Dave: It seems a little early to see much in Hope's traditional birding areas, but two of the better walks are as follows: No. 1. Walk the perimeter of the Hope airport. Later in spring good for Savannah Sparrow, White crowned Sparrow, Common Yellowthroat, Red-eyed Vireo, and the odd Vesper Sparrow. Also worthwhile to go onto Jack Delair's organic farm, with permission naturally. His phone no. is 869-9473. Tell him you know me. He has nesting Cliff and Barn Swallows, and his property is a real bird magnet. He reported Bobolink from there last year, although I was not able to locate one. Take exit 165 off Trans Canada, cross the highway, turn right on Flood-Hope Road, and then left on Flood Road across the railway tracks. Then right on Yale, and left on Airport. All these roads are very close to each other. Over by the Hope airport terminal, there is parking on the grassy verge. The perimeter walk is 4 km; ( I know because it one of my running routes!!). On your walk you will notice a road going down to the Interfor log sort. This road will give you access to the Fraser River, and an area of Riparian Woods. I had American Redstart in there a few years ago. No. 2 What they call Sucker Creek Trail. Take exit 170 into Hope. Turn left at first lights and then right onto the Old Hope Princeton; ( next lights ). Continue east on this road through the strip and turn left on 6th ave. by the Chevron/White Spot. Shortly after turn right on Kawkawkwa Lake Road. Continue along and just after you cross the brige over the Coquihalla River turn left. Drive about 100 metres, and you will see the parking lot for the Sucker Creek Trail To the left is a short trail down the beach of the Coquihalla R. To the right is the trail, which is actually part of the Trans Canada Trail, and is the former railbed of the Kettle Valley Railway. The trail parallels a marsh where there are singing Red-winged Blackbirds now, as well as Evening Grosbeaks, Song Sparrows, Chickadees, etc. Later Band tailed Pigeons frequent the area. The trail is not that long, but from there you can walk through a subdivision to Kawkakwa Lake itself. There might be some interesting waterfowl there. This lake has held Red-throated Loon in breeding plummage. That's it for now. Thor
Dave: No, I don't there are any others. I think Canning's Roadside Naturalist talks a little bit about the area; the geology, and flora, etc, but not specifically on birding I think the whole area east of Abbotsford until you reach Manning Park has been seriously underbirded. To date, there have been very few of us out there looking. The region is definitely growing as we can all tell. Perhaps there will be a few birders amongst the new population. In the infrequent birding column I write for the Hope Standard, I always direct people to this site to learn more about birding in the area. You can be sure I will be posting to this site when I see something interesting. In the meantime, you are welcome to phone me ( number's in the book ), or just use this site to get any futher information you might need. One area I didn't mention in my last post, which is more of a drive than a walk is the Silver Skagit Road, leading from Silver Creek/Hope all the way to the American border at Ross Lake. There is great birding potential here. I did the annual owl survey up this road for a few years, and you always get something. It is another natural corridor, and is therefore used by migrating birds as well. Warning: the road can be rough before grading, and I suspect there is still snow past approximately the 30km mark. Thor Thor Manson Hope, B.C.
Sorry I'm a bit slow getting to my computer today. Regarding walks along the Harrison - I live over here so here goes. Before I get started I don't know if you know about the website where I post observations and photos for this area - it is fraservalleybaldeaglefestival.ca and when you get to it, click on Kathy's Korner. Only problem with it is that I send the info to a webmaster and it sometimes takes a long time for the info to appear (like months) so can be quite out of date but would give you an idea if you have never been over here before.
Generally most of the stuff I talk about I've seen at Eagle Point Park. To get to Eagle Point Park from Agassiz, you follow the Lougheed Highway until you cross the bridge over the Harrison (this bridge is currently being rebuilt so there are short delays at it each time you cross), turn right at Morris Valley Road (the Sasquatch Inn is on the corner so it is easy to find), continue straight through the 4 way stop, pass the Sandpiper Golf Course and turn right at the next street which will take you right to the parking lot for Eagle Point Park. There are no signs as of yet, but there are signs for Eagle Point Developments and River's Reach Development which are the two new housing developments that the park path bisects and the park itself is a buffer between the developments and the river. The path is easy to follow as there is chain link on both sides. Once you get to the end of this path if you turn right and follow the path you will come to an open bay area where I see all sorts of thing - today it was a Yellow-rump Warbler among others. It's not a very long path but it's amazing what you can see along it, especially if you take your time and just sit for a bit at the bay. Turning left when you reach the end of the path from the parking lot takes you to a viewing platform situated under two big Poplar Trees that, in season, are eagle roosting trees. Today I watched a flock of Ruby-crowned Kinglets in the shrubs around the platform. The park actually ends here but you will note a branch going off to the left which skirts another little bay and crosses some grasslands and leads to the development where I live which, unfortunately is private. Right now there is very little water at the edge of these grasslands I don't encourage this unless you are a birder (people with kids and dogs running wild make me see red!) but it is possible to cross this water (water proof hiking boots will do) and walk across the gravel bars/grasslands etc. and get to the Chehalis River. All this area is either owned by Nature Trust, Duck's Unlimited or is crown land and it'll all be underwater in another month or two.
You can also walk another area of the Harrison by going to Kilby Park. Again, follow the Lougheed highway but once you have come down Mt. Woodside, follow the signs to Kilby. There is a parking lot at the park and you can walk in both directions either along the shore or if you are walking in the southeast direction you can walk along a dyke - there is a dyke going the other way too but the farmer's in the area don't appreciate people walking it. There is usually an incredible amount of birdlife in the area of Kilby Park.
Hope this helps and I'm sorry I didn't see your message in time for this afternoon's walk! Kathy
Dave: I decided to follow my own advice today, and went for a run along the Sucker Creek Trail, as described above. Had my fos Red-breasted Sapsucker, hammering away on a disused Hydro pole about 100 metres up the trail. This is an occasional back yard bird for me, and it is always a pleasure to see this bird in its bright breeding plummage. Singing along the trail were Red winged Blackbirds, Evening Grosbeaks, Alaskan Song Sparrows, and a Winter Wren. Thor