British Columbia Wildlife Watch - Okanagan Region (North Okanagan Viewing Sites)
copyright © A.L. Mol  2003
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Within the North Okanagan area of the Okanagan Region, the following 13 viewing sites are identified.

Viewing site details have been added.  New

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   Allan Brooks Nature Centre

Inside the Allan Brooks Nature Centre you aake a virtual tour of the North Okanagan Valley, from one side to the other, in the Habitat Room. The feature exhibit changes yearly. The Discovery Room offers a hands-on experience with nature. Visitors can stroll on the Grassland Trail, wander through the Naturescape Gardens beside the Nature Centre, learn how you can use native plants to landscape your yard and attract wildlife, take in a scheduled interpretive program, or just relax and enjoy the view.

Viewing Highlights - Watch for Yellow-bellied Marmots from April through September. In summer watch for Western Kingbird and Eastern Kingbird. While hawk and owl species use this area year round, the winter months from November to February are best for Red-tailed Hawk, Rough-legged Hawk, Gyrfalcon, Prairie Falcon, Snowy Owl and Short-eared Owl.

Directions - The Allan Brooks Nature Centre is located at the end of Allan Brooks Way, sitting southwest above Vernon, in the old Environment Canada weather station. From Highway 97 south of Vernon turn onto 16th Avenue, then left onto Mission Road. Continue as the croad becomes Commonage Road. Turn left onto Allan Brooks Way and continue to the Centre.

For more information contact -

Allan Brooks Nature Centre
P.O. Box 20038, Vernon, B.C. Canada V1T 9L4
phone: (250) 260-4227
fax: (250) 558-4208
e-mail

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   Ellison Provincial Park

On the northeastern shore of Okanagan Lake, Ellison Provincial Park includes 200 hectares of forested benchlands above a rocky shoreline of scenic headlands and sheltered coves.

Viewing Highlights - Columbian Ground Squirrels are observed from April from September. Songbirds are most visible from late April to early June and in September. Look and listen for Olive-sided Flycatcher, Western Wood-Pewee, Hammond's Flycatcher, Western Kingbird, Eastern Kingbird, Red-breasted, White-breasted and Pygmy Nuthatches, Solitary, Warbling and Red-eyed Vireos, warblers, Western Tanager and Evening Grosbeak.

Directions - If coming from Highway 97 north, turn right on 25th Avenue (main intersection in downtown Vernon), park is 16 km or approximately 20 minutes from that junction. If coming from Highway 97 south, turn left on 25th Avenue, through Okanagan Landing Road and follow the Ellsion Park signs.

For more information contact -

BC Parks, Okanagan District
Box 399, Summerland, B.C. Canada V0H 1Z0
phone: (250) 494-6500
fax: (250) 494-9737
e-mail

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   Fintry-Nahun

There is an alternative drive along the east side of Okanagan Lake between Vernon and Kelowna.

Viewing Highlights - California Bighorn Sheep reside year round in the hills. The best time to observe the sheep is in the winter months from November to February.

Directions - Located south of Vernon along the west side of Okanagan Lake between Fintry and Nahun.

For more information contact -

BC Environment, Southern Interior Sub-Office
#201 - 3547 Skaha Lake Road, Penticton, B.C. Canada V2A 7K2
phone: (250) 490-8200
fax: (250) 492-1314

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   Gardom Lake Park

This small lake offers a few trails the provide access along the lakeshore. A floating bridge links to Main Island.

Viewing Highlights - In May and June this is a good site to view Red-necked Grebes and American Coots on their floating nests. There is good songbird viewing in spring and summer. Western Painted Turtles are best viewed in May, June and September.

Directions - Located north of Enderby and just west of the community of Grindrod.

For more information contact -



phone:
fax:

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   Jim Grant Island

The island, originally known as Whisky Island, was purchased with the assistance of the North Okanagan Naturalists Club and was renamed after one of its members, Jim Grant.

Viewing Highlights - This small island is home to a sizable nesting colony of Ring-billed Gulls. Three other gull species are known to use the island, California Gull, Herring Gull and Glaucous-winged Gull. Viewing is best from May to September.

It is reported that this gull colony came into existence shortly after the Kelowna City dump on Glenmore Road was established. The dump is about 17 km by air from the island.

Directions - Located in Okanagan Lake bwteen Vernon and Kelowna at Carrs Landing. There is good road access to areas that overlook the island.

For more information contact -

BC Environment, Southern Interior Sub-Office
#201 - 3547 Skaha Lake Road, Penticton, B.C. Canada V2A 7K2
phone: (250) 490-8200
fax: (250) 492-1314

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   Kalamalka Lake Provincial Park

Virtually at the back door of the City of Vernon, this fine example of north Okanagan grassland is dotted with ponderosa pine and groves of Douglas-fir. The spring wildflower show is truly spectacular. The largely undeveloped park has an all season appeal to those interested in its natural setting. The sloping, paved trail which wanders down to the beautiful private beaches, is filled with informative signs that let you know about the flora and fauna along the trails.

A variety of animals, bird-life and reptiles and plant-life reside in this mosaic of grassland communities. To date, 432 varieties of vascular plants have been identified in the park, a rare find in such a small area. This peaceful park is ideal for the study and appreciation of natural history, all year round.

Caution should be taken by park visitors as Pacific Rattlesnakes inhabit the park.

