Trip Report – Shellalligan Trail – 14 June 2017

The scheduled Beech’s Mountain loop was postponed due to a weather forecast of showers. Instead the group of eight hikers and two dogs hiked the Shellalligan trail. As it turned out, the weather was fine – cloudy and a bit breezy in exposed places, but no rain. We walked along the open rock shelves adjacent to Hoskyn Channel, with good views eastward to Read Island and Dunsterville Island. Further along, we had long views south to Marina Island, Mitlenatch Island and beyond. As the trail turned west and inland a bit we entered Village Bay. Sitka spruce made an appearance along the trail, and numerous very large and gorgeous maple trees greeted the group.   We dropped down to a rocky beach on Village Bay for lunch. The second half of the loop took us through varied forest of different species and age classes, very lush and green at this time of year. Trip time was three hours; 4.7 km. We convened at the home of Valerie and Allard Van Veen in Open Bay for tea and cake, with great views of Open Bay and good conversation. Thank you Valerie!

Janis

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Hiking – Darkwater Lake & Kanish Bay – 28 June 2017

 This hike has been postponed for now

Activity Hiking
Destination Darkwater Lake and Kanish Bay
Date 28 June 2017, Wednesday
Trip Coordinator Norris Weimer
Contact Info norris.weimer@ualberta.ca or 3710; please contact the coordinator in advance of the trip.
Description A short hike to Darkwater Lake on a flagged trail, about 1 km round-trip. There might be swimming potential. Darkwater Lake is a bit south of Kanish Bay. We will also do a short walk to Kanish Bay on an old logging road, about 2 km roundtrip. There is also the possibility of walking an old logging road on Bodega Point if the group is interested.
Meeting Place Heriot Bay store for car pooling
Departure Time 10:00
Difficulty
easy
Costs none
Trip limits none
Dogs? okay
Notes: This trip will be dependent on logging activity in the area. There is quite a bit of driving on active and old logging roads to reach the two areas.

 

Trip Report – Gowlland Harbour – 4 May 2017

A magnificent day, the mist was floating through the harbour in the morning and before mid-day the sun broke through. Six kayakers took this trip, we began at Gowlland Harbour Resort Boat launch. Kayaked around Fawn Island, the islands had wonderful displays of yellow, pink and blue wildflowers, extra succulent this year because of all the moisture. Kayaked around Stag Island, seals sunning themselves, counted a number of eagles plus the geese showing off their babies. Enjoyed lunch on May Island, here the eagles gave us a display. Kayaked over the boat wreck and then over to the shores of Quadra. The rockface with cascading water and wildflowers was amazing. We were filled up with beauty. Returned to the boat launch at 3.p.m. We all enjoyed this magical spring display.  9.1km; 3½ hours.

Margot

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Kayaking – Gowlland Harbour – 4 May 2017

Kayaking – Gowlland Harbour – 4 May 2017

This trip was previously scheduled for Wednesday, May 3rd

Activity Kayaking
Destination Gowlland Harbour
Date 4 May 2017, Thursday
Trip Coordinator Margot Wood
Contact Info 250-285-2393
Description We will meet, help each other to launch from Gowlland Harbour Resort.
We will kayak the islands to see the beautiful wild flowers. Kayak to May Island for our lunch.  Visiting the islands in Gowlland Harbour.  Returning to the launch area at approximately 2 p.m.
Meeting Place Gowlland Harbour Resort boat launch, 823 Gowlland Harbour Rd.
Departure Time 10:30 (unload and prepare at 10:00)
Difficulty
easy
Costs none
Trip limits none
Dogs? no
Notes: This trip is dependent on weather.  Bring your ocean kayak, paddle plus safety equipment. Bring your own lunch and water. I will meet you at the launch site at 10:00.  We help each other with kayak launch.
Gowlland Harbour Resort has kindly granted us permission to use their boat launch for this trip. This is not a public access.

