British Columbia Wildlife Watch - Vancouver Island Region (Courtenay-Campbell River Viewing Sites)
copyright © A.L. Mol  2003
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Within the Courtenay, Campbell River and Strathcona Provincial Park portion of the Vancouver Island Region, the following 27 viewing sites are identified.

       Courtenay (13 sites)
       Campbell River (14 sites)

The Courtenay, Comox and Campbell River area has four BC Ferries routes.

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   Courtenay
    Detailed Location Map   (click here for a map showing the location of 13 of the following viewing sites)
    WARNING - this will take some time to load!!

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   Campbell River
    Detailed Location Map   (click here for a map showing the location of 13 of the following 14 viewing sites)
    WARNING - this will take some time to load!!

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   Boyle Point Provincial Marine Park

The park is located at the southern end of Denman Island.

Viewing Highlights - The park offers some marine bird viewing. During the winter months from November through March the park is one place to look for California Sea Lions, Northern Sea Lions and Harbour Seals.

Directions - From Highway 19 south of Courtenay take the Buckley Bay ferry to Denman Island. The park is located at the south end of Denman Island with access off East Road.

For more information contact -

BC Parks, Strathcona District
Box 1479, Parksville, B.C. Canada V9P 2H4
phone: (250) 954-4600
fax: (250) 248-8584
e-mail

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   Conuma River Hatchery

The Conuma Hatchery is open daily from 8 am to 4 pm. Tours should be pre-arranged. Salmon may be viewed moving up through the fishway. The general area has good populations of Black Bear, Roosevelt Elk and Coastal Black-tailed Deer. Watch for these mammals as you drive out to the hatchery, or check out the Conuma River estuary viewpoint located 2.4 km past the hatchery towards Tahsis.

Viewing Highlights - The best viewing occurs from late September through October. Chinook Salmon spawn in late September, and Coho and Chum in October and November.

Directions - From Highway 19 in Campbell River take Highway 28 through Strathcona Provincial Park and on to Gold River. The hatchery is located 36.5 km from the InfoCentre in Gold River. Caution: Shortly after leaving Gold River the road becomes an active logging road. It is a dirt road ranging from good to rough. There are some 1 km long steep grades up to 14%. Drive slowly, take care and watch for logging trucks. Best travelled on weekends. It is a 45-60 minute drive from Gold River one way.

For more information contact -

Conuma River Hatchery
Box 247, Tahsis, B.C. Canada V9P 1X0
phone: (250) 283-7148
fax: (250) 283-7148

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   Comox Valley Farmlands

The farmland areas in the Comox Valley, especially near the Courtenay River estuary, support a growing Trumpeter Swan wintering population. A cooperative program between local farmers, the Canadian Wildlife Service and Ducks Unlimited Canada has helped to manage swan impacts on Comox Valley farmlands.

Viewing Highlights -The wintering Trumpeter Swan population may reach 2,000 birds in some winters. While viewing is best from mid November through late March, some swans arrive before and depart after these times.

Directions - Farmlands are private and viewing swans is from local roads only. During the annual Trumpeter Swan Festival, some farmland sites are open to the public for short periods.

For more information contact -

BC Environment, Vancouver Island Region
2080 Labieux Road, Nanaimo, B.C. Canada V9T 6J9
phone: (250) 751-3100
fax: (250) 751-3103

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   Courtenay River Estuary

The estuary area is an important wintering home for many waterfowl species, including Trumpeter Swans, and Bald Eagles. Bird watching is better during tide changes. There are several trails, viewing structures and interpretive signs.

Viewing Highlights - The Courtenay River estuary area is an important home to wintering Trumpeter Swans. Bald Eagles, Great Blue Herons and Mallards may be seen throughout the year. The estuary is especially good for birding during the winter and migratory periods. Shorebirds include Dunlin, Greater Yellowlegs, Lesser Yellowlegs, Short-billed Dowitcher, Long-billed Dowitcher and Western, Semipalmated, Least, Spotted, Solitary, Pectoral and Baird's Sandpipers.

Waterfowl species include American Wigeon, Horned Grebe, Western Grebe, Greater Scaup, Harlequin Duck, Oldsquaw, Bufflehead, Marbled Murrelet, Surf Scoter, White-winged Scoter and Common Loon.

