CONGRESS TOURS: DAY TOURS

Your Local Organizing Committee and Affiliates have arranged an array of unique and unforgettable tour options for IOCongress2018 delegates.

The customized mid-Congress tours on Friday August 24th will showcase birds in local alpine, forest, wetland, and coastal habitats. Download the checklist of birds in the Metro Vancouver Area/Lower Mainland during the Congress.

Special multi-day pre- and post-Congress tours will venture further afield in British Columbia, other regions of Canada, and down to Colombia and Ecuador. All these tour offerings have been created by team members with extensive guiding experience specially for IOCongress2018. Click on the tours you are interested in below for more details, dates, and to tentatively register!

If you would like to submit an idea for a tour option, please complete the mid-congress tour survey below. All information submitted is anonymous and will only be used for planning purposes.



Skip to: Day Tours | Multi Day Tours | YOUNG BIRDER TOURS 



DAY TOURS


NORTH SHORE MOUNTAINS DAY TOUR
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 
AUGUST 24, 2018 


Sea to Sky GondolaThe 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.

BLACKIE SPIT PARK/HARMONY FARM TOUR
AUGUST 24, 2018 

Co-hosted by the White Rock Surrey Naturalists.
Click here to read John Gordon's biography.

This tour will include Blackie Spit, an urban park featuring wildlife protected areas and Harmony Farm a privately owned ten acre nature preserve. 

Experience Canadian hospitality at its best as you are given a warm welcome at Harmony Farm. Enjoy strolling through the meadows, around the natural ponds and through the forest by a stream. 

Birds you are likely to observe are: Pileated, Downy and Hairy Woodpeckers, Northern Flickers, Anna’s Hummingbirds, Rufous sided Towhees, Wood Ducks, Chickadees, Black Headed Grosbeaks, Mourning Doves, Willow and Pacific-slope Flycatchers and Stellar Jays. 
Take part in a photography session hosted by John Gordon, a well-known wildlife photographer. John will talk about how to shoot better bird pictures with a chance for guests to photograph birds on site. Time permitting, John will present a slide show “Where to Bird on the Lower Mainland”. 

For lunch step inside the owners authentic handcrafted log home featured in numerous movies and TV series and enjoy a traditional First Nations Bannock and Salmon lunch. 

Blackie Spit Park, named after Walter Blackie, an early settler, offers panoramic views of Boundary Bay and Vancouver’s Northshore mountains. It is one of Surrey’s only marine front parks with a range of habitat attracting almost 200 species in a calendar year. Fall migrants start arriving in late August and you can expect to see Long-Billed Curlew, Marbled Godwit, Black Bellied Plover, Western Sandpiper, Greater Yellowlegs and other seasonal migrating birds. 

Blackie Spit Park and Harmony Farm are less than an hour's drive from Vancouver.


 

CH'IYAKMESH RIVER VALLEY BIRDING & CULTURAL TOUR
AUGUST 24, 2018 

Our tour takes place at Cheakamus Centre, an overnight environmental education facility located on 420 acres of ecological reserve in the Cheakamus River Valley, an easy 1 hour drive from Vancouver along the scenic Sea to Sky highway. The Centre boasts nature trails, wild salmon streams, ancient cedars, and over 3 kilometres of private river frontage. The property is home to some of the largest recorded concentration of wintering bald eagles in North America, as well as the Dave Marshall Salmon Reserve that was established to protect critical habitat and spawning channels for five species of pacific salmon. An amazing diversity of flora and fauna can be found in this nature sanctuary year-round. 

On arrival at Cheakamus Centre we will be greeted with a traditional Coast Salish Welcome, and get a glimpse into this fascinating culture through drumming and singing. After a brief orientation and fuel- up with freshly brewed coffee and home-baked goodies, we are off to explore the biodiversity of this temperate rainforest ecosystem. We will have leisurely guided walks in small groups along Cheakamus Centre’s vast network of forested trails and salmon spawning channels, with time to wander amongst 1000-year old cedar trees that hold special significance for BC’s Indigenous peoples. 

Our morning will culminate with a visit to an authentic Coast Salish longhouse where we will spend the next two hours with Squamish Nation cultural interpreters learning about traditional arts and cooking practices. After a full morning of nature and cultural immersion, we will take a well-deserved break in the stunning Environmental Learning Centre (ELC). There will be time to relax and absorb the beautiful surroundings, while enjoying a Coast Salish-inspired salmon feast featuring fresh, locally sourced, seasonal menu items. Cheakamus Centre is committed to making environmentally- and socially-responsible decisions in all aspects of its operations. The ELC is a showcase for green building innovation, with its raised floor and treed setting that elevates visitors to the magic of the forest canopy. 
After lunch, we will continue to explore the many walking trails and pathways, with opportunities to spot numerous birds and other flora and fauna that call Cheakamus Centre home. Bus will depart from the Centre to be back in Vancouver in time for dinner. 

