Author Archives: Andrew A Bryant

Powell River Christmas Bird Count – 2020

Sub-areas within the Powell River (BCPO) count circle

Hi Everyone, it’s time to start planning for the 2020 Christmas Bird Count!

This year’s count will be held on Saturday, 19 December.  If the weather looks really terrible, we’ll go on Sunday (the 20th) instead.

As you can see, our “circle” is comprised of several sub-areas.  Some have been traditionally done by the same people, and in some years we have pooled areas #1 and #2.  Another (Westview #4) has typically been subdivided into “sub-areas “.

The Powell River (BCPO) circle in context.
Click to enlarge.

The map is pretty, but not very useful.  This image from Google Earth at leasts helps to put our circle into context.

Large portions of the BCPO circle never get counted because observers generally stick close to roads.

More useful maps based on the Powell River Tourism street map can be downloaded by clicking on the images below:

Page 1: (Areas #5, #4 and part of #3) Page 2: (Areas #1, #2, #3 and part of #5)

The data sheet  (link is at right or click here to download it) should print nicely on standard 8½ x 11″ paper (4 pages).  I use the columns to record “stops”.  Some other people just give me a daily total.  I don’t mind which method you use…but make sure you tell me what you did!

Personally I find it interesting to map the “hot spots” and these I record on my smart phone with a Powell River Cycling map and Avenza PDFmaps…it’s easier to do this than you think!

I’ve now been in touch with all the “sub-area” coordinators:  Thank you Clyde, Heather, David, Iwan and John for making my job much easier…and for being such pleasant people.

We now have something like 10 feeder-watchers.  I’ll map those too as the data come in.

More soon, Andrew

Canada Goose Survey 2019

I was hired by the City of Powell River to monitor Canada Goose (Branta canadensis) populations in the summer of 2019. 

My intention here is to provide some additional maps, photographs and data that were, for reasons of space, impossible to include in my final report.

A date-specific “heat-map” movie   (this is best viewed in “full-screen mode”)

Raw data

Simple abundance by count (Excel format)

Canada Goose survey, 2019. Data are simple abundance of juveniles and adults with a “cumulative detections curve” for all birds. Click to enlarge

I’ve also included survey point locations (a “zipped” kml for viewing in Google Earth) and shapefiles that contain simple abundance, and log(x+1) transfomed abundance values.

Results of the Powell River Canada Goose survey, 2019.
Sites with “zero-counts” are excluded. Data are normalized (log x+1) values.



Sewage lagoon at Resolute, Nunavut, in July of 1979. That's waaaay far north, on Cornwallis Island, at 74°42'41.61"N, 95° 3'24.20"W Those yellow flowers are arctic poppies (Papaver radicatum)

1979 My days as an arctic explorer

I had a job interview once, in which an employer for whom I’d previously worked said

“sorry, Andrew, there’s not much work around Montreal this year – but if you want, I can send you to Resolute Bay”. 

With the supreme confidence that only a foolhardy 19 year-old can have, I said
“Great – when do I start?
And where the f___ is Resolute Bay?”

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Chattering Kingfisher, Atiu Kingfisher, or Ngōtare (Todiramphus tutus). Atiu, Cook Islands, November 2000. © Andrew A. Bryant

2000 Here’s looking Atiu

Once upon a time, Heather and I travelled far away to the small Pacific Island of Atiu, which is one of the Cook Islands.  Atiu is also known as Enuamanu, the “land of the birds”.  It’s a good name for the place.

The above is the endemic kingfisher found there, known variously as the Chattering Kingfisher, Atiu Kingfisher, or Ngōtare (Todiramphus tutus).


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an original Fokker DVII

30 May 2012

After growing up in the Eastern Townships and being a lifelong aviation buff, I was astonished to learn about the genuine, unrestored Fokker DVII that resides in Knowlton (Lac Brome), Quebec.

I finally managed to see and photograph this machine last week.  All I can say is “wow”. The aircraft is a gem, as is the museum.  Where else can one see a genuine 1918 Albatros factory-applied lozenge camouflage pattern surrounded by period 1921 stained glass?

This small museum is operated by the Brome Lake Historical Society, a body that receives almost no government funding. Knowlton is located about 1.5 hours east of Montreal, and is equidistant to the Quebec-Vermont border at Stanstead.  There is a modest ($5.00 Cdn.) admission fee.  The museum is tripod and camera friendly.  Language barriers are non-existent.  Most people in this part of Quebec are fluently bilingual (French and English).  I found the museum volunteers to be friendly and helpful, although they seemed somewhat bemused that somebody would actually travel across the country from British Columbia just to see an old aeroplane…a feeling shared by my long-suffering wife Heather!

The museum has no official website, but an excellent photo essay of this airframe, including more numerous and better quality images than mine, can be found here. Edward Soye, who wrote his masters thesis on the subject, has published a terrific article here.

I hope you enjoy the photos as much as I enjoyed finally getting to see this rare bird!

Incidentally, my late grandfather Albert Edward Bryant served at Mons, Vimy and Ypres in the 6th (McGill) Siege Battery.  Seeing this amazingly well-done local museum brought tears to my eyes and made it really hard to hold the camera steady.  That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

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2009 Twenty-two days in Alaska

In 2009 I took a short contract with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to look for marmots on Montague Island, which is in Prince William Sound, Alaska.  As it turns out I didn’t find any, but I haven’t so much fun not finding marmots anywhere else!

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2005 Eight days in Florida

I was fortunate to be invited to guest-lecture and supervise a graduate student at the University of Florida (Gainsville).  Thank you Madan!  

Not getting to Florida very regularly, I played hookey for a few days before I was due to officially arrive.  Thus I got to visit one of the best aircraft collections in the world, and chat briefly with Kermit.  Sadly, my scheduled flight in a Stearman was defeated by weather conditions.

Thereafter I was able to fulfill a lifelong dream by visiting Cape Kennedy.  On the way north I found a navigable gravel road at the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge.  What an amazing spot! NASA played ball in the nicest possible way.

My first digital camera (a Nikon D70) had arrived about 3 months earlier.  I likely hadn’t finished reading the manual yet – but was pleased with some of the results!

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2007 Three days at Atlin

I was briefly hired by an engineering company to look for marmots at a proposed molybdenum mine near Atlin, B.C.  I did find a few hoary marmots (Marmota caligata) – but doubt it made much difference in the grand scheme of things.  The scenery was just amazing.

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2015 Six days on Mitlenatch

A colleague asked whether I might be interested in helping BC Parks to set up their summer volunteer warden camp on Mitlenatch Island.
He didn’t have to ask twice.

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from the CBC radio archives

Base-camp for the 2004 marmot release, Haley Lake Ecological Reserve, Vancouver Island

Base-camp for the 2004 marmot release, Haley Lake Ecological Reserve, Vancouver Island

19 May 2015

I was pleasantly surprised to learn that these old radio interviews are still floating around – the internet has a long memory.  Thank You CBC!

Protecting the endangered marmot with dirty laundry (aired 31 May 2004)

Marmot 101 (aired 9 April 2003

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