Photo: Common Loon by Lyle Grisedale

Schedule of Events

Registration begins in April 2nd, 2024 at 9:00 am PST


Thursday, May 9

7:00 pm   "A Birder's Guide to Everything" Film

Friday, May 10

12:00 pm - 4:00 pm   Final Registration at the Rotacrest Hall
   Kayak the West Creston Channels
12:00 pm - 2:00 pm   Historical Walking Tour with Urban Birding
5:00 pm - 9:00 pm   Banquet with Presentations
7:00 pm - 8:00 pm   Local History Goes To The Birds!!
8:00 pm - 9:00 pm   Birds of Kenya

Saturday, May 11

6:00 am - 6:30 am   Tours Meet: Free Continental Breakfast
Bird Tours
6:30 am - 10:30 am   Kayak the West Creston Channels
   Birding by Car to Duck Lake
   Birding at Duck Lake
   Duck Lake and Beyond
   Birding the Wildlife Area Trails
   Birding the Wildlife Area Trails - beginner
   Exploring Wynndel and Lower Arrow Creek Areas
   From Farmlands to Forests
   Birding the Farmlands
   Fox Tree Hill, Tanal Marsh, Mawson Lake
10:00 am - 12:00 pm   Family Birding to Schikurski Park
Valley Tours and Events
10:00 am - 12:00 pm   Wildflower Wander up to Balancing Rock
10:00 am - 3:00 pm   Spread Your Wings! Drop-in activities and crafts for families!
10:30 am - 4:30 pm   Guided Canoe Trips
12:00 pm - 2:00 pm   Winery Tour and Tastings at Baillie-Grohman Winery
12:30 pm - 2:30 pm   Kootenay Meadows Organic Dairy Farm Tour
2:30 pm - 4:30 pm   Tour of Swan Valley Honey
3:00 pm - 5:00 pm   Weeds to the Rescue - Medicine from your backyard
4:00 pm - 6:00 pm   Bird Brain Trivia at Wild North Brewing
Presentations and Workshops
9:00 am - 10:00 am   Spring Wildflower Presentation
11:30 am - 12:30 pm   Springtime Creston Birds
1:00 pm - 2:00 pm   iNaturalist Workshop
2:30 pm -3:30 pm   Nature Canada's Bird Friendly Cities
4:00 pm - 5:00 pm   BC Marsh Monitoring Program
5:30 pm - 6:30 pm   BC Nature Important Bird Areas
7:00 pm - 8:00 pm   All About Bats!
Explore the Night!
5:30 pm until music ends!   Valleyview Motel BBQ and Live Music
7:00 pm - 9:00 pm   Evening Sounds at Duck Lake
8:30 pm - 10:00 pm   Bat Count
8:45 pm - 10:15 pm   Star Gazing

Sunday, May 12

6:00 am - 6:30 am   Tours Meet: Free Continental Breakfast
Bird Tours
6:30 am - 10:30 am   Kayak the West Creston Channels
   Birding by Car to Duck Lake
   Birding at Duck Lake
   Duck Lake and Beyond
   Birding the Wildlife Area Trails
   Birding the Wildlife Area Trails - beginner
   Exploring Wynndel and Lower Arrow Creek
   From Farmlands to Forests
   Birding the Farmland
   Fox Tree Hill, Tanal Marsh, Mawson Lake
12:00 pm - 5:00 pm   Ripple Ridge Cabin
1:00 pm - 5:00 pm   Slurp and Chirp at Baillie-Grohman Estate Winery

Monday, May 13

9:00 am - 12:00 pm   Birding in Crawford Bay




Thursday, May 9


"A Birder's Guide to Everything" Film

“A Birder’s Guide to Everything” (2013) may not be a rare find, but it’s surely a heartfelt sight for sore eyes nestled between perfectly hatched performances.

Movie info:  On the eve of his father’s remarriage, a teenage birding enthusiast (Kodi Smit-McPhee) leads his friends on a road trip to find an extremely rare duck.  Movie also stars Ben Kingsley.

Come to the library for a free movie with popcorn!  

Movie Trailer

 

Time   7:00 pm, Thursday
Cost   FREE!!
Limit   40
Where   Creston Valley Public Library, 531-16th Ave S.  (Map)
Note   Registration is not required for this event.



Friday, May 10


Final Registration at the Rotacrest Hall

Time   12:00 pm - 4:00 pm, Friday
Where   Rotacrest Hall, 230B-19th Ave N  (Map)


Kayak the West Creston Channels

Please bring your own kayak or canoe. Rentals are also available from the Creston Valley Tour Co. with a 10% discount and free delivery!!  250-428-2336 

Creston Valley Tour Co

Join Daryl and Dannie on Frenchman’s Slough for a peaceful paddle on quiet waters lined with tall cottonwoods and thick shrubbery. Ideal habitat for a variety of water and land birds including orioles, kingbirds, kingfishers, raptors, and ducks.  If the water level in the channel is too low, the alternate tour will be driving Reclamation Road and walking up Dodge Creek Road.

