Return of the Panther

Panther Amanita (Amanita pantherina) showing partial veil, brown cap and whitish warts. Yesterday I noticed lots of Chocolate Slugs (Arion rufus) while walking at Seal Bay Regional Park. Most were simply crossing the trail, moving from one forested side across the relatively easy going “smooth” path to the other. Later in my walk I found some amanitas and once I …

Pink Fawn Lilies Down by the Tsolum River

A cluster of Pink Fawn Lilies (Erythronium revolutum) showing a variety of different shades of pink. This time of year is excellent for spring lilies and there is a short trail near the Courtenay Exhibition Grounds that loops through prime lily habitat. The river edge near the Tsolum River floods regularly depositing fine river sediment and sand throughout the forest …

Spring Gold

Gold Star (Crocidium multicaule) showing both the ray flowers (outer petals) and disk flowers (center cluster). The problem with common names of plants is that sometimes two very different looking plants have the same common name. Such is the case with Common Spring-Gold (Crocidium multicaule) and Spring-Gold (Lomatium utriculatum). These two plants belong in completely different families, the former is …

Toothed Jelly Fungus

One of the bonuses of doing a bird count is that you often end up in places that you haven’t been before. Such was the case yesterday when I was scouting out Seal Bay Regional Park which is in my assigned count area. I usually access Seal Bay from the main parking lot on Bates Road but in this case …

2009 Comox CBC – Pre-count Scouting

I’m leading a group of birders in Area 11 on the Comox Christmas Bird Count (CBC) this year and headed out today to do a pre-count reconnaissance of the area. The last time I birded this territory was back in 2004 with my wife and my mother-in-law. I knew that it had a variety of good birding habitat so when …

2009 Deep Bay Christmas Bird Count

Neither rain, nor sleet, nor snow, nor inadequate waterproof clothing or footwear can prevent the dedicated birder from participating in one of the season’s most anticipated events – the annual Audobon’s Christmas Bird Count (CBC). A typical place usually only visited during a bird count – a powerline. No birds here, they were smarter than we were and out of …

Courtenay Estuary – BC SkyWatch #3

During the dull gray days of November and December in the Pacific Northwest it is always a treat to get a sunny day. This week we’ve been fortunate with a string of clear (but cold) days and the sunsets and sunrises have been magnificent. Looking east over the water of the Courtenay Estuary. This series of sunset images was taken …

Merville Woods Mushrooms – Part 2

Earlier in November we enjoyed some mushrooms at Merville Woods, a second growth forest characterized by mixed conifers including pines. This post features a few more mushrooms that we found there. One was a mushroom that we had identified on a previous walk at Woodhus Slough but others remained a mystery even after creating a spore print and consulting our …

Crimson Wanderer Nymph

Crimson Wanderer Nymph Crimson Wander Nymph Classification: B/1, B/21 Back in October I wrote about a common species of shopping cart in our neighbourhood – the Crimson Wanderer. The Crimson Wanderer has an aquatic stage of its life cycle that it spends in small streams and creeks. This week I managed to capture an image of a juvenile Crimson Wanderer …

Long-billed Dowitchers at Airpark Lagoon

Long-billed Dowitcher | Limnodromus scolopaceus Things are perking along at the Airpark Lagoon in Courtenay, British Columbia. Always a good spot for winter birding, at the large viewing stand on the eastern side of the lagoon I was watching a group of Barrow’s Goldeneye when I noticed a group of shorebirds foraging in the long grass directly below the platform. …