Trip Report – Qualicum Area Birdwatching – 12 Apr 2017

A small group of us set out with low expectations, under heavy grey skies, to look for migrating geese. We were in quest of Brant, a beautiful small goose that makes a stop-over in this area to re-fuel on the trip north. We started our exploration at Rathtrevor Beach, just south of Parksville and had several other sites located in case we had to search the length of the estuary area to find groups of Brant. But as soon as we walked over to the edge of the sand we were delighted to see large numbers of these elegant black and white geese strung along the waterline. Among them were a number of shorebirds – Black Turnstones and Black-bellied Plovers. We walked out along the sand as far as we dared without disturbing the birds, set up the spotting scope, and enjoyed the show.

As we had a closer look, we realized that there was a lot of activity offshore as well. A bunch of immense sea lions were splashing and interacting just beyond the Brant, and we spotted a group of porpoise swimming by. Beyond all that were large rafts of Scoters and the occasional loon. There was a feeling of excitement in the air as all these critters were energetically feeding and organizing themselves for the next leg on the push northward to breed.

After taking in our fill at this location, we moved to the forested area on the other side of Englishman River to see what we could turn up there. The forest was beautiful, but there was not a lot of bird activity. We did spot large numbers of Swallows (Bank, we presumed) zooming about along the river. It’s always nice to see these birds in good numbers, knowing that their populations are struggling worldwide.

After a warm-up lunch in a pub in Parksville and we made a final stop inland at Hamilton Marsh near Coombs. A short walk took us to a large open wetland area with a dock extending into the water. We spotted many Canada Geese, Buffleheads, Red-winged Blackbirds and lots of Tree Swallows swooping about.

Altogether, our bird list for the day totaled 37 species:
American Robin
Northwest Crow
Bald Eagle
Brant Goose
Black Turnstone
Ruby-crowned Kinglet
Golden-crowned Kinglet
Chestnut-backed Chickadee
White-crowned Sparrow
Song Sparrow
Black Oystercatcher
White Winged Scoter
Surf Scoter
Common loon
Eared Grebe
Black-bellied Plover
Mew Gull
Thayer’s Gull
California Gull
Pine Siskin
Dark-eyed Junco
Spotted Towhee
Wilsons Warbler
Red-breasted Merganser
Belted Kingfisher
Common Raven
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Mallard
Savannah Sparrow
Bank Swallow
Pacific Wren
Red-winged Blackbird
Bufflehead
Tree Swallow
Brown Creeper
Great Blue Heron
House Finch

Kathryn

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Thanks to Kathryn and Norris for the photos

Bird Watching – Qualicum Shoreline – 29 Mar 2017

Trip Report – Kay du Bois Loop – 1 Mar 2017

 

Four of us had a leisurely walk along the Kay du Bois Loop.  We followed the path along the coast, climbed the hill and hiked Fox Main and descended by the steep, unofficial trail back to the big Sitka Spruce.  The loop was new to many on the trip.  About 1 1/2 hours.

Julie

Hiking – Kay du Bois-Fox Main Loop – 1 Mar 2017

Bird Watching – Qualicum shoreline – 29 March 2017

 Change of date from March 29 to April 12!

Activity Bird Watching
Destination Qualicum area shoreline
Date 12 April 29 March 2017, Wednesday
Trip Coordinator Mark Zimmerman
Contact  mz.markzimmerman@gmail.com or 285-2103; please contact the coordinator ten days to one week prior to the trip to ensure car pooling availability.
Description The focus of the trip will be on local area birds and water birds, particularly brants.  The group may visit more than one location depending on the cooperation of the birds.  Actual destinations will be decided closer to the time of the trip and will remain flexible.
Meeting Place Q Cove ferry terminal
Departure Time Early ferry departure TBD
Difficulty
Easy walking
Costs Shared fuel and ferry costs
Trip limits
Dogs? no
Notes: Bring lunch, gear for the weather and binoculars.