Kyuquot & Campbell River August 17-22, 2022

In sunny warm weather we had a lovely trip on the MV Uchuck to Kyuquot on August 17-22. We boarded the MV Uchuck at 7:00 am sailing from Gold River BC working our way along the beautiful pristine coast-line of British Columbia while delivering goods to different remote locations. We stopped at several fish farms, a couple of floating fishing lodges, logging camps, while picking up 30 hikers and 2 kayakers. The scenery was breath-takingly awesome with high mountains, green forests, steep cliffs and beautiful lonely beaches. The smell of the sea was cleansing. We travelled up Muchalat Inlet, past Bligh Island, up Tahsis Inlet, over to Zeballos Inlet, on to Espinosa Inlet, and then out onto the open rolling waves to Kyuquot delivering supplies at several locations.

On the way to Kyuquot and also on our return, we saw several black bears foraging in the sea-weeds along the shoreline. Also two Humpback Whales, two porpoises, many cute floating rafts of sea otters, lots of sea ducks – such as colonies of Cormorants, Common Murre, Pigeon Guillemot, Marbled Murrelets and more.

The remote village of Kyuquot is tucked behind Walter’s Island, in a curved calm water bay that provides protection from the ocean’s roughest weather. A native village can be viewed just across its waters. We were housed in rustic accommodations and provided with a good supper and breakfast. In the morning we awoke to see Crusty the sea-otter padding one-footed in the calm bay waters while listening to bald eagles calling above. A magical place to visit and to feel and see this pristine coasts wonders.

We then drove to Campbell River where I took Pauline around the areas – going to Quinsam River Hatchery where the pinks were gathering, Elk Falls, lunch on Tyee Spit and we walked large Campbell River Warf. We topped off our day at sister Susan’s house for a nice salmon dinner.

The next day with crossed to Quadra Island and visited the Quathiaski native Museum, and Rebecca Spit for lunch and also checked out the Heriot Inn. We enjoyed our time on Vancouver Island in all its beautiful settings.

Kyukuot sheltered by Walters Island. The say there are several big hurricane type wind storms per winter!

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Big Bar Ranch 2022

June 23-29th Big Bar Ranch, Clinton Area

With an hour’s drive on a dirt road ahead of us, we filled our cars with gas in Cliniton BC, and arrived at the Big Bar Ranch in early afternoon. The Ranch was in a beautiful location, amongst waving grasslands, weathered grey fences, corrals, a heard of horses, ranch buildings – all with a background of mountains. I was lucky enough to have my own room! – with a beautiful view of the ranchlands.  Blue birds were singing and nesting in the porch roof, along with cliff swallows. As we sat and chatted, we watched the hungry brood being fed.  The mosquitoes were bad but we had prepared with lots of spray.  

The WIFI wasn’t too bad, and the toaster didn’t work until it was moved around the room several times, a boil water advisory was posted, but the views out our windows were superb. Going out the first evening to bird-watch at the nearby small lakes, four of us saw a large golden grizzly bear, a beaver, and lots of blue birds.  

Day 2.  On this day, we drove along on the Empire Valley Road stopping to bird-watch at different lovely remote lakes and wetlands that were found along the way.  Some of these lakes had meadows of colorful flowers on grassy slopes, along with butterflies, and birds which we enjoyed, and counted as well.  In their bullrush lined water’s we found ruddy ducks, red-necked grebes, and pied-billed grebes plus many more duck species.  The weather was 29 degrees with a breeze.   

Day 3. The next day we walked the forested horse trails behind ranch for 5 k listening and recording bird songs.  Then it was back for lunch, after which I explored the ranch yard, its animals, corrals and horses.  Some others when out in the evening to find bats.

Day 4. The next day we drove to the Churn Creek picnic area where we crossed the Fraser River on the old 1914 suspension bridge.  As our road emerged from the forests, the country expanded into wide open grasslands, sloping steppes while viewing far-off canyons, peaks and mountains.  Approaching the Fraser River, our winding dirt road gave-way to hot sage brush hills, dry canyonlands, topped with big blue cloudless skies.  A heard of big-horn sheep were spotted on the slopes which caused a photo stop.  The muddy Fraser River had flooded in morning and by afternoon was slowly going down leaving a sucking gooey mud.  Many cactus plants were in full bloom under the 36-degree desert heat.  The picnic area had a covered area, as well as a lone pictograph rock on which we could see the outlines of different animals.  

Once we climbed back again into the remote wooded lakes and wetlands, it got a bit cooler.  On our way back to the ranch a few native houses and ranches were seen dotting the prairie like landscape.  We stopped to watch two large bulls, along with wild horses and three black bears.  In all, we saw four black bears, one grizzly, three deer – one with large antlers, two big bulls, one blocking the road so we had a standoff wait plus a herd of wild horses.  One black bear appeared by our cabin in the evening.  

