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.

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PGNC Events and Notes, 15 April 2016

Club Events
1. Field trip: Spring Owling, 7:30 – 9:30 pm, Saturday, April 16
Early spring is the best time of year to hear the hooting of owls, and Jack Bowling will be leading a trip to some of the most promising local haunts. Meet at the usual spot under the large Spruceland Shopping Centre sign for a 7:30 pm departure and dress for the night weather.
 
2. Field Trip to Wilkins Regional Park, Monday, April 18, 8:00 am start
Heather Meier will be leading a leisurely 3 km birding/nature stroll starting at the Wilkins main gate (which will be locked). Trails are in great condition.  Everyone welcome but no dogs please.
Meet at Spruceland mall under the usual Spruceland/Save on Foods sign at 8:00 am. Carpooling will depart at 8:15 am.  Trip will conclude by noon.  Please contact Heather at chickadeebc@gmail.com if you have any questions.   
3. Presentation by John Neville, 7:00 pm Thursday, April 21, The Exploration Place
Many will know John Neville, the Immediate Past President of BC Nature and longtime nature-sound recordist – see http://nevillerecording.com. John will be talking on The Birds of the Boreal Forest. 
4. Hudson’s Bay Wetland Cleanup, Sunday April 24,  10 a.m. to 2 p.m
This year we will work around the west end of the Wetland  and along the waterway that runs through Milburn and Strathcona Parks before flowing into the Wetland. We are combining forces with volunteers from the Prince George VLA Enhancement Association who did so much last year to get large garbage items out of the waterway (See the Hudson’s Bay Wetland Facebook Group photos posted on June 14, 2015). We will also pick up the small amounts of litter that have accumulated since last year on the Park trails east and west of Queensway.  Meet at the community Green Space at 2307 Oak Street. There’s lots of on-street parking. Bags and gloves are 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 similar tools
  3. Reusable coffee cup and/or a water bottle to save on paper waste
5. Hudson’s Bay Wetland Rehabilitation, Sunday May 8, 12 noon to 4 p.m
We realize this is Mother’s Day but we had to advance the planting day by a month as June is likely to be too dry. In addition to planting native plants, we will be removing invasives such as common tansy that may be intruding on the planting area.  Our informal theme: “Pull a weed and plant a native plant for Mom!”  More information to come closer to the date.
6. Presentation by Dave Leman, 7:00 pm, Thursday, May 19, The Exploration Place
Local environmental planner and educator Dave Leman will speak 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.
Other Events
Canadian Home Builders’ Northern BC Home & Garden Show, April 22 – 24, 2016
The Club’s Hudson’s Bay Wetland Project is to receive the proceeds of the silent birdhouse auction. Take a good look, and perhaps put in a bid, before the auction closes at 3pm, Sunday April 24.

 

Link

PGNC Events and Notes, 6 April 2016

PGNC Events and Notes, 6 April 2016
Club Events
 
1. Special Presentation by Ron Long on Pink Mountain, 7:30 pm, Wednesday, 13 April, Spruce City Wildlife Association, 1384 River Road.
Ron Long has been working for the last five years with the UBC Botanical Garden on a biodiversity study on Pink Mountain, which has proven to be unique in the province for rare species and its very high degree of biodiversity. Pink Mountain, 180 km north-west of Fort St John, is not simply a butterfly hotspot for all of Canada – there’s a great deal more to it, as Ron will explain.
Ron is visiting Prince George from Port Moody. He is a past president of the Native Plant Society of BC and is active with Nature Vancouver.
       Note that the usual monthly Executive meeting is being brought forward to 6:00 pm to allow for this open presentation.
2. Field trip: Spring Owling, 7:30 – 9:30 pm, Saturday, April 16
Early spring is the best time of year to hear the hooting of owls, and Jack Bowling will be leading a trip to some of the most promising local haunts. Meet at the usual spot under the large Spruceland Shopping Centre sign for a 7:30 pm departure and dress for the night weather.
3. Presentation by John Neville, 7:00 pm Thursday, April 21, The Exploration Place
Many will know John Neville, the Immediate Past President of BC Nature and longtime nature-sound recordist – see http://nevillerecording.com. John will be talking on The Birds of the Boreal Forest.
4. Presentation by Dave Leman, 7:00 pm, Thursday, May 19, The Exploration Place
Local environmental planner and educator Dave Leman will speak 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.
Club Notes
1. Long-billed Curlews – Field Trip?
The Curlews have just started arriving, and might be putting on a good show in the next week or two. If you are interested in a field trip to see them, email Clive at clive_keen@hotmail.com.
2. BC Nature AGM in Comox
The BC Nature AGM is being held in Comox on May 12-15. If any PGNC members are planning to attend, please let the Executive know at pgnaturalists@hotmail.ca.
3. Wetland Cleanup and Planting Party
Details of this year’s Hudson’s Bay Wetland cleanup, and a planning party, are currently being worked on. More next time.
Other Events

1. Choosing Non-Invasive Plants for Northern Gardens –  6:00 – 9:00 pm, Tuesday, April 12, 2016, City Hall Annex Room
This Northern PlantWise information session aims to increase awareness of the invasive plant issue in ornamental horticulture. The evening will include a presentation series and educational expo with an overview of Grow-Me-Instead and the PlantWise Provincial Program. Refreshments will be served and admission is free. RSVP (space is limited) to: events@reaps.org or 250-561-7327.
2.  Canadian Home Builders’ Northern BC Home & Garden Show, April 22 – 24, 2016
The Club’s Hudson’s Bay Wetland Project is to receive the proceeds of the silent birdhouse auction. Take a good look, and perhaps put in a bid, before the auction closes at 3pm, Sunday April 24. Details at  Home & Garden Show