Strathcona Wilderness Institute

Birds & Flowers for the Centre Opening

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The Strathcona Park Wilderness Centre at Paradise Meadows will open for the season on Saturday June 15. The annual Strathcona Bird Search will be on Saturday morning at 9 a.m. so the team will be wandering the meadows counting birds. After that the Centre will be open for visitor info or for an impromptu nature walk around the boardwalk at 1 p.m. for anyone interested.
After setting up yesterday, I had a preview walk around the meadows. Right away on the path I found a Sooty Grouse pretending to be invisible. They will remain motionless unless you approach too closely, then explode in a flurry – extremely startling even though you are expecting it! I didn’t disturb this one.

Sooty Grouse

Sooty Grouse


Hermit Thrush, Varied Thrush, and Olive-sided Flycatchers were singing. In the big pond a Mallard pair were in the deep water, and a Spotted Sandpiper foraged around the edges.

Marsh Marigold Meadow

Marsh Marigold Meadow


Alpine white marsh-marigold is the most abundant bloom right now. A few globeflower are among the white flowers, so look closely at the leaves to distinguish the two species.

Stream Violet (Viola glabella)

Stream Violet (Viola glabella)


Several violets are blooming, mostly the yellow stream violet.

Streamside Meadow

Streamside Meadow


In a small streamside area several striking plants were blooming – yellow skunk cabbage (swamp lantern), pink shootingstar, and pale mauve marsh violet.

Jeffrey's Shootingstar (Dodecatheon jeffreyi)

Jeffrey’s Shootingstar (Dodecatheon jeffreyi)


Some of the Jeffrey’s shootingstar is in quite large patches and easy to photograph.

Marsh Violet (Viola palustris)

Marsh Violet (Viola palustris)


The marsh violet actually blooms earlier than the early blue violet! which is the other purple violet.

Pink Mountain-heather (Phyllodoce empetriformis)

Pink Mountain-heather (Phyllodoce empetriformis)


The first pink mountain-heather is opening , and a bit of the western bog-laurel, which is exactly the same shade of pink. Oval-leaved blueberry & Alaskan blueberry are also flowering, and false azalea is just starting to bloom.

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