A herring spawn in March attracts many gulls, Harbour Seals and Osprey.

Directions - There are two main access points to the estuary. From Highway 19A, which becomes Cliffe Avenue, turn right onto Mansfield Drive. The road bends right and goes past a small air park. At the end of the runway is a paved walkway along the shore of the estuary. There are several viewing platforms overlooking the estuary and a small lagoon.

The second access point is off Comox Road. From Highway 19A at the bridge over the Courtenay River, turn onto Comox Road, following the signs towards Comox. Continue a short distance and watch for the binocular logo signs directing you to a large viewing platform (Rotary viewing stand) on the right overlooking the estuary.

For more information contact -

BC Environment, Vancouver Island Region
2080 Labieux Road, Nanaimo, B.C. Canada V9T 6J9
phone: (250) 751-3100
fax: (250) 751-3103

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   Deep Bay

Deep Bay is used by wildlife year round, including during migration. A small park at the end of Deep Bay Road provides beach access and views of the bay.

Viewing Highlights - During the summer months look for Common Tern, Black Oystercatcher, Black Turnstone and Black-bellied Plover. During migration many birds use the bay, including Common Snipe and Whimbrel. In winter watch for loons, grebes, cormorants, Oldsquaw, Common Murre and Marbled Murrelet.

Directions - From Highway 19A south of Courtenay and the Denman Island ferry terminal, turn onto Gainsberg Road. Continue to Burne Road, turn right and then left onto Deep Bay Road. Follow to the end of the road.

For more information contact -

BC Environment, Vancouver Island Region
2080 Labieux Road, Nanaimo, B.C. Canada V9T 6J9
phone: (250) 751-3100
fax: (250) 751-3103

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   Discovery Passage

Viewing of this area is available from land at Discovery Pier, the fishing pier located at the south end of Campbell River. You can also travel through this waterway on the ferry to Quadra Island.

Viewing Highlights - The common year round birds include Bald Eagle, Harlequin Duck and Great Blue Heron. Harbour Seals are also very common. Low tides at tide changes are good for viewing.

During the winter months, especially from November through March, the area attracts large numbers of marine birds including Common Loon, Pacific Loon, Marbled Murrelet, Common Murre, Surf Scoter, White-winged Scoter, Pigeon Guillemot, Double-crested Cormorant, Pelagic Cormorant and Brandt's Cormorant.

During the cruise ship season, Discovery Passage is a terrific place to see up-close the ships heading to and from Alaska.

Directions - Discovery Passage is situated between Vancouver Island and Quadra Island. Access to this area is by private boat or the ferry to Quadra Island. The fishing pier on the downtown waterfront also provides viewing into this area.

For more information contact -

BC Environment, Vancouver Island Region
2080 Labieux Road, Nanaimo, B.C. Canada V9T 6J9
phone: (250) 751-3100
fax: (250) 751-3103

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   Elk Falls Provincial Park

A trail along the Campbell River provides opportunities to view spawning salmon. A spawning channel is located along the trail.

Viewing Highlights - During the fall Chinook, Coho, Chum and Pink Salmon may be observed. Pink Salmon spawn from September through December, Chum spawn spawn in November and December, Chinook from the middle of October through the middle of November, and Coho peak during the middle of November.

Directions - From Highway 19 in Campbell River take Highway 28 towards Gold River and Strathcona Provincial Park. Elk Falls Provincial Park begins at the highway bridge over the Quinsam River 1.6 km from the junction of Highway 19 and Highway 28. Park on the right just past the bridge and opposite the entrance to the campground. The trail begins here and goes upstream along the Campbell River. Another trail leads from the camp[ground up the Quinsam River to the Quinsam River Hatchery.

For more information contact -

BC Parks, Strathcona District
Box 1479, Parksville, B.C. Canada V9P 2H4
phone: (250) 954-4600
fax: (250) 248-8584
e-mail

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   Fanny Bay Conservation Unit

From the end of Tozer Road a trail provides access between the marsh area and the tidal mud flats of Fanny Bay. Further along you enter the forest and the trail continues until it meets the highway.