COSTS: Costs are not yet available but prices will include all transportation, guides, cultural program, and lunch. Proceeds from this tour support Cheakamus Centre’s environmental and indigenous programs for children and youth. 

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. Trails are relatively flat and easy for walking. 

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 in the forest. Rain is possible so a light rain jacket is recommended. Although it is likely to be sunny, even overcast conditions 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 trails, and hiking poles may be useful. 


 

vancouver avian research centre
bird monitoring & banding station
AUGUST 24, 2018 


The Vancouver Avian Research Centre conducts its bird monitoring, banding, and its public outreach in Colony Farm Regional Park. Situated at the confluence of the Coquitlam and Fraser Rivers, the Park protects some of the most ecologically diverse lands in the Greater Vancouver area.

The extensive old-field and riparian habitats within the Park represent high-value ecosystem features for resident and migrating birds. VARC operates up to 40 nets and traps and bands four days each week during the main season (spring and fall migration and the breeding season). 

VARC site visit
August is a wonderful time at VARC as migrants start to return south. At this time of year more than 90% of the birds captured are hatch year birds and with good diversity we expect to see the following species during the month:

What can I expect at the station?
The main focus will be, of course, the birds and the program will be flexible to ensure you get maximum exposure to the birds and banding operation. It will, however include the following:

6.00 am

Bus departs from Vancouver Convention Centre (West Building)

6.45 am

Arrival at the VARC Banding Station in Colony Farm Regional Park

7.00 am

Breakfast will be provided at the station while listening to a 15-minute introductory presentation about VARC, its mandate and operations.

7.15 am until 11.30

Banding Operations - we will split into 2 groups, alternating activities.

- One group to accompany out Net Extractors on net rounds, observe net extraction and get an overview of station layout and operations.

-  Second group to remain at the banding pagoda and observe the banding (including ageing and sexing), receive our bird 'show and tell' on each species and participate in releasing the birds.

11.30 am

A presentation will be given (again, in the tented and seated area) for about 30 minutes

12.00 noon

Lunch - if bird activity is high and continuing we may combine the presentation and lunch to maximize time with the birds

~2:00pm

Bus departs for return to Vancouver Convention Centre (West Building). Arrival at approx. 3:00pm

 
A maximum of 20 people will be able to attend a full morning at VARC’s banding station.

What are the facilities at the banding station?
We have a very visitor friendly set up with banding pagoda, picnic tables, coat and backpack racks and a wilderness eco-friendly washroom at the station

What should we bring?

  • Warm layered clothing – Colony Farm is a low-lying area and can be cold even in the summer months and especially early in the morning
  • Rubber boots or waterproof shoes – The banding station is in the old field habitat and the grass can be quite wet especially in the early morning
  • Binoculars and cameras
  • Water and coffee mug


What if it rains?
If the weather does not cooperate for some or all of the morning we will still offer the visit, the presentations and meals, but will focus more on birding than banding. Colony Farm is considered a birding hotspot in Vancouver and is a popular location for both local and visiting birders.

The old-fields and hedgerows provide habitat for Barn, Barred, Northern Saw-whet, Long-eared and Short-eared Owls, Great Blue Herons, American Bitterns and a wide variety of passerine and non-passerine bird species including locally rare species, such as Northern Shrike (Lanius excubitor), Lazuli Bunting (Passerina amoena), Eastern Kingbird (Tyrannus tyrannus), and Western Kingbird (Tyrannus verticalis). The agricultural fields are ideal habitat for a range of western North American sparrows including American Tree (Spizella arborea), Brewer’s (Spizella breweri), Chipping (Spizella passerina), Clay-colored (Spizella pallida), Swamp (Melospiza georgiana), Vesper (Poocetes gramineus), Savannah (Passerculus sandwichensis), Grasshopper (Ammodramus savannarum), Fox (Passerella iliaca), Song (Melospiza melodia)), Lincoln’s (Melospiza lincolnii), White-crowned (Zonotrichia leucophrys), Golden-crowned (Zonotrichia atricapilla) and White-throated (Zonotrichia albicollis) all of which have been banded in the park. Other rarities banded include Brown Thrasher (Toxostoma bendirei), Indigo Bunting (Passerina cyanea), Northern Waterthrush (Seiurus noveboracensis) and Palm Warbler (Setophaga palmarum). 7 of the 8 species of North American swallows are also found in the park often in high numbers.

Field trip participants will be able to enjoy the avian highlights in areas of the park normally off-limits to the general public.

COSTS: Costs are not yet available but prices will include all transportation, guides, cultural program. 

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.


