• heron_Vancouver1.jpg

IOCongress2018 Mid-Congress Tours


The IOCongress2018 Planning Committee is creating unforgettable 1-day tour options during the congress. The Mid-Congress Tours will depart and arrive at the main Congress hotel on Friday, 24 August 2018 and will allow attendees to see the best of what the area has to offer. A checklist of birds you may encounter in the Greater Vancouver Area/Lower Mainland during the Congress can be found here!

Longer (multi-day) tour options, pre/post Congress will be offered and can be found here.

If you would like to submit an idea for a tour option, please click on the link below. All information submitted is anonymous and will only be used for planning purposes.

We thank you in advance for taking the survey and for your input. We look forward to hosting you in 2018!

 


North Shore Mountains Day Tour
Friday August 24, 2018

Sponsored and led by British Columbia Field Ornithologists

Vancouver’s northern skyline is dominated by the towering North Shore Mountains. Easily accessed from downtown, the journey from sea level to 1,000 meters takes about 30 minutes. However, we will take a more leisurely excursion enjoying a number of stops for birding at various locations and elevations. 

We will leave Vancouver early morning, drive through Stanley Park, and access the North Shore via the Lions Gate bridge over the First Narrows, which connects Burrard Inlet to English Bay. There are many birding locations on the North Shore and we will select the most promising, based on up-to-date, local knowledge. Birding opportunities will range from rocky shorelines, to lowland and mountain forests with short walks at both lower and higher elevations. As we gain elevation, we’ll stop at viewpoints to bird and enjoy spectacular vistas of the city of Vancouver, Mount Baker in Washington State, and to the south and west, the Gulf Islands and Vancouver Island.

Two provincial parks, Cypress (3,012 hectares), and Seymour Mountain (3,509 hectares) occupy large tracts of the North Shore Mountains. The coastal western hemlock zone characterizes the lower slopes where old-growth Douglas fir and western red cedar are interspersed with second-growth conifers, deciduous trees, and a variety of shrubs. The mountain hemlock zone, 1,000 meters and above, is characterized mostly by amabilis fir, yellow cedar and mountain hemlock.

Species we’ll particularly be looking for include: Sooty Grouse, Pelagic Cormorant, Osprey, Band-tailed Pigeon, Pigeon Guillemot, Black and Vaux’s Swifts, Anna’s and Rufous Hummingbirds, Red-breasted Sapsucker, Steller’s and Gray Jays, Purple Martin, Chestnut-backed Chickadee, Pacific Wren, Swainson’s, Hermit Thrushes and Varied Thrushes, and Black-throated Gray and Townsend’s Warblers. Passerine migration at this time of year can offer a large variety of species and some surprises.

Black bears are possible, which will require participants to maintain close contact with the group when walking mountain trails. Douglas squirrels, and varying hares are the most likely small mammals we will see. Sightings of short-tailed weasels are possible.

Finish at a quayside pub in North Vancouver featuring local beer and food; return on your own to downtown Vancouver by the scenic SeaBus across the Burrard Inlet (~15 minutes).

Boxed lunches will be provided.

COSTS:

Costs are not yet available but prices will include all transportation, guides, and lunch. Miscellaneous local costs such as snacks, alcoholic drinks, souvenirs and gratuities are not included.

BIRDING ABILITY AND PHYSICAL FITNESS:

We are arranging for locally experienced bird and naturalist guides to accompany all groups. You can be a birder, photographer, naturalist, learner, traveler, adventurer, or none of the above - and still be thrilled by this experience.

A moderate level of fitness is all that will be required. At least one loop trail of approximately 3-4kms will be included. Trails will be mostly flat.

WHAT TO BRING AND EXPECT:

Unless the weather is unseasonably wet or stormy, expect to dress for warm summer conditions with a couple of extra layers in case it is cooler at higher elevation. Rain is possible so a light rain jacket is recommended. Although it is likely to be sunny, even overcast conditions in the mountains require sunscreen. The need for bug spray will depend on the season's conditions, but if you are sensitive to mosquito bites, bring repellent.

IMPORTANT:

Register now: These expeditions are being planned exclusively for IOCongress2018 as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Spaces are limited but you can register your interest now without obligation and we will keep you updated on details.


Squamish See-to-Sky-to-Sea Bird Tour
Friday August 24, 2018

Sea to Sky Gondola
The sea to sky tour takes you from Vancouver to the mouth of the Squamish river and local mountains, on the diverse, traditional territory of the Squamish First Nation. The morning drive alone is spectacular, as we wind along the famous “Sea to Sky” Highway along the eastern side of Howe Sound with remarkable mountain views. We will leave Vancouver early in the morning to make the 1-hour drive to our first major stop at the Squamish River Estuary. We will have a leisurely walk along the coastal forest, wetlands, marshes trails with local guides and enjoy views of Howe Sound. From here will we will also have a stunning view of the Stawamus Chief, a huge granite dome always busy with climbers. After the early morning stroll in the estuary, we will be board our bus and head back through downtown Squamish to the Sea to Sky Gondola. A quick ride up the gondola will take us from sea-level to 890m where we will have panoramic views of Howe Sound and the Squamish Valley. We will meet our mountain guide and will start off with a walk through the trails for species that are found at this high-elevation forest. We will return for lunch at the gondola restaurant looking over all of Howe Sound and adjacent mountain ranges. After lunch, we will do another tour of the along the Spirit Trail. Highlights include the breathtaking views and learning about the rich Squamish First Nation history that surrounds us and the local alpine ecology, as well as more bird watching!

Finally, we must leave the sky and head to the sea! Once back at sea level, we will be transported by bus to a nearby dock to embark on our sea-safari of Howe Sound all the way back to Vancouver! This afternoon tour will not only look for birds on the water, shoreline and islands, but may also give us a chance to see dolphin or whales, seals, and sealions. To top off this day, you will get privileged views as you head back into Vancouver passing by the famous Stanley Park, under the Lion’s Gate Bridge and back into Vancouver harbour around dinner time.

COSTS:

Costs are not yet available but prices will include all transportation, guides, morning snack and lunch. Miscellaneous local costs such as extra snacks, alcoholic drinks, souvenirs and gratuities are not included.

BIRDING ABILITY AND PHYSICAL FITNESS:

We are arranging for locally experienced bird and naturalist guides to accompany all groups. You can be a birder, photographer, naturalist, learner, traveler, adventurer, or none of the above - and still be thrilled by this experience.

A moderate level of fitness is all that will be required. Loop trails will vary from flat for beginner/ intermediate with few steep sections.

WHAT TO BRING AND EXPECT:

Unless the weather is unseasonably wet or stormy, expect to dress for warm summer conditions with a couple of extra layers in case it is cooler at higher elevation. Rain is possible so a light rain jacket is recommended. Although it is likely to be sunny, even overcast conditions in the mountains require sunscreen. The need for bug spray will depend on the season's conditions, but if you are sensitive to mosquito bites, bring repellent. Sturdy shoes are required for mountain trails, and hiking poles may be useful.