Monthly Archives: June 2014

Birding at Uplands Park – Sunday, June 29-2014

June 29th, Uplands Park Bird Walk – from David Newell:

On Sunday, June 29, Geoffrey will be leading his Friends of Uplands Park Bird Walk.  Please meet at 9:00 a.m. in the large parking lot out at the end of Cattle Point.  Uplands Park is at the north end of
Willows Beach in Oak Bay.

After observing sea and shore birds, we will head inland into the park.  Learn the calls and beautiful songs of warblers as we walk through the extra-ordinary Garry Oak Meadow Community.

On our June 15 bird walk we discovered a small population of beautiful, miniscule purple flowers, with a white at the centre of their petals.  They also had yellow stamens that were very obvious. The flowers were found in one of the vernal pools near the central meadow.  They turn out to be Linanthus bicolor or Bicoloured Flaxflower, [photo at E-Flora BC]a member of the Phlox family, a tap-rooted annual, scattered in open, dry to vernally moist sites at low elevations. Southern Vancouver Island is the northern tip of its range, like several other plants found in  the Uplands Park Garry Oak Meadow Community.  We will likely find it again on June 29, when the amazing Mountain Sneezeweed [photo at e_Flora BC] should be out.  (Pojar, Jim and Andy MacKinnon. Plants of Coastal British Columbia – an excellent book to own).  Please bring a friend!
Cheers from David, Brigitte, Geoffrey and Jean Newell!

JacquesSirois_OakBay_poster_rev5_emailJacques Sirois, former Canadian Wildlife Service Biologist and present Warden of the Oak Bay Islands Ecoreserve asked us to distribute the attached poster regarding ocean birding along the Oak Bay waterfront that he designed and has offered to the Municipality of Oak Bay to post on their website.  Anne Hansen, the Oystercatcher Lady, who has
drawn many of these birds, was the artist.  Both Jacques and Anne have been on Geoffrey’s walks.  Thank you Jacques and Anne!

PDF of Poster JacquesSirois_OakBay_poster_rev5_email

Tide Pools and Sea Birds “Nature Walk” a Wonderful Event

Thanks to Margaret Lidkea, for all her work in organizing and hosting the Friends of Uplands Park Tide Pools and Sea Birds “Nature Walk” at Cattle Point (June 15, 2014). With fairly good weather and very low tides, folks of all ages went out to  the exposed tide pools to identify and to learn. A lovely way to spend time on Father’s Day.

Margaret sends this email message, and some photos, to to thank participants and volunteers:

Thank you very much for your contributions to a wonderful afternoon at the Cattle Point Tidal Pools and Sea Birds event.  People (Geoffrey counted 67 at one point) were very engaged in everything so it was good to have all of you helping.

Chris [Ocean Physics Scientist]…you grounded people with your talks on tides and the ocean physics. Great to see you so animated.

Melissa and Gavin [marine biology experts from RBCM]…you were wonderful catching and teaching about the creatures …saw things I hadn’t before and it was wonderful to have a “newly named” sea star.  Enjoyed the different kinds of sculpins.

Geoffrey [birder extraordinaire]…excellent with the birds and taking people around Cattle Pt and beyond when they wanted to…your group was delighted.

Elizabeth and Kathleen [FOUP Steering Committee] …thank you for welcoming people, directing them and looking after all the equipment, the head table and ID books.

Hoping that FOUP will do this again next June.
You are all so inspiring,
Margaret Lidkea, Co-Chair of FOUP

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Tidal Pools & Sea Birds – June 15, 2014 – Hosted by Friends of Uplands Park

Tidal Pools & Sea Birds
Hosted by Friends of Uplands Park

Sunday June 15-2014 [A great Father’s Day Activity!]
10:30 AM – 1:00 [Low Tide]
Cattle Point – Uplands Park

2014 June 15 Tidal Pool posterLow tide at Cattle Point offers an opportunity to view a diverse ecology in tidal pools and sub tidal crevices. Join Gavin Hanke and Melissa Frey, curators of the RBCM, and Chris Garrett, Oceanographer and Geoffrey Newell, Expert Birder of Friends of Uplands Park to learn how to tread softly on the rocks to find anemones, crabs, fish, and to watch the birds interact with this foreshore ecological niche.

Bring binoculars and wear water shoes/boots to investigate the tide pools with nets and containers. Last year families found
53 species of plants and animals! All ages.

PDF of Poster: 2014 June 15 Tidal Pool poster

Friends of Uplands Park Bird Walk with Geoffrey Newell – June 29, 2014

Friends of Uplands Park June 29-2014 Bird Walk with Geoffrey Newell: 

P1060316Note from David Newell: On Sunday, June 29, Geoffrey will be leading his Friends of Uplands Park Bird Walk.  Please meet at 9:00 a.m. in the large parking lot out at the end of Cattle Point.  Uplands Park is at the north end of Willlows Beach in Oak Bay.  After observing sea and shore birds, we will head inland into the park.  Learn the calls and beautiful songs of warblers.   Last month we were blessed with the wonderful singing of a lone House Wren out in the open, right before our eyes! [Photo by Wayne Matthews]

Other Photos from May 24th Bird Walk by Wayne.
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Uplands Park Nature Walk Highlights Vernal Pool Ecosystems – June 1, 2014

A lovely sunny day for a Friends Of Uplands Park Nature Walk  on June 1, 2014. The theme was “Vernal Pools Not Mud Puddles” and we were fortunate to be led by James Miskelly, a biologist specializing in species at risk management, restoration, and native plant gardening. Also, James is co-founder of Saanich Native Plants, a certified organic nursery specializing in locallysourced plants native to southern Vancouver Island.

James offered a wealth of knowledge about the rare plants found in the vernal pools in Uplands Park, as well introducing us to a number of native and non-native trees and grasses.

In the vernal pool ecosystems and wetland areas we learned about Straight-beaked Buttercup, Scoulers Popcorn Flower, Sneezeweed, Tall Wooley-Heads, Lupins, Scoulers Willow, and some native rushes.

There were even a few late blooming Camas and the meadows had quite a few Death Camas and yellow RattleBox in bloom. The Nootka Roses and Hardhack were beautifully in bloom and the Indian Plum berries were in various stages of ripening from peach to dark blue.

It was shocking to see how tall the invasive European Ash trees have grown with their branches towering bright green above the prickly rose thickets where they seem to like to grow.


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