Category Archives: General

PGNC Events and Notes, 21 June 2017

Club Events


1. Field Trip to Fishtraps, Tuesday evening, 6: 30 pm, June 27
The City has been carrying out some impressive work at Fishtraps, an area between Wilson Park and the Foothills bridge, creating a new wetland with significant promise. According to the 2017 Parks Strategy, the area is destined to become in time a nature park. Mike Nash will lead this evening walk to explore the area. As per normal, meet under the large Spruceland shopping centre sign for waiver signing and car pooling, and dress appropriately for a fairly easy hike. Bug spray will no doubt be useful.
2. Wednesday Walkers, June 28
We will journey to Tabor Mountain to see in bloom, we hope, a Round-leaved Rein-orchid (Platanthera orbiculata) observed in bud earlier this season. Then we’ll visit the Great West Life Mobility Park where among lush vegetation we will find at least five species of ferns. Logging in the Park for campground improvements will prevent wheelchair access, but the day will be mostly on relatively flat hiking terrain. As always, meet under the large Spruceland shopping centre sign for car pooling and waiver-signing in time for a prompt 9:30 a.m. departure. Walks finish around noon.
Trip Report
On June 14th the Wednesday Walkers visited the bog found on the Pidherny Swamp X-cycling trail. We found Labrador Tea (Ledum groenlandicum), Bog Rosemary (Andromeda polifolia) and Buckbean (Menyanthes trifoliata) all in bloom. Not in bloom, but most fascinating, was the Round-leaved Sundew photographed by Rob Watt the next day, shown below. Don’t let its small size or charming appearance fool you. This plant is a deceitful carnivore, capturing any insect that dares to sample the sweet, but sticky, “dew” drops on its leaf tentacles. This diet supplements the dearth of nutrients to be found in the acidic, sphagnum-bog environment.   – Dora Hunter
sundewSmall
Other Events
Family Hike, Hudson’s Bay Wetland, Saturday, June 24th
For those that missed the Club trip: the Caledonia Ramblers will be hosting an easy one-hour hike, covering a maximum distance of five kilometres. Participants should bring suitable light hiking shoes or boots, a light backpack, sufficient water, food and/or snacks, insect repellent and/or a head net and hat, extra clothing, sunscreen and rain gear. Hikers can also bring hiking poles if they’d like. Please meet 10 minutes before the scheduled departure time of 11 a.m. at Exploration Place. There is no carpool fee. For more information, call Nowell at 250-301-8247.
Club Notes
1. More Rare Sightings
There has been another racoon sighting, this time in the Duchess Park area. Also, a Rock Wren, the first-ever sighting in our area, was found by Cathy Antoniazzi on June 4 out at Eaglet Lake. Jeff Dyck’s photo and a recording of the distinctive Rock Wren song can be found at: http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S37395298
2. Found a Baby Bird?
It’s baby bird season, so some of us will be asked questions about what to do when one is found.  Direct people to the following:
http://www.spca.bc.ca/animal-issues/wildlife/injured/baby-birds/found-a-baby-bird.html

 

3. All You Ever Wanted to Know About Ticks
With the expanding presence of ticks in Canada and the serious diseases that they can cause, a new publication by the Biological Survey of Canada is timely. A Handbook to the Ticks of Canada. is available for free download from: https://biologicalsurvey.ca/monographs/read/18.  There is also a $29.95 print edition.
4.  Goodsir Nature Park
Goodsir is holding special events on Canada Day, BC Day, and Labour Day. To celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday, free refreshments will be on offer during each long weekend. For details about the Park, phone 1-250-971-2337.

News and Events Updates

PGNC Events and Notes Newsletters dated May 17 and June 1. Members and friends enjoyed successful field trips on May 18, June 3, and June 14.

PGNC Events and Notes from June 1, 2017

Club Events

1. Field Trip to Wilkins Park, 8:30 am, Saturday, 3 June
Heather Meier and Dora Hunter will lead a trip around a park rich in bird and plant life, finishing around noon. Meet under the large Spruceland sign for car pooling and waiver-signing at 8:30 am. Dress for the weather, bring your choice of bug repellant, and no dogs please for this trip.
2. Wednesday Walkers, Wednesday, June 14
Having cancelled our May 24 walk to the Pidherny Hills Bog due to windy weather, we will try again to reach this interesting area. Lavender tea, bog cranberry and bog-laurel are all to be found.  The sundew and bog-rosemary are waiting for sharp eyes to spot them. The walk will include some hills to climb, but, as we did when making our way to the larches, we’ll take our time.  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.
 
Club Notes
1. Raccoon Sighting
A member recently reported seeing a raccoon walking along fence tops in PG. The accepted range is far from Prince George, though the Club’sChecklist of North-Central BC Mammals, Amphibians and Reptiles notes an unconfirmed sighting in Beaverly. If you have seen a raccoon in our area, please let us know by return email. And while on the subject, it has been five years since the checklist was prepared, and it almost certainly needs updating. Take a look at the URL below, and let us know of any amendments needed.

