PG Naturalists Club Events and Notes, 15 Jan, 2016


Club Events
 
1. Annual Club Swan and Eagle Count, 9:00 – 3:00, Sunday, 17 January
Meet at 9:00 am under the central green Spruceland Shopping Centre sign. Bring lunch and snowshoes. Dress warmly.  For more info, email sjkinsey@direct.ca or phone at 250-963-8381. Contribution by passengers to gas costs: $10.00.
 
2. Presentation:  Watershed CSI: Identifying Where Sediment Comes from Using Fingerprinting.  7:00 pm, Thursday, 21 January at The Exploration Place
Alex Koiter, a Professional Agrologist and UNBC PhD candidate, will give a presentation on his current research on soil erosion and water quality.  He will show how naturally occurring soil properties, or fingerprints, can help find out where sediment comes from – it`s like CSI for watersheds!
 
3. Bird Skin Preparation Workshop by Ken Otter, 1:00 pm, Saturday, 23 January, UNBC
Ken Otter will show how bird specimens are prepared for teaching purposes, and give a tour of the bird and mammal collection accumulated over the years. This is an opportunity to bring in any specimens you might have  (remember that it has to be thawed out!).  Don’t worry, though: Ken has 20 to 30 specimens for anyone attending who isn’t bringing their own. 
 
Agenda: 
 1:00:            meet at the Library Entrance to the University (just off the parking lots, first door you would naturally come in).  
1:00 – 1:15: tour of some of the taxidermied specimens en route to the prep lab 
1:20 – 2:00: tour of the prep room and the collection
2:00 – 3:00: pinning birds for freeze drying
3:00 – 3:30: loading specimens into the freeze drier
3:30 – 5:00: for those that don’t need to leave, back to the lab for a demo preparing a larger bird
 
If you are planning to come, please let us know by return email in case there are capacity issues.
 
4. Snowshoe Trip to Livingstone Springs, Sunday, 7 February, 9:00 am start
The annual snowshoe trip to the spring of the Crooked River is a great way to learn more about tracks in the snow, and there’s a chance of seeing otters, dippers, swans, eagles, moose, etc. Meet at Spruceland shopping centre under the big sign for a 9:00 am departure, dress appropriately, and bring lunch and (of course) snowshoes. If you’ve questions, contact Sandra Kinsey at sjkinsey@direct.ca. Contribution by passengers to gas costs: $8.00.
 
Club Notes
 
1. New Membership Year – Dues Due
The new membership year officially started on January 1. Some members have already paid their annual dues ($25 single, $40 family) since October, but most of us now need to do so. The easiest way is to go to the website at https://pgnc.wordpress.com/membership/
and pay by Paypal. You can also join or rejoin at any of the presentation nights.
 
2. Student Memberships (updated)
The Club Executive will be recommending a special student membership rate of $15 for approval at the March 17 Annual General Meeting. If the student membership rate is approved, students will be able to join the Club at any event such as the presentation nights, by showing a current student card.
 
3. Membership Cards
Please pick up 2016 membership cards at any of the Club evening events.
 
4. BC Nature 2016 Fall General Meeting, Coast Inn of the North, Prince George
The draft program for this provincial event, hosted by our Club, is looking terrific; we’ll be proud. Details will be announced soon in the BC Nature magazine, on BC Nature’s website (www.bcnature.ca/) and a new website being created specifically for the event.
 
5. Prince George Christmas Bird Count Results
On December 20, Club members and friends spotted 14,806 birds of 50 species – well above average:  the ten-year average is 45 species.  Irruptive winter birds boosted numbers, including Common Redpolls (3017), Pine Grosbeaks (641), Pine Siskins (276), and White-winged Crossbills (336), though  Bohemian Waxwings remained the most numerous species (4489). There were also high counts of Great Blue Herons (3), Bald Eagles (75), Rock Pigeons (559), Northern Flickers (120), Common Ravens (885), Brewer’s Blackbirds (310) and House Finches (495). 
 
6. Local Leucistic Redpoll!
Liz Hewison didn’t just spot a rare leucistic Redpoll, but managed to film it. See https://youtu.be/DXUg4Wa41Xk . You’ll note that its odd colouring certainly didn’t make it bashful.
 
7. Mackenzie Bird Turns up in Mexico
A Lincoln’s Sparrow banded at Mugaha Marsh has turned up, alive and well, 4,229 kilometres away in southern Mexico. For the story, see http://fwcp.ca/epic-journey-for-sparrow/ .
 
Other Events and Notes
 
1.  Wildlife Symposium: Saturday, 6 February, 2:00 – 4:00, Canfor Theatre, UNBC
The Spruce City Wildlife Association is hosting a symposium on the future of the province’s fish, wildlife and habitat. MLAs and other political leaders will be present, and attendees will be asked their views on ten to fifteen questions. Admission is free. 
 
2. Great Backyard Bird Count 
The next GBBC is being held on the weekend of February 12 – 15. See gbbc.birdcount.org .

3. Forest Practices Board newsletter
Club member Mike Nash has completed his term on the Forest Practices Board, but you can still follow development through the board’s newsletter. The latest edition is at www.bcfpb.ca/reports-publications/newsletters/issue/winter-2015-16/ .
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