Fraser River Islands Ecological Reserve #76 warden’s report September 27, 2009
Visit to ER #76 – Fraser River Islands, September 27, 2009
Sunny, warm; low water, 18 degrees rising up to about 23 degrees C, wind picked up during the day, blowing sand across sand bars. Total distance 13 km.
Launched from Nicomen Boat Launch at 10:45 pm. Carried boats in from locked gate.
Returned by 5:00 pm.
Paddled to downstream accreting islands (about .6 km) that are presently outside the ER boundary. Walked the length to observe and get GPS readings. About .5 km long between upstream and downstream vegetated ends. An additional .3 km of gravel that is not vegetated at this low water level. Numerous dead and decomposing pink salmon, glaucous winged gulls and ravens feeding on them.
Upstream end of gravel bar: UTM Easting (NAD 83) 570743
Northing (NAD 83) 5447239
Upstream end of vegetation: 570540
Downstream end of vegetation: 570170
Largest cottonwood on this island about 7 metres high. Some reed canary grass and extensive alfalfa growing along with horsetail on sandy areas. Willow, red osier dogwood, aster, golden rod, thistle, blackberry at lower tip (see photos). About four beaver runs at lower end, with extensive use. Red fox track
Next paddled about .3 km up river and across channel with almost no current, to main island with largest cottonwood. Bear tracks. Walked across on swale to upper end about .6 m. Tree frog. Many dragonflies: blue coloured and red. Lots of beaver activity here. The reed canary grass has really taken over the swales. Walked down main centre swale about 1 km. Pools have fingerlings. Bobcat track (14” stride, and both paw prints together).
Downstream end of this island (vegetation): 570438
Walked back up side closest to accreting islands. Saw 20+ many yellow-rumped warblers, feeding on red osier dogwood fruit, and other fruits. Walked under largest cottonwood. Eagle nest at about:
Observed two adult eagles in area of nest tree, plus a juvenile perched on snag within 7 metres, watching us.
Paddled upriver, to near tip of upper islands, then across strong current channel where we saw a black bear on Nicomen Island side; then drifted downriver to take-out.
Glaucous-winged gull – 100, plus another 150 on upper island. Feeding on dead salmon or loafing
Common Raven – about 10
Bald Eagle – 4 mature, 1 immature
Turkey Vulture – 3 (soaring)
Mallard – 4
Common merganser – 5 (flying by)
Northwestern Crow – 15
Black-capped chickadee – 5
Warbling vireo – 2
Yellow-rumped warbler – 20 +
Spotted Towhee – 2
American Robin -1
Northern Flicker – 1
Yellow warbler – 1