Birding Tour Leaders:
Kim Asquith, Creston, BC
Kim Asquith is a wildlife biologist turned naturalist. She enjoys sharing her love and knowledge of nature. Kim has a keen interest in birds, botany and gardening. She lives with her biologist husband Malcolm, 2 dogs and 5 chickens on a small acreage in the Creston Valley.
Brian Baxter, Libby, Montana
Brian attended Forestry school at Penn State School of Technology, and Wildlife Management education at Western Carolina. He has over 38 years experience in the field, working in the U.S. and B.C. as a wildlife researcher, forester, and land surveyor. Baxter has been an outdoor education instructor for the last 16 years, and offers many programs in Montana and Idaho.
Ed and Hazel Beynon, Castlegar, BC
Ed and Hazel are both avid naturalists and outdoors people. Both were born and raised in BC. They lead botany hikes, bird walks, and participate in Castlegar bird counts every year. This couple participated in data collection for the BC Breeding Bird Atlas and have surveyed breeding bird routes for Bird Studies Canada for over 20 years. They bird by sound as well as sight and have recorded around 70 species on each Creston Bird Fest tour that they have led.
Daryl Calder, Cranbrook, BC
Daryl, from Cranbrook, is an active member of Rocky Mountain Naturalists. He likes to observe and question the finer details of everything Animal, Vegetable and Mineral and is always keen to learn and discuss. Daryl is an amateur nature writer, hoping others will share his interest in the natural world.
Tanya Crouse, Creston, BC
Tanya has lived in nature most of her life, loves travelling, outdoor adventures, and nature identification. Growing up in rural Saskatchewan, she then spent several years living in National Parks like Banff, Yoho, and Glacier, and wonderful natural places like Revelstoke, Kaslo, Nelson, and Castlegar. In 2007, Tanya settled to her wooded West Creston acreage where she resides in a log cabin. The diversity of birds there has amazed her, and whether she is relaxing on her deck that overlooks the Creston Valley, walking in the forest, or kayaking one of our many channels, she finds the birds to be one of the most pleasurable things about this vast valley.
Gary Davidson, Nakusp, BC
Blame the MacGillivray’s Warbler for tweaking Gary Davidson’s lifelong interest in birds. These days, Gary lives most of the time in Nakusp, but prefers to escape to someplace warmer in the winter. In recent years he has wintered in Texas, Australia, Costa Rica and Panama. When in Nakusp he monitors the birds of the West Kootenay region. He has conducted over 30 years of Breeding Bird Surveys, greatly contributed to Wayne Campbell’s B.C. Nest Record Scheme, chaired several provincial committees, taught bird I.D. classes, written numerous articles, guided with Avocet Tours and has coordinated the Nakusp Christmas bird count for almost 40 years. When in Australia, Gary has guided bird tours and worked as a naturalist/guide at a birding lodge in North Queensland. He has combined his love of bird photography with his love of travel and has also visited Peru, Jamaica, Thailand, Taiwan, Kenya, and Uganda. This man knows birds.
Carley Dunham, Creston, BC
Originally from the Fraser Valley, Carley is an elementary teacher in Creston BC. Before teaching, she worked for ten years as a BC Park Ranger in northern BC and in a variety of outdoor leadership positions throughout western Canada (and even, briefly, in Australia). She is a self- proclaimed nature nerd and loves to share her passion with people of all ages. Carley is also the creator of the YouTube channel, “Nerding for Nature”, where she shares her adventures in learning about wild edibles, wilderness skills, and various nature trivia. As a teacher, Carley loves taking her students outside and letting nature spark their curiosity and imaginations.
Paul Foth, Creston, BC
It all started when Paul noticed that the woodpeckers he saw on walks in the woods were different—very different. After opening up a field guide, it didn’t take long before he was competing with his fellow fledgling birder brother in a little “big year.” Paul’s birding around BC eventually brought him from Chilliwack to Creston (he came for the birds, of course). He is a moderator on the Fraser Valley Birding online community and teaches birding basics at College of the Rockies in Creston. When he’s not owling or stalking songbirds, Paul lives in Creston with his wife Sunny and their pet rock Carl.
Lyle Grisedale, Kimberley, BC
Lyle Grisedale is an Association of Canadian Mountain Guides (ACMG) Guide who spends his summers leading hikers in the Bugaboos. He is an enthusiastic birder, photographer, and naturalist who spends as much time as possible exploring the mountains and grasslands of the East Kootenays area of British Columbia.
The Creston Valley Bird Fest would like to thank Lyle for samples of his photography throughout this website and in our advertising. For more information, please visit his website
Gord Hutchings’ infectious passion for insects knows no bounds. He has spent 25 years as a professional field biologist, and his entire life as an insect collector and researcher. During earlier years he immersed himself in studying dragonflies, and in recent decades has become equally fascinated with native bees. As a result, he has become widely known as a community educator on native bees, our most important pollinator of crops. His countless hours spent on insect research in diverse habitats throughout western Canada has advanced the understanding of BC insects, and led to the donation of thousands of his valuable specimens to the Royal BC Museum. As a consultant, collector, researcher and author, he has worked with BC Ministry of Environment Conservation Data Centre, Royal BC Museum, Yukon Territory Government, Canadian Wildlife Service, Forestry Canada, universities, and non-profit groups. He also operates an active website.
Angela Prettie, Creston, BC
Angela Prettie has been an astronomy enthusiast since she was a teenager. She learned the constellations and star names by looking at a map with a red- cellophane covered flashlight (Very important to keep eye pupils dilated). She can bring her binoculars along, and will teach you how to find the main circumpolar constellations (e.g. Big and Little Dipper, Cassiopeia and Cepheus) as well as the zodiac and seasonal constellations for that night. Friday May 8th is a Supermoon, so bring your lowlight or digital camera for a photo-op!
Check out my favorite weekly sky guide (you can download the app for your tablet too!).
This Week’s Sky at a Glance
Gaelen Schnare, Nelson, BC
Gaelen Schnare is a 13-year old birder and photographer from Nelson, British Columbia. As a frequent visitor to the Creston Valley, he is very familiar with all major hotspots and always has a great day on Kootenay River Road. Gaelen has birded internationally in the United States, Ireland and Ecuador, as well as locally in Vancouver, Saskatchewan, and Alberta, and is a frequent presenter at local schools and environmental gatherings. He has been birding for over five years in the Kootenay region and is known for his keen eyes and ears.
Julia Shewan, Creston, BC
Julia Shewan is a bird nerd, through and through. This Kootenay native has a deep love and appreciation of all things bird and a passion for the outdoors. She has worked as a wildlife biologist for the last twelve years and has conducted wildlife surveys across western Canada, from the coastal temperate rainforest to the Arctic tundra. She has recently moved to Creston, where she joined the ranks of the Creston Valley Wildlife Management Area team to work for wildlife each and every day!
Ulrike Sliworsky, Creston, BC
Ulrike is a birder that now lives in Creston. She has a science degree from the University of Manitoba with an Ornithology mayor. In addition to re-introducing endangered species such as Peregrine Falcons and Burrowing Owls, she has also banded waterfowl and songbirds. She has enjoyed participating in the Audobon’s Christmas bird count for over 20 years in various communities. Having been a Park Naturalist, she enjoys sharing her love and knowledge of nature especially with her son.