About the VARC:

The Vancouver Avian Research Centre (VARC) was formally established by Derek & Carol Matthews in 2009. VARC is a registered Canadian charity and focuses on conducting year-round bird monitoring, banding and research. In addition to research activities, VARC provides extensive public outreach and education programs to raise awareness of environmental issues particularly as they relate to breeding and migratory birds. VARC also offers Schools & Youth Programs, Family Days, Bird Identification Courses, Bird Monitoring and Banding Workshops and provides speakers and experts for public events and media appearances

More information on VARC and its operations can be found online at: www.birdvancouver.com   

WESTHAM ISLAND, DELTA - WHERE FARMING & BIRDING MEET 
AUGUST 24, 2018 

Co-hosted by the Delta Naturalists Society, the British Columbia Waterfowl Society and the Delta Farmland and Wildlife Trust, this tour will focus on how habitat protection and stewardship initiatives unite to conserve birds on idyllic Westham Island, just outside Vancouver in the municipality of Delta. 

Westham Island consists of large family-owned farms, lands owned by conservation interests, and government-protected conservation lands such as the Alaksen National Wildlife Area and the George C. Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary. If you want to visit a place with federal and provincial protected areas, Ramsar, WHSRN, and Important Bird and Biodiversity Area (IBA) site designations, plus witness the involvement of local landowners, land trusts, non-profit organizations, and many levels of government in the conservation of birds, this is a must see! There are many practicalities to address when managing farm fields, river hydrology, irrigation, wildlife, farm tourism, and ecotourism on this sea-level island and we will have a diverse team of experienced guides to answer your questions.

At this time of year, once you cross over the 100+ year old swing bridge overlooking charming floating homes to this island, the traffic dies down to birdwatchers and farming equipment. Local farms are getting ready for the fall harvest of crops such as corn and potatoes. After the harvest, though, from late September onwards, thousands of migrant waterfowl will start arriving to “time share” the land with the farmers over the winter months. At certain times, fields will be carpeted with tens of thousands of Lesser Snow Geese and other waterfowl looking for winter grazing, leftover crops and roost sites. All over Westham Island roadside birding is excellent over the winter.

Our tour will include a stop or two at private farms to experience a hands-on look at land stewardship programs of the Delta Farmland and Wildlife Trust (DF&WT). The DF&WT is a not-for-profit charitable organization established in 1993 and dedicated to promoting the preservation of farmland and associated wildlife habitat on the lower Fraser River delta, through sustainable farm practices and land stewardship. The Trust works with local farmers to invest in soil productivity and wildlife habitat enhancement. DF&WT also partners with government agencies involved with the management of agricultural and wildlife resources, other conservation organizations and post-secondary academic institutions.

Many local famers participate in DF&WT programs designed to sustain bird populations, biodiversity and agriculture. Two programs offered by the Trust that support a variety of bird species include the Grassland Set-aside Stewardship Program and the Hedgerow Stewardship Program. DF&WT staff will showcase these two Stewardship Programs as well as provide background about the significance of agricultural land for wildlife habitat in the Fraser River delta. Many of the local farms also participate in the seasonal Winter Cover Crop Program, where fields are planted in winter grasses to enhance soil and provide wildlife-grazing habitat after the fall harvest.

The Alaksen National Wildlife Area (NWA) and the adjacent George C. Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary are at the end of the road at the westernmost tip of the island, where the main channel of the Fraser River meets the Salish Sea and forms extensive estuarine marshes. The National Wildlife Area has a heritage farm look, with Environment and Climate Change Canada's Pacific Wildlife Research Centre (PWRC) housed in the former Reifel family house (circa 1920s) and adjacent additional buildings in the center of the NWA. It is surrounded by mature woodlots, farm fields with livestock or commercial crops shared with wildlife, and pathways along dykes lined by 100-year-old Douglas Firs overlooking the river and muddy tidal channels. Waterbirds such as herons, grebes, diving ducks, and cormorants are likely along the river, and conifers and woodlot areas hold good potential for forest songbirds. During the visit we will stop at the offices where Canadian Wildlife Service (CWS) and Wildlife and Landscape Science Directorate (WLSD) staff undertake monitoring and research in support of conservation activities. Their studies are conducted and communicated within a national and international research community including wildlife, freshwater, landscape, seascape and atmospheric sciences, and include partnerships with universities, non-government conservation organizations and international research agencies. Staff of the Canadian Wildlife Service and Bird Studies Canada will join our tour to point out interesting species, discuss their programs and management issues.

