Dear Nature Nanaimo members,
We have now completed our first full calendar year as a functioning club. Our membership has quickly increased to about 150 members, distributed among 75 paid membership fees. That is similar to our neighbor club, the Arrowsmith Naturalists. As our activity level increases, we can hopefully improve on that number which would put us on a solid financial footing for the future.
Our web site is slowly coming together, and we will continue to make improvements to it in terms of ease of navigation and logical structure. As with all media, it is only as good as the contributions we get, so I urge you all to think of what you can offer. It may be viewing some exciting animal or plant while you are out, or perhaps recommending some nice place to visit. Many of us are relative newcomers to Vancouver Island, so any tip for good places to go would be welcome. You may have read a good book, found a good website or an app with naturalist information, which you could share with other members. Or you could write a short story like Lynda Stevens’ short essay on the pied-billed grebes at Buttertubs Marsh. If you have taken some interesting photographs, you can submit them (along with a description and attribution) for inclusion on our Instagram site. I am hoping that we will be able to coordinate the information among our different internet platforms better than at present, so that you will get alerts when new material is posted rather than having to search for it.
In 2019 we hope to get going on some projects. Right now we are preparing to help the Georgia Basin Ecological Assessment and Restoration Society with the replacement of Western purple martin houses. The project is dependent on funding, for which applications are being prepared. Other projects that may be of interest to members include various stream restorations and “broom busting”. If you know of other possible projects that may be suitable for Nature Nanaimo members to participate in, please let us know, particularly if you are willing to take on a leadership role or know someone who can.
For the birders among us, the Christmas Bird Count in Nanaimo will be on December 29. You can participate in one of the area groups by contacting the coordinator, Tanya Seebacher (firstname.lastname@example.org), or you can participate as a “feeder watcher”. Observations within the count area of species that were missed on count day, can also be added as “count week” species, where count week is 3 days before and 3 days after the official count day. More information is available at https://www.birdscanada.org/volunteer/cbc/. In addition, Project Feederwatch (https://www.birdscanada.org/volunteer/pfw/) is an ongoing citizen science project of Bird Studies Canada. This project relies on amateurs of various abilities who can spend any amount of time to record birds attracted to a designated area, which is usually one or several feeders and surrounding bushes and trees that they can watch for up to 8 hours a day for a maximum of two days per week. There is no obligation, so any contribution at all is valuable. And if you are feeding hummingbirds, don’t forget to make sure the sugarwater doesn’t freeze if we get some cold weather!
I look forward to working with our board in 2019. I hope you all have a wonderful holiday season, and I will see you at meetings and outings next year.