Friday, June 3, 2016

June Outing: Beaches of Bowen

Hi All:

Our June outing is next Saturday, June 11. An exclusive trip to Bowen beaches with D.G. Blair. See info below.


"Lesser" Known Beaches of Bowen
June 11, 2016
1-4 pm
Meet at the BICS parking lot to carpool

Here is a chance to sample some of Bowen's small municipal beaches. Join
Bowen Nature Club and members from the Bowen Parks, Trails, and Greenways
Committee to carpool to some "off the beaten track" public access beaches.
Dress for the weather, wear sturdy walking shoes and bring a snack and a
beach bucket! We will be visiting three beaches over the course of the
afternoon. Everyone welcome! 

Please contact DG Blair (947-0134) if you need any further information. 

DG Blair
T: 604-947-0134
M: 604-230-9734

Sunday, February 14, 2016

2015 Christmas Bird Count Report

History of the Christmas Bird Count
  
Prior to the turn of the 20th century, hunters engaged in a holiday tradition known as the Christmas "Side Hunt." They would choose sides and go afield with their guns—whoever brought in the biggest pile of feathered (and furred) quarry won.
Conservation was in its beginning stages in that era, and many observers and scientists were becoming concerned about declining bird populations. Beginning on Christmas Day 1900, ornithologist Frank M. Chapman, an early officer in the then-nascent Audubon Society, proposed a new holiday tradition—a "Christmas Bird Census" that would count birds during the holidays rather than hunt them. So began the Christmas Bird Count.
Count Day
2nd January 2016
It was the perfect winter day: sunny, crisp and calm. Forty three Bowen Islanders set out at the crack of dawn or settled in front of their feeders for a day’s birding with the intention of counting each bird seen throughout the day. This activity forms part of the annual Audubon Christmas Bird Count (CBC), now in its 116th year, and conducted all over North America by citizen scientists like our own Bowen Islanders. The data collected over the past century allow Audubon researchers, conservation biologists, wildlife agencies and other interested individuals to study the long-term health and status of bird populations across North America.
Collectively, we spent 93 hours in the field and tramped an impressive 98 km, recording a total of 3595 individual birds from 61 different species. A fantastic total that just goes to show what a rich and ecologically significant place this island and surrounding waters is that we call home. The most abundant bird was the Surf Scoter. The Surf Scoter is a sea duck that breeds on the lakes and ponds of the Arctic during the summer, but spends most of its time on the sea. The Pacific Northwest is a particularly important area for the Scoter, where it feeds on the clams and mussels of our coastline before following the herring spawn back north in the spring.
Nine-year-old Natalia Denis-Lay counting Surf Scoter with Ben Keen
116th Audubon Christmas Bird Count
Bowen Island
Facts: 43 Birders
93 hours
98 km walked
3595 Individuals
61 Species
I listened, motionless and still; And, as I mounted up the hill, The music in my heart I bore, Long after it was heard no more.
William Wordsworth
Canada Goose 1
Mute Swan 1
American Wigeon 2
Mallard 33
Ring-necked Duck 6
Harlequin Duck 2
Surf Scoter 939
Bufflehead 87
Common Goldeneye 12
Barrow’s Goldeneye 390
Hooded Merganser 12
Common Merganser 32
Red-breasted Merganser 3
Duck spp. 9
Common Loon 4
Loon spp. 4
Horned Grebe 10
Red-necked Grebe 5
Eared Grebe 1
Western Grebe 1
Brandt’s Cormorant 7
Double-crested Corm’t 23
Pelagic Cormorant 14
Cormorant spp. 1
Great Blue Heron 6
Bald Eagle 52
Immature Bald Eagle 53
Sharp-shinned Hawk 1
Falcon spp. 1
Surfbird 4
Mew Gull 16
Thayer's Gull 6
Glaucous-winged Gull 163
Gull spp. 103
Hybrid Gull 2
Common Murre 4
Marbled Murrelet 25
Anna's Hummingbird 32
Belted Kingfisher 3
Red-breasted Sapsucker 15
Hairy Woodpecker 6
Northern Flicker 43
Pileated Woodpecker 23
Woodpecker spp. 12
Steller’s Jay 58
Northwestern Crow 131
Common Raven 75
Black-capped Chickadee 187
Chestnut-backedd Chic’e 149
Chickadee spp 12
Red-breasted Nuthatch 24
Brown Creeper 7
Pacific Wren 84
American Dipper 1
Golden-crowned Kinglet 95
Ruby-crowned Kinglet 4
Kinglet spp. 7
Hermit Thrush 4
American Robin 30
Varied Thrush 90
European Starling 22
Spotted Towhee 106
Fox Sparrow 13
Song Sparrow 38
Golden–crowned Sparrow 2
Sparrow spp. 15
Dark-eyed Junco 139
House Finch 14
Red Crossbill 54
Pine Siskin 64
House Sparrow 1
Total Species 61
Total Individuals 3595
Richard Wing
Many great birds were recorded, no rarities but an excellent diversity of species nonetheless. Very good sea bird numbers were seen around the southwest side of the island, including four Grebe species (Horned, Western, Red-necked and Eared) and many Marbled Murrelets.
A healthy flock of Red Crossbills were recorded at Cape Roger Curtis and four Surfbirds were observed in the Tunstall Bay/Sealy Park area.
There were a fantastic number of Bald Eagles recorded with 52 adults and 53 immatures in all. It is highly likely many of these were duplicate sightings; however I witnessed a constant stream coming in from the North West throughout the day.
One surprise for me was the number of Pileated Woodpeckers, 23 in total – who knew there were so many on Bowen!
The densest area for birds was the southwest, due predominantly to the good numbers of sea birds. The species count was more evenly spread across the island with all areas having good numbers, the exception being Grafton Lake which yielded only 6 species, although one was a beautiful “Sooty” Fox Sparrow.
I’d like to thank everyone who participated in what was a wonderful day!

