Head out and about to enjoy local critters
With the recent appearance of a transient orca in the Comox Bay, it got me thinking about how lucky we are to live on this beautiful coast full of amazing wildlife.
From the majestic grandeur of whales to the fascinating lifeforms that populate the local tidal pools, there’s so much life going on throughout our wonderful Comox Valley.
Following are a few of my favourite spots and a quick rundown of the interesting creatures that inhabit them.
Okay, so I know I’m supposed to be talking fauna, not flora, but lovely, lush, low-growing bushes and beautiful wildflowers make this area a perfect place to spend an afternoon. Of course, squirrels, chipmunks, whiskey jacks and other critters also appreciate the vegetation.
Bring along your binocs and scour the alpine hillside for the elusive Vancouver Island marmot. Chances are you won’t see any, they’re on the critically endangered species list after all, but you may see signs of their main predators – golden eagles, coyotes, wolves and cougars.
Courtenay River Estuary
This gorgeous area is home to a nice collection of animals, too. Seals, herons, geese, red-wing blackbirds, various ducks and cormorants, eagles, and the occasional bear and cougar all spend time down here. With a couple different viewing areas off Comox Avenue and throughout the Courtenay Air Park, it’s easy to catch a glimpse of waterfowl and mammals as they nibble on a smorgasbord of sea grasses, fish and marine invertebrates.
Some of the best viewing of intertidal life is down near Point Holmes around the time of summer solstice. With acres of shore to explore, you’ll have a chance to view all sorts of urchins and cucumbers, sea stars and dollars, limpets, crabs, barnacles, mussels and more. Bring a camera, but tread lightly and leave things where you find them, please. You’ll be astonished at the variety and amount of sea life living amongst the rocks.
More marine adventures
For larger marine life, such as grey whales, orcas, seals, sea lions and dolphins, you’ll usually have to head off-shore. There are a few local marine adventure tour businesses that know just where and when to take you.
No doubt about it, when it comes to wildlife, this is the land (and sea) of plenty.
More questions about the Valley? Get in touch! And if you want to keep up to speed on the local real estate opportunities, make sure to visit my website or my Facebook page to see all the latest listings.