CONGRESS TOURS: Multi 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.



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MULTI-DAY TOURS


HAIDA GWAII (QUEEN CHARLOTTE ISLANDS)
AUGUST 8-15, 2018

Haida Gwaii, formerly known as Queen Charlotte Islands, is an amazing area with over 100 islands, beautiful forested creek walks, rugged exposed headlands, and protected passageways between towering mountains. Theories suggest that parts of Haida Gwaii escaped the last ice age, forming a glacial refuge for certain forms of plant and animal life. This helps to explain the presence of plant species found nowhere else in the world, and noticeably different sub-species of bird, fish and mammal. Haida Gwaii provides a remarkable evolutionary showcase - hence the description as the “Canadian Galapagos”. The islands have their unique forms hairy woodpecker, saw-whet owl and Stellers jay, and Asian species show up on occasion. 

We are grateful for the opportunity to work closely with local suppliers and businesses that assist us in providing a unique and memorable travel experience in a very remote area. Guided by Haida Watchmen, we will journey through history as we visit ancient Haida Villages lining the British Columbia coast. Small ship travel through this unforgettable landscape allows us to voyage to places not reachable by land. We wind our way through the archipelago to enjoy 8 days of exploration…All aboard! 

Sample Itinerary

For all our voyages we intentionally keep our itineraries flexible enabling us to take advantage of wildlife sightings, weather and tides, and the interests of the group.

Arrival into Sandspit

 

Plan to arrive in Sandspit, BC the day prior to your trip start, to overnight at the Inn at Sandspit. Most of our guests fly with Air Canada direct from Vancouver.

 

Transportation to The Inn is not required as it’s located across the street from the Airport. It is a quick walk (approximately 150 yards), out the main doors and to your right. There are carts available to help you transport your baggage.

 


In order to facilitate the check-in process, we have reserved a room for you under your name at the Inn’s front desk. Dinner for this evening i

s on your own. We recommend the Inn’s dining room. If you would like to venture out, Sandspit has one other restaurant choice; Dick’s Wok Inn (Chinese cuisine). 

Overnight accommodation has been arranged for you through our designated Travel Agency “UNIGLOBE DIRECT TRAVEL LTD". If you require further accommodation or help with your Airfare and Insurance please call Elaine Ross at 604-538-2111 ext. 6614 or email her at elaine@uniglobedirect.com.

Your evening’s accommodation at the Inn at Sandspit and breakfast/gratuities the following morning are included in your trip fees.

Trip Start – Day 1

Begin your day with an a la carte breakfast at The Inn’s dining room. Please allow plenty of time to enjoy your breakfast, as the restaurant cooks all meals to order. Sandspit Airport is a good place to see birds especially migrating shorebirds in August. 

The group will meet in front of The Inn at Sandspit at 8:30 am. Please be sure to check out of your hotel room with luggage in hand, prior to this time. You will be greeted by our shuttle bus driver/guide for your Haida Gwaii land tour. You will be transported to the ferry landing at Alliford Bay to take the ferry across to Skidegate Landing on Graham Island. The ferry crossing takes approximately 20 minutes. 

 

Our first stop will be the renowned Haida Heritage Centre or Kay Llnagaay on Graham Island for a guided tour followed by a traditional Haida lunch atKeenawii”s Kitchen, hosted by a local Haida family from Skidegate. Following lunch, we will have time for a short walk at Spirit Lake where we might see varied thrushes and Pacific wrens before catching the ferry back to Moresby Island. Watch for harlequin ducks and pigeon guillemots along the shore. The shuttle will transport the group along the only road to where the vessel will be waiting. It is an active logging road and it can sometimes be a bumpy ride – be sure to keep your eyes out for black bears and sitka deer at the side of the road. 

 In about an hour’s time, we arrive at Moresby Camp to board the vessel. Upon boarding the ship you will meet the crew, cabins will be assigned, and everyone will participate in an introductory & safety orientation with dinner to follow. We will spend our first evening anchored nearby and will depart early the next morning into the waters of Southern Moresby Island to explore the Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve.

 

Days 2 - 7:

We will spend our time exploring the eastern and southern shores of Moresby Island. Daily activities include wildlife and bird watching, shore excursions to explore ancient Haida villages, “old growth” forests, beautiful creeks, and colorful intertidal zones. Be sure to keep an eye out and your cameras ready, as we will encounter a wealth of marine wildlife on our journey. We aim to spot humpback whales, porpoise, fin whales, sea lions and orca, and seabirds such as shearwaters, jaegers, murrelets and auklets.

We hope to capture the sight of the mighty, Gwaii Haanas black bear foraging along the shoreline for the myriad of intertidal creatures found in these nutrient-rich areas. Windy Bay is the site of the first pole raised in 130 years honouring the 20th anniversary of the Gwaii Haanas Agreement to protect the natural and marine resources. We visit the old Haida village of SGang Gwaay (Ninstints), a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site to take in the fabulous totem poles. This island is on the west coast of Haida Gwaii and if conditions are good, we might encounter black-footed albatross, shearwaters, kittiwakes

 

 and phalaropes. Tufted and horned puffins and murrelets are a good possibility.

Each evening we will anchor in a different secluded bay with time to discuss the day’s wildlife sightings and opportunity to explore the shoreline by kayak. 

 

Day 8 - Trip Finish

The trip will finish mid morning and you will disembark “Island Roamer” at 11:00am at Moresby Camp. There will be charter bus waiting to shuttle the group to Sandspit airport. The trip by bus takes about an hour. You can expect to arrive in Sandspit by midday. This  will give you time to have lunch and do any last minute shopping at the souvenir shop located in the Sandspit Airport, prior to your afternoon flight to Vancouver. 

Travel Arrangements

Sandspit is located in Haida Gwaii, 900 kilometers (550 miles) northwest of Vancouver, BC. Scheduled air service is the fastest, most convenient way to get there. Book your flight well in advance to obtain the best fare. Be advised that flight capacity is limited. Most services and facilities in Sandspit are within easy walking distance of the airport terminal. 

