildlife Association is holding two youth camps this summer. Each four-day camp will involve a maximum of 25 youth. Go Wild! Youth for Conservation is a leadership workshop for youth ages 13 to 17. Wild Kidz provides a real-life connection between children and nature. This camp is designed for children aged 9 to 12. More information is available from Tara Lees at  tboomdea@gmail.com

Club Notes

1. A second Observation deck for the Hudson’s Bay Wetland Project
Next week will see volunteers building another observation deck, this time on the north side of the Channel. Reports will  be sent out as the work unfolds.

2. New web pages of interest: 

PG Naturalists Club Events and Notes, 5 April 2015

Club Events

1. Long-billed Curlew Watching – coming at short notice
Any day now we could be getting the annual influx of amorous Curlews, but we can’t know in advance when the best sightings will be, so watch this space.  A trip is likely to be organized with only a day or two notice. The same will be true, in a few weeks time, for a visit to a snake hibernaculum.
2. Presentation  – Exploring the Universe – Thursday, April 16, 7:00 pm, The Exploration Place
Keith Egger will give a talk entitled Adventures in Astrophotography: Exploring the universe from my backyard.  Keith Egger is Professor, Ecosystem Science and Management Program, at UNBC. His daytime occupations concern molecular ecology, but at night, as we’ll see, his interests turn to the heavens. Before Keith’s talk there’ll be a brief report by Ian Curtis, a UNBC fourth-year student, on long-term data from the Club’s Mount Robson Bird Blitz.
3. Wetland Area Clean-up, Sunday, 26 April, 10:00 am start, Hudson Bay Slough Park
As part of the City’s annual spring clean-up, the Club will be tackling the area around the wetland. Last year, with plenty of volunteers, we were finished by 1:00 pm. Meet at the small park off Queensway across from Regents Crescent. We recommend that you park on Regents Crescent or on the east side of Queensway as parking is very limited at the park site. People coming by 10:00 am are likely to find coffee and donuts.
4.  Club Show and Tell, Thursday, May 21, 7:00 pm, The Exploration Place
This will be partly a report on progress on the Hudson’s Bay Wetland project, but it will also include a show-and-tell by members, similar to the highly successfully gadgets night held a year or two ago. If you’ve interesting images from your trail cam, or some footage of wildlife, some particularly fine or weird photographs, or anything else of the kind interesting to naturalists, be prepared to come along and share. More details later.

Notes

1. Up Your Watershed, 23 April, 7:00 pm, Vanier Hall, and Recycling Round-up, London Drugs parking, 25 April, 10:00 – 3:00

The Wilds – Holly Arntsen and Kevin Wright – with children from local schools, are performing at Vanier as part of a celebration of salmon, habitat restoration and recycling. The Wilds are great supporters of the Hudson’s Bay Wetland Project, and we’ll have a table both at that event and (if we get volunteers to staff it) at the Recycling Round-up. If you have old tyres or old electronics, bring them to that Round-up.

2. Trumpeter Swans

Cathy Antoniazzi counted 1371 Trumpeter Swans during the Club’s visit to Vanderhoof on March 22, following the very interesting and well-attended visit to the Sturgeon Conservation Centre. One of Jeff Dyck’s terrific shots (attached) showed that there were Tundra Swans mixed with the Trumpeters. (Look for the yellow mark in front of the eye). Mike Nash put up a short youtube feature on the swans at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z7_wmG1IlA4&feature=em-upload_owner .

3. Northern Caribou

The reduction of wolf numbers to help preserve declining caribou is controversial; much less controversial is moving caribou cows to a maternal pen with shepherds on-site, to reduce mortality. This is now taking place near Mackenzie in the Klinse-Za maternal pen.

4. Sightings!

Shows a American Martin between two garbage cans looking at the camera

American Martin

Members have been reporting a number of interesting sightings of late, including multiple sightings of Lynx. One of the most entertaining threads we’ve had on our ncenbird listserv concerned identification of scat appearing in the Club Secretary’s woodshed. The debate concluded when Bob Steventon positioned a trail cam, and found the intruder – an American Marten.

Clive Keen
PO Box 1092, Prince George, BC V2L 4V2

Do You Care About Bears?

Come voice your opinion on human/bear conflict and learn about how to keep bears from being killed in your neighbourhood

Sunday, March 29th 1-5pm 

Keith Gordon Room, Bob Harkins Branch of the Prince George Public Library

Come at 1:00pm to be a part of our public participation exercise

OR

Drop in from 2:00-5:00pm

Refreshments will be provided

Hosted by UNBC Natural Resource Management students in conjunction with the Northern Bear Awareness Society

SkeenaWild Film Fest Event, Friday March 20, 2015

The UNBC student Chapter to The Wildlife Society is hosting 2014 SkeenaWild Film Fest. The event will take place tonight, Friday, March 20th, starting at 7pm (doors open at 6:30) in UNBC Weldwood Theatre.
 
