Slocan Lake Christmas Bird Count Results

The annual Slocan Lake Christmas Bird Count took place on December 28, 2019. The day was nice with broken cloud, no wind and just under freezing. A special ‘Thank You’ goes out to the twenty-three people who participated in this year’s count in the Slocan Lake Circle and the six who counted down the valley at Passmore, Vallican and Perry’s bridge area. The “Slocan Lake Circle” is defined as a circle centered approximately at the golf course and runs from Hills to lower Red Mountain Road.


Twenty-six species were observed on the count day with 5 more recorded during the 3 days before and after the 28th count day (Christmas Week).  This is about the same number of species that we have been getting in the past three years.


This year we saw 307 birds. The results are submitted to Bird Studies Canada and the National Audubon Society. The latter maintains the massive database of Christmas Bird Counts going back to 1900, the year of the first count.


The following species and numbers were observed: Canada Goose(16), Trumpeter Swan(1), Mallard (2), Ruffed Grouse(2), Wild Turkey(4), Horned Grebe(1), Downy Woodpecker(3),  Northern Flicker(10), Steller’s Jay(35), American Crow(20), Raven(5), Black-capped Chickadee(42), Mountain Chickadee(5), Chestnut-backed Chickadee(12), Red-breasted Nuthatch(17), Pacific Wren(1),  American Dipper(9), Golden-crowned Kinglet(5), Varied Thrush(1), Song Sparrow(10), Dark-eyed Junco(1), Pine Siskin(79), Evening Grosbeak(16), Pine Grosbeak(7), and House Sparrow(2). During Christmas Week we added Great Horned Owl(1), Common Merganser(4),Hairy Woodpecker(1), Pileated Woodpecker(1), and Brown Creeper(1).


The birds that volunteers count down the valley are always interesting and records are kept of these numbers for future reference when we are able to get “circles” established in the southern valley.  They saw birds that we did not see here like Swans(114), Buffleheads(8), Common Mergansers(10), American Goldfinch(20). They recorded 23 species and 253 birds.


If you would like to join in the fun and count birds that are here during the Christmas season, please send me an email:


Richard Johnson


QGIS Training 2019

Once again the Columbia Mountain Institute is hosting the Introduction to QGIS course. This course was held in Revelstoke in 2017 and in Cranbrook in the spring of 2018. This year the course will be again be held in Revelstoke on May 3, 2019. It will be announced on the CMI website ( shortly.

The course shows participants how easy it is to use the QGIS program by having them import data, analyze data and produce maps. The following is an excerpt from their website:

The free, open source QGIS program is used and supported by a world-wide array of developers. Learn how to use this program to produce maps from public databases and your own knowledge. In a hands-on environment, on their own computers, students will create basic maps, add lines, shapes, overlay images, create contours, add labels and produce high quality maps for print or digital presentation.

The course can also be taken on-line, direct from Opus Petroleum Engineering Ltd. Contact us at for more information.

Richard Johnson, Opus Petroleum Engineering Ltd.