Booking Your Flights:

Our designated Travel Agency is “UNIGLOBE DIRECT TRAVEL LTD". If you need further accommodation or help with your Airfare and Insurance please call Elaine at 604-538-2111 ext. 6614 or email elaine@uniglobedirect.com

Air Canada Jazz provides daily scheduled service between Vancouver and Sandspit. Advance purchase return airfare between Vancouver and Sandspit costs approximately $500-$600 CAD per person.
Phone: 1-888 247-2262 | www.aircanada.ca

 

Pacific Coastal provides scheduled flights between Vancouver and Masset, located about 130 km (80 miles) north of Sandspit.
Phone: 1-800-663-2872 |  http://www.pacific-coastal.com/

Inland Air offers seaplane service from Prince Rupert to Masset.
Toll Free: 1-888-624-2577 or 1-250-624-2577 | www.info@inlandair.bc

 
BC Ferry Services

Scheduled ferry service connects Haida Gwaii with the mainland. The crossing between Prince Rupert and Skidegate Landing takes about 9 hours. Another option is to take the ferry from Port Hardy. Traveling the “Inside Passage” is scenic but will add 2 days to your trip in each direction. Reservations are required for both vehicles and passengers. It is not necessary for you to take a car on the ferry to Haida Gwaii, as there are reasonable options for local island transportation, including car rentals. 

BC Ferries operates the smaller M/V Kwuna which carries passengers, vehicles and freight between Moresby Island (Sandspit) and Graham Island (Skidegate/Queen Charlotte). This scheduled service operates all day with regular sailings. Each scheduled crossing of Skidegate Inlet takes approximately 25 minutes. Phone: 1-888-223-3779 or (250) 386-3431

www.bcferries.com

*Be advised that adverse weather and sea conditions can often create delays and disrupt ferry schedules.

We highly recommend extending your trip to explore Haida Gwaii on your own. Adding a day or two either before or after your voyage with Bluewater Adventures would allow you to explore Graham Island and visit Masset. Thus, we have added other local accommodation and travel information below.

 

Accommodation

The Haida Gwaii has a range of accommodation to serve the needs of visitors. Hotels, Motels or Bed & Breakfast (B&B) establishments are found in Sandspit and Queen Charlotte City. The following selected accommodation contacts may be useful in helping to plan your trip around your Bluewater Adventure!

Sandspit

Inn at Sandspit

(250) 637 5377

https://thesandspitinn.wordpress.com
thesandspitinn@gmail.com

$85-$95

Seaport B&B

(250) 637 2215

www.seaportbb.com

info@moresbyexplorers.com

$95-$150

Bayview Garden B&B

(250) 637 5749

www.bayviewgardenbandb.com
thebayviewgarden@gmail.com

$75-$95

 

 

Queen Charlotte

Dorothy & Mike’s Guest House

(250) 559 8439

www.qcislands.net/doromike
doromike@qcislands.net

$85-$245

Sea Raven Motel

(250) 559 4423

1 800 806 7633

www.searaven.com
searaven@qcislands.net

$92-$120

Premier Creek Lodge

1 888 322 3388

www.qcislands.net/premier
premier@qcislands.net

$40-$110

Spruce Point Lodge

(250) 559 8234

www.qcislands.net/sprpoint

sprpoint@qcislands.net

$90-$140

 

Masset

Copper Beech House

(250) 626 5441
1 855 626 5441

www.copperbeechhouse.com
cbh@copperbeechhouse.com

$100-$130

Eagles Feast House

(250) 626 6072
1 877 485 7572

www.eaglesfeast.com
bothofus@eaglesfeast.com

$75-$175


Tlell

Haida House

1 855 557 4600

http://haidahouse.com

info@haidahouse.com

$135-$180

Accommodations are priced in Canadian dollars and are subject to change.

  

Local Transportation

Public transit service is not available on Haida Gwaii. Eagle Transit has scheduled service corresponding with the airport and BC Ferries arrivals and departures. You are advised to call ahead or reserve a spot online: 

Eagle Transit
Airport - Sandspit - Queen Charlotte City – Skidegate - Masset

(250) 559 4461
1 877 747 4461

http://eagletransit.net/

 

Rental Vehicles

Vehicle rentals are available in Haida Gwaii with airport pickup and drop off.  For information and reservations call: 

Budget-Rent-A-Car, Sandspit Airport

(250) 637-5688

Budget-Rent-A-Car, Queen Charlotte City

(250) 559-4641

National Car Rental, Masset

(250) 626 3833

Budget-Rent-A-Car will offer Bluewater Adventures’ guests discount when car rental is booked directly with Budget-Rent-A-Car in Sandspit.


Tourist Information

For information on the Haida Gwaii call (250) 559-8316 or visit www.gohaidagwaii.ca

For general information on British Columbia’s attractions, travel, restaurants, shopping, transportation and accommodation contact Destination British Columbia: 1-800-435-5622 or visit the Tourism BC website at www.hellobc.com

BLUEWATER ADVENTURES
#3 - 252 East First Street
North Vancouver, V7L 1B3
British Columbia, Canada

Telephone: (604) 980 3800
Fax: (604) 980 1800
Toll Free: 1 (888) 877 1770
www.bluewateradventures.ca
explore@bluewateradventures.ca


IMPORTANT – Register Now!
ENTER PROMO CODE IOCHG18 UNDER ADDITIONAL COMMENTS.


* All photos courtesy of Bluewater Adventures.

Orcas, Totems, & Grizzlies
(nORTHERN VANCOUVER ISLAND & KNIGHT INLET)
AUGUST 10-16, 2018

SAMPLE ITINERARY

This natural history voyage explores the protected waters of Northern Vancouver Island. Whale researchers consider this area the best place in the world to observe orcas or killer whales. In addition, we expect to see humpback whales, black bears, bald eagles, sea otters and seabirds. The Kwakwaka’wakw First Nations people have lived here for thousands of years and we will explore their culture and art. Combine these incredible wildlife and cultural experiences into one week… and you have an amazing trip!

On all our voyages, we intentionally keep our itineraries flexible to take advantage of wildlife sightings, weather and tides, and the interests of the group. This sample itinerary describes a typical 7-day trip; however, activities may occur in a different order or be substituted by suitable alternatives. Wildlife are wild life and do not necessarily conform to our schedules.

Day 1 – This trip starts and finishes in Port McNeill, BC. Guests will meet in the morning at the top of the Cab’s Fuel Dock on the Port McNeill waterfront. Upon boarding “Island Odyssey”, cabins will be assigned and an introductory safety briefing will be completed.  

