March 31, 2008

More Signs of Spring

Cherry blossoms, a plump robin, and a small school of salmonid fry (baby salmon) all pointed to signs of spring on our Byrne Creek ramble after lunch today.

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Posted by Paul at 09:17 PM

March 27, 2008

Global News Piles On Errors

I am amazed at the errors in Global TV's coverage of the South Burnaby Public Safety Forum tonight. I have degrees in journalism and communications, and several years experience as a journalist, and I find this lack of accuracy appalling. It makes me question the integrity of the Global news organization.

According to the Global coverage, tonight's safety forum "was organized by the RCMP" blah blah, "in response to three home invasions of a senior..." blah blah.

Organized by the RCMP?

Wrong.

It was organized by volunteers from the Kingsway Imperial Neighbourhood Association, and the Burnaby District 3 and 4 volunteer community policing organizations with support from volunteers from the Edmonds Town Centre Business and Community Association.

In response to home invasions...?

Wrong.

The planning for this forum began months before the outrageous multiple invasions of a senior's home in the Edmonds neighbourhood.

How did Global screw up? I don't know, but I suspect it was a combination of several factors:

1) Overly focusing on the home invasion hook. AKA the "if it bleeds it leads" mentality. I can imagine the conversation:

"We need a hook!"

"OK, we'll tie it all into the old guy being invaded three times in a few days..."

2) Laziness in researching the history of such forums in Burnaby and digging for the truth. Tonight's forum was portrayed as citizens trembling in their homes, afraid to go out. In fact, there has been huge improvement in south Burnaby, particularly in the Edmonds area. The City has been doing a great job, the RCMP has been doing a great job, and volunteers in many organizations have been doing a great job. But that's not "news," is it?

I was amazed at how positive tonight's forum was. But I guess the "journalists" present were disappointed at the lack of fireworks.

Let's focus on the anomalies. Let's focus on the negative. Let's screw up our facts, even the simplest ones.

Shame, Global.

Posted by Paul at 11:44 PM

March 24, 2008

Spring Salmonberry

I patrolled for fry this afternoon in Byrne Creek this afternoon and was happy to find several more spread in pools in the spawning habitat. As I was scanning one pool a curious chickadee flitted over and danced from branch to branch just a foot or two from my face. We had a little chat and then he bounced off as I moved on. More salmonberry bushes are beginning to blossom.

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Posted by Paul at 06:57 PM

March 22, 2008

Reifel Sanctuary Birding Foray

The Easter weekend brought a lot of people out to the Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary in BC's Lower Mainland today. Yumi and I spent over three hours walking and taking photographs. I'm amazed at the variety of beautiful birds we saw today, ranging from teeny balls of fluff to impressive great horned owls and cranes. Before we even arrived at the sanctuary, we ran across a field filled with thousands of snow geese:

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We could also hear killdeer, and we finally spotted three of them across the road from the snow geese:

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I'll just throw up a bunch of photos from this point -- enjoy, I sure had fun taking them!

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American Coot

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American Wigeon

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A territorial Canada Goose that took some feathers out of a mallard's butt...

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Bufflehead

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Female Ring-Necked Duck

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Great Horned Owl -- this fellow had about $50,000 worth of huge lenses and spotting scopes locked onto him :-)

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Mallard male

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Mallard male face closeup

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Mallard female face closeup

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Lovely female mallard feathers

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Lovely female mallard feathers, take two...

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Northern Pintail

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Wood Duck

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Redwing Blackbird

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Sandhill Crane

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Sandhill Crane profile

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Sandhill Crane closeup

Posted by Paul at 08:40 PM

March 21, 2008

Rice Lake Ramble

Taking advantage of a sunny Good Friday holiday, Yumi and I did a quick walk around Rice Lake in North Vancouver.

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Posted by Paul at 09:31 PM

March 15, 2008

Boundary Bay Walk

Hoping to see Snowy Owls, Yumi and I headed out to Boundary Bay at the south end of 72nd St. but we missed them this season. It was still a great day for a walk.

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We ran across a Great Blue Heron convention

Posted by Paul at 09:21 PM

March 12, 2008

Baby fish spotted in Byrne Creek

Yumi spotted a salmonid fry in Byrne Creek this afternoon. While we were not able to ID the species, it was great to see baby fish in the creek following last autumn's disappointingly poor run of spawning salmon.

Posted by Paul at 09:34 PM

March 11, 2008

Upper Byrne Creek Needs Some Tender Loving

As streamkeepers, Yumi and I focus mostly on the fish-bearing part of Byrne Creek, and don't get out to check the area upstream of Edmonds Skytrain station in southeast Burnaby that often.

