This section of our website is devoted to blog posts about Eco News from the Okanagan, British Columbia and issues around the globe. Subscribe to our newsletter or join our “RSS-feed to Email” to receive regular updates, announcements for local events and tour specials.
Last Tuesday (March 26, 2013) we set off to find the Williamson’s Sapsucker, in an area where it is known to return to year after year. These cavity nesters use dead or dying large stags (usually Ponderosa Pine) and are most often found in a Western Larch forest. The Williamson’s is considered endangered in Canada and Blue listed in British Columbia.
It didn’t take us long to find it as we heard it distinctive call and identifiable drum cadence. Upon heading deeper into the forest sure enough we spotted our target bird on a Wildlife tree (identified by a yellow ribbon and a tag indicating that the tree should not be taken down).
Not far away roosting in another tree was a Great Gray Owl, while not on a watch list the Great Gray is normally found much further north in the Boreal forest. It stayed for a long time, all had a good look. Finally it made its departure, as he was doing so we could see that a squirrel in its talons. Surprising, although we couldn’t see its mate it soon followed. The second Great Gray was obviously the female as it was considerably larger.
All in all this was a pretty good morning in addition there were Stellar Jays, Mountain and Western Bluebirds, Clark’s Nutcracker Jay, Robins and a lone Tree Swallow. Considering that there was several feet of snow on the ground it was perhaps a sign of better birding ahead.
For your opportunity to find these bird species check into Great Horned Owl Eco Tours-Bird Watching and Nature Adventure tour.
I have been eagerly awaiting the arrival of spring, while we could have some late winter inclement weather the worst is over, yahoo! For the past several weeks I have been monitoring the arrival of our early migrating birds. While some Robins and Red winged Blackbirds over winter here, the numbers have certainly gone up noticeably in the past several weeks, like many people the Song of these 2 birds is a sure sign that better weather is just ahead. For those other birds who truly don’t hang around in the North, I am pleased to see that Say’s Pheobes, Killdeers, and Western Meadowlarks have arrived. So far no Swallows, they shouldn’t be far behind. Another annual activity that I support is the BC Nocturnal Owl survey which I must schedule before the end of March.
On Saturday afternoon, we had some lovely bright blue sky and warm temperature, just the right time to go looking for early spring flowers. Our destination was the Wildlife Management area on Black Sage Road.
One of the very first to make an appearance is the Sagebrush Buttercup, after about 20 minutes of hiking we came across these early flowers. I did notice the shoots of many Yellow Bells; they too should be in bloom in the next couple of weeks.
A really pleasant surprise was a herd of 14 California Big Horn Sheep. They were not seemingly bothered by our presence, so we were able to get fairly close to them. I was very surprised that there were 2 Rams among all of the ewes. All in all getting outside and exploring nature has many rewards and brings one a sense of awe and wonderment about the benefits of reconnecting with our natural world.
To learn more about the South Okanagan see Great Horned Owl Eco Tours website.
A comprehensive feasibility study was undertaken by the Okanagan Nation Alliance commencing in August 2011. The results of this study were formally presented at a press release on February 26, 2013, concluding that the proposed National Park for the South Okanagan Similkameen is feasible and that negotiations should proceed to the next level in the creation of the Park.
During the study period the Syilx Parks Working group was formed to consider the issues from an indigenous perspective, with participation from Parks Canada and included members from the 4 southern Okanagan Nation Communities: Osoyoos Indian Band, Lower Similkameen Indian Band, Upper Similkameen Indian Band and the Penticton Indian Band. …Read more