We have chosen Port McNeill as the starting point for this voyage because it is the closest port to the core killer whale area. We expect to discover our first pod or group of whales the first afternoon. You will agree that orcas are one of the most exciting marine mammals to watch as we see them foraging for salmon, spy hopping, and breaching (leaping clear of the water). Guests will learn about the behaviour of these fascinating creatures, listen to them calling on the ship’s underwater microphone, and learn how to identify individual animals. Each night we anchor in a secluded anchorage. Seabirds such as auklets, murres, and storm petrels are often present.

 

Day 2 – 3 We will spend this day among the islands at the western end of Queen Charlotte Strait exploring for different species of marine mammals, walking a remote beach and observing a variety of sea birds. Nearby, Pine Island has one of the largest seabird nesting colonies on the coast. The surrounding waters attract seabirds such as the shearwaters, rhinoceros and Cassins auklets, tufted puffin, phalaropes, storm-petrels, and marbled and ancient murrelets. We might also see eastern Pacific endemics such as black turnstone, surfbird and black oystercatcher.

 

Days 4 - 6 – Our focus these days will be on the waters of Johnstone Strait, the core orca watching area. We expect to have multiple encounters with the orcas. Each experience is different. Humpback whales are usually in the area, and Dall’s porpoise often come over to the boat to play on the bow wave. We will visit the modern Kwakwaka’wakw community of Alert Bay to visit the U’Mista Cultural Centre and see a fascinating collection of potlatch masks. If we have a good wind, we expect to raise the sails and enjoy the silence and beauty of sailing. There will be time to explore the protected waters using our stable, sea kayaks that we carry onboard. 

The trip now shifts as we travel deep into the Coast Mountains up a beautiful fiord called Knight Inlet. Extending nearly 60 miles, Knight Inlet is surrounded by snow-capped peaks and some of the most remote wilderness on the coast. Grizzly bears require vast areas of wilderness to survive. Starting in August, salmon return to spawn up the rivers and creeks and this essential source of food concentrates the bears along the river in the best places to fish. We hope to see bears at the mouth of the river, and often see bears walking the shore. There should be some spectacular photo opportunities so have your cameras ready.   

At the entrance to Knight Inlet is the abandoned Kwakwaka’wakw village of Mimquimlees. With permission from the local First Nations we will explore the old village to discover fallen totem poles and a rich heritage. With a good low tide, we may explore the shore for different species of colourful sea stars, anemone, and algae. We often hike into the coastal forest to see big trees and learn about the forest plants. Fall migration will be warming up and we might encounter songbirds on the move. Birds we might encounter include Pacific wren, varied thrush, western sandpiper, Townsends warbler and black swift.

Day 7 – Mid morning we return to Port McNeill to complete our voyage. Participants can catch afternoon flights back to Vancouver. For additional information specific to your trip please refer to your Bluewater Adventures Reservation Package or contact our office.

 

Travel Information

 

Booking Your Flights

Our designated Travel Agency is UNIGLOBE DIRECT TRAVEL LTD. If you need further accommodation or help with your Airfare and Insurance, please call Elaine at 604-538-2111 ext. 6614 or email elaine@uniglobedirect.com. 

PACIFIC COASTAL AIRLINES provide daily service between Vancouver International Airport South Terminal and Port Hardy. Pacific Coastal Airlines operates a free shuttle bus between Vancouver’s main air terminal and the South Terminal. Frequency is every 30 minutes. Contact Pacific Coastal Airlines for more information Toll Free: 1-800-663-2872 or 604-273-8666   www.pacificcoastal.com 

Please Note: It is possible to take an early flight from Vancouver to Port Hardy on Day 1 and arrive at the yacht on time. Historically, Port Hardy experiences fog in the morning during this time of year which can delay flights. It’s recommended to arrive the day prior to the trip start and stay the night in Port McNeill. 

WAIVIN FLAGS operates a shuttle/taxi service between Port Hardy airport and Port McNeill. Travel between Port Hardy airport and Port McNeill takes about 40 minutes and the cost will be approx. $50.00 CAD. You should reserve 24 hours in advance by calling Waivin Flags. (250-230-7655) and they will meet your incoming flight. Prices are subject to change. 

TOFINO BUS services Port Hardy – Port McNeill – Nanaimo – Victoria – Vancouver. For schedules, call 1.866.986.3466 or 250.725.2871 or check www.tofinobus.com

 

Side Trips

You may wish to extend your visit to Northern Vancouver Island and explore the local area. Port McNeill is ideally situated with ferry access to Sointula and Alert Bay. Sointula was established at the turn of the century by Finnish pioneers with a utopian dream. In Finnish, Sointula means “harmony”. It is a 25-minute ferry ride from Port McNeill.

Alert Bay is a 40-minute ferry ride from Port McNeill. During our voyage, we will be visiting Alert Bay and the U’Mista Cultural Centre, however, for those particularly interested in native culture it is worth the extra visit. There is a lovely boardwalk trail around a bog where you can enjoy interesting vegetation, bird watching and photography. Locals refer to it as ‘Gator Gardens’ – however, the name doesn’t do it justice. It’s well worth the walk.

Accommodation

 

Port McNeill

Black Bear Resort Hotel

(250) 956 4900

1 866 956 4900

www.port-mcneill-accommodation.com

 

$151-171

Haida Way Motor Inn

(250) 956-3373

1 800 956 3373

www.pmhotels.com
staff@pmhotels.com

$99 – $145

The Artists Point B&B

(250) 956 2449

www.theartistspoint.com

info@theartistspoint.com

$189

Ocean Comfort B&B

(250) 956 0002

(250) 230 4495

www.oceancomfort.net

$135

Nimpkish Forest B&B

1 855 956 3464


www.airbnb.ca/rooms/1342821

 

$70-$115

 

Alert Bay

Alert Bay Lodge

(250) 974 2410
1 800 255 5057

www.alertbaylodge.com
reservations@alertbaylodge.com

 

$119-129

 

Tourist Information

For information on what do to in Port McNeill, visit www.portmcneill.com or www.vancouverislandnorth.ca

For general information on British Columbia’s attractions, travel, restaurants, shopping, transportation and accommodation contact Destination British Columbia: 1-800 435 5622 or visit the Destination BC website at www.hellobc.com

 

BLUEWATER ADVENTURES
3 – 252 East First St
North Vancouver, BC
Canada V7L 1B3

TEL: 604-980-3800
TOLL FREE: 888-877-1770

explore@bluewateradventures.ca
www.bluewateradventures.ca

 


IMPORTANT – Register Now!
ENTER PROMO CODE IOCOTG18 UNDER ADDITIONAL COMMENTS.


