by Duane Sept, 4 May 2019
Twelve keen adventurers boarded the Misty Isles at Lund for a day trip to Mitlenatch Island Nature Provincial Park. The owner/operator Jonas Fineman was our trusty captain and our guide was guide George Sirk. George was the original naturalist for Mitlenatch in 1969 and he returned again in 1971.
After heading out the captain brought his boat in for a close look at Major Islet – a rock-covered mini-island. There we had a wonderful look at the late spring profusion of wildflowers that found enough soil to thrive between the boulders. The species viewed from a distance was Yellow Monkey Flowers and Sea Blush.
At Mitlenatch Island we were able to watch California Sea Lions, Northern (Steller) Sea Lions as well as Harbour Seals. The California Sea Lions were certainly the most vocal with their barking as they are so well-known for. The captain anchored near Echo Bay on Mitlenatch Island to land by the volunteers’ cabin where we were greeted by our volunteer host. Our naturalist, George gave us an excellent orientation for the island as well as a viewing of the gull blind. George is a very knowledgeable individual that provided both information on each of the many species encountered as well as natural history and human history for the area.
On Mitlenatch the late wildflower season provided us with an amazing array of species including: Sea Blush, Yellow Monkey Flower, Chocolate Lily, Common Camas, Meadow Death-camas, Chickweed, Many-flowered Shootingstar and Blue-eyed-grass,
The list of birds observed on our trip included, Bonaparte’s Gull, Glaucous-winged Gull, Double-crested Cormorant, Pelagic Cormorant, Northern Shoveler, Bald Eagle, Common Raven, Black Oystercatcher, Northwestern Crow and Orange-crowned Warbler. We returned to Lund after a wonderful homemade lunch of soup, salad, tea and cookie. An amazing day –with wonderful weather and lots of the natural world to view!