Viewing Highlights - The bay and estuary are visiting by many Harbour Seals. During late summer and early fall, moms with a pup are easily viewed.

The bird life at Fanny Bay and in the surrounding habitats is very diverse. The forests and upland areas are home to Bewick's Wren, Chestnut-backed Chickadee, Tree Swallow, Wilson's Warbler, Warbling Vireo, and Yellow-rumped Warbler. The marine waters and mudflats are visited by Pied-billed Grebe, Great Blue Heron, Blue-winged Teal, Gadwall, Osprey, Bald Eagle, Killdeer, many gull species and Belted Kingfisher.

Directions - From Highway 19 near the community of Fanny Bay turn onto Ships Point Road and then left onto Tozer Road. There is parking at the end of the road.

For more information contact -

BC Environment, Vancouver Island Region
2080 Labieux Road, Nanaimo, B.C. Canada V9T 6J9
phone: (250) 751-3100
fax: (250) 751-3103

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   Goose Spit Regional Park

Goose Spit is a narrow spit of land with sandy beaches on one side. During the summer months this is a popular beach area. Viewing is best on quiet evenings or in spring, fall and winter. The spit offers views into Comox Harbour and out towards Denman Island.

Viewing Highlights - Migration periods and the winter months provide the best viewing diversity. Shorebirds may include yellowlegs, dowitchers and sandpipers. Common waterfowl include loons, grebes, goldeneye, mergansers, scaup, wigeon and scoters.

Directions - From Highway 19A in Courtenay follow the signs to Comox. From Comox Road turn left onto Pritchard Road and then right onto Balmoral Avenue which becomes Hawkins Road. Hawkins Road bends right, narrows, drops down a hill and finally out onto Goose Spit.

For more information contact -

Comox Strathcona Regional District
4795 Headquarters Road, Courtenay, B.C. Canada V9N 7J3
phone: (250) 334-6000
fax:

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   Helliwell Provincial Park

The park contains numerous trails both through the forests and along the shores. The shoreline trail is a 6 km loop from the parking lot. In spring there is a spectacular show of wildflowers.

Viewing Highlights - The park's cliffs provide nesting habitat for Pelagic Cormorants. Harlequin Duck are often seen along the shores. Surf Scoter, White-winged Scoter, Pigeon Guillemot, Marbled Murrelet and Ancient Murrelet may be seen in the waters around the park.

Directions - From Highway 19 south of Courtenay take the Buckley Bay ferry to Denman Island. Cross Denman Island and take the ferry to Hornby Island. On Hornby Island continue to St. Johns Point Road and turn left. From here the turn into the park is well marked.

For more information contact -

BC Parks, Strathcona District
Box 1479, Parksville, B.C. Canada V9P 2H4
phone: (250) 954-4600
fax: (250) 248-8584
e-mail

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   Miracle Beach Provincial Park

This provincial park is very popular with beach goers. A Nature Centre is open between June and September, and interpretive programs are offered.

Viewing Highlights - Coho Salmon may be observed in Black Creek during the fall months. A counting fence makes seeing the fish easier.

The second growth forests of the park are home to many woodpeckers, including Pileated Woodpecker, Hairy Woodpecker, Northern Flicker and Red-breasted Sapsucker. During March and April the spring migration of Brant can be seen offshore. In the spring and summer months Townsend's Warbler, Yellow-rumped Warbler and Western Tanager are present. The forests are the year round home of Chestnut-backed Chickadee, Winter Wren, Golden-crowned Kinglet and Brown Creeper. Several species of owls may be observed in the park, including Northern Saw-whet Owl and Western Screech-Owl.

Red Squirrels are common in the park, and Mule Deer are often seen, especially during the quieter times of the year.

Directions - From Highway 19 about 23 km north of Courtenay turn onto Miracle Beach Drive and follow the signs to the park.

For more information contact -

BC Parks, Strathcona District
Box 1479, Parksville, B.C. Canada V9P 2H4
phone: (250) 954-4600
fax: (250) 248-8584
e-mail

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   Mitlenatch Island Provincial Nature Park

Mitlenatch Island has long been a favourite place for birders. It is located southeast of Campbell River and west of Black Creek. The island is home to a thriving sea bird colony. From April through August you may find a wide range of flowering plants.