* All photos courtesy of Bluewater Adventures.

FRASER RIVER DELTA / BOUNDARY BAY TOUR
SHOREBIRDS FOCUS
AUGUST 17-19, 2018

Sponsored and led by British Columbia Field Ornithologists

Less than an hour’s drive south of downtown Vancouver, the Fraser River estuary and delta is a birder’s paradise with huge expanses of tidal mudflats, bogs, and marshes surrounded by open-soil upland farmland. The size of the delta, in combination with its mix of habitats and mild climate, makes it the number one Important Bird Area (IBA) and a major birding location in Canada. The area features continentally and globally significant numbers of migrating and wintering waterbirds, plus raptors.

Shorebird migration is well underway in August as Arctic breeders flood south using Boundary Bay as a key stopover before continuing their migrations. Although August is a time of year that rarities often show up, the regularly occurring species will be our focus. These include: Black-bellied Plovers, American Golden-Plovers, Semi-palmated Plovers, Killdeers, Black Oystercatchers, Greater and Lesser Yellowlegs, Long-billed Curlews, possibly three species of godwits, plus Red Knots, Sanderlings, Semipalmated, Western, Least, Baird’s, Pectoral, and Stilt sandpipers, both species of dowitchers, Wilson’s Snipes, and Red-necked Phalaropes.

The most favorable tides for shorebird viewing are late afternoon and early evening at this time of year, consequently we are unable to offer the best shorebirding experience during the conference itself because of the mis-match between tides and conference events. Hence, this special pre-conference full-day tour on Saturday 18 August is custom designed for keen birders and for others with particular interests in shorebirds.

Leaders will optimize viewing opportunities to multiple sites around Boundary Bay, Roberts and Sturgeon Banks according to the state of the tides. Driving time will be minimized and birding time maximized to see shorebirds plus other resident and migrant passerine species.

Breakfast and boxed lunches will be provided on the Saturday. At the end of the day, dinner will be hosted at a local restaurant/bar to sample some of the local seafood specialties.

To enable us to start and end these special tours into the heart of the Fraser Delta and avoid traffic delays, accommodation at special rates is being offered at the Coast Tsawwassen Inn, Tsawwassen, for two nights (Friday 17 and Saturday 18 August) - from where all tours depart. Reduced taxi rates are available from Vancouver Airport to the hotel. Tour participants will be transported to downtown Vancouver on Sunday 19 August. 




COSTS:

Costs are not yet available but prices will include all transportation, guides, and some meals. Participants will be responsible for booking their accommodations at the Coast Tsawwassen Inn. Miscellaneous local costs such as snacks, alcoholic drinks, some meals, souvenirs and gratuities are not included.


BIRDING ABILITY AND PHYSICAL FITNESS:

Leaders will be experienced local bird guides, expert in shorebird identification. This tour is tailored for the keen birder or shorebird specialist who wants to see what the Fraser Delta and Boundary Bay have to offer during fall migration.

A moderate level of fitness will be required. At least one dyke walk of approximately 3 kms will be included. Trails on the delta are unpaved but 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 of cool winds. Rain is possible so a light rain jacket is recommended. Although it is likely to be sunny, even overcast conditions require sunscreen. Bugs are rarely a problem on the delta, and for most people bug spray is not needed. If you are sensitive to mosquito bites, be prepared with some repellent. Brimmed hats and sunglasses are recommended.


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.

OKANAGAN TOUR
AUGUST 17-19, 2018

Sponsored and led by British Columbia Field Ornithologists

Your Guide: Dick Cannings, MP

Sponsored, planned, and led by British Columbia Field Ornithologists

Paul GierszewskiOffered through BC Field Ornithologists, a truly exceptional tour to the Okanagan Valley, or simply the best place to bird in Canada, led by one of the most recognized bird experts in Canada. The Okanagan is matched by very few locations anywhere on the Continent for resident bird diversity, with over 200 species on its breeding bird list. Habitats range from sagebrush deserts to lush lakeside marshes, ponderosa pine parkland to alpine meadows. We can expect to see over 150 species on this 3-day pre-IOCongress2018 tour that will travel by coach starting and ending in downtown Vancouver.By USFWS Mountain-Prairie - Western Meadowlark

Day 1 (Friday 17 August): leave Vancouver in the early morning, proceed east to Hunter Creek for a short stop in coastal forests, looking for Band-tailed Pigeons, Steller’s Jays, Bewick’s Wren and Black-throated Gray Warbler. Then onto the Crowsnest Highway at Hope and the climb into the north Cascade Mountains of Manning Park. A stop at Sumallo Grove could produce Harlequin Duck, Black Swift, Red-breasted Sapsucker, Chestnut-backed Chickadee, American Dipper, Varied Thrush and other rainforest birds. We will then drive to the treeline for a picnic lunch in the alpine meadows, looking for Sooty Grouse, Spruce Grouse, American Three-toed Woodpecker, Clark’s Nutcracker, Gray Jay, Boreal Chickadee, Townsend’s Solitaire, and Pine Grosbeak. After lunch, we will continue east to the Similkameen Valley where we’ll search the dry grasslands and ponderosa pine forests for Dusky Grouse, Northern Pygmy-Owl, Pygmy Nuthatch, Cassin’s Finch and other species typical of these habitats. In the lower Similkameen Valley we will seek sagebrush flats for Sage Thrasher, Brewer’s Sparrow, Lark Sparrow and Vesper Sparrow. Overnight in Osoyoos.

Day 2 (Saturday 18 August): A full day of birding in the south Okanagan Valley. First morning light, we will visit to the north end of Osoyoos Lake, looking for Chukar, Golden Eagle, Peregrine Falcon, White-throated Swift, Lewis’s Woodpecker, Canyon Wren, Rock Wren, and Lazuli Bunting. A picnic lunch at Vaseux Lake could produce the species mentioned above at Osoyoos Lake as well as a variety of waterfowl. We’ll return to Osoyoos for dinner, and then take an evening drive up to the high grasslands and larch forests of Anarchist Mountain where Swainson’s Hawk and Great Gray Owl are possibilities. Overnight again in Osoyoos.

