Just over a week ago during the Comox Valley Spring Bird Count I was leading a team of birders out onto Goose Spit in Comox, British Columbia with our Department of National Defense minder (CFB Comox). We didn’t see much variety in the way of birds, mostly Savannah Sparrows and Killdeer at this site, but the dune plants were fantastic and there were lots of flowers in bloom. 19 Wing Comox and the Coastal Invasive Plant Committee worked together in the fall of 2009 to remove much of the Scotch broom that used to dominate the spit and the change is striking.
This week I returned with my Nikon D80 and macro lens to photograph some of the flowers. There’s a narrow strip of dune habitat between the high tide mark and driftwood logs and the DND border that provides access to most of the plants that can be seen within the DND lands. It is very important to be careful moving through this area and be aware of the potential to damage plants, especially the Yellow Sand-verbena (Abronia latifolia) which the associated endangered Sand-verbena Moth (Copablepharon fuscum) depends on.
Two of the plants that I saw out on Goose Spit were Lupins – one I’m reasonably sure is Seashore Lupin (Lupinus littoralis), the other … well, if there are any lupin experts out there that can confirm my identification and help to identify the other I’d appreciate it! It’s a great time of year to be out exploring nature in British Columbia but there’s so much in bloom that it’s challenging to get out to see it (let alone write a blog post about it!).
I’ll be posting a more detailed article on Island Nature about Goose Spit and the flowers that can be seen there later this week.