Saturday, October 13 (Bufflehead Welcoming) and Sunday, October 14 (Migratory Bird Sanctuaries Cruise) were beautiful autumn days, ideal for our annual All Buffleheads Celebration. Yes, the first of the Bufflehead Ducks had returned to winter on the shores of the Saanich Peninsula earlier than expected for good reasons as explained by naturalist Kerry Finley.
Buffleheads and their human admirers were welcomed by Sue Staniforth, President of Friends of Shoal Harbour. Our local MLA, Adam Olsen offered a First Nations welcome and spoke to the great value of the wild creatures of the Saanich Peninsula among whom we live and have lived for thousands of years. The great, often unspoken goal of all of us gathered on this fair morning is to promote this value to our human communities both here and beyond. This desire is the essence of the Naturehood concept we have come to embrace. Our Member of Parliament, Elizabeth May, a knowledgeable and tireless supporter of local environmental initiatives was also on hand to encourage us.
But we are not always solemn and we are definitely kid-friendly. Elaine Ethier and Farrell Boyce performed another episode of the mock television nature show “You Won’t Believe This” in which Hank-the-Heron offers some pointed comments on foreshore redevelopment. Sue Staniforth led a fun (non-collecting) scavenger hunt that encouraged kids and their parents to explore Roberts Bay and discover the many creatures we share this area with, through finding their shells, food sources, neighbours, nests and feathers! We engaged the first participant in our Nature Canada kids’ challenge – more about this in a separate post.