Day 3 (Sunday 19 August): We’ll meet the dawn in the sagebrush grasslands and ponderosa pine woodlands of the White Lake basin, looking for Black-chinned, Calliope and Rufous Hummingbirds, Sage Thrasher, Western and Mountain Bluebirds, and more. A drive north along Okanagan Lake to Peachland will bring us to Hardy Falls, where a short walk along the creek could produce Vaux’s Swift, American Dipper, Veery and MacGillivray’s Warbler. After lunch we will return west to arrive downtown Vancouver by late afternoon.


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


BIRDING ABILITY AND PHYSICAL FITNESS: A very experienced leader will accompany the group. This tour is specifically designated for avid birders and bird photographers. A moderate level of fitness will be required. Most field excursions will involve the group moving slowly along short to medium length but rugged trails, and some may involve elevation gain and loss of 200 meters.


WHAT TO BRING AND EXPECT: Bring hiking clothes for hot, dry summer conditions with a couple of extra layers as it is cooler at higher elevations. Sunglasses and a brimmed hat are a must. Rain is possible, so a light rain jacket is recommended. Even overcast weather in the region requires sunscreen. The need for bug spray will depend on the local conditions, but bring mosquito repellent regardless,


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

ECUADOR (With Eagle-Eye Tours)
AUGUST 27-SEPTEMBER 15, 2018

To celebrate the first time an International Ornithological Congress has been hosted on the Pacific Coast of the Americas, we are offering three post-congress birding expeditions to Ecuador. Each expedition is being planned exclusively for IOCongress2018 delegates and will have an experienced leader and local bird guides. 

A) COMPLETE AMAZON/ANDEAN CLOUD FOREST/GALAPAGOS EXPEDITION (~20 DAYS):

Departing Vancouver on Monday 27 August, we fly to Quito, the capital of Ecuador situated at almost 3,000m in the Andes. The next day, Tuesday 28 August, we will explore the culture and heritage of Quito’s “old-town” UNESCO world-heritage site.

Wednesday 29 August, we fly into the rainforest and travel down-river to a remote jungle lodge to explore the diversity of Western Amazonia. Here be macaws, toucans, and Hoatzin by day, and the call of the Potoo echoing through the forest night.

After a three-night stay, we travel by private bus into the high elevation eastern cloud and montane forests of the Andes on Saturday 1 September. We will reside at Papallacta Hot Springs for two nights and bird the high Andean landscapes for Mountain Tanagers, Sword-billed Humming birds and Torrent Duck.

On Monday 3 September, we descend into the western cloud forest around Mindo, but not before a stop at the equator line. We encounter a diversity of habitats and species as we travel across the Andes; special birds will include Andean Cock-of-the-Rock, dozens of hummingbird species and secretive antpittas.

Heading back into Quito on Wednesday 5 September, the next day we visit the Antisana Ecological Reserve (over 4,000m) on the high paramo plateau to observe more Andean specialties, including Andean Condor and Black-faced Ibis.

Friday 7 September, we trade fleece jackets for t-shirts and fly to the Galapagos for an eight-day cruise on a chartered yacht. We sail in search of “Darwin’s finches”, Waved Albatross, Flightless Cormorants, Galapagos Penguins and the full diversity of endemic wildlife, including Galapagos tortoises and marine iguanas.

We return to Quito on Friday 14 September and depart for Vancouver on Saturday 15 September.


B) AMAZON/ANDEAN CLOUD FOREST EXPEDITION (~12 DAYS) OPTION: 

Enjoy the same expedition schedule as above, but depart Quito for Vancouver on Friday 7 September, and leave the Galapagos for another time…

C) GALAPAGOS EXPEDITION (~12 DAYS): 

Departing Vancouver on Monday 27 August, we fly to Quito, the capital of Ecuador situated at almost 3,000m in the Andes. The next day we explore the culture and heritage of Quito’s “old-town” UNESCO world-heritage site. Wednesday 29 August, we fly to the Galapagos for an eight-day cruise on a chartered yacht. We sail in search of “Darwin’s finches”, Waved Albatross, Flightless Cormorants, Galapagos Penguins and the full diversity of endemic wildlife, including Galapagos tortoises and marine iguanas.

Returning to Quito on Wednesday 5 September, the next day we visit the Antisana Ecological Reserve (over 4,000m) on the high paramo plateau to observe Andean specialties, including Andean Condor and Black-faced Ibis.

We depart Quito for our return to Vancouver on Friday 7 September.


COSTS:

Costs are not yet available but prices will be in $US (the currency of Ecuador) and include international airfare (Vancouver-Quito-Vancouver), all hotels, transfers, lodges, Galapagos cruise (if selected), airfares within Ecuador, guides, park entrances, and service fees, etc. - but not some miscellaneous local costs such as snacks, alcoholic drinks, some meals, souvenirs and gratuities.

We are arranging for first-rate 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 these Ecuadorian experiences.



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:

COLOMBIA #1
Endemics & EcosysteMs of the Eastern Andes,
Atlantic Coast & The Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta
(With Eagle-Eye Tours)
AUGUST 27, 2018-September 9

The first leg of this tour focuses on the Eastern Andes. After your first night in Colombia, wake up in bustling Bogotá and travel a short distance into the wet páramo habitat of Chingaza National Park where you will search the moist, epiphyte laden cloud forest trees for dazzling tanagers and rare endemic birds, stopping at the La Calera Hummingbird Garden on the way back to the hotel for a taste of the amazing variety of hummingbirds Colombia has to offer. The next day you will bird at local wetlands of La Florida and Lake Tabacal for Bogotá savannah endemics, before dropping down in elevation to the dry forests of the Magdalena Valley the following day.

The next leg of the tour takes you to the Caribbean coast and the towering Santa Marta mountains. Fly to Cartagena and explore the lush botanical gardens before taking in the city cultural shows and then moving onto the coastal cities of Barranquilla and Santa Marta. Then you will climb up from the humid coastal lowlands into the clear mountain air of the Santa Marta mountains where the world famous birding lodge of the El Dorado Reserve is located. Due to its isolation and height, the pristine montane forest around El Dorado holds one of the highest densities of endemics of any spot in the entire world, including the Santa Marta Parakeet, Santa Marta Antpitta, and Rusty-headed Spinetail. After 3 nights at this fabulous lodge you will descend through the humid tropical forest at middle elevations before finishing the tour in the dry Guajira Peninsula and Flamencos National Park before returning to Bogotá.