Tour leader   Daryl Calder, assisted by Dannie Carsen
Time   12:00 pm - 4:00 pm, Friday
Difficulty   Easy kayaking in calm waters
Cost   $25
Limit   10
Where   Frenchman's Slough in West Creston  (Map)
Meet   Meet at West Creston Channels (Peterman Road and W. Creston Road intersection)
Note   Limited parking at launch but unlimited parking west side of Peterman Road

Photo credit: Joelle Burnie

Historical Walking Tour with Urban Birding

Interested in listening to some of Creston’s history while viewing the birdlife within our town? Join Tammy on an easy walk “south of the tracks”. Find out what settlers and pioneers are resting in Creston’s cemetery. Our feathery friends have a habit of showing up everywhere along the way including in local stories of our past.

 

Tour leader   Tammy Bradford, Creston Museum Manager
Time   12:00 pm - 2:00 pm, Friday
Difficulty   Easy walking (approx. 4 km)
Cost   $10
Limit   12
Where   Meet at the Pavilion in Centennial Park


Banquet with Presentations

A chance to meet new and old birding friends to discuss rare bird findings while enjoying locally produced beverages from Baillie-Grohman Estate Winery, Red Bird Winery, and Wild North Brewery. 

The buffet dinner is served by Savour & Company Kitchen who also focus on using locally-sourced products grown in our valley.

Presentations to follow dinner by Tammy Bradford and Gary Davidson. 

There will be some great door prizes!!  

Time   5:00 pm - 9:00 pm, Friday
Cost   $45
Limit   100
Where   Rotacrest Hall, 230B-19th Ave N  (Map)


Local History Goes To The Birds!!

Presentation by Tammy Bradford, Creston Museum

To celebrate Creston’s Centennial, this presentation will recognize the work of volunteer birders, biologists, and ornithologists that have collected bird data in our valley over the years.  Learn about J.A. Munroe’s observations made starting from 1947 for the publication “The Birds and Mammals of the Creston Region” to the more recent work being done at the Creston Valley Wildlife Management area. Tammy will also share some of her amazing photography from her travels with her camera around the valley!

Time   7:00 pm - 8:00 pm, Friday
Cost   Included in banquet cost
Where   Rotacrest Hall, 230B-19th Ave N  (Map)

Photo credit: Tammy Bradford

Birds of Kenya

Presentation by Gary Davidson

This presentation will feature some of the 546 species of birds seen during my 5-week trip to Kenya in October/November 2023. However, one can’t possibly go to Kenya and not have other outstanding wildlife experiences. In addition to the birds, you will see elephants, lions, cheetahs and an assortment of grazing mammals.

Time   8:00 pm - 9:00 pm, Friday
Cost   Included in banquet cost
Where   Rotacrest Hall, 230B-19th Ave N  (Map)

Photo credit: Gary Davidson (Golden Palm Weaver)


Saturday, May 11


Tours Meet: Free Continental Breakfast

Meet your birding tour leader at the Rotacrest Hall

Donations from:

Lark Coffee, Tigz Teas, the Golden Flour Bakery, Pealow’s Independent Grocer, and Save-On Foods will be available.

Please bring your own cup.

Tours will leave exactly at 6:30 am so don’t be late!!

Time   6:00 am - 6:30 am, Saturday
Where   Rotacrest Hall, 230B-19th Ave N  (Map)

Be aware: Bears are in the valley. Please bring Bear Spray!

Kayak the West Creston Channels

Please bring your own kayak or canoe. Rentals are also available from the Creston Valley Tour Co. with a 10% discount and free delivery!!  250-428-2336

Creston Valley Tour Co  

Join Daryl on Frenchman’s Slough for a peaceful paddle on quiet waters lined with tall cottonwoods and thick shrubbery. Ideal habitat for a variety of water and land birds including orioles, kingbirds, kingfishers, raptors, and ducks.  If the water level in the channel is too low, the alternate tour will be driving Reclamation Road and walking up Dodge Creek Road.

 

 

Tour leader   Daryl Calder, assisted by Tim Raff
Time   6:30 am - 10:30 am, Saturday
Difficulty   Easy kayaking in calm waters
Cost   $25
Limit   10
Where   Frenchman’s Slough in West Creston  (Map)
Meet   Meet at West Creston Channels (Peterman Road and W. Creston Road intersection)
Note   Limited parking at launch but unlimited parking west side of Peterman Road


Birding by Car to Duck Lake

A variety of landscapes means a variety of birds. Join Ed and Hazel for a driving tour looking for birds beside mountain shrubbery, open farmland, a slow-moving channel, marshland, to the wide-open Duck Lake. Possible sightings of Lazuli Buntings, Raptors, Wood Ducks, Say’s Phoebes, Bullock’s Orioles, and Sandhill Cranes.

Tour leader   Ed and Hazel Beynon
Time   6:30 am - 10:30 am, Saturday
Difficulty   Easy – driving with numerous stops
Cost   $25
Limit   10
Where   Road to Duck Lake  (Map)
Meet   Rotacrest Hall, 230B-19th Ave N
Note   Carpooling is suggested. Please drive slow for no dust.

Photo credit: Claude Rioux

Birding at Duck Lake

In 2002, the Creston Valley Wildlife Management Area was designated as a nationally Important Bird Area (IBA) because it regularly supports over 100,000 water birds during migration periods.  Join Liam, BC’s Provincial IBA Coordinator, to see how Duck Lake got its name!! 

