Friday, April 25, 2014
We meet at the Ballpark in Gillies Bay at 10:00am.
Last week we did the annual one-way hike from Van Anda to Raven Bay for the beach BBQ and potluck lunch. The expected rain never materialised and climbing the hills along the way kept us quite warm. We took a route from the Legion on logging roads at first and then the trail that circles Turtle Lake on the west side passing through a rare section of old growth forest. This took us onto the old mine railway track bed close to the Cornell Mine and staying away from the High Road wwe climbed through the clearcut up to the gasline right of way. Walking the gasline is always more interesting than being on the gravel road and we kept to it as far as we could until a new fence pushed us back to the High Road at the top of the hill down to Slow Farm junction.
Posted by Gillies Bay at 12:14 AM
Friday, April 18, 2014
The next hike on Saturday, 19th April includes the annual Trekkers Beach BBQ potluck at Raven Bay.
Hikers meet at the Royal Canadian Legion parking in Van Anda at 10:00am and walk to Raven Bay (2 1/2 hours).
If you are unable to hike right now, used to hike or are spouses/partners/visitors of Trekkers, you are welcome!
Raven Bay road is only suitable for 4 wheel drive vehicles. but if you come by car you can park at the junction to the Raven Bay turnoff which is at Slow Farm on the High Road. The walk down to the beach takes ten to fifteen minutes.
There will be a fire and the opportunity to roast oysters, hot dogs and bring whatever food you wish to eat or share with others. There are logs to sit on, but no picnic tables so bring chairs if you want to sit close to the fire. Also BYOB if you wish.
The tide should be low enough to gather shell fish, but don't forget to have your current Saltwater Licenses.
After the BBQ those who drove down to the bay will take the drivers and those who are unable to walk back to their vehicles in Van Anda or on the High Road.
My photo is from my birdwatching visit to Vancouver Island earlier this month where I found some of the beaches coated in some places with layers of fresh laid fish eggs. The herring spawn in enormous numbers at this time of the year and their eggs are supposed to stick onto seaweed and rocks below the surface of the sea. However, many end up drifting to shore and end up exposed as the tides recede. They form a rich food source for a multitude of birds including tens of thousands of gulls, ducks and geese which remain concentrated in the area for days or weeks until the eggs are all gone.
Some fresh herring eggs in my hand, picked up from the beach on Vancouver Island.
Posted by Gillies Bay at 12:03 AM
Friday, April 11, 2014
The next hike will be on Saturday, 12th April.
We meet at the Ballpark at Gillies Bay at 10:00am.
Last week the hike day was another rainy one, but for this week the Saturday forecast is for nothing but sunshine with no chance of rain happening at all. What a pleasant surprise!
I'm also giving advance notice of the annual beach barbecue for Texada Trekkers, past and present, who can make it to Raven Bay on Saturday, 19th April, one way or another. For those who can hike we meet at the Legion parking in Van Anda at 10:00am. A word of warning about getting to Raven Bay with a vehicle — the road is a bit rough and 4 x 4 and good clearance is required. I will email with more details early next week.
My photo this week is a group of our smallest gulls, the Bonapartes Gull, on the beach on Vancouver Island where I'm bird watching this week. This species is often seen in Gillies Bay, but never in the the great numbers seen on the east coast of Vancouver Island in the winter. They have white heads outside the breeding season, but the change to summer plumage is taking place now and you can see how it progresses in this single shot of several individuals.
Posted by Gillies Bay at 10:27 AM
Friday, April 4, 2014
The next hike will be on Saturday, 5th April.
We meet at the Ballpark in Gillies Bay at 10:00am
Last week we had a lovely day for hiking for a change. Dry, sunny and not too windy where we stopped for lunch high on the mountainside above Davie Bay. It looked to us as if Vancouver Island was covered by a vey dark cloud and I later learned from my friends in the Qualicum area that they had had very heavy rain that morning, and none of the sunshine we enjoyed.
On the way back to our vehicles we passed a recently logged area where deer proof fencing surrounded a small area of replanted clearcut. Inside the enclosure we could see the only young freshly planted trees protected from the deer were Arbutus. Odd, I know, but I do undestand what is going on here and I will explain it all another day.
Posted by Gillies Bay at 10:48 AM