Day 1. Arrival to Bogotá / Night in Bogota - Dann Norte Hotel

Day 2. Chingaza National Park and La Calera Hummingbird Garden / Night in Bogota - Dann Norte Hotel

Day 3. La Florida Park, Lake Tabacal and the Enchanted Garden / Night in Bogota - Dann Norte Hotel

Day 4. Mana Dulce Reserve (Humid Tropical and Dry Forest of Magdalena Valley) / Night in Bogota - Dann Norte Hotel

Day 5. Flight to Cartagena de Indias, birding in Cartagena Botanical Garden and Culture Shows at night in Wallet City / Night in Cartagena - Hotel Corales de Indias

Day 6. Birding all day in Tubará Natural Reserve and Puerto Velero / Night in Barranquilla 

Day 7. Isla Salamanca National Park, KM4 Dry Forest, transfer to Santa Marta / Night in Santa Marta - Costa Azul Hotel

Day 8. Tayrona National Park, then transfer El Dorado Reserve in Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta / Night in El Dorado Lodge

Day 9. El Dorado Reserve and San Lorenzo Ridge (medium elevations of Santa Marta Mountains) / Night in El Dorado Lodge

Day 10. El Dorado Reserve and San Lorenzo Ridge (medium elevations of Santa Marta Mountains) / Night in El Dorado Lodge

Day 11. El Dorado reserve and Minca Humid Tropical Forest, transfer to Riohacha city with birding in Caricari / Night in Riohacha - Taroa Hotel

Day 12. Birding Flamencos National Park and Wayuu Community Dry Forest (cultural show of Wayuu Indigenous in the afternoon) / Night in Riohacha - Taroa Hotel

Day 13. Birding in Playas de Mayapo, flight to Bogota / Night in Bogota - Dann Norte Hotel

Day 14. International flight home

Tour Leader - Ana Gonzalez-Prieto Born and raised in Colombia, Ana is an enthusiastic person, passionate about birds and people. She obtained her degree in Biology in Colombia, where she studied the distribution of birds between 400 and 4000 m in the Central Andes. After graduating she studied endangered species of parakeets and birded many remote areas in her natal country. She migrated to North America in 2006 where she became a bird bander and worked as the bander-in charge at the Klamath Bird Observatory, the Delta Marsh Bird Observatory, and then at the Long Point Bird Observatory. Her passion for birds has also taken her birding and banding in Chile, Peru, Costa Rica, and Honduras. In 2012 she graduated from the University of Saskatchewan with a Masters degree in Science, which combined with an ever growing fascination for bird migration, led to her starting a Ph.D at the University of Saskatchewan in fall 2013. As a result, she now migrates back to Colombia every winter where she spends five months birding and studying the overwinter ecology of Neotropical migrants in the Andean forests.

*COSTS: Costs are not yet available but prices will include international airfare (Vancouver-Bogota-Vancouver), all hotels, transfers, lodges, airfares within Colombia, guides, park entrances and service fees, etc. - but not some miscellaneous local costs such as snacks, alcoholic drinks, some meals, souvenirs and gratuities. We are arranging for first-rate 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 these Colombian experiences.

**REGISTRATION: 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:

COLOMBIA TOUR #2
The Western Andes & the Choco Biodiversity Hotspot

(With Eagle-Eye Tours)
AUGUST 27, 2018-September 10, 2018

This tour focuses on the megadiverse Western Andes and Pacific lowlands of the Tumbes-Chocó-Magdalena biodiversity hotspot. We will start the tour by flying to Cali for the first leg of the tour, visiting the renowned KM18 Reserve and the Anchicaya Canyon, as well as local Hummingbird and Tanager gardens, where a myriad of brightly colored birds will dazzle you. Then we will climb into the Western Andes and visit the Montezuma Nature Reserve in Tatamá National Park. This untouched park is one of the best birding destination in Colombia, with endemics such as the Golden-ringed Tanager, Black-and-Gold Tanager, Beautiful Jay, and the recently described and critically endangered Munchique Wood Wren, to name a few.

After the incredible diversity of the Western Andes you can relax in the Pacific lowlands of Chocó. After arriving in Bahia Solano and settling into the exquisite El Almejal Ecolodge you will bird the trail around El Valle seeing species such as the Baudo Oropendula, Saffron-headed Parrot, Chocó Toucan, and Great Green Macaws, and follow a hot morning's birding exploring the beaches to search for nesting sea turtles. Then you will move down the coast to gorgeous Utria National Park, where Humpback Whales visit to give birth in September, and where you may encounter birds such as Great Curassows, Brown Wood Rails and the enigmatic Broad-billed Sapayoa. You will finish the tour traveling through Bahia Solano and returning to Bogotá. 

Day 1. Arrival to Bogota / Night in Bogota - Dann Norte Hotel

Day 2. Flight to Cali, KM 18 Reserve and Finca Alejandria Hummingbird Garden, transfer Queremal Village - El Campanario Hotel

Day 3 & 4. Anchicaya Canyon and Queremal Hummingbird and Tanager Garden / Night in Queremal Village - El Campanario Hotel

Day 5. Laguna de Sonso Sanctuary Fauna and Flora, transfer to Montezuma Nature Reserve in Tatama National Park / Night in Montezuma Lodge

Day 6 & 7. Montezuma Natural Reserve, Tatamá National Park / Night in Montezuma Lodge

Day 8. Montezuma, flight to Medellin / Night in Medellin - Porton Medellin

Day 9. Flight to Bahia Solano, birding on the road Bahia - El Valle / Night in El Almejal Ecolodge

Day 10. Birding in El Valle Road all day and Rio Tundo Path (exploring for sea turtles) / Night in El Almejal Ecolodge

Day 11. Birding on the path El valle - Utria all day / Night in El Almejal Ecolodge

Day 12. Transfer by boat to Utria National Park (exploring for humpback whales and dolphins), birding in Mangroves of Utria / Night in Utria National park cabins

Day 13. Utria National Park and Cocalito Trail / Night in Utria National park cabins

Day 14. Utria National Park then transfer to Bahia Solano and flight to Medellin - Bogota / Night in Bogota - Dann Norte Hotel

Day 15. International Flight to Canada

Tour Leader - Dr. David Bradley Raised in East Africa, David has been a birder for as long as he can remember. Currently he works as the British Columbia Program Manager at Bird Studies Canada, where he came after completing a postdoc at the BSC head office in Ontario and the University of Guelph on migration and breeding phenology in Tree Swallows. Although his PhD was conducted in New Zealand on the ecology and conservation of the endangered and endemic North Island Kokako, David has also been involved in several behavioral studies of Neotropical birds in Mexico, Costa Rica, Panama, and Colombia. He is currently working on several ornithological field studies in BC, including an invasive mammalian predator study in Haida Gwaii, one of his favourite natural environments, and a Long-billed Curlew migration tracking study in the Kootenay Mountains. Married to Colombian, David makes frequent visits there and has birded widely in this sensational birding destination, including to both the Santa Marta mountains and the Chocó coast.