There is a wide variety of videos including fishing, wildlife, conservation, kayaking, skiing and the outdoors in general. Some videos share important messages about BC’s natural resources, some show extreme kayaking and skiing action, some have humor, and some show breathtaking shots of beautiful British Columbia. The cost is only $10/person and the proceeds go to the SkeenaWild Conservation Trust. You can check out a trailer for the filmfest at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Luwh1gPWv3E Doors open at 6:30 with the films starting at 7:00. At 6:45, we will be displaying photos from the photo contest portion of the festival. Also, your admission cost includes the chance to win some awesome door prizes!!! For more information contact: tws@unbc.ca

PG Naturalists Club Events and Notes, March 16, 2015

Club Events

1. Reminder: Club Annual General Meeting, and Presentation on Wetlands, This Thursday, March 19, 7:00 pm, The Exploration Place
Note: The most important part of the AGM will be the election (or appointment) of Directors. Please consider letting your name stand. Directorship is in fact so rewarding that all the existing directors wish to stand again — except that two are moving away from Prince George, so we have at least two vacancies, and additional directors would further strengthen the Club. Directors meet once a month, on the second Wednesday, for a 90-minute meeting. The Club Directors organizing the 2016 BC Nature Fall General Meeting would also love to hear from anyone willing to help out with the organization of that event, which should see 200 naturalists coming to our City.

  • 6:45:  Membership signup (for new members and those not yet renewed)
  • 7:00:  Annual General Meeting
  • 7:30:  Presentation by Gina Layte Liston, Associate Director, Public Works, City of Prince George: The Value of Urban Wetlands

2. Visit to the Vanderhoof Sturgeon Conservation Centre, Sunday, March 22, 9:00 AM departure
All welcome. Meet under the big Spruceland Shopping Centre sign for carpooling (contribution to gas costs: $10), and preferably bring a lunch. We’ll first head to the Conservation Centre, where we’ll be given a guided tour by Wayne Salewski. Heather Meier will then lead a loop tour of the Vanderhoof area to see the huge number of migratory birds now passing through: 450 Trumpeter Swans were seen yesterday in just one field!

3. Travelling World Community Film Festival
The two films sponsored by the club are:

  • All the Time in the World, 7:00 pm, Friday March 27, Two Rivers Gallery
  • DamNation, 8:35 pm, Saturday March 28, St Michael’s Hall, 1505 Fifth Avenue

Travelling World Community Film Festival, March 25 to April 2

The Prince George Naturalists Club is sponsoring two films: All the Time in the World on March 27 and DamNation on March 28. Come on out to enjoy the films and meet other naturalists! See the full schedule here: Film Festival Schedule

March 27 FilmMarch 28 Film

PG Naturalists Club Events and Notes, March 5, 2015

Club Events
 
1. Club Annual General Meeting, and Presentation on Wetlands, Thursday March 19, 7:00 pm, The Exploration Place
  • 6:45:  Membership signup (for new members and those not yet renewed)
  • 7:00:  Annual General Meeting
  • 7:30:  Presentation by Gina Layte Liston, Associate Director, Public Works, City of Prince George: The Value of Urban Wetlands

 
2. Visit to the Vanderhoof Sturgeon Conservation Centre, Sunday, March 22
Please let us know by return email if you’d like to take part in this visit to the Sturgeon Conservation Centre. Details are still being worked on, and we need to get an idea of numbers, and whether a side-trip to spot migratory birdlife would be of interest to participants. If interested in this field trip, please email us at pgnaturalists@hotmail.ca
 
3. Travelling World Community Film Festival
The club is sponsoring two films:

  • All the Time in the World, 7:00 pm, Friday March 27, Two Rivers Gallery
  • DamNation, 8:35 pm, Saturday March 28, St Michael’s Hall, 1505 Fifth Avenue

 
Club News

1. New Grant for the Wetland Project!
The BC Naturalists’ Foundation and BC Nature, which kick-started the fundraising drive in 2013 with a $2,000 grant, have again awarded the Club $2,000 for further work on the project. 
 
2. BC Nature 2016 Fall General Meeting
BC Nature have accepted the Club’s offer to host their Fall General Meeting in September 2016.  We can expect to be visited by up to 200 naturalists in eighteen months time.

3. Club Signs
Three signs for the wetland have been created and will be mounted near the new observation deck at the wetland in the next week or so. Drop by the deck regularly to see what they look like!
 
4. Club Presentation to City Council
The Club will be giving a presentation to City Council, to give an update on the Hudson’s Bay Project, on  May 25. 
 
Notes
 
1. Natural Resource Watchdog for BC?
For those that like the idea of having an independent watchdog overseeing forestry and possibly other resource practices in BC, consider spending a few minutes with this survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/FPB_Survey

2. Great Backyard Birdcount
Some preliminary statistics from the GBBC of Feb 13-16

  • BC: 2,005 checklists were submitted, and 197 species counted
  • Canada: 10,491 checklists, 241 species counted
  • World: 143,600 checkists, counting 5049 species

3. Yet More on Owls
Emily Braam has reported seeing five Great Gray Owls in Prince George – just one is exceptional. And 
Dawn McNamara has drawn our attention to this marvellous two-minute clip: 
www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p02kqgpf