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Club Activities

The Williams Lake Field Trip List for 2018 is published in the April 2018 newsletter, available as a download in pdf format. Consult the latest Muskrat Express for upcoming presentations.

Alkali Lake
Leader: Fred McMechan 250-392-7680
Too late you missed this one. It was another great outing with lots for bird sightings.

Annual Chilanko Marsh Filed Trip
May 19th to 21st: Leader Jim Sims 296-3638 or smedleysims@gmail.com)
On Saturday we will conduct an annual bird species count at Chilanko Marsh. Please allow for a 2-hour drive and follow the wildlife viewing signs on the next right after the Puntzi Lake turnoff (approx. 200km from Williams Lake). Please arrive at the tanker base by 9:00 am. After the walk around the marsh you are welcome to join the party for a pot-luck-supper and spend the night at Jim’s new home at Eagle Lake. There is limited room in the home so you might be more comfortable in a camper or tent, however there will be a lot more indoor space than other years. On Sunday you can continue to explore the West Chilcotin with a walk along the north shore of Tatla Lake, an interesting grassland slope with spectacular views of the mountains and many bird species. Before you head back to town on Monday we will do a morning walk at Lunch Lake a receding shoreline should attract some interesting shore birds and waterfowl. If you can give us an extra day on Tuesday we will be conducting a work-bee at the Bennie Cabin on Nimpo Lake and more help is needed for this day.

Bat Count
Friday, June 1: Leader Cathy Koot 250-392-4250 (landline) 8:00pm to 11:00pm
Meet at the entrance to Scout Island NC at 8:00pm to carpool. Call leader in advance if going to meet at site.
The kind owners of a ranch at 143 Mile House whose bat colonies are being monitored in the BC Community Bat Program have extended an invitation to WLFN club members to witness and participate in counting the evening bat emergence. It's about a half hour drive and we count for one hour at official sunset. Dress warmly and bring a chair if you like. Flashlights can be used to access the site but not during the count. This trip is weather dependent as it can't be raining during the survey. Alternative date is June 2, same time and place.

Fox Mountain Walk
Wednesday evening June 6th: Leader Ray Hornby 250-392-2271
Join us for a walk along the trails on Fox Mountain. Good chance of viewing birds, wild flowers, and wildlife including deer, moose, bear, and fox. As well as an opportunity for great vista views of the lake. Meet at the corner of Fox Mountain Road and Teal Place (2nd road on left at top) at 6:30 pm. Bring camera and binoculars. Walk is relatively easy and dry.

Williams Lake River Upper Valley Birding
Sunday June 10th (morning:) Leader Phil Ranson 250-398-7110
Meet at 8:00am in the Parking Lot below Comer Street. Join with Phil for a morning walk in the river valley. Learn some of the bird songs of the many birds that will be nesting in the valley at this time of the year.

Birch Lane Community Forest
Wednesday June 13th: Leader Peter Opie 250-392-1440, assisted by Hugh Flinton
Meet at Scout Island at 5:30pm to arrange car pool to the site at the end of Birch Lane.
The tour will show the fuel management work being done in the Community Forest adjacent to Westridge-Hodgson-Esler Subdivisions. This work has created a shaded fuel break within Mule Deer Winter Range and Old Growth Management Areas.

Crazy Ant Downhill on Foot
Wednesday, June 20 evening 7:00 pm to 9:30 pm: Leader Cathy Koot 250-392-4250 (landline)
Meet at entrance to Scout Island NC to carpool at 7:00pm. Call leader in advance if going to meet at site. From Hwy 97 at the Xatsu'll turnoff, the new Crazy Ant mountain bike trail provides a lovely route to walk down the slope towards the Fraser River at the Soda Creek confluence. It's about 2.5 km and 180 m vertical from top to bottom and we can organize a vehicle shuttle for the return. Back in Williams Lake around 9:30 pm.

Churn Creek (Higgenbottom Creek to High Lake
Sunday June 24th: Leader Peter Opie 250-392-1440
Meeting at SINC at 8:00 to carpool. Drive to Churn Creek where we’ll take a short hike from the road above Higgenbottom Creek to High Lake. We will be reviewing the ecosystem restoration project that Friends of Churn Creek have been working on for the last few years. Bring good boots and lots of water.

Summer overnight Alpine Camp
July/Aug no date: Leaders Francis McCoubrey and Paula Laita
At this time the details are not confirmed so watch check out the June newsletter for details.

Hazeltine Creek Restoration
Saturday August 18th: Leader Colleen Hughes 250-790-2617
Mount Polley would be pleased to offer the Williams Lake Field Naturalists a tour of the Hazeltine and Edney Creek Remediation areas. The tour will include the newly constructed fish habitat in upper Hazeltine Creek, the upper Hazeltine Canyon area, lower Hazeltine and Edney Creek at Quesnel Lake. The tour will start at 10 am and members can meet at Scout Island at 8:30 and carpool out to lower Hazeltine (on the ditch road) or meet us there if they want to drive themselves. There is no requirement for PPE as we will not be accessing the mine site. Good hiking boots with ankle support is recommended. For more information please contact Colleen at 250-790-2617.

Suey Bay, Horsefly Lake to Slate Bay, Quesnel Lake – Paddle and Hike
Saturday-Sunday August 25-26: Leader Ordell Steen 250-398-5017
This will be an overnight trip beginning with a canoe/kayak paddle from Prairie Creek recreation site to Suey Bay, on Horsefly Lake (about 8 km including a 1.3 km crossing of Horsefly Lake). We will camp at Suey Bay (a gravel beach but no developed campsites –spaces for tents are tight) and on day 2 attempt to hike the old trail from Suey Bay to Slate Bay on Quesnel Lake (about 4 km) and return. In recent years, the trail has become quite indistinct and may be difficult to follow. In that event, we may only explore the plants and birds of the Suey Bay area. Experience paddling in cross windy conditions and an adequate PFD are required. Contact Ordell for meeting place and time.

BC Nature Field Trip
September 9 to 14 (15): The 2018 BC Nature Fall Camp, hosted by the Williams Lake Field Naturalists, will be in the beautiful Tatlayoko Lake Valley and surrounding areas of the west Chilcotin. We will be based at the Homathko River Inn, which is about 250 km southwest of Williams Lake. Information about camp organization, registration, field trips, and evening presentations is provided in the attached pdf.

Sheep Flats, Churn Creek Protected Area – Hike
Sunday, September 23: Leaders Ordell Steen 250-398-5017 and Jim Young 250-398-7987
This hike is to a seldom visited grassland bench on the north side of Churn Creek near the western limits of the protected area. It provides great views of the upper Churn Creek canyon, examples of good condition grasslands, and the site of a grassland restoration project. We will see at least one rare plant species and abundant sign of bighorn sheep. We will access the flats from the Gang Ranch/Blackwater Lake area on a guide outfitters trail which is quite steep in several sections above the flat. We will return the same way for a total distance of 6-7 km and an elevation rise of about 350 m on the hike back to the vehicles. Bring lots of water and a lunch. Meet at the parking lot at the “Y” by the A&W at 7:00 a.m. This will be a joint trip with the Friends of Churn Creek.

Junction Sheep Range
Sunday October 21st: Leader Fred McMechan 392-7680
Meet at Scout Island at 8:00am. Bring a lunch, water bottle and your binoculars for this annual day long drive and hike into the park. This will be at the peak of the California Big-horned Sheep rut so look forward to seeing the sheep and perhaps you will be lucky and see or hear some head-butting.

Canoeing in Beaver Valley. Photo Ken Day

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