PG Naturalists Club Events and Notes, May 6, 2017


Club Events

1. Wednesday Walkers, 9:30 a.m. to noon, May 10
Starting at the confluence of the Nechako and Fraser rivers we will walk through Cottonwood Island park and up-river along the Nechako. We will finish back at the confluence of the rivers. For those who wish to remain longer, a spotting scope will be at hand so we can have a close look at the bird life there. (A Glaucous Gull, a rare visitor to the region, has ben spotted this week, and an Iceland Gull was seen a few weeks back.)
As always, meet under the large Spruceland sign for car pooling and waiver-signing in time for a prompt 9:30 a.m. departure. Walks finish around noon.
2. Urban Wetland Nature Walk, 6:45 p.m. to 9:00- p.m. Thursday May 18, The Exploration Place
The presentation planned for May 18 has been postponed to the fall. We are now inviting all Club members and potential Club members to join us on an urban wetland nature walk at the Hudson’s Bay Wetland. It’s the perfect opportunity to enjoy the Club’s new observation decks and learn about the birds, fish, animals and plant life that inhabit this urban wetland in the heart of Prince George.
Meet at The Exploration Place at 6:45 p.m. for sign-up and waivers, with a brief information session starting at 7 p.m. The nature walk will take about an hour, followed by coffee and wrap-up at the Museum. Plan to wear sturdy footwear in case of wet patches on the trails. The City of Prince George welcomes dogs on leashes in the Wetland area; however, for this nature walk we request that participants leave their dogs at home.

Club Event Reports
 
1. Presentation on Edible Wild Plants, April 20
A capacity audience enjoyed an entertaining and informative presentation by Elena Thomas on local edible wild plants. Igor Sainchuk followed with the dos and don’ts of gathering and eating wild mushrooms. Both presentations included helpful photos for identification purposes. Presenters referred the audience to a variety of plant and mushroom books available at the local independent book store. Books & Company on Fourth Avenue currently carries 18 titles on mushrooms and at least five titles on edible wild plants.  – Anne Hogan
2. Long-billed Curlew Trip to Shelley, April 23 
The sight of over thirty Long-billed curlews rewarded thirteen hardy birders on a chilly, rainy Sunday. A spotting-scope view led more than one birder to exclaim that they saw a bug in a bird’s bill, and others to marvel at the beauty of curlew plumage. With cinnamon underwing displayed, and with much calling as they arrived on the field, the birds demonstrated their common name derives, not from their curved bill, but the cuuurlee of their call. With spring in the air, cavorting pairs helped identify the shorter-billed and smaller-bodied males.
Other happy sightings near the field were two Savannah Sparrows, a Ruby-crowned Kinglet, thirty Yellow-rumped Warblers and the Osprey sitting on its nest. Around the corner at the swamp the migratory season is getting underway with Bufflehead, Goldeneye, Hooded Merganser and Wood ducks all spotted.  – Dora Hunter
Notes
 
1. Caribou and Wolverine
Mike Nash notes that there was plenty of interesting wildlife sign on Viking Ridge in Sugarbowl-Grizzly Den Provincial Park this past week. There was more evidence of caribou than for the last five years, and there were tracks of a lone wolverine criss-crossing the treed slope between about 4,000 feet and 4,500 feet elevation.
2. Mount Robson Bird Blitz – 2018
Gail Ross sends a reminder that there will be NO Bird Blitz at Mt Robson this year as it is now run every second year rather than every year.

3. Global Big Day, Saturday, 13 May
Last year 17,561 people around the world participated in this annual event, sending eBird reports of 6,331 bird species spotted during the 24-hour period. To participate in this year’s event, head to: http://ebird.org/content/ebird/globalbigday/

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