This 1,500 hectare lake is an important destination in the migration of Tundra Swans and Greater White-fronted Geese, and a vast array of waterfowl. Birdwatchers marvel at the 6 species of grebes, large numbers of Great-blue herons, the rare Forster’s Terns – which breed no where else in BC.  During their spring migrations, thousands of waterfowl use the lake as a landing pad, stopping to rest and feed on their long journey.  Walk the dyke along the south end to see what you can find!  The festival weekend is always a great time of year for shorebirds!

Tour leader   Liam Ragan
Time   6:30 am - 10:30 am, Saturday
Difficulty   Easy walking
Cost   $25
Limit   10
Meet   Rotacrest Hall 230B-19th Ave N

Photo credit: Ulrike Sliworsky (Forster's Terns)

Duck Lake and Beyond

Tour leader   Julia Flesaker
Time   6:30 am - 10:30 am, Saturday
Difficulty   Easy walking
Cost   $25
Limit   10
Meet   Rotacrest Hall 230B-19th Ave N

Photo credit: Tammy Bradford (Sandhill Crane)

Birding the Wildlife Area Trails

Exploring the dikes and trails through the expansive wetlands of Creston Valley Wildlife Management Area – Corn Creek Marsh. These trails are full of riparian-habitat songbirds, marsh birds and waterfowl. Your best chance at seeing a Sora!

Tour leader   Jo Ellen Floer
Time   6:30 am - 10:30 am, Saturday
Difficulty   Moderate walking, approx. 4km
Cost   $25
Limit   10
Meet   Rotacrest Hall 230B-19th Ave N

Photo credit: Karen Whitford (Barn Swallows)

Birding the Wildlife Area Trails - beginner

Welcome to Birding!  This trip is geared for anyone relatively new to birding. We’ll walk the paths around the Discovery Centre, with a focus on getting good looks at birds. We’ll answer your questions about binoculars, field guides, and good times and places to watch birds in the Kootenays. Families are welcome. We’ll bring a spotting scope that we’ll keep at a kid-friendly height.

Tour leader   Carolee and Sarah
Time   6:30 am - 10:30 am, Saturday
Difficulty   Moderate walking, approx. 4km
Cost   $25
Limit   10
Meet   Rotacrest Hall 230B-19th Ave N

Photo credit: Lyle Grisedale (Yellow-headed Blackbird)

Exploring Wynndel and Lower Arrow Creek Areas

With a mix of Forest, Open Fields, Farmland and Orchards, this area has potential to discover and observe a wide variety of birds from Song Birds, Woodpeckers, Jays, Owls and other Raptors, and Waterfowl. The trip will start in the Lower Arrow Creek area and then cross over Arrow Pass into the Creston Valley to explore the Wynndel area. We will travel by car but will walk rural areas as we search for and observe the birds of this lush mixed habitat.

Tour leader   Lyle Grisedale
Time   6:30 am - 10:30 am, Saturday
Difficulty   Easy walking/driving
Cost   $25
Limit   12
Meet   Rotacrest Hall 230B-19th Ave N

Photo credit: Lyle Grisedale (Red-tailed Hawk)

From Farmlands to Forests

Take a drive with Gary to the benchlands of West Creston that will tour farmlands, meadows, timber, wet edges, and the beautiful Kootenay River with big vistas and great thermals.  Possible species include Sandhill Cranes, Long-billed Curlews, Bobolinks, Western and Eastern Kingbirds, Mountain Bluebirds, hawks, falcons, and some other interesting surprises!  The Dodge Creek Forest Road should be good for viewing flycatchers, warblers, grosbeaks, vireos, and some interesting sparrows.

Tour leader   Gary Davidson
Time   6:30 am - 10:30 am, Saturday
Difficulty   Easy walking/driving
Cost   $25
Limit   12
Where   Nick Island, Reclamation Road, Dodge Creek Forest Roads  (Map)
Meet   Rotacrest Hall 230B-19th Ave N

Photo credit: Lyle Grisedale (Mountain Bluebird)

Birding the Farmlands

Come along as we explore the flats, Creston’s wide open spaces. Keep an eye out for raptors, meadowlarks, songbirds, and maybe even a curlew as we meander through the expanses of farmland in the valley. This tour will include some short walks on flat terrain along with some car-birding. We will cover a variety of habitats to focus on birds unique to the farmlands. 

Tour leader   Gaelen Schnare
Time   6:30 am - 10:30 am, Saturday
Difficulty   Easy walking/driving
Cost   $25
Limit   12
Meet   Rotacrest Hall 230B-19th Ave N

Photo credit: Lyle Grisedale (Western Meadowlark)

Fox Tree Hill, Tanal Marsh, Mawson Lake

Join our new guide, Carter, at Fox Tree Hill, Tanal Marsh, and Mawson Lake as we visit both forest and marsh for possible sightings of Common loons, waterfowl, hummingbirds, and wide variety of song birds. There will be some easy hiking as we wander through the open forest at Fox Tree Hill. For the photographers in the group there will be many great photo opportunities.

