One of these Wigeons is not like the Others

We’ve just returned from a great three day trip in Victoria, British Columbia – it’s been nice to check out some of our favourite nature spots in the province’s capital and to experience a precursor of spring. It’s only about 3 hours drive from the Comox Valley but in Victoria Indian Plum and Red-flowering Currant is already well out in …

Victoria Natural History Society – September Field Trips

Joining a local natural history club is an excellent way to learn more about nature and meet like-minded people. The Victoria Natural History Society (VNHS) has a number of interesting walks and presentations for both members and non-members throughout the year. Field trips are ranked according to difficulty: Level 1 – easy walking, mostly level paths Level 2 – paths …

Victoria Natural History Society – August Field Trips

Joining a local natural history club is an excellent way to learn more about nature and meet like-minded people. The Victoria Natural History Society (VNHS) has a number of interesting walks and presentations for both members and non-members throughout the year. Field trips are ranked according to difficulty: Level 1 – easy walking, mostly level paths Level 2 – paths …

Coastal Naturalists on BC Ferries this Summer

The Coastal Naturalist program begins on Friday, June 25th on BC Ferries sailings between Vancouver and Vancouver Island. Photo by Sara Borck – © Parks Canada Have you ever wondered why Orcas are called ‘Killer Whales’ or what an eelgrass meadow is? Did you know that during the BC Ferries sailing between Victoria and Vancouver, you are actually in the …

Spring Flowers at Mount Douglas

A small group of Chickweed Monkey-flower (Mimulus alsinoides) growing in a vernal seep. The vantage point of the top of Mount Douglas in Saanich offers a spectacular 360o view of rural Saanich, downtown Victoria, and the Olympic Mountains across the Strait of Juan de Fuca in Washington state. However, it is worth turning one’s eyes from the striking vista and …

It’s Satinflower Show Time!

Don't let the rain stop you – Satinflowers (Olsynium douglasii) look splendid with a few drops of water on the petals. Early spring on Vancouver Island means it’s time to lace on the hiking boots and head out to see the Satinflower (Olsynium douglasii) show. From mid-February to early April this tiny member of the Iris (Iridaceae) family dots the …

Victoria Natural History Society Field Trips

Victoria Natural History Society Walk Joining a local natural history club is an excellent way to learn more about nature and meet like-minded people. The Victoria Natural History Society (VNHS) has a number of interesting walks and presentations for both members and non-members throughout the year. Field trips are ranked according to difficulty: Level 1 – easy walking, mostly level …

Bye Bye Blackbird

The Rusty Blackbird (Euphagus carolinus) is considered a "vulnerable" species by the whole world, but in Canada it is treated as a pest. Everyone has heard of the Red-winged Blackbird, and many are familiar with the Brewer’s Blackbird, but how many have seen or even heard of a Rusty Blackbird (Euphagus carolinus)? Not very many I would wager. It’s not …

Tansy Ragwort

Tansy Ragwort | Senecio jacobaea Early in September I wrote about two tansies that are found in British Columbia. Last weekend while at East Sooke Regional Park looking for turkey vultures I found a species of Senecio growing in an old farm field. Tansy ragwort (Senecio jacobaea), like the common tansy, is an introduced plant from Eurasia. It does well …

Turkey Vultures at East Sooke Park

Turkey Vulture Kettle East Sooke Regional Park. "A" marks Beechey Head. The fall migration of Turkey Vultures (Cathartes aura) is still under way at East Sooke Regional Park near Victoria, British Columbia and Beechey Head is an ideal place to spend a sunny afternoon hawk and vulture watching. Beechey Head is a choke point for raptors on Vancouver Island that …