 

2. Rare Birds, too
Cape May Warbler, Ross’s Goose, American Avocet, American Golden-Plover, Arctic Tern – a whole raft of rare birds have been spotted in the PG area of late. If you’d like to hear about such rarities, you can keep tabs on them at:

 

Unlike the birds above, the one below, photographed on the long weekend, is actually not at all rare. Wood Ducks are quite often spotted at Cottonwood Island Park, the Hudson’s  Bay Wetland, and other of our watery spots.

wodu

PGNC Events and Notes from May 17, 2017

Club Events

1. Urban Wetland Nature Walk, 6:45 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., Thursday, May 18, The Exploration Place
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.
 2. Wednesday Walkers, Wednesday, May 24
Once again the Wednesday Walkers will venture into the Pidherny Hills, this time to visit a most interesting bog. Lavender tea, bog cranberry and bog-laurel are all to be found and may well be in bloom. The sundew and bog-rosemary are waiting for sharp eyes to spot them. The walk will include some hills to climb, but, as we did when making our way to the larches, we’ll take our time.  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.

3. Field Trip to Wilkins’s Park, Saturday, 3 June
Heather Meier and Dora Hunter will lead a trip around a park rich in bird and plant life. Details of where and when to meet will be given in the next Club email.

 

Club Notes
You may have been seeing some of the following around town in the last week.  There’s been something of a fallout – the storms brought us an unusual number of Western Tanagers.
weta5

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/

Curlew Field Trip, Sunday April 23, 2017

The Long-billed curlews have returned in good numbers! To see them, you can join the P.G. Naturalists for a trip to the fields of Shelley on Sunday, April 23. Meet at 10:30 a.m. at Spruceland shopping centre under the big Save-on-Foods sign at Spruceland Shopping Centre on Central Street. Bring your binoculars and cameras. We’ll have a spotting scope at hand. We’ll be facing south, so hats and sunglasses may be useful. Dress warmly
Long-billed Curlew at Shelly-2

PG Naturalists Club Events and Notes, 19 April 2017

Notice


Field Trip Co-ordinator Needed

Following the Club AGM, the Executive has appointed officers to all positions with the exception of Field Trip Coordinator. This is an important position. Supported by other members of the Executive, the Field Trip Coordinator works to develop a regular program of naturalist field trips. (The trips themselves are  normally led by other volunteers.) The Coordinator is a member of the Executive, which meets from 7:00 – 8:30 pm on the second Wednesday of each month at the fish hatchery on River Road.
If you feel you could serve in this role, would like to nominate someone for the position, or would like further information, email clive_keen@hotmail.com or speak to any executive member at one of the upcoming Club events. Please don’t hesitate – the Club is only as strong as its volunteers.
Club Events
1. Film: Toad People, 7:00 pm, Tuesday, April 18, UNBC
The evening was well received. Fifty people attended The Wilderness Committee’s film about the struggle to save BC species at risk. A short 10-minute film was shown first: Their Land: Last of the Caribou Herd, describing the work of the people of Moberly Lake  to save the declining caribou herd.
2. Presentation and Open Floor on Edible Plants, 7:00 pm, Thursday, April 20, Exploration Place
Elena Thomas will give a presentation on edible wild plants in the Prince George region, including mushrooms, followed by an open floor for people to share their plant lists, edibles list, recipes, personal expertise, and tips on acquiring wild plants suitable for this region. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Arrive early to take out a membership in the PG Naturalists Club or to renew your membership. Everyone welcome.
3. Wednesday Walkers: April 26
The Walkers will visit the trails tucked between the Pittman aggregate operations, Foothills Blvd and the Nechako River. Negotiations between the City and Pittman may lead to this 40-acre site becoming a city park. The trails are relatively flat walking, woodsy, and with one bordering the Nechako River. 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.
Notes
1. Donation to Wetland Project
The  Club is delighted to announce the receipt of $1,000 from Sinclar Group Forest Products Ltd towards the Hudson’s Bay Wetland Project. Sinclar office employees had raised funds throughout 2016 with their Jeans Day Fridays, and during the Christmas season held a silent auction with gifts that the Company received throughout the year. The Company noted that the Wetland Project fits within their focus to support projects in the Community that promote an active and healthy lifestyle.
2. Rarity in PG
An Iceland Gull was spotted by Christopher Coxson at the confluence by Cottonwood Island Park, and has since been observed by a number of Club members. Iceland Gulls are very rare visitors to western North America – this is just the second sighting in the PG region.
 