Tour leader   Carter Strope
Time   6:30 am - 10:30 am, Saturday
Difficulty   Easy Walking
Cost   $25
Limit   10
Meet   Rotacrest Hall 230B-19th Ave N

Photo credit: Karen Whitford (Rufous Hummingbird)

Family Birding to Schikurski Park

Join Ulrike for a walk down the Devon Trail to Schikurski Park to see what feathery friends we can find!  There might be a beautiful Lazuli Bunting singing from the treetops, or a pheasant running through the grasses.  Some surprises along the way!

Bring your binoculars and investigative skills!  “Eye spy with my eagle eyes”!

Tour leader   Ulrike Sliworsky
Time   10:00 am - 12:00 pm, Saturday
Difficulty   Easy walking
Cost   Family rate: $10 includes 1 Adult + 2 Kids ($5 additional person)
Limit   20
Meet   Rotacrest Hall 230B-19th Ave N

Photo credit: Ulrike Sliworsky

Wildflower Wander up to Balancing Rock

An uphill climb to a little wetland with fantastic views of our valley!  Skunk cabbage, Ferns, and Devil’s Club galore.  Late spring flowers should also be along the trail such as Larkspur, Paintbrush, Shooting Star, Wild Ginger, Trillium, Spring Beauty, and Ragged Robin.  Some feathery friends might show up too!

Tour leader   Jesse Moreton and Ed McMackin
Time   10:00 am - 12:00 pm, Saturday
Difficulty   Difficult Uphill
Cost   $15
Limit   12
Meet   Rotacrest Hall 230B-19th Ave N

Photo credit: Jesse Moreton (Fireweed)

Spread Your Wings! Drop-in activities and crafts for families!

Join us at the Discovery Centre to learn more about the wetlands and wildlife of the area.  A variety of displays, taxidermy mounts, skeletons, tracks, insect specimens, hands-on activities, kids’ area and more will keep everyone busy and entertained!  

Discovery Centre

Time   10:00 am - 3:00 pm, Saturday
Cost   Free
Meet   The Discovery Centre: 1760 West Creston Road
Note   Registration is not required for this event.


Guided Canoe Trips

Join a Naturalist for a one-hour guided canoe tour to experience the sights and sounds of this internationally designated wetland.  Paddle the ponds and channels in voyageur canoes in search of wildlife and adventure!  From birds to turtles to bugs…you never know what you might encounter!

Tour #1     10:30 am to 12:00 am
 
Tour #2     12:00 am to 1:30 pm
 
Tour #3     1:30 pm to 3:00 pm
 
Tour #4     3:00 pm to 4:30 pm

Time   10:30 am - 4:30 pm, Saturday
Cost   Adults $10/Youth (3-17 years old) $5
Limit   Up to 16 people per posted canoe time
Where   Corn Creek Marsh, CVWMA
Meet   The Discovery Centre: 1760 West Creston Road


Winery Tour and Tastings at Baillie-Grohman Winery

Always wanted to see the inner workings of a winery from the perspective of a winemaker? Then this tour is for you! Enjoy a private tour and tasting of the Baillie-Grohman Estate wines hosted by winemaker, Wes Johnson. An experience for wine lovers to dive deeper into the art and science of winemaking, and to get an insight of all the hard work and dedication that goes into producing a bottle of wine.

Baillie-Grohman Estate Winery

Tour leader   Wes Johnson, Winemaker
Time   12:00 pm - 2:00 pm, Saturday
Cost   $35
Limit   15
Where   Baillie-Grohman Estate Winery  (Map)


Kootenay Meadows Organic Dairy Farm Tour

A cheese tasting with an explanation of the cheese-making and bottling process will be followed by a guided tour of the barns and a pasture walk to view the farm’s duck ponds and riparian area.

Kootenay Meadows

 

Time   12:30 pm - 2:30 pm, Saturday
Cost   $10
Limit   Unlimited
Where   Kootenay Meadows: 3071 - 16th Street  (Map)


Tour of Swan Valley Honey

Amanda Goodman Lee and Jeff Lee are pleased to give a tour of their honey farm. The tour includes an observation hive where you can get up close to the bees, honey tasting and education on the life of honey bees. For those who want an added adventure a visit to the bee yard for those not allergic or phobic. Honey can be purchased at their sales office on location. Bee suits are available on site.

Honeybeezen.com

Tour leader   Amanda and Jeff
Time   2:30 pm - 4:30 pm, Saturday
Cost   $10
Limit   20 (10 per group)
Where   Meet at the Honey Farm: 220 East Placsko Road  (Map)


Weeds to the Rescue - Medicine from your backyard

Do you curse the dandelions, chickweed and plantain that grow in your garden? Do you spend hours trying to rid yourself of burdock and thistles? If you do, then you are ridding yourself of valuable healing plants. Join medical herbalist Rachel Beck as she helps you to learn about the nutritional and medicinal value of the weeds and common plants that grow in most backyards and how you can use them to create your own natural medicine chest.

Rachel Beck has been a medical herbalist for over 30 years and has taught herbalism for over 20 years. She is also co-owner of Tilia’s Botanicals, an herbal apothecary and gift shop in Creston BC.