Four Sandhill Cranes could be seen in the grasslands near the ranch plus lots of western blue birds, meadowlarks and many more species too numerous to list individually.   Wim recorded 124 species of birds over the seven days.

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May 2021, Club Service Award

A thank you – Nature Club Service Award:   I want thank all the members of the Langley Field Naturalists for nominating me for the Club Service Award.  It makes me feel very humbled to have received it – as I know that others have done a lot for the club as well.   However, I assure you, it is very much appreciated and I have to confess a secret – it wasn’t really a chore!   Over the years, I have enjoyed my time with the Langley Field Naturalists immensely.   I have learned so much.  I made so many good friends, I enjoyed all the different birding walks, listened to some great presentations, went to AGM’s in the most wonderful places, met many people from other clubs, and of course the best was being outside in nature and helping to save the environment!   Thank you all again!  Anne Gosse 

Correction.   Shelia, can you please put in a correction in our next newsletter as this sentence is incorrect.  (“She is also credited with instigating the annual Heritage Apple Day in Derby Reach Regional Park) . I did not instigate Apple Day, it was done long before I became a board member.   I certainly do not want to take credit for something that I didn’t do.  So could you please correct.  I believe it came from the article in the newspaper by Rich Coleman who must have got it from a reporter etc., but not from me. 

Anne

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July 2, 2021, An Eaglet Rescue

July 2, 2021 – An Eaglet Rescue.

For the “David Hancock’s Bald Eagle Watch” I have been monitoring two bald eagle’s nests in the North Langley area for a couple of years.   On July 2, 2021, I had an urgent call from the farm where one of my very productive Bald Eagle’s nests are located.  They reported one of the two baby eaglets had fallen or was pushed out of its nest and had been on the ground for 3 days!  They said it couldn’t fly and that it might have a broken wing. 

I called OWL – the “Orphaned Wildlife Rehabilitation Society” in Delta and asked if they would be able to assist with this delinquent young eaglet.  Within a half an hour, an OWL volunteer (Lew M) arrived and along with the farmer’s son, we found a large dark young eaglet on the bank of the Salmon River. Three other large bald eagles were watching all the activity below as we walked under their nest.  They didn’t cry out or disturb our rescue activities.  

The large baby eaglet, later identified as a male, was on a steep bank in some long grasses beside some blackberry bushes.  Lew had brought along a long fishing-like-pole, a covering blanket, along with a small animal’s cage.  He stationed himself as close as he possible could to the large bird and reached out with the long pole – …but the eaglet wasn’t giving up yet.  Flapping its wings wildly, the youngster struggled off, moving into the blackberry bushes lower down towards the river’s edge where we couldn’t see him.   Ummm, what to do now.   Lew muttered, “that he was far too old for this” and I told him “I say that to myself all the time as well”. 

Fortunately, along comes a young Jammie P who was working on the farm climbing ladders and trimming trees.  After a short discussion, he confidently gets out a small boat and paddles along the river’s edge to where the eaglet was hidden on the bank.  Using Lew’s long net-pole and the blanket, he finally was able to corral him into the bottom of the boat.  The young Eaglet put up a bit of a fight, but finally with the net and blanket to cover him, Jammie was able to paddle back to Lew at bankside with his panicky cargo.   Next, again with a bit of a struggle, Lew and Jamie were able to deposit the eaglet into the waiting cage. 

Lew let me gauge the weight of the eaglet by holding the cage and then we headed back to his van satisfied with our successful rescue.  We later heard from OWL that the eaglet did have a broken wing and they will keep him until its fully mended, then they will bring him back to the farm to be released.   Anne Gosse

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Port Kells Park June 16, 2021

Langley Field Naturalists Summer Walk – Port Kell’s Park June 16, 2021 –

On a lovey warm summer evening, several naturalists come out to explored this “newer” Surrey Park in old historic Port Kells.  After giving some history about the surrounding area of Port Kells, we then followed the trails deep into the green leafy trees and along the earthy smelling paths.  Listening to the bird chorus, we heard or saw 19 different species – thankfully recorded by Wim.   First, we made our way to the park’s feature of a massive Douglas Fir.  After viewing this huge giant, we then took the boardwalk that crossed the Latimer creek and came to the fairly large viewing platform overlooking the Latimer wetlands.   Large skunk cabbages and bull frogs were seen and the small wetland was busy with a few birds…. but then, suddenly one of our group, (Andrew) notice two owls in the high cedar trees over the viewing platform!  Soon we found two more making it a family of four Barred Owls sitting overlooking the wetlands and enjoy the evening along with group.   After the excitement of meeting the Barred owl family, we set off back to the parking lot. Another summer evening to remember.  Anne Gosse

Barred owl picture by new member Eric Hibasch and Wim Vesseur

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High Point Trails July 3, 2020

July 3, 2020

Several of our LFN members (while social distancing) enjoyed a fantastic sunny warm day on the High Point trails. The summer meadows were wonderfully full of wild flowers! We recorded 29 species of birds, with lots of American Gold Finches, Swanson’s Thrushes, White-crowned Sparrows, and Black-headed Grosbeaks.