We'd gotten a heads up from city staff that some work was being done in the area, and also that they were hoping to tackle invasive plant species. We took a look, and there is certainly work to be done!

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Here's a site that was replanted following the building of a new townhouse complex -- invasive plants including Morning Glory have overwhelmed the area.

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A closeup of the sign declaring this to be sensitive habitat!

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Abandoned pipe in the bush along 18th Ave.

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Large metal junk in the bush along 18th Ave.

Posted by Paul at 09:22 PM

Shaw Email Outage Drags On

Email services through Shaw have been down for over two days already, and the outage is getting very frustrating. I first noticed that I was not receiving messages on Sunday. I kept sending test messages to myself and to my Gmail account, and I finally appeared to catch up when messages began trickling in through Shaw on Monday morning, but by later in the day, email was out again. As I write this at 7:00 a.m. on Tuesday morning, Shaw's email is still down. I have spoken to others who are experiencing the same problem, so its not just me. I don't understand how it could be down so long...

UPDATE: 3:44 p.m. My domain provider says that Shaw is blocking messages from my personal and business domains. They will work on getting Shaw to stop the block.

March 12 UPDATE: Apparently some of my domains were forwarding substantial amounts of spam to my Shaw email account -- something that I was not aware of. My domain host and I have implemented measures to get control of the situation, but I am still bothered that Shaw never told me what was going on, and implemented the block without informing me.

Posted by Paul at 07:04 AM

March 05, 2008

Crest Ad Tastes Bad

The Crest advert that's been running on TV for some time makes me laugh. The tag line is "It makes me feel like I just left the dentist's office."

Huh? I dunno about you, but when I leave the dentist's office, my mouth feels stretched and my lips are dry, I have the yucky aftertaste of a fluoride gargle that I'm not supposed to disturb for at least half an hour, and I've got bits of polishing grit on my teeth, chin and cheeks.

You won't catch me seeking that experience!

Posted by Paul at 11:03 PM

Signs of Spring Along Byrne Creek

It was a beautiful sunny day today and I took advantage of it for a long walk along Byrne Creek.

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Sun splashing off the water.

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Red alder -- I'm allergic to the pollen -- dominates the spawning channel.

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Mayfly larva in a pool -- there's a photo of a hatched mayfly in yesterday's blog entry.

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Pileated woodpecker in Byrne Creek ravine. I love these flashy birds.

This was a hand-held shot in a forested ravine with my Canon S5 IS at its maximum 432mm telephoto (35mm camera equivalent), so don't look too closely :-).

Posted by Paul at 02:52 PM

Foam in Byrne Creek

There was a suds event in Byrne Creek this afternoon. When I started on my walk shortly after 11:00 the creek was clear. I spent some time sweeping the lower reaches, the spawning channel, the sediment pond, and the overflow pond for fry, but saw nothing -- no fry, no smolts, no cuts, zip.

On my way home I took the upper ridge trail, and about halfway along I spotted a pileated woodpecker, and as I was lining him up in my camera, I noticed the creek way down below was quite foamy. Snapping a few shots of the woodpecker, I headed up the hill and found almost no sign of foam in Griffith's Pond near the skytrain station. When I went down the Ron McLean path, there was quite a bit of foam coming down from upstream of the Hell Hole at around 1:15. So the source was likely somewhere upstream of Griffiths.

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Posted by Paul at 02:49 PM

March 04, 2008

Byrne Creek Mayfly Hatch

Mayflies were skipping along Byrne Creek this afternoon. Yumi and I didn't spot any salmon fry yet, but they should be popping out of the gravel soon...

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We also saw many small apparent redds, or nests of eggs that fish deposit.

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Posted by Paul at 10:28 PM

March 02, 2008

Public Safety Forum March 27, 2008

SOUTH BURNABY COMMUNITY POLICING

You are invited to attend an open community meeting on: Public Safety

Thursday, March 27, 2008
7:00-9:00 pm
Bonsor Community Centre
6550 Bonsor Avenue, Burnaby

For more information call:
District 4 Office at 604-656-3232 or District 3 Office at 604-656-3275

An update and discussion on Public Safety in Our Community

Speakers will include:

Mayor Derek Corrigan

Superintendent Rick Taylor Burnaby RCMP

District 3 and 4 Community Policing Representatives

Burnaby RCMP members and representatives from City of Burnaby departments and Burnaby School Board will also be in attendance.

Attendees are invited to bring their general concerns for the various departments. There will be a brief question and answer period.

A number of agencies and community groups will have displays of interest to all who attend.

Posted by Paul at 08:40 PM