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REPORTING · 6th February 2014
Walter McFarlane
The Kitimat Valley Naturalists held their AGM on Tuesday, January 21st. The meeting was well attended by people in the community, who filled the meeting room at the Kitimat Public Library.

Dennis Horwood went through the successes of the 2013, the removal of the Dianna IV wreck from the shore of Minette Bay. Oviatt Construction dragged the boat to the shoreline and then destroyed it. They painted fish on the storm drains.

The Naturalists participated in the Joint Review Panel Hearings in Prince Rupert and Prince George, where they brought a local chemist whom they were not prepared for and they were involved in the discussion on the Sulphur Dioxide Commissions at Rio Tinto Alcan.

The club does a coastal water bird survey every second weekend and the data is sent in as a part of the Coastal wide survey. They are also involved with the Salamander Boards, which is an initiative started by Dr. Norma Kirby in Terrace. The boards lay on the ground and the Salamanders use them as a shelter and the researches use it to identify salamanders in the area. Kitimat’s boards boast three species of Salamander.

April McLeod reported on the success of the Christmas Bird Count for 2012. While the weather was against them, they had 46 species of birds for the day and 4816 birds counted, which is rather low. 14 people were counting at feeders in town and 15 brave souls were out in the field.

McLeod reported there was one Snow Goose which was unusual for Kitimat at this time of the year. There was also an Anna’s Hummingbird which wintered in one yard. Finally, there was one bird they do not see a lot of, Goldencrown kinglets. There were also a lack of Pine Siskens in their count, while last year, they were in the thousands. There were also no Red Breasted Nuthatches. Finally, there were 115 Bald Eagles Counted which was down.

This year, the executive and the club plan to get involved in several projects for 2014. One of the things they want to finalize the fish painting at the storm drains. Another thing they wish to do is a Kids Christmas Bird Count.

There is still a wreck left at Minette Bay but it would take a lot of persistence to get off the shore. They are asking if people are interested in participating in the coastal bird count and the Christmas Bird Count.

Another project they are looking at is community Bat Houses. These curiosities become useful if placed in areas which are good for bats. The bats eat plenty of mosquitos. It was suggested they get put on the golf course because the mosquitoes there are large enough to carry away the golf balls.

They had their elections and the club executive remained the same. The meeting concluded with an excellent slide show of birds in the Kitimat Valley put on by Walter and Jim Thorne, and of course, Door Prizes.