Expert naturalists and birders, Jude and Al Grass, will lead a tour of Hope’s birding hot spots.
Beginner and expert birders of all ages are welcome to join us for an easy walk around two of Hope’s best birding areas. The Hope Airpark and Thacker Marsh offer diverse habitats and a variety of birds to see in spring. This program is a great opportunity to try the sport of birding, meet fellow birders, and build your identification skills.
Recent account from birders new to the Hope Airpark…”we had a perfect day. We found the airport and drove slowly round. If you’d like to test your ears, I recommend the north-east corner; we stopped there and enjoyed the most confusing cacophony of bird sound! White-crowned, Song, and Savannah Sparrows were loudly proclaiming territory alongside Spotted Towhees. A Rufous Hummingbird was diving and singing while Yellow-rumped Warblers poured through the bushy trees mixing their varied trills with the gentle curve of the Orange-crowned’s song. Of course Pine Siskins stirred their racket into the air and most confusing to me were the loud songs of what turned out to be dashing male Goldfinch. Add in a bit of Black-capped Chickadee, American Robin, Varied Thrush, and Steller’s Jay for seasoning and you have a major sound tangle to unravel. Whew!”
Hope is a natural stopover and resting place for birds as they make their way northward from the United States through the Cascade Mountain Range in the spring. Some species commonly found at Hope airport include Common Redpoll, Mountain Bluebird, Lazuli Bunting, Say’s Phoebe, Band-tailed Pigeon and a variety of swallows. A good article by local birders on the birds around Hope Airport can be found on the Fraser Valley Birding website.
Drained by Sucker Creek, Thacker Marsh is another hotbed of bird activity with riparian species such as Red-winged Blackbird, American Dipper, Belted Kingfisher, Great Blue Heron and several diving and dabbling duck species. A variety of other perching birds may also be seen, including a good sampling of wood warblers in surrounding willows. Check out the article entitled Sucker Creek Fish Enhancement Area for more details of this wetland area.
BIRDS SEEN DURING PROGRAM (thanks to Jude Grass for tracking and compiling the list)
Participants will be walking for short distances (3-4 km) on trails and road sides during the program. Terrain is generally flat and easy.
Participants should be prepared for the demands of changing weather and it’s often quite breezy at Hope Airpark.
Saturday, May 2, 2015
8:00 AM – Meet at Hope Airpark. Click HERE for map.
After an introduction, we’ll tour the Airpark and identify birds by sight and call.
11:00 AM – Thacker Marsh.
We’ll walk beside the marsh, looking for birds in the wetland and adjacent forest.
12:00 PM – If the weather is nice, consider bringing a packed lunch and enjoy a picnic beside the Coquihalla River. There are a number of nice locations near the marsh.
12:30 – Continue exploration around Thacker Marsh.
3:00 PM – Head home after a great day of birding!
Participants will need their own vehicles to get to our meeting places. Car pooling is encouraged. All locations will be accessible to 2-wheel drive vehicles.
- Binoculars or spotting scope/tripod
- Bird ID book
- Smart phone or tablet with pre-loaded bird ID software (optional)
- Clothes for changing weather
- Sturdy footwear
- Water, snacks
- Knapsack to carry food, gear
Everyone age 19 & over must sign a liability waiver form in order to participate in this program. Please take the time to read this form because you must understand and agree to it when you sign it. By signing it you are waiving certain rights, including the right to sue. These forms will be available to sign when you check in. Please seek legal counsel if you have any questions.
Everyone age 18 & under must have an informed consent form signed by their parent or legal guardian in order to participate. Please contact us if you need this form prior to arrival at this program.
Space is limited and there may be a waiting list, so please let us know immediately if you must cancel.
A NOTE ABOUT LIABILITY
Hope Mountain Centre carries liability insurance and maintains excellent safety records. Due to the nature of outdoor programs, these trips do involve some personal risk. Hope Mountain Centre assumes no responsibility for personal injury or damage to personal property and we will require each participant to sign a liability release and assumption of risk form before participating in this program.
Please be aware that activities typical of this program involve many risks, dangers and hazards including, but not limited to: accidents which occur during transportation or travel to and from events; slips and falls; loss of balance; impact, cold water immersion; repetitive strain injuries; dislocated shoulders; hypothermia, frostbite, sunburn; changing and inclement weather conditions including storms, blizzards, whiteouts and high wind; steepness of terrain, tree wells, crevasses; avalanches, cornices, landslides and falling ice, snow and objects; encounters with domestic or wild animals; negligence on the part of releasees and other participants.
While we love animals of all kinds, we ask that you please leave your pet at home.