Anne Gosse

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Glen Valley Bird Count June 6th

Glen Valley Bird Count, June 6, 2020

Social Distancing Bird Watching in our Beautiful Fraser Valley

This year the Glen Valley Bird Count was held with nice pleasant weather, with lots of great sightings, and of course with social distancing due to the pandemic.  Just a few of my section’s sightings included an exciting Lazuli Bunting spotting, a Red-breasted Sapsucker cruising low towards us on a trail and several beautiful Bullocks Orioles.

As well, our day of listening and observing also included a visit to one of the Glen Valley working dairy farms – to my everlasting enjoyment! Here, amongst the Holstein cows, loudly crowing rosters, tall silos and dark barns were Cliff Swallows and Barn Swallows dabbled nests, that were stuck along the eves and ceilings. We watched them coming and going. We couldn’t see the resident barn owl – but the farmer assured us he has one! – but we could see the evidence everywhere.

The splendid old barn made me recall the barns of my childhood 1948, When going with two young sisters, me as a 7-year-old, up a winding dirt road.  Finding an old ramshackle barn-yard and meeting an elderly lady dressed like a man who let three little British-speaking girls pet the kittens and watch the milk churning. 

Memories! Anne Gosse

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Who’s Who in Langley – Aug 13, 2020 – Langley Times Advance

This morning one of my friends told me I was in the local newspaper! I am very honored and thank you Derby Reach Brae Island Parks Association. However, one item is incorrect, I only recruit volunteers for Apple Day, I did not instigated, Apple Day was started long ago.. and it is a fun celebration.

This was in the Langley Times Advance August 13, 2020

By Rick Colman who has a Who’s Who in Langley

Who’s Who in Langley

More than Three Decades of Volunteerism

Walnut Grove Resident, Anne Gosse, fell in love with local parks more that 30 years ago.  “I enjoy the parks and I go to almost all the parks” the self-described “outdoor girl” says.  Gosse explains she joined the Derby Reach Brae Island Regional Park Association (DRBIPA) so her grandchildren and others could also enjoy the parks.

She worked tirelessly for years on the DRBIPA board of directors and continues to contribute as a volunteer.

Her achievements include creating a viewing platform at the edge of the Langley Bog – 70 acres of bog forest –  200 acres of mined bog, and two bog meadows – inside Derby Reach Regional Park.

Gosse is also credited with instigating the annual Heritage Apple Day event.

She has led guided bird walks for DRBIPA and is currently their social media volunteer.  A recent association newsletter thanked her for “her passion and dedication to protecting and preserving green spaces in our community”.

Gosse has also volunteered with the Campbell Valley Nature House (12 years).  Langley Field Naturalist 17 years, and she used to be a member of the White Rock and Surrey Naturalist for 12 years.

“I do it because I really like our local parks, especially Metro parks”.

Sponsored by Rich Coleman MLA

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DRBIPA Volunteer Celebrations 2020

Volunteer Celebrations

Volunteers are the heart and soul of our Park Association. Our goal is to promote appreciation, understanding and enjoyment of Derby Reach and Brae Island Regional Parks while preserving and enhancing their natural and historical features. We love planning community events and stewardship conservation events in the parks – and our volunteer Park Ambassadors and Board of Directors are the driving force behind everything we do. Please take a moment to “meet” one of our dedicated Volunteers and celebrate their hard work with us. Thank you for all that you do, Anne Gosse!
Anne worked tirelessly for years as one of our Board of Directors in the past and is now a DRBIPA Park Ambassador. She was instrumental in advocating for and executing our Viewing Platform at the edge of the Langley Bog and spends lots of time coordinating volunteers for our annual Heritage Apple Day event. She has led guided bird walks for us and is currently our social media volunteer. We thank her for her passion and dedication to protecting and preserving green spaces in our community.   Thank you for all that you do, Anne Gosse!
“I fell in love with all Metro Van Regional Parks over 30 years ago, while I hiked, bird watched and explored each of these beautiful lower mainland gems.  Metro Van Regional Parks has my lasting admiration for being a staunch bulwark against encroaching urban development and saving beautiful stands of green forests, marshy wetlands, and wild long grass meadows for birds, animals – and people.   As a passionate naturalist and voice for the environment, I joined my neighborhood Derby Reach Brae Island Regional Park Association so my grandchildren and others could continue to enjoy these lovely natural areas into the future”.  ~Anne Gosse

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Alert Bay – Sept 9th -12th 2019

We were very lucky to have a great talk and presentation inside the Alert Bay U’mista Cultural Center on Alert Bay. We learned about this valuable and amazing display of first nations artifacts, masks, and some of the culture of the area. Fascinating.

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