*COSTS: Costs are not yet available but prices will include international airfare (Vancouver-Bogota-Vancouver), all hotels, transfers, lodges, airfares within Colombia, guides, park entrances and service fees, etc. - but not some miscellaneous local costs such as snacks, alcoholic drinks, some meals, souvenirs and gratuities. We are arranging for first-rate 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 these Colombian experiences.

**REGISTRATION: 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:

 

BC CASCADES TOUR
AUGUST 27-29, 2018

Sponsored and led by British Columbia Field Ornithologists

Day 1, Monday 27 August:

We depart Vancouver in the early morning by road and head for our primary destination, E.C. Manning Provincial Park, 70,844 hectares in the heart of the Cascade Mountains of British Columbia (elevation ~1,200m). After travelling the full length of the Lower Fraser Valley we will start our ascent into the mountains passing the famous Hope Slide, a short distance east of the town of Hope. Along the way, at a couple of Fraser Valley hotspots, we will sample lower elevation species typical of riparian forests and wetlands. Wood Ducks, Ring-necked Ducks and Hooded Mergansers are typical waterfowl, with a chance for Cinnamon Teal. Passerines will include Western Wood Pewees, Steller’s Jays, Chestnut-backed Chickadees, Western Tanagers, Black-headed Grosbeaks and Bullock’s Orioles. Gaining elevation as we head toward the Park, we will cross the transition from wet coastal zones to the Interior Dry Douglas-fir zone. Once in the Park in the early afternoon, the diverse landscapes will offer many species of birds in habitats varying from riparian thickets and coniferous forests, to open, sub-alpine meadows. At Sumallo Grove, a stand of huge, ancient Douglas-fir and Western red cedar, we will look for typical rainforest species including Varied Thrush, Western Tanager, Chestnut-backed Chickadee, Pacific Wren, and Vaux’s Swift. We’ll be listening for Sooty Grouse, and on the Skagit River at this location, we may find an American Dipper. Continuing to gain elevation to around 1200 m, we’ll look for species more typical of the mountains such as Townsend’s Solitaires, Western Tanagers, McGillivray’s and Townsend’s Warblers, Pine Grosbeaks and perhaps crossbills. Check-in for the night at the Manning Park Resort, dinner and bird-lists.

Day 2, Tuesday 28 August:

Early morning birding before breakfast. Then, our first priority will be to gain elevation to about 2,000m at the base of Blackwall Peak. We’ll drive the mountain access road stopping frequently on the way up, to look and listen for, among other species, Boreal Chickadees, Clark’s Nutcrackers, Gray Jays, Spruce Grouse, Dusky (rare) and Sooty Grouse (these two species’ ranges overlap here). From the Cascade Lookout we’ll enjoy truly spectacular mountain views. After a picnic lunch, we will spend some time walking the Heather Trail as it winds through the sub-alpine meadows, not only looking for birds but also for mammals such as hoary marmots, before we head down again to continue exploring the park’s rich variety of habitats. Barrow’s Goldeneyes are possible on the lakes, American Three-toed Woodpeckers, Red-naped and Red-breasted sapsuckers are possible in the forests. In the park there is always the chance to see black bears. Mule deer are common. Columbian ground squirrels are abundant. River otters may be seen in the lakes, and beavers, while common, are largely nocturnal. If time allows, we’ll take the short drive down toward Princeton to explore the Ponderosa Pine, Interior Douglas-fir zone to find species typical of the Dry Interior such as Dusky Grouse, Mountain and Western Bluebirds, Vesper Sparrows, and White-breasted and Pygmy Nuthatches. Second night at the Manning Park Resort, dinner and bird-lists.

Day 3, Wednesday 29 August:

Early morning birding before breakfast. Departure back to Vancouver (arrival early afternoon).


COSTS:

Costs are not yet available but prices will include all transportation, accommodations, guides, and some meals. Miscellaneous local costs such as snacks, alcoholic drinks, some meals, 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.
Walking will be over relatively flat trails with mostly gentle inclines. A low to moderate level of fitness is all that will be required.

WHAT TO BRING AND EXPECT:

We will be in high mountain terrain where, even in August, weather can change suddenly and dramatically. Be prepared with multiple layers of clothing, which can be added and removed to match the conditions. Rain is possible, wind likely, and in sunny conditions the UV index can be extremely high. Sunscreen is a necessity. The need for bug spray will depend on the season’s conditions. 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.

TUMBLER RIDGE
BIRDS AND DINOSAURS TOUR
AUGUST 27-30, 2018

Sponsored and led by British Columbia Field Ornithologists

Situated in spectacular Rocky Mountain foothills landscapes, Tumbler Ridge in northeastern British Columbia is a premier dinosaur location, part of UNESCO’s Global Geopark Network, and a fabulous place to go birding.

Departing Vancouver early morning, a flight of less than 2 hours takes us to Fort St John, followed by a 2-hour drive to Tumbler Ridge. En route, we will sample the richest birding locations the area has to offer. All three nights will be spent in Tumbler Ridge at the Trend Mountain Hotel and Conference Centre, with birding and dinosaur-focused trips to a variety of locations.

Home to some of the world’s oldest fossil bird trackways (early Cretaceous) and theropod dinosaur trackways, including the only known tyrannosaur trackways, this tour is a unique opportunity to appreciate birds past and present. We will observe the outcomes of avian evolution in both the recent and distant past. We will visit dinosaur tracksites of the Mesozoic age, as well as the location that provided the evidence for the split of Winter Wren and Pacific Wren in North America – a divergence that took place during the Pleistocene.

As part of the tour we’ll get a behind-the-scenes visit to the Dinosaur Discovery Gallery where we’ll meet the paleontologists and learn first hand about the important dinosaur discoveries being made in the area.

