Mitlenatch Island–May 30

Mitlenatch Island
Thursday, May 30, 2024
10 am – 5 pm, departing from the Cortes Bay government dock

Guided by George Sirk, naturalist and filmmaker. George worked as the BC Parks Branch Naturalist stationed at Mitlenatch in 1969 and 1971. On this trip, George will share his first-hand experience of this island and his extensive knowledge of natural history.

  Mitlenatch Island has been a protected Provincial Nature Park since 1961. Each spring, the blooming of wildflowers continues, starting with sea blush and blue-eyed Mary in April and progressing to chocolate lilies, tiger lilies, common camas, death camas, and prickly pear cactus in high summer. The island also hosts the largest seabird breeding colony in the Strait of Georgia, largely because the ocean around it provides both a barrier from most predators and a generous supply of food.

Weather permitting, we often anchor the Misty Isles and board the zodiac for a tour around the island to get a close-up view of the cormorant nests and other wildlife. Once on land, we can enjoy a walk through the flower meadow to the bird blind for a sneak peek at the nesting activities of the glaucous-winged gull. Mitlenatch Island is home to hundreds of harbour seals, and in the early spring, migratory Steller and California sea lions bark and grunt at us from their basking rocks. With new things to see from one week to the next, Mitlenatch Island is a dynamic and exciting place to explore.