Tilia Botanicals

Tour leader   Rachel Beck
Time   3:00 pm - 5:00 pm, Saturday
Cost   $15 includes supplies to make a salve
Limit   12
Where   Tilia Botanicals: 115-20th Avenue S  (Map)


Bird Brain Trivia

Which flightless bird has been known to kill humans?

Which bird has a beard, wattle, and snood?

Which bird has stomach acid more potent than the acid found in car batteries?

The birder world is fascinating, with more than 11,000 bird species identified all over the world.

Test your knowledge with bird trivia questions to find out if you’re a professional-level Ornithologist or if you have more bird watching to do to brush up on your feathered knowledge. 

Compare your answers with your other bird-watching friends and find out who deserves the title of “THE ULTIMATE ORNITHOLOGISTS”!!

To claim this prestigious title and win a prize, submit your team name to:

Email:  info@crestonvalleybirds.ca  

Time   4:00 pm - 6:00 pm, Saturday
Cost   Free
Where   Wild North Brewing Company  (Map)
Meet   125 - 16th Ave North
Note   Registration is not required for this event.


Spring Wildflower Presentation

The appearance of early spring wildflowers signals the arrival of our welcoming spring after a long winter. Come see an assortment of fabulous photos of some common wildflowers that can be found in our valley.  Jesse is a local photographer that takes hikes with his camera to near and far places to capture the beauty of our surroundings.  Ed is a biologist by profession and naturalist by nature.  Both have some amazing photos to share.

Tour leader   Jesse Moreton and Ed McMackin
Time   9:00 am - 10:00 am, Saturday
Cost   $5
Limit   40
Where   Rotacrest Hall 230B-19th Ave N  (Map)

Photo credit: Jesse Moreton

Springtime Creston Birds

Do you love birds but struggle with identification of some or many of our local species? In this presentation, we will learn tips and tricks that make the daunting task of bird ID a little easier. Though this is a novice presentation, Gaelen hopes to provide information that will be useful to birders with various skill-levels. He will cover a variety of bird families with a focus on species that can be found in the Creston Valley during the bird festival. The presentation will be on visual ID, although he may touch on some bird songs and calls.

Tour leader   Gaelen Schnare
Time   11:30 am - 12:30 pm, Saturday
Cost   $5
Limit   40
Where   Rotacrest Hall 230B-19th Ave N  (Map)

Photo credit: Gaelen Schnare (Nashville Warbler)

iNaturalist Workshop

iNaturalist is a network of naturalists, citizen scientists, and biologists built on the concept of mapping and sharing observations of biodiversity across the globe. iNaturalist may be accessed via its website or from its mobile applications and includes an automated species identification tool where users further assist each other in identifying organisms from photographs. 

iNaturalist describes itself as “an online social network of people sharing biodiversity information to help each other learn about nature”, with its primary goal being to connect people to nature. This workshop will explain how to use this amazing tool!

www.inaturalist.org/

Tour leader   Paul Prappas
Time   1:00 pm - 2:00 pm, Saturday
Cost   $10
Limit   15
Where   Rotacrest Hall 230B-19th Ave N  (Map)


Nature Canada's Bird Friendly Cities

Saving bird lives starts with local action! Across Canada, people are coming together to make their cities bird friendly.

Elizabeth Cunningham is involved with Nature Canada’s Bird Friendly City certification programme which helps to support and protect birdlife in urban environments across Canada. The plan is to interest cities in becoming designated “Bird Friendly”. Bird populations in Canada are undergoing long-standing population declines, with many of the declines occurring in species commonly found in our cities and towns. Preserving and restoring habitat, reducing light pollution, controlling cat predation, and covering windows are just some of the ways Nature Canada suggests communities can help.
Elizabeth will present a Nature Canada slide show illustrating the Bird Friendly City Programme and will talk about the work that is happening locally, what needs to be done in our region, and how people can become involved to help meet certification requirements. Participants will be invited to make bird masks, tell stories about their experiences with birds in their lives, and encouraged to ask questions and make suggestions about how to protect the birdlife in our region. A workshop for all ages. Family participation encouraged.

Nature Canada Bird Friendly Cities

Tour leader   Elizabeth Cunningham
Time   2:30 pm -3:30 pm, Saturday
Cost   $5
Limit   40
Where   Rotacrest Hall 230B-19th Ave N  (Map)


BC Marsh Monitoring Program

The BC Marsh Monitoring Program (BCMMP) is a citizen/community science wildlife monitoring program organized collaboratively by Birds Canada and WildResearch. Originally beginning in the Great Lakes region in the 90’s, its success here in BC has been fueled by the time and energy contributions of hundreds of volunteers since 2020.