Viewing Highlights - The majority of birds nesting on the island are Glaucous-winged Gulls. They arrive in April and May, with the young arriving and being fed in June and July. A bird blind provides a view of the gull colony area. Also nesting on Mitlenatch Island are about 1,000 Pelagic Cormorants and 600 Pigeon Guillemots. Nesting in smaller numbers are Black Oystercatcher, Northwestern Crow, Song Sparrow, Barn Swallow and Violet-green Swallow. Over 150 bird species have been recorded here, including several hundred moulting and flightless Harlequin Ducks during the summer, and small groups of Rhinoceros Auklet.

Directions - This island park is accessible by boat only. Boat charters can be arranged in Campbell River.

For more information contact -

BC Parks, Strathcona District
Box 1479, Parksville, B.C. Canada V9P 2H4
phone: (250) 954-4600
fax: (250) 248-8584
e-mail

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   Oyster Bay Shoreline Park

This small park is located along the highway and contains a diversity of habitats and viewing opportunities. An kiosk at the trail head provides both wildlife and plant information. Many interesting plants are found here, including the yellow-flowered gumweed.

Viewing Highlights - This small park on Oyster Bay boasts an impressive bird list. The best viewing periods are the spring and fall migrations and the winter months. Large flocks of Western Grebe may be observed in fall and winter, while Red-necked Phalarope and Common Tern are been seen in August and September.

During almost anytime of the year you may see Common Murre, Pigeon Guillemot, Great Blue Heron and Bald Eagle. The winter months are best for eagles. Other species include, Common Loon, Pacific Loon, Red-throated Loon, Common Goldeneye, Bufflehead, Red-breasted Merganser, Surf Scoter, White-winged Scoter and Black Scoter. Brant migrate offshore in March and April.

Low tides during spring and fall are best for shorebirds such as Greater Yellowlegs, Western Sandpiper, Least Sandpiper, Pectoral Sandpiper and Long-billed Dowitcher. More common in winter are Dunlin, Black-bellied Plover and Black Turnstone.

Harbour Seals are regularly seen in the area.

Directions - Located off Highway 19 about 14 km south of Campbell River and about 30 km north of Courtenay. There is a small parking lot at the highway rest stop.

For more information contact -

Comox Strathcona Regional District
4795 Headquarters Road, Courtenay, B.C. Canada V9N 7J3
phone: (250) 334-6000
fax:

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   Oyster River Hatchery

This facility and its restoration projects are the work of Oyster River Enhancement Society (ORES). This facility is completely staffed by volunteers and is only open to the public on Tuesdays from 8am to 2pm. It is strongly recommended that visitors contact ORES prior to their visit.

Viewing Highlights - In addition many rearing ponds, an extensive system of rearing and spawning channels has been constructed. Look for spawning Pink Salmon from August to October, Chinook in September and October, Chum in October and November and Coho from October to December. Steelhead Trout and Cutthroat Trout are also seen.

Directions - From Highway 19 just south of Miracle Beach Drive turn onto Hamm Road and then onto Macaulay Road. Drive 4.6km on Macaulay Road to a gated gravel road on your right.

For more information contact -

Oyster River Enhancement Society
P.O. Box 93, Black Creek, B.C. Canada V9J 1K8
phone: (250) 337-5967
fax:

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   Puntledge Park

This municipal park is located along the Puntledge River near downtown Courtenay.

Viewing Highlights - Several salmon species spawn in the Puntledge River. Pink Salmon peak from mid September to to early October, Coho from late October to early December, and Chum from mid November to early December. The fish carcasses attract Bald Eagles and gulls.

Directions - From Highway 19A continue into downtown Courtenay on Cliff Avenue. Turn left on 5th Street, right onto Menzies Avenue and finally left onto 1st Street. The park is located on the right.

For more information contact -

City of Courtenay
830 Cliffe Avenue, Courtenay, B.C. Canada V9N 2J7
phone: (250) 338-1525
fax:

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   Puntledge River Hatchery (Main Site)

The hatchery is open year round (8 am to 4 pm daily). Enjoy the walking tour of the hatchery compound. Fish displays are located in the entrance way of the hatchery building. There is an underwater viewing area to observe the fish in the pond. The Puntledge River Hatchery also operates another site upstream of the hatchery.