Over 240 species of birds have been recorded in Tumbler Ridge’s diverse habitats, which range from subalpine and alpine tundra, to low-elevation mixed forests, through wetlands, lakes, rivers, canyons, and prairie. As glaciers retreated after the last Ice Age, the Tumbler Ridge area became the meeting place of eastern and western species that were isolated in separate refugia during the Pleistocene. As a result, interesting species pairs are found that include Townsend’s (western) and Black-throated Green (eastern) Warblers, MacGillivray’s (western) and Mourning (eastern) Warblers, and both Myrtle and Audubon’s forms of Yellow-rumped Warblers. In August few birds to be singing, but they will be calling. There will be many young birds and some early movements of migrants taking place. While focusing on the birds, field trips will also incorporate spectacular waterfall destinations and mountain scenery.

We will have easy access to the alpine to look for White-tailed and Willow Ptarmigans and Gray-crowned Rosy Finches. Lower down we’ll look for Dusky Grouse. Black Terns may be seen on the wetlands, and Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers and Boreal Chickadees and White-winged Crossbills in the forests.

In the evenings we will be treated to northern BC hospitality, including a welcome reception, a dinosaur footprint tour by lantern-light, and a barbecue featuring a local and traditional menu.



COSTS:

Costs are not yet available but prices will include all transportation, guides, and some meals. Miscellaneous local costs such as snacks, alcoholic drinks, some meals, 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.

Both visual skills and aural skills will be needed. A moderate level of fitness will be required. Most field trips will involve fairly short and level walks on trails, but the alpine excursion will involve elevation gain and loss of 400 meters.

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.

VANCOUVER ISLAND/WEST COAST
PELAGIC BIRDING TOUR
AUGUST 27-30, 2018

Sponsored and led by British Columbia Field Ornithologists

Wild seas, rugged coastlines, beautiful beaches and towering temperate rain forests await us on Vancouver Island’s west coast – the stepping-off point for IOCongress2018’s pelagic birding adventure. Our expedition is focused on the spectacular birdlife of the eastern Pacific, but participants can also expect encounters with other marine fauna, including cetaceans and pinnipeds that gather in these areas of rich oceanic upwelling.

Jeff ReynoldsBoarding our seaplane in Vancouver harbor outside the conference venue, will be the start of a stunning flight to our destination Bamfield on Vancouver Island’s rugged west coast and the open Pacific Ocean. Accommodation will be in a local lodge.

Using two boats from the Bamfield Marine Station we will depart early morning heading offshore for the Swiftsure and La Perouse banks. Near shore species will likely include Brandt’s, Pelagic, and Double-crested Cormorants, Mew, California, Thayer’s, Western and Glaucous-winged gulls, along with Common Murres, Pigeon Guillemots, Marbled Murrelets, and Rhinoceros Auklets.

Offshore, things will pick up rapidly from about five kilometers out with Sooty Shearwaters starting the Black-footed Albatross - Caleb Putnamparade of pelagic specialists. Black-footed Albatrosses, Northern Fulmars, Pink-footed Shearwaters, and Fork-tailed Storm Petrels can all be reasonably expected, with chances of seeing rarer pelagics such as Flesh-footed, Buller’s, and Manx shearwaters, and Leach’s Storm Petrels especially when birding the bank edges. Other possibilities, inshore and offshore, include Tufted Puffins, South Polar Skua, Pomarine, Parasitic, and Long-tailed jaegers, Sabine’s Gulls, Red-necked and Red phalaropes, Red-throated, Pacific and Common loons.

Depending on demand, we will offer boat trips on one, or on two days. In the event we have sufficient numbers, participants will be divided into two groups alternating a day on the water with a day on shore exploring the natural history and marine life of this beautiful coastal area. A minimum of two nights in Bamfield should be anticipated.



COSTS:

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

BIRDING ABILITY AND PHYSICAL FITNESS:

We are arranging for expert pelagic birding guides and naturalist guides to accompany all groups, both offshore and onshore. You can be a birder, photographer, naturalist, learner, traveler, adventurer, or none of the above – and still be thrilled by this experience.

We will be on the open Pacific Ocean where boats may encounter heavy swells and rough conditions. Precautions should be taken to avoid seasickness. A moderate level of fitness is all that will be required. Most land excursions will involve fairly short and level walks through forests, on trails, and along beaches.


WHAT TO BRING AND EXPECT
:

Offshore weather can be unpredictable. We advise bringing rain gear, wearing a hat layering clothing that can be added and removed to deal with changing conditions on the water, and on land. Sunglasses and sunscreen are recommended, as glare from the ocean surface can be significant.

Additional details regarding seasickness prevention and clothing suggestions will be provided following registration.


IMPORTANT – REGISTER NOW!

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

NORTHERN GREAT BEAR RAINFOREST
AUGUST 28-SEPTEMBER 5, 2018

This post-Congress adventure heads into remote wilderness, seeking wildlife and meeting native guides. Learn why the Great Bear Rainforest is one of the last gems on the Pacific Coast. These primeval forests are the only habitat of the Kermode or “spirit bear”. An elusive and rarely seen wonder, the Spirit Bear is a genetic throwback - a black bear with a “recessive” gene for snow-white fur.

Starting in Bella Bella, BC, we explore this incredible area with permission from the local Gitga’at, Kitasoo/Xai’Xais, and Haisla First Nations. We plan to spend a day with local Gitga’at guides who will share their culture and history as they guide us to their favourite bear viewing sites. We also make efforts to visit the newly built Big Houses in Klemtu or Hartley Bay.

This area is home to the magnificent grizzly bear, a species that requires large areas of habitat undisturbed by human activity. These bears are drawn to the estuaries of large coastal rivers to feast on the salmon moving upriver to spawn. They depend on these salmon to survive. We plan on exploring up remote coastal fiords and expect to see these majestic creatures.

This area has a very rich and varied bird population. You’ll be amazed at the number of bald eagles, ravens and Bonaparte's, Mew, and Glaucous-winged Gulls that gather at the estuaries to feed on the spawning salmon. A variety of other birds, such as the Marbled Murrelet, "Sooty" Fox Sparrow, Common Merganser, Black Oystercatcher, American Dipper, Steller's Jay, Red-throated Loon, Pacific Wren, Pacific-slope Flycatcher, and Townsend's Warbler are also commonly encountered.


IMPORTANT – Register Now!
ENTER PROMO CODE IOCNGB18 UNDER ADDITIONAL COMMENTS.


*All photos courtesy of Bluewater Adventures.