Tumbler Ridge 2017 – Latest

BCFO 2017 – Conference & Annual General Meeting

Note: On-line registration opens 9:00 am PDT, 2 April 2017


Via regular mail

Complete the Registration Form from BC Birding or <download here> and mail it along with your cheque for payment to:

British Columbia Field Ornithologists
P.O. Box 45111 Dunbar
Vancouver, B.C.
V6S 2M8

Via the BCFO website (PayPal)

Go to the AGM/Extension Payments tab under the Events > Annual Conference drop downs, or follow the <link here> (Opens 2 April 2017). A fillable registration form is available for completion. To pay for more than one registration, simply make sufficient single payments for each person you wish to register.

Conference Schedule


Field Trips

Trip 1: Brassey Creek Road

Brassey Creek Road is located approximately 70 km northeast of Tumbler Ridge off Hwy 52. Drive NE on Hwy 52 and meet your leader, Mark Phinney, at the intersection of Brassey Creek Rd and Hwy 52.  The area offers a diversity of warblers, vireos and flycatchers. We will be driving 15 kilometres of gravel road and stopping to look and listen for eastern specialities. Target species include Yellow-bellied Flycatcher, Mourning Warbler, Black-throated green Warbler, Connecticut warbler, Rose-breasted Grosbeak and Le Conte’s Sparrow. En route a brief stop at the Quality Falls trailhead is possible, to enjoy the signage and the site where the research was done on the Winter Wren which led to its being split into two species.

Leader: Mark Phinney

Trip 2: Mt Spieker

Drive 10 km northwest from Tumbler Ridge on Hwy 29 then another 25 km on gravel roads to the trailhead to Mt Spieker, one of the most reliable sites in BC for White-tailed Ptarmigan.  The hike up onto the flat summit involves a 300 metre elevation gain. Subalpine and alpine birds are possible, including Willow Ptarmigan, Gray-cheeked Thrush, Dusky Grouse, Gray-crowned Rosy Finch and Brewer’s (Timberline) Sparrow. We may also stop along the route above Perry Creek canyon to look for Black Swifts.

Leader: Nigel Matthews

Trip 3: Bullmoose Marshes / Gwillim Lake Provincial Park

Approximately 25 km north of Tumbler Ridge on Hwy 29 will bring you to the Bullmoose Marshes, one of the favourite locations for local birders. We will be walking along the boardwalks and taking advantage of the benches and viewing platforms to look for breeding wetland and forest birds. Gwillim Lake is another 20 km north along the highway, with further forest and lakeshore trails. Some species to look for in these areas will be Swamp Sparrow, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Blue-headed Vireo, White-throated Sparrow, White-winged Crossbill, and Boreal Chickadee. At the previous BCFO AGM in Tumbler Ridge, Cape May Warbler was identified here.

Leader: TBA

Trip 4: Flatbed Creek and Wolverine River dinosaur tracks plus Flatbed Woods, Quality Falls

Flatbed Woods offers mixed woodland close to town. There are 2 kms of level walking trails where, for the past several years, Connecticut Warbler has been a regular breeding species, and Rose-breasted Grosbeak and Least Flycatcher are likely.
The middle section of this trip is geared to those who wish to see dinosaur tracks in situ, and to enjoy the woodland birds that may be seen along the way. The trail to the tracks at Cabin Pool is 4 km return with some elevation change and is rated as ‘moderate’. The final section will be to to Quality Falls, which is about a 5 km drive from town, to hike the 2.5 km (return distance) trail, where it may be possible to compare the songs of Pacific and Winter Wrens.  This is the area where the research was done by UBC scientists to split the wren into two species. American Dipper is often seen and heard at the falls.

Leader: TBA

Trip 5: Shipyard-Titanic via sewage ponds (to be confirmed)

The Shipyard-Titanic trail offers remarkable and unique rock scenery. This area is a 40 minute drive from Tumbler Ridge along paved and gravel roads. There is a good chance of observing a grizzly bear along the drive. There is a small sewage lagoon area along the way where there will be a quick stop as well as one or two ponds where we will look for breeding species. At Shipyard-Titanic the 3 km (return distance) trail, rated as ‘moderate’, passes through subalpine forest and meadows, surrounded by rock formations. Possible species include Willow Ptarmigan, Boreal Chickadee, and raptors such as Prairie Falcon.

(Please note: parts of this area may be snowbound if it is a heavy snowfall year and late spring.)