Viewing Highlights - Several salmon species use the Puntledge River. Chinook Salmon are present from the middle of September to the end of November, Coho from the middle of September to the middle of December, Chum from the middle of October to the end of November and Pink Salmon from the middle of August to the end of October. Young fish are present in tanks and troughs from March through June.

Directions -From Highway 19A continue straight onto Cliffe Avenue. Turn left onto 5th Street and then right onto Lake Trail Road at the school grounds. Continue to Powerhouse Road, turn right and follow the signs to the hatchery entrance on the right.

For more information contact -

Puntledge River Hatchery
P.O. Box 3111, #38 Powerhouse Road, Courtenay, B.C. Canada V9N 5N3
phone: (250) 703-0907
fax: (250) 703-0905
e-mail

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   Puntledge River Hatchery (Upper Site)

This site is operated by the Puntledge River Hatchery and contains a series of ponds and troughs where young fish, transferred from the hatchery's incubation building, are fed and reared. This site is open from 8 am to 3 pm.

Viewing Highlights - Coho Salmon and Steelhead Trout are fed and reared at this site year round. Chinook Salmon are reared from March to the middle of June.

Directions -From Highway 19A continue straight onto Cliffe Avenue. At the intersection with 1st Street turn right and then left onto Anderton Avenue. After crossing the bridge over the Puntledge River, the road becomes Condensory Road. At Piercy Road turn left. Go over another bridge over Browns River, and at the next main road junction continue onto Forbidden Plateau Road. The upper site is located on the left. There is a parking area.

For more information contact -

Puntledge River Hatchery
P.O. Box 3111, #38 Powerhouse Road, Courtenay, B.C. Canada V9N 5N3
phone: (250) 703-0907
fax: (250) 703-0905
e-mail

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   Quinsam River Hatchery

A small display and visitor area are located inside the hatchery, and this leads to the marked route around the outside of the facility. The hatchery is situated along the Quinsam River and is also accessible by trail from Elk Falls Provincial Park.

Viewing Highlights - The fall months are best for viewing salmon in the river. Chinook, Coho and Pink Salmon are present in significant numbers, while only a few Sockeye and Chum may be seen. Pink Salmon are visible in September. Coho and Chinook Salmon are observed in October and November.

Directions - From Highway 19 take Highway 28 towards Strathcona Provincial Park. Watch for the hatchery signs and turn left onto Quinsam Road. Follow the hatchery signs onto Argonaut Road and to the hatchery parking lot.

For more information contact -

Quinsam River Hatchery
4217 Argonaut Road, Campbell River, B.C. Canada V9H 1P3
phone: (250) 287-9564
fax: (250) 286-0261
e-mail

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   Rebecca Spit Provincial Marine Park

The park contains a long spit and sandy beach along Drew Harbour.

Viewing Highlights - Some of the best birding is during the late fall, winter and early spring months from October through April. Common seen are Double-crested Cormorant, Pelagic Cormorant, Harlequin Duck, Oldsquaw, Black Scoter, Surf Scoter, White-winged Scoter, Common Murre and many gull species including Glaucous-winged Gull.

Directions - Located on the east side of Quadra Island. From Campbell River take the Quadra Island ferry. Turn left onto Green Road, left onto Smith Road and finally left onto Heriot Bay Road. Watch for the park directional signs that lead you right off Heriot Bay Road.

For more information contact -

BC Parks, Strathcona District
Box 1479, Parksville, B.C. Canada V9P 2H4
phone: (250) 954-4600
fax: (250) 248-8584
e-mail

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   Ripple Rock

The Ripple Rock area in Seymour Narrows is visible from a distance at the highway rest stop northwest of Campbell River and just southeast of Menzies Bay. For a closer look a trail leads to this narrow waterway.

Viewing Highlights- The forests are home to Varied Trush, Hairy Woodpecker, Downy Woodpecker and Pileated Woodpecker. In summer you may see Orange-crowned Warbler and Townsend's Warbler. Red squirrels are seen and heard.