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

The Bowen Nature Club is looking for new directors!

We're freshly out from our recent Apodaca Park adventure, and into the very wet and dark November (F)unschool outings. It's been a lovely year of outings with the Bowen Nature Club, and we're quickly approaching our January AGM. This year we'll have a big changeover among the directors, and have openings we hope to fill before our one annual planning meeting in early January. Would you be willing and able to volunteer?

The Bowen Nature Club is not a society under the societies act, so the two director meetings we have each year are quite informal, as are the volunteer director positions. We are a non-political group dedicated to furthering our community's enjoyment and preservation of natural diversity. All directors attend both of our two annual meetings: A planning meeting in early January where we arrange the outings of the year, and the AGM in later January where we briefly read over the events of the past year, the finances, and the planned outings for the coming year, and then we usually have a speaker.

Please let us know if you're interested in joining us. We think we're a friendly bunch and find our involvement with the Nature Club to be not onerous, and very rewarding. Please contact us at bowennatureclub at for more information.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

(F)unschool adventure at Killarney Lake

So much to discover thriving on and around the floating logs in the lake!

Some logs we can even go out on, to find Labrador Tea, Salal, Lilies, and...

...out local carnivorous plant: Sundew!

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Small Parks of Bowen Island Tour

Sue Ellen Fast led a wonderful tour of some of the small and lesser-known parks of Bowen Island, and Will Husby has contributed these photos from the day.

More photos from Cherie Westmoreland:

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Mushroom Walkabout with John Field

In Early November, the Bowen Nature Club hosted an autumn mushroom walkabout with mushroom expert John Field. People of all ages came out to explore, and over a couple of kilometers we found an amazingly diverse assortment of different mushrooms, including edible, poisonous, rare, common, and very surprising!

Photos by Cherie Westmoreland and Lisa Marie Bhattachary.

Shaggy Parasol - LMB

Turkey Tails - LMB

Variant Turkey Tails - CW

John Field describing identification methods - CW

Red Juice Milk Cap - CW

John Field with White Amanitas - CW

The prize!! Cauliflower Mushroom - LMB

The cauliflower mushroom was enormous! - CW