From late winter to early summer, skilled marsh surveyors spend time observing the birds and amphibians that inhabit marsh ecosystems, while recording information and contributing to an online database (NatureCounts). Survey information collected helps track long-term trends in species’ populations and diversity, and guides conservation, restoration, and management programs for these important marsh ecosystems. Please join us to learn how you can get involved in this unique and rewarding opportunity.

https://wildresearch.ca/programs/british-columbia-marsh-monitoring-program/

https://www.birdscanada.org/bird-science/marsh-monitoring-program

Tour leader   Sarah Town
Time   4:00 pm - 5:00 pm, Saturday
Cost   $5
Limit   40
Where   Rotacrest Hall 230B-19th Ave N  (Map)


BC Nature Important Bird Areas

In 2002, the Creston Valley Wildlife Management Area was designated as a nationally Important Bird Area (IBA) because it regularly supports over 100,000 water birds during migration periods. These sites provide essential habitat for species that might be threatened, endemic, species representative of a biome, or highly exception concentrations of birds.

IBAs are a global program that helps us to define which areas around the globe are the most critical to the perseverance of wild bird populations. Here in B.C. we have 83 such sites, which range from everything from wind-battered breeding islands supporting nearly 2 million Cassin’s Auklets to critical estuaries where migrating Western Sandpiper darken the skies in our very own Creston Valley. Join us as the IBA Provincial Coordinator, Liam Ragan, walks us through some of BC’s most critical sites for birds, explains some of the population numbers behind Creston’s global avian recognition, and delves into the future of the program as we look to recognize the other biodiversity which makes these sites so critical.

BC Nature – Important Bird Areas

Tour leader   Liam Ragan
Time   5:30 pm - 6:30 pm, Saturday
Cost   $5
Limit   40
Where   Rotacrest Hall 230B-19th Ave N  (Map)


All About Bats!

The Kootenay Community Bat Project (KCBP) was established in 2004 with the goal of raising awareness about bat conservation, conducting inventories of bats in buildings, working with landowners who have bats, and promoting the Annual Bat Count. Over the past 17 years, we have delivered hundreds of educational programs to community groups and schools, visited over 900 properties with bats in buildings, identified key summer roost sites, and supported 85 sites where bat counts are completed. Join us for an evening of fascination and conservation as we delve into the mysterious world of bats! Our engaging presentation will shed light on the vital role bats play in our ecosystem, dispel myths, and explore the unique behaviors of these nocturnal wonders. Following the enlightening talk, gear up for an exciting Bat Count event.

Kootenay Community Bat Project

Tour leader   Elodie Kuhnert
Time   7:00 pm - 8:00 pm, Saturday
Cost   $5
Limit   40
Where   Rotacrest Hall 230B-19th Ave N  (Map)


Valleyview Motel BBQ and Live Music

Valleyview Motel staff is hosting a delicious all-you-can-eat BBQ with live entertainment on their new stage!  

A 10% room discount is offered during the festival weekend..  To book a newly-renovated room, visit their website:  Valleyview Motel

Time   5:30 pm until music ends!, Saturday
Cost   $35 includes all-you-can-eat BBQ, glass of wine, snacks, and live music!
Limit   75
Where   216 Valleyview Drive  (Map)


Evening Sounds at Duck Lake

Come along on a sonic adventure through the wetlands as we listen for the bird songs of the night.  Thrushes, rails, snipe, owls – the night is alive with bird music.  Bring your best listening ears, warm clothes, and a trusty flashlight.

Tour leader   Julia Flesaker
Time   7:00 pm - 9:00 pm, Saturday
Difficulty   Easy walking
Cost   $15
Limit   10
Meet   Rotacrest Hall, 230B-19th Ave N

Photo credit: Karen Whitford

Bat Count

Join us for a thrilling Bat Count event where you become the scientist in the dark! Bring your curiosity, a flashlight and a clicker if you have one. We will be counting a bat colony at the CVWMA Bat Condo that can host more than 4000 bats in the summer. You will be able to see thousands of little brown bats and Yuma bats flying off for their evening meal.

Kootenay Community Bat Project

Tour leader   Elodie Kuhnert
Time   8:30 pm - 10:00 pm, Saturday
Difficulty   Easy walk, approx. 2 km
Cost   $5
Limit   20
Where   Bat Condo at CVWMA  (Map)
Meet   Rotacrest Hall, 230B-19th Ave N

Photo credit: Ulrike Sliworsky

Star Gazing

Come see how a darker sky will  help you see more spring constellations and deep space objects, such as the M13 globular cluster in Hercules and the Beehive cluster in Cancer. Learn how to use the Big Dipper’s handle in order to “arc to Arcturus and spiral on to Spica!” Note the eastern rise of the Summer Triangle, and the majesty of Leo. The planets are all hiding from us, morning risers before or close to the Sun. There will be a thin waxing crescent moon setting slowly in the southwest, so the night sky will be more visible! 

Note:  Please wear layers and use red light (nightlight) on your cell phones. It takes our eye pupils 10 minutes to acclimatize to darkness! If you have an eye to squint and an arm to point you are good to go!  We will work on our ability to use just our eyes. Binoculars are welcome but not required. Please leave pets at home! 

This event will be cancelled with a full refund if the sky is not clear.

Tour leader   Angela Prettie
Time   8:45 pm - 10:15 pm, Saturday
Difficulty   Easy
Cost   $10
Limit   15
Where   Baillie-Grohman Estate Winery, 1140 – 27th Ave S  (Map)

Photo credit: Joelle Burnie


Sunday, May 12


Tours Meet: Free Continental Breakfast

6:00 am to 6:30 am  Meet your birding tour leader at Rotacrest Hall, 230B-19 Ave N

Donations by:

Lark Coffee, Tigz Teas, the Golden Flour Bakery, Pealow’s Independent Grocers, Save-On Foods will be available!