The spring and fall migrations bring many sea birds into Menzies Bay. Pigeon Guillemot, Belted Kingfisher, Bonaparte's Gull, Glaucous-winged Gull, Killdeer and Great Blue Heron are the most easily observed. Harbour Seals are found in the bay year round.

From the Wilfred Point lookout over Seymour Narrows you may be lucky enough to visit at the time when Harbour Porpoise, Dall's Porpoise or Killer Whale are present. Binoculars will improve your chances of seeing these marine mammals.

Directions - There is trail access to the Ripple Rock area located about 16 km north of Campbell River. A small parking area is located on the east side of the road.

For more information contact -

Ministry of Forests, Campbell River Forest District
370 South Dogwood Street, Campbell River, B.C. Canada V9W 6Y7
phone: (250) 286-9300
fax: (250) 286-9410

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   Sandy Island Provincial Marine Park

Sandy Island Provincial Marine Park is located just off the northern tip of Denman Island. It consists of a group of small islands.

Viewing Highlights - Double-crested Cormorant, Pelagic Cormorant and Belted Kingfisher are visible year round. The fall migration brings Black-bellied Plover, Black Turnstone, Surfbird, Sanderling and Short-billed Dowitcher.

During the winter from October through April, you may see Common Loon, Horned Grebe, Red-necked Grebe, Western Grebe, Mallard, American Wigeon, Green-winged Teal, Black Scoter, Surf Scoter, White-winged Scoter and Bufflehead.

Directions - This small park is accessed from the water by boat.

For more information contact -

BC Parks, Strathcona District
Box 1479, Parksville, B.C. Canada V9P 2H4
phone: (250) 954-4600
fax: (250) 248-8584
e-mail

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   Seal Bay Regional Nature Park

The park has many good hiking trails, some located on both sides of Bates Road. The portion of the park between the road and the water has many steep ravines. To reach Seal Bay on the water follow the main trail which contains a very steep, back-and forth section. Going down is always easier than going up! There are some wheelchair accessible trails off Seabank Road.

Viewing Highlights - In the forests you are likely to hear or see red squirrel, Dark-eyed Junco and Winter Wren. Also found are Downy Woodpecker, Hairy Woodpecker, Northern Flicker, Pileated Woodpecker, Red-breasted Nuthatch, Brown Creeper, Chestnut-backed Chickadee and many vireos and warblers.

Along the seashore you will see harbour seals. The months from October through April provide the best seabird viewing, including Common Loon, Pacific Loon, Horned Grebe, Harlequin Duck, Common Goldeneye, American Wigeon, Surf Scoter, White-winged Scoter, Pelagic Cormorant and possibly Marbled Murrelet and Rhinoceros Auklet.

Directions - From Highway 19A in Courtenay, turn east onto Ryan Road. You may see signs directing you to the Powell River ferry. Continue on Ryan Road past the golf course and at the main traffic light turn left onto Anderton Road. Not far along, Anderton bends to become Ellenor Road which leads to the ferry terminal. Here you make a left turn to go back onto Anderton Road. At Waveland Road turn left, and continue to Bates Road where you turn left. On Bates Road watch for the park signs and the parking area on your right. A map located at the parking area will direct you to other park entrances and access points.

For more information contact -

Comox-Strathcona Regional District
4795 Headquarters Road, Courtenay, B.C. Canada V9N 7J3
phone: (250) 334-6000
fax:

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   Strathcona Provincial Park

Strathcona Provincial Park, British Columbia's oldest provincial park, was established in 1911. The park contains a flooded valley bottom and steep mountain sides rise up from the water. There is a variety of hiking trails located throughout the park.

Viewing Highlights - In addition to a wide range of birds in the river valleys and hillsides up to the alpine areas, a number of mammal species may be seen. The most common land mammals are Mule Deer, Red Squirrel, and Roosevelt Elk. Occasionally Marten, Mink, Gray Wolf, Cougar and Black Bear are seen.

Directions - From Highway 19 in Campbell River take Highway 19 west to the park.

