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

PG Naturalists Club Events and Notes, 7 February, 2017

Club Events
1. Wednesday Walkers, 8 February
Ignoring the cold and the wind chill, the walkers are heading to Wilson Park on the riverfront, checking for lots of critter tracks. As always, meet under the large 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.

Update: Three club members walked in Wilson Park this morning, enjoying the sunshine and the sound of the Nechako River rushing through the ice. It was cold but worth it.

2. Presentation by Carolyn Ibis, 7:00 pm, Thursday, 16 February, The 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.
Additional Info: This is a good time to renew memberships or join the Naturalists Club. Come and meet others, and enjoy coffee or tea courtesy of The Exploration Place.
Club Notes

1. Grand Canyon of the Fraser River
Mike Nash has added a photo record of last Sunday’s snowshoe trip to this historically important section of the river. See www.youtube.com/watch?v=4vrBl72DltM&feature=youtu.be .
2. Watson Slough
There is, understandably, considerable concern from naturalists at the forthcoming loss of Watson Slough, as a result of Site C development. A delay is being requested. See
http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/nature-lovers-ask-b-c-hydro-to-delay-destruction-of-rarely-seen-bird-s-nesting-ground-1.39642
3. History of the Hudson’s Bay Wetland
Photographs and other material related to the history of the wetland have been unearthed by the Spruce City Wildlife Association folks. If you are interested in exploring these on behalf of the club, let us know by return email.
4. 2018 International Ornithological Congress
The City of Vancouver has produced a rather nice two-minute video to welcome delegates to the Congress: see youtu.be/Jw6GIwRtI5E. This is the world’s biggest birding event, and like the Olympics is held in different locations once every four years. A lot of PGNC people will be involved in the organization, via the BCFO and other groups. You can see what is going on at http://www.iocongress2018.com/or can follow updates by liking the IOC Facebook page.
Other Events of Interest to PGNC Members
1. Friday, Feb 10, 3:30, Canfor Theatre, UNBC
Dr Matt Reudinc will give a talk entitled Tracking Songbird Movements across the Landscape.
2. Summit Lake Snowshoe Day, Saturday Feb 11
Head to the hall on Adams Rd for 1.30 pm registration. Details from hcrowley@mag-net.com or 250 965-7715.

3. SkeenaWild Film Fest, February 24, 7:00 pm, Weldwood Theatre, UNBC
The TWS UNBC Fish and Wildlife Student Chapter and Sea to Sands Conservation are showing films showcasing kayaking, fishing, snowboarding, and the conservation and management of BC’s natural resources. Tickets are $10 with all proceeds going to the SkeenaWild Conservation Trust.
4. 20th Annual Great Backyard Bird Count, February 17-20, 2017
You can participate by counting birds for at least 15 minutes on one or more of the count days and reporting your sightings online. See http://gbbc.birdcount.org/ for details.

PGNC Events and Notes, sent 17 January 2017

Club Events

1. Presentation by Doug Heard on the Caribou Recovery Program, 7:00 pm, this Thursday, 19 January, The Exploration Place
Doug will be giving an update on this high-profile program, close the heart of many PGNC members. For those also wondering about the moose situation, Doug asks that we wait for a separate, more detailed, club presentation on April 20 by his colleagues Michael Klaczek and Shelley Marshall.
2. Wednesday Walkers. February 8
The group will try again for a winter exploration of Wilson Park. We’ll be hoping for milder winter temperatures for the 8th and fresh snow on the 6th with lots of critter tracks made on the 7th.  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.
Club Notes

1. Swan and Eagle Count Results
Sunday (January 15) was a lovely day for sweagling. At the Crooked River, the group saw thirty Trumpeter Swans, six of which were immature birds. Three otters, numerous Common Goldeneyes, and some American Dippers added to the interest. For anyone wondering where all the Pine Grosbeaks are: they were everywhere on this trip, but in small groups.
This trip is no longer the best for eagle counting, as the Foothills dump now provides the main attraction for the charismatic raptors. Just two adult bald eagles and one immature were seen along the highway and over the river.
2. Speedee Printers Club Display
Be sure to see the Club’s display currently in the window of Speedee Printers in downtown Prince George. The theme is “Through the Naturalist’s Eye.” Many thanks to the dozen club members who provided items for the display, which runs through to the end of the month.
3. Membership 2017 cards
You can pick up your 2017 membership cards at this Thursday’s  meeting – remember that the cards are very useful for such things as 10% discounts on bird seed at Spruce Capital Feeds. You can also renew your membership (or join for the first time) at this event, or through Paypal at https://pgnc.wordpress.com/membership/. Remember that membership ($25 single, $40 family, $15 student) also brings you  membership of BC Nature and receipt of its excellent quarterly magazine.
4. Facebook
If you are now receiving this message on Facebook: you are now one of a rather amazing 345 people doing so.
5. CBC Almanac
The club made its presence felt on CBC’s Almanac last Friday. You can hear the discussion of birds in winter at http://podcast.cbc.ca/mp3/podcasts/bcalmanac_20170113_29644.mp3

Winter Birds in the Media!

Prince George Naturalists Club media spokesperson Clive Keen will be interviewed on CKPG TV tonight, talking about mallards and migration. Tomorrow (Friday) he will be talking with Gloria Macarenko  from 12:30 p.m. on Almanac CBC Radio call-in show, talking about winter birds.

And be sure to keep an eye on the Prince George Citizen for an upcoming story about the PGNC Swan Count scheduled for  Sunday January 15.

Image

Swan Count January 15, 2017

pgnc_annual_swan_and_eagle_count

PG Naturalists Club Events and Notes, sent 8 January, 2017

Club Events

  1. Wednesday Walkers, 11 January — Cancelled 

It will be minus 25 on Wednesday, so a day indoors seems a better idea than a nature walk.