Trip 6: Kinuseo Falls and Irene Lake (to be confirmed)

For delegates who may be less interested in birds and more interested in scenery and geology, a trip to Kinuseo Falls is unforgettable. This involves a 14 km drive on Hwy 52E followed by about 50 km on a gravel road. Kinuseo Falls is one of Canada’s great waterfalls, and newly built hiking trails lead to many viewpoints. The birding is good too, with Osprey, Harlequin Duck and Magnolia Warbler all possible. An easy 600 metre trail to the wetlands at Irene Lake will complete this trip.

Leader: TBA

Trip 7: Wolverine River dinosaur tracks (optional)

For those with the time and the desire to see more dinosaur tracks, a dusk hike to the Wolverine River site will offer an unforgettable experience. Tumbler Ridge may be the only place in the world where such lantern trips are offered. The low-angled lighting allows the tracks to be seen at their best beside the rushing river.

Leader: Tumbler Ridge Museum Foundation

Saturday Afternoon Speaker

Lisa Buckley is the Curator & Collections Manager of the Peace Region Palaeontology Research Centre, a grassroots research facility dedicated to the protection and education of British Columbia’s fossil vertebrate heritage, and is a vocal advocate for responsible management of fossil heritage. Highlights of this work include research on dinosaur tracks and traces of the Six Peaks Dinosaur Track Site (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e_8EmzsdXhM), British Columbia’s first dinosaur bonebed, and the world’s first tyrannosaur trackways http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0103613

Lisa’s research focus is the track record of Early Cretaceous shorebirds and wading birds. Part of this work is using the tracks and traces of modern shorebirds and wading birds to get as much information as possible about fossil bird species and behavior. Lisa is active on social media, with a Twitter account (@Lisavipes) and a blog called “Strange Woman Standing in Mud, Looking at Birds” at http://birdsinmud.blogspot.ca/

Probable title:
“Tracking birds through the ages: studying the Early Cretaceous bird tracks of western Canada”

Banquet Speaker

Charles Helm was a family physician in Tumbler Ridge from 1992-2017. He immigrated to Canada from South Africa in 1986. He is the author of five books on the Tumbler Ridge area, two on the history of the northern Rockies, and one on dinosaurs for kids. He has been an active explorer in the Wolverine Nordic and Mountain Society, helping to design, build and maintain 100 km of hiking trails. His palaeontological interests, expressed through the Tumbler Ridge Museum Foundation, have led to numerous fossil discoveries and scientific articles. He was instrumental in the successful proposal that led to the creation of the Tumbler Ridge UNESCO Global Geopark (one of 120 in the world and one of two in North America). He has been an avid birder since childhood.

Title: What makes the Tumbler Ridge area so unique?


Accommodation Information

The majority of the conference events will be based out of the Trend Mountain Hotel and Conference Centre. Field trips will leave from the hotel parking lot; breakfasts, lunches, the afternoon keynote presentation, the AGM and Saturday evening banquet will be in the hotel conference facilities. Participants should be aware that the Friday evening reception will be held at the Dinosaur Discovery Gallery on Murray Drive.

We have arranged a conference room rate for those wishing to stay at the Trend Mountain Hotel. If you intend to book at one of the other locations, please contact them by phone and indicate that you are attending the BCFO conference. Camping and RV park options are included below.

Trend Mountain Hotel and Conference Centre

375 Southgate Street
Tumbler Ridge BC  V0C 2W0

Phone: (250)  242-2000
Fax: (250)  242-2005
email: info@tendmointain.com

Room choices (conference rates)
Standard two queen beds – $112.49 + taxes
Executive king suite – $121.49 + taxes

Tumbler Ridge Inn

275 Southgate Street
Tumbler Ridge BC  V0C 2W0

Phone: (250)  242-4277

Room Choices:
Standard two double beds – $89 to $127 + taxes

Tumbler Ridge Hotel and Suites

360 Northgate Street
Tumbler Ridge BC  V0C 2W0

Phone: 1 (877)  242-5405 or (250)  242-0053

Room Choices:
One bedroom – $110 + taxes (full fridge, stove, cooking utensils)
Two bedroom – $120 + taxes (full fridge, stove, cooking utensils)

Lions Flatbed Campground

1.5 Km north of Tumbler Ridge, just off Hwy 29 on Flatbed Creek

Phone: (250) 242-1197

Cost:  $20.00 per night

Monkman Way RV Park

Monkman Way RV Park (District Park)
Located in Tumbler Ridge, operated by the District of Tumbler Ridge

Phone: (250)  242-4242

Tumbler Ridge Golf & Country Club – RV Park

1 Golf Course Way
Tumbler Ridge

Phone: (250) 242-4656