3. Foxes-Geese Standoff
An unexpected counter between foxes and geese can be seen at:

Presentation on Edible Plants, Thursday April 20, 2017 at The Exploration Place

Elena Thomas will give a presentation on edible wild plants in the Prince George region, including mushrooms, followed by an open floor for people to share their plant lists, edibles list, recipes, personal expertise, and tips on acquiring wild plants suitable for this region. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Arrive early to take out a membership in the PG Naturalists Club or to renew your membership. Everyone welcome (photo courtesy of Peel’s Nurseries).

R.-woodsii

PG Naturalists Club Events and Notes, 6 April, 2017

1. Wednesday Walkers

  • April 12: The mosses are a brilliant green, the buds are swelling and the ants are already sunning themselves on their patios on the sunny south-facing slope in Moore’s Meadow. By April 12 when the Wednesday Walkers visit the park perhaps the last of the ice will be gone, but just in case it lingers, pack your grippers for this outing. The slopes will be gradual for this walk that will start through the evergreens at the top of the ridge and then make its way down to the more open path along the bottom of the ridge. That’s where we are bound to see the early thrushes and perhaps a Yellow-rumped Warbler.
  • April 26: The Walkers will visit the trails tucked between the Pittman aggregate operations, Foothills Blvd and the Nechako River. Negotiations between the City and Pittman may lead to this 40-acre site becoming a city park. The trails are relatively flat walking, woodsy, and with one bordering the Nechako River.

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. Presentation and Open Floor on Edible Plants, 7:00 pm, Thursday, April 20, Exploration Place
Elena Thomas will give a presentation on local edible plants, including mushrooms, followed by an open floor for people to share their plant lists, edibles list, recipes, and personal expertise.

3. Film: Toad People, 7:00 pm, Tuesday, April 18, UNBC Weldwood Theatre (7-238)
The Club is co-hosting with The Wilderness Committee this film about the struggle to save BC species at risk.  “Toad People” is a 75-minute inspiring new documentary produced by the Wilderness Committee about people in communities across British Columbia who are taking action to save the wildlife in their backyards. A short 10-minute film will be shown first: Their Land: Last of the Caribou Herd. Admission by donation (suggested: $10).
Club Notes

1. Spring has Seriously Sprung
Larry Joseph counted 1,500 Trumpeter Swans at Riverside Park in Vanderhoof; fifteen curlews are already at Walrath Road; Canada Geese, gulls and robins are everywhere; six long-toed salamanders were seen crossing the Greenway trail; there are reports of Sandhill Cranes and sapsuckers  – and if you head to the Club’s new observation decks around the ponded area of the Hudson’s Bay Wetland you’ll see a mass of returning ducks. While the Trumpeters were by far the week’s most impressive sight, Cathy Antoniazzi came a good second with this superb sighting of a Lynx near Buckhorn Lake.
DSC_5590
2. Volunteering at Mugaha Marsh
The Mackenzie Nature Observatory is looking for volunteers for the banding station at Mugaha Marsh. if you are interested in spending some time volunteering  and assisting the banders, contact Vi Lambie at:  JLambie@telus.net .
3. Earth Day Celebration, April 22, 8:30 – 3:00, PG Farmers Market, 1074 6th Avenue
Hosted in PG by REAPS, Earth Day is the largest, most celebrated environmental event worldwide, and will act as the kick off for the City’s Spring Cleanup. More about the club’s involvement in future emails.
4. BC Parks is Now Hiring 28 Full-time Senior Park Rangers
Act fast, as the closing date for applications is 10 April. For details head to: https://search.employment.gov.bc.ca/cgi-bin/a/highlightjob.cgi?jobid=39518.
5. Citizen Science: Monitoring Moose for Ticks
The BC Government’s Moose Winter Tick Surveillance Program is now in high gear, as this is the time of year we start seeing signs of moose infested with ticks. Naturalists are asked to help document observations of moose — whether they are infested with ticks or not — in order to understand the severity and distribution of winter ticks within our moose populations. For details head to www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/environment/plants-animals-ecosystems/wildlife/wildlife-health/wildlife-health-matters/moose-health/moose-winter-tick-survey .
6. Breeding Birds Survey
Environment and Climate Change Canada is looking for experienced birders to help conduct annual breeding bird surveys, as part of a program to track the status and trends of North American bird populations. Details can be found at www.pwrc.usgs.gov/bbs/about/. The survey period starts in late May. If you are interested, contact Kate Campbell: ec.ron-bbs.ec@canada.ca.
7. CD Release: Thank You Water by Danielea Castell
Local eco-artist Danielea Castell just released her first CD of songs from her gratitude ceremonies with local bodies of water, including Fraser River and Quesnel Lake. The digital album can be found at  www.danieleacastell.bandcamp.com, and CDs are available at Books & Co.
8. And Now for Something Completely Different
For some seriously unexpected roadrunner / hummingbird behaviour, head to https://youtu.be/onVbjDW-tqQ