For more information contact -

BC Parks, Strathcona District
Box 1479, Parksville, B.C. Canada V9P 2H4
phone: (250) 954-4600
fax: (250) 248-8584
e-mail

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   Strathcona Provincial Park (Elk River Valley)

The Elk River valley is located along Highway 28 after crossing the narrows between Buttle Lake and Upper Campbell Lake. Interpretive signs provide information about elk and their habitat. A short, easy walk leads to a viewing platform over the Elk River and the power line cut.

Viewing Highlights - While some Roosevelt Elk inhabit in the Elk River valley throughout the year, the best time to view elk is from the end of November to early March.

Directions - From Highway 19 in Campbell River take Highway 28 west to the park. Take the road to Gold River, crossing between Upper Campbell and Buttle Lakes. At the end of the arm of Upper Campbell Lake the Elk River Valley begins. The parking area for the Elk River Viewing Area is located 18.4 km from the road junction at the lake crossing.

For more information contact -

BC Parks, Strathcona District
Box 1479, Parksville, B.C. Canada V9P 2H4
phone: (250) 954-4600
fax: (250) 248-8584
e-mail

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   Strathcona Provincial Park (Paradise Meadows)

The Paradise Meadows area of Strathcona Provincial Park offers visitors many trails into the sub-alpine meadows. Spectacular mountain views, wildflowers and much more awaits.

Viewing Highlights - This is a wonderful place to visit when the alpine meadows are in bloom. Wave after wave of flowers treat the eyes throughout the late spring and summer months, with late June to early July usually being the peak. Watch for a variety of butterflies as well as Gray Jay, Steller's Jay, Chestnut-backed Chickadee and Hermit Thrush. A "lucky" observer may spot a Black Bear on the ski runs.

Directions -From Highway 19A in Courtenay follow signs to Mount Washington Ski Resort via Strathcona Parkway for 25 km. Turn left onto Nordic Lodge road for 1.5 km to Paradise Meadows parking lot.

For more information contact -

BC Parks, Strathcona District
Box 1479, Parksville, B.C. Canada V9P 2H4
phone: (250) 954-4600
fax: (250) 248-8584
e-mail

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   Strathcona Provincial Park (Thelwood Creek)

The Thelwood Creek area is located at the southern end of Buttle Lake.

Viewing Highlights - The shallow waters where Thelwood Creek enters Buttle Lake provide suitable habitat for a small number wintering Trumpeter Swans, provided the waters are not frozen over.

Directions - From Highway 19 in Campbell River take Highway 28 west to the park. From the turnoff to Gold River, take the Westmin Mine Road to the end of Buttle Lake where Thelwood Creek enters. The Thelwood Creek area is located 33.3 km from the road junction at the lake crossing.

For more information contact -

BC Parks, Strathcona District
Box 1479, Parksville, B.C. Canada V9P 2H4
phone: (250) 954-4600
fax: (250) 248-8584
e-mail

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   Woodhus Slough
    bird checklist
    nature guide

Woodhus Slough is located about 2 km north of the Oyster River along a shoreline that contains slough, marsh, farm field, beach and gravel habitats. A number of rare plants are found here. Almost 200 bird species have been recorded in the Woodhus Slough area.

Viewing Highlights - During the summer months, the slough is home to the secretive Virginia Rail and Sora. Red-winged Blackbird are easily seen in the cattails. The areas open and shrub areas along the trail to the slough are frequented by Song Sparrow, House Finch, American Goldfinch, Brewer's Blackbird, Swainson's Thrush and Cedar Waxwing.

At the slough look for Belted Kingfisher, Great Blue Heron, Beaver, Muskrat and Pacific Treefrog. In the winter months, Trumpeter Swans may be seen.

Directions - Located midway between Courtenay and Campbell River, and just north of Miracle Beach Provincial Park. From Highway 19 turn onto Salmon Point Road and continue to the resort and a trail sign. At the beginning of the trail you go through two openings in a fenced off area on an open flat area. The slough is located an easy 10 minute walk from this end. You can continue 2 km along the shoreline habitats to the other end of the trail.

For more information contact -

BC Environment, Vancouver Island Region
2080 Labieux Road, Nanaimo, B.C. Canada V9T 6J9
phone: (250) 751-3100
fax: (250) 751-3103