Viewing Highlights - Western Meadowlarks are easily visible from April to June and August to September. Golden Eagles may be seen during sring and fall migrations. Watch for Lewis's Woodpecker, Clark's Nutcracker, Black-billed Magpie, White-breasted Nuthatch, Pygmy Nuthatch and Common Poorwill.

Yellow-bellied Marmot colonies are found throughout the park. Watch for the marmots from April to September. Mule Deer and White-tailed Deer are year round residents.

Directions - Located 8 km south of Vernon city centre off Highway 6.

For more information contact -

BC Parks, Okanagan District
Box 399, Summerland, B.C. Canada V0H 1Z0
phone: (250) 494-6500
fax: (250) 494-9737
e-mail

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   Kingfisher Hatchery

This is one of many habtcheries around British Columbia that are open to the public.

Viewing Highlights - The hatchery rears Chinook Salmon, Coho Salmon and Rainbow Trout.

Directions - Located along Cooke Creek about 21 km northeast of Enderby, just north of Mabel Lake Road.

For more information contact -

Kingfisher Environmental Interpretive Centre Society
R.R. #2, Mabel Lake Road, Enderby, B.C. Canada V0E 1B0
phone: (250) 838-6326
fax:

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   Monashee Provincial Park

Monashee Provincial Park has lush vegetation and brooding forests line the trail up Spectrum Creek to Peters and Margie Lakes which sparkle beneath peaks that reach 3,000 m above sea level. The park has 24 km of well-maintained, rugged trails. The only developed campsites are located at Spectrum Lake, approximately 2 hours from the trailhead. The trail from the parking lot to spectrum lake is 6 km and well-maintained.

Viewing Highlights - Visitors may see Mountain Caribou, Mule Deer, Columbian Ground Squirrels and American Pikas. Summer is best for viewing.

Directions - Located 111 km north of Vernon. Take highway 97 to Vernon, then go east on Highway 6 for 47 km through Lumby to Cherryville. Turn north onto Sugar Lake Road and proceed 46 km until you reach the turnoff (km marker #22) to the park. Proceed on Spectrum Creek Road for 16 km.

For more information contact -

BC Parks, Okanagan District
Box 399, Summerland, B.C. Canada V0H 1Z0
phone: (250) 494-6500
fax: (250) 494-9737
e-mail

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   Shuswap River Hatchery

Visitors are welcome to this small hatchery.

Viewing Highlights - This hatchery facility raises Chinook Salmon.

Directions - Located on the Shuswap about 32 km east of Vernon.

For more information contact -

Shuswap River Hatchery
Site #7, Comp. #4, R.R. #2, Lumby, B.C. Canada V0E 2G0
phone: (250) 547-6673
fax:

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   Shuswap River

The Shuswap River winds back and forth through the Enderby area.

Viewing Highlights - Watch for Osprey nests on the hydro towers along the river just east of Enderby. Osprey frequent the river from Grindrod south to Enderby and from Enderby east to Kingfisher.

From mid September to mid October, Chinook Salmon, Coho Salmon, Sockeye Salmon and Kokanee spawn in the river bwteen Enderby and about Cooke Creek.

Directions - From Enderby follow Mable Lake Road east towards Mable Lake. The Shuswap River is visible along the most of the road.

For more information contact -

BC Environment, Southern Interior Sub-Office
#201 - 3547 Skaha Lake Road, Penticton, B.C. Canada V2A 7K2
phone: (250) 490-8200
fax: (250) 492-1314

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   Silver Star Provincial Park

The park is a well-used winter recreation area.

Viewing Highlights - The best viewing of the summer birds occurs when the snow is gone, and this varies from year to year. Look for Gray Jay, Hermit Thrush, Fox Sparrow, Pine Grosbeak, Red Crossbill and White-winged Crossbill. From October to March watch for White-tailed Ptarmigan and Three-toed Woodpecker.

Directions - Located about 18 km northeast of Vernon. There is good road access to the area.

For more information contact -

BC Parks, Okanagan District
Box 399, Summerland, B.C. Canada V0H 1Z0
phone: (250) 494-6500
fax: (250) 494-9737
e-mail

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   Swan Lake

Swan Lake is recognized as a birding hotspot in the North Okanagan area.

Viewing Highlights - During the migration periods (generally April through May and August through September) Sharp-tailed Sandpiper and Lesser Golden-Plover are spotted occasionally. Rarities include American Avocet, Black-necked Stilt and Black-crowned Night-Heron. Common waterfowl species includes Green-winged, Blue-winged and Cinnamon Teals, Ruddy Duck, Barrow's and Common Goldeneyes, Bufflehead, Canada Goose and American Coot.

Directions - Located just north of Vernon along the west side of Highway 97.

For more information contact -

BC Environment, Southern Interior Sub-Office
#201 - 3547 Skaha Lake Road, Penticton, B.C. Canada V2A 7K2
phone: (250) 490-8200
fax: (250) 492-1314

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   Vernon Heronry

A snmall site containing tall cottonwood trees.

Viewing Highlights - Great Blue Herons nest in the trees. Viewing is best from mid March to mid July.

Directions - Located 2 blocks wast of Highway 97 in Vernon behind the McDonald's.

For more information contact -

BC Environment, Southern Interior Sub-Office
#201 - 3547 Skaha Lake Road, Penticton, B.C. Canada V2A 7K2
phone: (250) 490-8200
fax: (250) 492-1314