Tours will leave exactly at 6:30 am so don’t be late!!

Time   6:00 am - 6:30 am, Sunday
Meet   Rotacrest Hall, 230B-19 Ave N

Be aware: Bears are in the valley. Please bring Bear Spray!

Kayak the West Creston Channels

Please bring your own kayak or canoe.  Rentals are also available from the Creston Valley Tour Co. with a 10% discount and free delivery!!  250-428-2336

Creston Valley Tour Co

Join Daryl and Dannie on Frenchman’s Slough for a peaceful paddle on quiet waters lined with tall cottonwoods and thick shrubbery. Ideal habitat for a variety of water and land birds including orioles, kingbirds, kingfishers, raptors, and ducks.  If the water level in the channel is too low, the alternate tour will be driving Reclamation Road and walking up Dodge Creek Road.

Tour leader   Daryl Calder, assisted by Dannie Carsen
Time   6:30 am - 10:30 am, Sunday
Difficulty   Easy kayaking in calm waters
Cost   $25
Limit   10
Where   Frenchman's Slough in West Creston  (Map)
Meet   Meet at West Creston Channels on Peterman Road and W Creston Road intersection

Photo credit: Tanna Patterson

Birding by Car to Duck Lake

A variety of landscapes means a variety of birds. Join Ed and Hazel for a driving tour looking for birds beside mountain shrubbery, open farmland, a slow-moving channel, marshland, to the wide-open Duck Lake. Possible sightings of Lazuli Buntings, Raptors, Wood Ducks, Say’s Phoebes, Bullock’s Orioles, and Sandhill Cranes.

Tour leader   Ed and Hazel Beynon
Time   6:30 am - 10:30 am, Sunday
Difficulty   Easy - driving with numerous stops
Cost   $25
Limit   10
Where   Road from the Rotacrest Hall to Duck Lake  (Map)
Meet   Rotacrest Hall, 230B-19th Ave S
Note   Car pooling suggested to reduce traffic and dust

Photo credit: Karen Whitford (Great-blue Heron)

Birding at Duck Lake

Join Liam to see how Duck Lake got its name!!  This 1,500 hectare lake is known for great largemouth bass fishing but also has amazing bird viewing opportunities. During spring and fall migrations, thousands of waterfowl use the lake as a landing pad, stopping to rest and feed on their long journey.  There is a series of nesting areas and a variety of ponds and channels to view our birdlife.  Walk the dyke along the south end to see what you can find!  The festival weekend is always a great time of year for shorebirds!

Tour leader   Liam Ragan
Time   6:30 am - 10:30 am, Sunday
Cost   $25
Limit   10
Meet   Rotacrest Hall, 230B-19th Ave S


Duck Lake and Beyond

Tour leader   Julia Flesaker
Time   6:30 am - 10:30 am, Sunday
Cost   $25
Limit   10
Meet   Rotacrest Hall, 230B-19th Ave S

Photo credit: Tammy Bradford (Hooded Merganser)

Birding the Wildlife Area Trails Sunday Tour

Exploring the dikes and trails through the expansive wetlands of Creston Valley Wildlife Management Area. These trails are full of riparian-habitat songbirds, marsh birds and waterfowl. Your best chance at seeing a Sora!

Tour leader   Jo Ellen Floer
Time   6:30 am - 10:30 am, Sunday
Difficulty   Moderate walking, approx. 4 km
Cost   $25
Limit   10
Meet   Rotacrest Hall, 230B-19th Ave S

Photo credit: Claude Rioux

Birding the Wildlife Area Trails - beginner

Welcome to Birding!  This trip is geared for anyone relatively new to birding. We’ll walk the paths around the Wildlife Interpretation Centre, with a focus on getting good looks at birds. We’ll answer your questions about binoculars, field guides, and good times and places to watch birds in the Kootenays. Families are welcome. We’ll bring a spotting scope that we’ll keep at a kid-friendly height.

Tour leader   Carolee Colter and Sarah Fawcett
Time   6:30 am - 10:30 am, Sunday
Difficulty   Moderate walking, approx. 4 km
Cost   $25
Limit   10
Meet   Rotacrest Hall, 230B-19th Ave S


Exploring Wynndel and Lower Arrow Creek

With a mix of Forest, Open Fields, Farmland and Orchards, this area has potential to discover and observe a wide variety of birds from Song Birds, Woodpeckers, Jays, Owls and other Raptors, and Waterfowl. The trip will start in the Lower Arrow Creek area and then cross over Arrow Pass into the Creston Valley to explore the Wynndel area. We will travel by car but will walk rural areas as we search for and observe the birds of this lush mixed habitat.

