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Field Trips

Registration is available via the secure online registration form for some of the field trips listed below.  Please visit our Registration page.

For pricing and details of each field trip, select the name of each tour.

Please note that the one-day trips will all be 8hrs duration (including travel), except the Manning Park trip which will be 14hrs.  All trips are being offered on 19 August (except the Colony Farm trip).  The trips will be focused on birding, led by BC’s leading ornithologists and experienced bird guides, with scientists also on hand to provide research context to the habitats and species being viewed.  Participants are reminded to accordingly adjust their dates of accommodation.

We have already secured several of the region’s best known ornithologists to lead these tours, including Dick Cannings, Dr. Rob Butler, Chris Charlesworth, George Clulow and Russell Cannings.




Day Trips

1) Shorebirds of the Fraser Delta – this 4-6hr tour will visit two or three locations in one of the key migratory stopover locations for Pacific Flyway shorebirds, including rocky shore specialists along the Tsawwassen ferry jetty, freshwater pools at Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary, and the evening high tide at Boundary Bay where a high diversity of species in adult and juvenile plumages is anticipated.

2) Marine birds and mammals of the Salish Sea – this full day (8hrs) boat-based trip from Vancouver/Richmond will be run in conjunction with a local, well-respected whale-watching tour operator. The tour will take us through a rich marine ecosystem, where nutrient-laden Fraser River waters disgorge into the Strait of Georgia and meet cold Pacific water funnelled into the Southern Gulf Islands, hoping to encounter Dall’s and Harbour Porpoises, Orca, possibly Sea Lions, and a wide variety of birds including Rhinoceros Auklets, Marbled Murrelets, Heerman’s Gulls and Pacific North-West endemics like Black Oystercatcher, Surfbird and Black Turnstone.  A brown bag (packed) lunch will be provided, and you’ll need to dress warm.

3) Colony Farm Banding Station – 4hr trips will be put on to the Vancouver Avian Research Centre’s banding operation; delegates can choose to attend one of three  trips organzined for the mornings of 16, 17 or 18 August. Tours will focus on an overview of this banding program, which has established an excellent reputation, with a strong emphasis on education, and a more detailed moult and ageing workshop style trip.  Note: tours will not make it back to UBC in time to attend the morning plenary session.

4) Vancouver North Shore Coast and Mountains – this 6-8hr tour will visit Maplewood Flats, Ambleside, Lighthouse Park and Cypress Bowl, experiencing the classic coastal forest and shoreline habitats of the region and providing a broad introduction to low and mid elevation Pacific North-west forest and coastal birds.

5) Manning Provincial Park - Coast Range and Interior mid to high elevation birds – this long day trip (8-10 hrs including drive time) to Manning Provincial Park, where the Coast Mountain Range in this renowned provincial park.  The trip will include a walk in subalpine meadows, which are good for migrants at this time of year.

Three-day field trips

6) The Okanagan Valley – this two-night, three day trip will introduce you to the diverse avifauna of this premier birding destination, matched by very few locations anywhere on the continent for resident bird diversity, with 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 160 species on this 3-day tour that will travel in a loop starting and ending in Vancouver.  Trip leaders Dick Cannings and Chris Charlesworth are the birding experts in the Okanagan, and also have years of experience birding in British Columbia as a whole. Thr trip will be run through Avocet Tours.    NB - Additional registration information for this tour is included in the PDF file; to register please visit Avocet Tours.

7) Bamfield Marine Sciences Centre – Pelagic birding and marine ecosystems of the Pacific North-west. This 3-day excursion to the state-of-the-art Bamfield Marine Sciences Centre will provide participants with a comprehensive introduction to the fauna, forests and wider ecosystems of the Pacific North-West.  Based at this world-renowned centre for ecological learning, you will be guided through the terrestrial and marine habitats of the Pacific Rim National Park, including pelagic trips to Barkley Sound, and (weather permitting) the Amphitrite and Swiftsure Banks, with high likelihood of encounters with Humpback and Grey Whales, other cetaceans, the possibility of Sea Otters, and pelagic seabirds including 4+ spp. Shearwater, Black-footed Albatross, Fork-tailed Storm Petrel, various alcids and the possibility of many other seabird species.  NB - This three day field trip includes a round trip float plane ride and shared accommodation.