West Mabou Beach Birding

One of the highlights of our trip to Nova Scotia has been the ocean swimming. We swim regularly at Miracle Beach Provincial Park on Vancouver Island, but the water is nowhere as warm as the sandy beaches on the west side of Cape Breton Island. While the swimming has been spectacular at every beach we’ve visited so far, the beach …

Hendrie Valley

When traveling with kids it’s often hard to find nature destinations that appeal to all members of the family. Luckily for us, out two young children A. and C. love exploring nature sanctuaries and trails as much as we do. They might not have quite the same stamina or interest in plants but birds, mammals, and frogs definitely capture their …

Where’s That Gray Catbird?

I was at work when Jocie called to report that her mother B. had found a gray catbird (Dumetella carolinensis) down at Seaview Game Farm in Black Creek, on Vancouver Island. B. had heard the call of the catbird but hadn’t been able to see it—however, she did recognize it as being unusual and suspected that it might be a …

Vancouver Groundcone at Little Qualicum Falls

Don’t let the “little” part of the name of Little Qualicum Falls Provincial Park fool you—these waterfalls are definitely a worthy of a stop on the way out to the West Coast of Vancouver Island or as an easy day trip from Courtenay or Nanaimo. In addition to the dramatic falls, the narrow canyons also make for good photography. And if …

Deltoid Balsamroot

If you live near Campbell River on Vancouver Island you don’t have to take a ferry over to the mainland and drive all the way to the Okanagan to see some gorgeous wild sunflowers. In fact, the deltoid balsamroot (Balsamorhiza deltoidea) that grows on Tyee Spit is much rarer than its cousin the arrowleaf balsamroot (Balsamorhiza sagittata) that covers the …

Green Burrowing Anemones

Miracle Beach Provincial Park is a spectacular place to take kids tide pool exploring—the wide expanse of sand allows for plenty of running in bare feet and the warm shallow tide pools are great for wading and searching for sea life. This weekend I took Alden and Clara up to “the beach house” and kept one eye on the dropping …

Redhead

A great day out birding for the Comox Valley Nature spring bird count. Like Christmas Bird Counts, the spring count is an attempt to tally as many species as possible while trying to document the number of individual birds in the count area. Unlike Christmas Bird Counts, the weather is generally a little better. I spent the first hour at …

WildResearch Pelagic Trip to La Pérouse Bank

Despite a painfully stiff back (which I threw on Thursday wrestling with the kids), I made the trek to Ucluelet in order to join the April 29, 2012 WildResearch pelagic trip out to La Pérouse Bank. At the end of the day, this 7 hour off shore tour was nothing short of “shear” birding and wildlife viewing fun—not only were …

Comox Lake Bluffs

Earlier in April, Jocie and I spent an enjoyable day without the kids revisiting Comox Lake Bluffs Ecological Reserve. The last time we hiked out to this ecological reserve was in May, 2008 with Comox Valley Nature (note the year on the web page is incorrect). Alden was just coming up to age 1 at that time and you can …

Wildflowers on the Canyon View Trail

This is the time of year on Vancouver Island to get down to local riverside trails and check out the spring wildflower bloom. One of my favourite places to walk is the the Canyon View Trail in Campbell River. We usually start this moderate 6 km loop trail at the John Hart Generation Station and then walk downstream along the …