Tour leader   Lyle Grisedale
Time   6:30 am - 10:30 am, Sunday
Difficulty   Easy walking/driving
Cost   $25
Limit   12
Meet   Rotacrest Hall, 230B-19th Ave S

Photo credit: Ulrike Sliworsky

From Farmlands to Forests

Take a drive with Gary to the benchlands of West Creston that will tour farmlands, meadows, timber, wet edges, and the beautiful Kootenay River with big vistas and great thermals.  Possible species include Sandhill Cranes, Long-billed Curlews, Bobolinks, Western and Eastern Kingbirds, Mountain Bluebirds, hawks, falcons, and some other interesting surprises!  The Dodge Creek Forest Road should be good for viewing flycatchers, warblers, grosbeaks, vireos, and possibly a beautiful Western Tanager!

Tour leader   Gary Davidson
Time   6:30 am - 10:30 am, Sunday
Difficulty   Easy walking/driving
Cost   $25
Limit   12
Where   Nick Is. Road, Reclamation Road, Dodge Creek Forest Road  (Map)
Meet   Rotacrest Hall, 230B-19th Ave S
Note   Carpooling suggested

Photo credit: Karen Whitford (Western Tanager)

Birding the Farmlands

Come along as we explore the flats, Creston’s wide open spaces. Keep an eye out for raptors, meadowlarks, songbirds, and maybe even a curlew as we meander through the expanses of farmland in the valley. This tour will include some short walks on flat terrain along with some car-birding. We will cover a variety of habitats with a focus on birds unique to the farmlands. 

Tour leader   Gaelen Schnare
Time   6:30 am - 10:30 am, Sunday
Difficulty   Easy walking/driving
Cost   $25
Limit   12
Where   Farmlands on the flats  (Map)
Meet   Rotacrest Hall, 230B-19th Ave S
Note   Carpooling suggested

Photo credit: Alyssa Hollyoake (Long-billed Curlew)

Fox Tree Hill, Tanal Marsh, Mawson Lake

Join our new guide, Carter, at Fox Tree Hill, Tanal Marsh, and Mawson Lake as we visit both forest and marsh for possible sightings of Common loons, waterfowl, hummingbirds, and wide variety of song birds. There will be some easy hiking as we wander through the open forest at Fox Tree Hill. For the photographers in the group there will be many great photo opportunities.

Tour leader   Carter Strope
Time   6:30 am - 10:30 am, Sunday
Difficulty   Easy
Cost   $25
Limit   10
Meet   Rotacrest Hall, 230B-19th Ave S

Photo credit: Jean Wallace (Spotted Towhee)

Ripple Ridge Cabin

This out & back hike is on the highest mountain pass opened year-round in North
America and will take 5 hours (at birding speed), including the 1-hr drive round-trip from Creston (at highway speed). The hike is on an old rough unmaintained gravel forest service road with a moderate climb through Stagleap Provincial Park.  You will pass through an Engelmann’s spruce and subalpine fir forest (with Beargrass) and also in a somewhat semi-alpine habitat. There are maintained outhouses available at the Ripple Ridge Cabin and picnic tables. The view is spectacular on clear days!

Bridal Lake offers good bird sighting opportunities. eBird reports 117 species observed for Stagleap Provincial Park. Some of the species we will be looking and listening for: American Three-toed Woodpecker, Canada Jay, Clark’s Nutcracker, Fox Sparrow, Cassin’s Finch, McGillivray’s Warbler, Olive-sided Flycatcher, Golden Eagle, Boreal Chickadee, Hermit Thrush, Pine Grosbeak, Red and White-winged Crossbills, Townsend’s Warbler, Dusky and Spruce Grouse, and maybe a Boreal Owl!

Please Note:  this tour will be cancelled if there is too much snowpack.

Tour leader   Marc-Andre Beaucher
Time   12:00 pm - 5:00 pm, Sunday
Difficulty   Difficult, approx. 6 km
Cost   $25
Limit   10
Meet   Rotacrest Hall, 230B-19th Ave N


Slurp and Chirp at Baillie-Grohman Estate Winery

** No registration required **

Relax after a fantastic weekend of birding, enjoy a charcuterie board and a glass of award-winning wine at Baillie-Grohman Estate Winery. Possible bird sightings in the vineyard: Western Bluebirds, Lazuli Buntings, Western Meadowlarks, and Ring-necked Pheasants.

Menu:  Baillie-Grohman Menu

 

Time   1:00 pm - 5:00 pm, Sunday
Cost   Food & Beverages at your expense
Where   Baillie-Grohman Estate Winery, 1140-27th Ave S, Creston  (Map)
Note   Registration is not required for this event.



Monday, May 13


Birding in Crawford Bay

At the north end of the largest bay on Kootenay Lake, near the small settlement of Crawford Bay, there is a little-known wetland area comprising of 62 hectares, and a birder’s delight!

Two creeks flow into the shallow north end of the bay providing varied habitat for many species of birds.  It is an important site along the springtime flyway to see migrating Sandhill Cranes or Tundra Swans.

 

 

Tour leader   TBD
Time   9:00 am - 12:00 pm, Monday
Cost   $25
Limit   12
Where   Crawford Bay Wetlands  (Map)
Meet   Rotacrest Hall, 230B-19th Ave N
Note   Meet at Rotacrest in Creston at 7:30 am. Tour starts in Crawford Bay at 9:00 am.


Branch Information

Contact

Box 1001
Creston, BC
V0B 1G0
crestonvalley@wildsight.ca