Visit to the Harmon Interpretive Forest – 26 May 2012

On 26 May 2012 Nicola Naturalists visited the Harmon Interpretive Forest next to Harmon Lake in the Kane Valley. Ed Abels of the Recreation and Trails division of the BC Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resources Operations (MFLNRO) was our host and he guided us around the 2 km interpretive trail.

Nicola Naturalist Society members at the Harmon Interpretive Forest. Photo © Carol Madryga

The site is close to several very popular Forest Service campsites and is well placed to educate visitors about local ecosystems, wildlife, wild flowers and the roles of humans in these ecosystems.

Even though the snow has not been gone for long, many spring flowers were in full bloom and we especially appreciated the delicate Fairyslipper orchid (Calypso bulbosa) on the forest floor and Upland Larkspur (Delphinium nuttallianum) and Chocolate Lilies (Fritillaria lanceolata) on the open grassy slopes.

Chocolate Lily at the Harmon Interpretive Forest near Merritt. Photo: © Carol Madryga

We had gorgeous weather for our visit and many birds were in full spring song. We recorded  25 species of birds (see list below). Mammals included the ubiquitous Red Squirrel and Yellow Pine Chipmunks. At Secret Lake the fishermen among us had itchy fingers as we spied large trout lurking under the shoreline shelves. A few Pacific Chorus Frogs (Tree Frogs) could be heard too with their characteristic “ribbit” calls. A very friendly Gray Jay allowed us to get close photos.

Gray Jay in the Harmon Interpretive Forest near Merritt. Photo © Alan Burger

We wrapped up our visit with a tasty wiener roast at the amphitheatre.

Wiener roast to end a great outing. Photo: Alan Burger

More photos from Harmon Interpretive Forest

To see more photos from this outing click here.

Birds seen or heard on 26 May in the Harmon Interpretive Forest

  • Mallard
  • Hooded Merganser
  • American Kestrel
  • Red-tailed Hawk
  • Bald Eagle
  • Red-naped Sapsucker
  • Pileated Woodpecker
  • Cassin’s Vireo
  • Warbling Vireo
  • House Wren
  • Red-breasted Nuthatch
  • Mountain Chickadee
  • Gray Jay
  • American Robin (carrying food for chicks in a nest)
  • Red-breasted Nuthatch
  • Ruby-crowned Kinglet
  • Golden-crowned Kinglet
  • Brown Creeper
  • Tree Swallow
  • Dusky Flycatcher
  • Orange-crowned Warbler
  • Townsend’s Warbler
  • Western Tanager
  • Dark-eyed Junco
  • Song Sparrow
  • Chipping Sparrow


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