The next stop is the George C. Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary, a very popular birding hotspot that hosts as many as 85,000 visitors a year. The British Columbia Waterfowl Society has managed the public use part of the Sanctuary since 1963, originally with the Reifel family and now through an agreement with Environment and Climate Change Canada. At this stop, we will walk the beautiful nature trails along treed dykes overlooking fields, tidal marshes and managed ponds. Some of the wetlands are kept as shallow mudflats for shorebirds at this time of year. The observation tower 20 minutes walk from the entrance is a popular destination with spectacular views over the estuary. In August, birding is quieter than the rest of the year, as the majority of the Sanctuary’s species and 90% of the waterbirds are off elsewhere, and return to visit from September to April. However, between 70 and 75 species are usually present during August every year, as waves of late summer migrants pass through then. BCWS staff and volunteers will be available to outline Sanctuary management concepts, and show us a few of the seasonal feature creatures such as Sandhill Cranes, Purple Martins, and diverse shorebirds such as Yellowlegs and Dowitchers.


COSTS:

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

BIRDING ABILITY AND PHYSICAL FITNESS:

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

A low level of fitness is all that will be required. Trails are unpaved gravel but flat and we will travel slowly to more fully experience the Nature.

WHAT TO BRING AND EXPECT:

Unless the weather is unseasonably wet or stormy, expect warm summer conditions but bring extra layers in case it is cooler on the trails. Rain is possible so a light rain jacket is recommended. Although it is likely to be sunny, even overcast conditions near the coast require sunscreen and a hat. The need for bug spray will depend on the season's conditions, but if you are sensitive to mosquito bites, bring repellent regardless. Good walking footwear, binoculars, and a camera are musts.

EXPLORE THE FRASER RIVER ESTUARY
ROBERTS BANK & THE LOWER FRASER RIVER
AUGUST 24, 2018 

Sponsored and led by the Delta Naturalists' Society
Tour leader: Conservationist, birder and author Anne Murray together with ornithological and conservation experts.

Roberts Bank, where the mighty Fraser River meets the marine waters of the Strait of Georgia, is a vitally important ecological area, frequented in season by hundreds of aquatic and terrestrial species, including migratory waterfowl and shorebirds from three continents, raptors, songbirds, anadromous salmon and sturgeon, and marine mammals. The largest Great Blue Heron (ssp. fannini) colony on the B.C. coast is located on wooded bluffs overlooking the intertidal area. Innovative studies on the feeding ecology of Western Sandpiper are underway on the Roberts Bank mudflats, an area of urgent conservation concern.

Roberts Bank is a vital part of the Fraser estuary, recognized by three international conservation designations: Fraser River Delta Ramsar Site, Fraser River Estuary Western Hemispheric Shorebird Reserve Network Site (WHSRN), and Fraser River Estuary Important Bird and Biodiversity Area (IBA). The estuary is particularly significant for migrating Western Sandpiper; over 60% of the global population uses the IBA as a stopover between their nesting grounds in the Arctic and their wintering areas in South America. An important food source for them is the biofilm that grows on the surface of the mudflats. This easily digestible food fuels the final major leg of their spring journey to the Arctic tundra.

Roberts Bank is also the location of a BC Ferries terminal servicing Vancouver Island, and a Port of Vancouver container port and coal terminal. Low-lying delta lands around Roberts Bank lie within the jurisdiction of the Tsawwassen First Nation, the Musqueam Nation, and the municipality of Delta, and the waters to the south are crossed by the border with Washington State, USA. The floodplain lands, formerly marsh and farmland, now have multiple uses: residential communities, transportation corridors, farming, port services, and other commercial activities. The impact of numerous anthropogenic changes to the environment provides constant conservation challenges, which will be discussed during our tour.

Our first stop on this guided tour will be at Deas Island Regional Park to view the lower reaches of the South Arm of the Fraser River. We will then drive through Delta to Tsawwassen, and visit the Great Blue Heron colony to see if any birds remain on their nests. As we visit the salt marsh on Tsawwassen First Nations land, we will be able to view herons feeding in the eelgrass beds on the intertidal area of Roberts Bank. After our picnic lunch, we will drive to Brunswick Point at the mouth of the Fraser River. Here tidal mudflats and estuarine marshes stretch into the Strait of Georgia, providing a rich habitat for many species of birds. At this part of Roberts Bank, there will be time to take a leisurely stroll along the dyke, while we observe scenery, birds, and a variety of habitat types, while we hear about research initiatives, habitat management, and a variety of conservation issues.

From cottonwood-lined river bank, to salt marsh, eelgrass, mudflat, and farmland, join us as we journey through the fascinating landscape around Roberts Bank in the Fraser estuary.


COSTS:

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

BIRDING ABILITY AND PHYSICAL FITNESS:

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

A low level of fitness is all that will be required. Trails are unpaved gravel but flat and we will travel slowly.

WHAT TO BRING AND EXPECT:

Unless the weather is unseasonably wet or stormy, expect warm summer conditions but bring extra layers in case it is cooler on the trails. Rain is possible so a light rain jacket is recommended. Although it is likely to be sunny, even overcast conditions near the coast require sunscreen and a hat. The need for bug spray will depend on the season's conditions, but if you are sensitive to mosquito bites, bring repellent regardless. Good walking footwear, binoculars and a camera are musts.