  1. Annual Swan and Eagle Count, 9:00 – 3:00, Sunday, 15 January
    It will be much warmer next Sunday, but since the count is largely carried out by car, and walks are fairly short, this event always goes ahead whatever the temperature. Meet for a 9:00 am departure under the central green Spruceland Shopping Centre sign for car pooling and waiver signing. Bring lunch and snowshoes, and keep on eye on weather forecasts so you can dress appropriately. For more info, email sjkinsey@direct.ca or phone at 250-963-8381.
  1. Presentation by Doug Heard on the Caribou Recovery Program, 7:00 pm, Thursday, 19 January, The Exploration Place
    Doug will be giving an update. Members that visited Kennedy siding on November 19 will fully appreciate the value of the Caribou Recovery Program.

Notes

  1. Christmas Bird Count

PG: A small army headed off from Cathy Antoniazzi’s place on Sunday, December 18, and by day’s end had tallied 10,836 birds in 48 species. There was an all-time high for Bald Eagles — 95, and other raptors included a Northern Goshawk, a Red-tailed Hawk, seven Rough-legged Hawks, and three Merlins. Eurasian Collared-Doves continue to increase in numbers, as do American Goldfinches. It was definitely not a finch year, though: no doubt food is abundant still in the forests. The full report is here.

   Note that next year will be PG’s 50th Christmas Bird count, so something special will be arranged.

Quesnel: PGNC members again took an active part in the Quesnel bird count, at which 47 species were spotted. For the first time, a Spotted Towhee was found at the count, and other highlights included a Golden Eagle, two Northern Pygmy Owls, five Sharp-tailed Grouse, and a Three-toed Woodpecker.

  1. Memberships

The club now has 89 memberships, some of which are family memberships. The executive has had a target of raising memberships to 100, as this would guarantee the long-term health of the club. If you know anyone that should be a member but isn’t, invite them to a meeting, or point them to our website at https://pgnc.wordpress.com/membership/. You can also renew memberships — it’s that time of year — on that website using Paypal.

Clive Keen
pgnc.wordpress.com
hbwetland.wordpress.com
pgnaturalists@hotmail.ca

PG Naturalists Club Events and Notes, sent 12 December 2016

Club Events
1. Wednesday Walkers, 14 December — Cancelled 
Since the doughty Caledonia Ramblers are cancelling trips owing to the cold snap, we don’t feel too bad about cancelling this one.
2. Christmas Bird Count, Sunday, 18 December, all day event
The usual throng of birders will be leaving Cathy Antoniazzi’s house at daybreak for a full day of counting followed by an evening potluck. If you are wondering about taking part, Cathy can be contacted at canton1@telus.net or 250-562-2845. You can also take part by keeping a count of the birds on your feeder, as long as you live within a 15-kilometre radius of the centre of town.
3. Annual Swan and Eagle Count, 9:00 – 3:00, Sunday, 15 January
Meet for a 9:00 am departure under the central green Spruceland Shopping Centre sign for car pooling and waiver signing. Bring lunch and snowshoes, and keep on eye on weather forecasts so you can dress appropriately. For more info, email sjkinsey@direct.ca or phone at 250-963-8381.
 
4. Presentation by Doug Heard on the Caribou Recovery Program, 7:00 pm, Thursday, 19 January, The Exploration Place.
Doug’s talk at the BC Nature Fall General Meeting was so well received we asked him to repeat it at our next Third Thursday event. Note that we do not hold Third Thursdays in December, given the seasonal pandemonium.
Notes
 
1. Quesnel Christmas Bird Count, 2 January
Prince George birders are a crucial part of this event. If you can help, contact Adrian Leather at 250-249-5561 or q-birds@xplornet.com. He’ll be delighted to hear from you. You can also find out about other CBCs in the province by heading to https://bcfo.ca/# . Three PGNC members are even taking part in the Soda Creek CBC on December 15.
 
2. Geminid Shower!
The Geminid meteor shower peaks tomorrow (Tuesday), with a forecast of up to 120 per hour. Though you will be able to see meteors over the entire sky, they radiate from the Gemini constellation, which rises over the northeast horizon at 6:00pm. The display is best, though, after midnight. There should be clear skies, but it will be cold, so take care.
3. Christmas signed book offer for club members
  • Outdoor Safety & Survival by Mike Nash; Rocky Mountain Books, 2012: $25 (retail value $31.45)
  • Exploring Prince George – A Guide to North Central BC Outdoors, by Mike Nash; Rocky Mountain Books, 2007: $20 (retail value $26.20)
Mike only has a few copies left and this is the last year he will be doing this, so if you would like one for yourself or for a gift call him at 250-962-2453.
Event Report
 
Wednesday Walkers from the Pidherny Hills, November 23, 2016 
It is the season that has no name, that time between leaf fall and snowfall. It is that pause for chickadees, nuthatches and squirrels to stow away food for the winter to come; the time when the forest floor is no longer in the shade of birches, Douglas maple, alders, Devil’s club, Thimble berry or even Fairy bells and False Solomon’s seal. It is the season of all those small evergreens, their vivid green stopping us in our tracks, demanding our attention. It was such a day for those of us walking in the Pidherny Hills. The Stiff clubmoss with its spore cone held high to catch the breezes no longer impeded by the canopy, the green and yellow mosses, dwarf scouring-rush bent on taking over a hillside, Prince’s pine holding aloft its seed head, Twinflower scrambling over the ground still bearing its dried, y-shaped stalk, the Oregon-grape looking to outshine the sun, and so many lichens; all were there to delight kindred spirits happy to be out on such a day.  —  Dora Hunter