During the winter season we get a lot of Trumpeters wintering over. They fly down from the Yukon. They only stay in very quiet bays. The bears tag team them. When the bears go to bed,the Trumpeters arrive.

In our area Grice Bay is HQ for Trumpeters. There are around 30 to 40 staying in Grice during the winter time. Grice bay is a perfect for them! Nobody ever goes down there…….or very few! In thirty years I have yet to see another person down there when I’m there! People stay away because at low tide the bay empties exposing the mud flats.

Many birds stay down at the end but the ones I’m interested in are the Trumpeters.

So to document the Trumpeters winter stay I have placed a trail camera down there to observe.

Each time I use one of these camera traps the set up is unique. In this set up I hammered a 2X4 into the earth and attached the housing. I need the cover for the camera because of the winters rains!

I think I’ll go back in two weeks time to swap the card and batteries. I never know exactly whats going to walk past?




With the tide being high,I went down to the end of Grice bay to check on the Trumpeters.Had to be over 40 of them with many hundreds of other birds as well.Because Grice bay is so shallow (it physically empties at low tide) nobody goes down there.The birds know this & love to congregate down at the end.

I think I’ll put my trail camera down here to capture them much closer!


Back when Tofino & Ucluelet were first settled,the only way to get from one place to the other was by boat. They found this route impossible during the stormy winter months,so a rudimentary  road was constructed between the two small towns.

It consisted basically of three portions,headland (corduroy rd),beaches & inland water way.

This is what someone coming from Ucluelet would had to of done to get to Tofino.

Get in their boat & row down the Ucluelet harbour (northward) to the end,walk across the headland (2 km) to Florencia bay (the wetter areas of this road were lined with Cedar logs making it into a Corduroy rd),walk northward along Florencia bay to the north end & climb the escarpment to another headland road connecting over to Wickaninnish/Longbeach beach. Walk northward to were the parking lot is for Longbeach. Turn east & go across the final land portion.

Basically the spot where the forest road starts is across the hwy from the parking lot.The spot to enter the forest off of the hwy is difficult to find. (about halfway between the airport road & the yellow gate) The original road is still there.It has ditches on either side & can still be walked upon.Lots of windfall of course. It ends at the Grice bay flats. There is a meandering drainage arm going into Grice bay from this point. They built a boat house here. I suspect a soul could also take refuge in this shed &  wait for high tide. At high tide,the narrow channel would fill & one could continue their journey by rowing out to Grice bay.With the tide heading out,they would row with the tide out of Grice & down Browning pass to Tofino.

I’ve seen pictures of Model T cars using the forest sections of this muddy road.Woman in their Sunday best standing in mud trying to push out a stuck vehicle! How they got the cars down to the beach would of been interesting as the escarpment is 150 feet high!

These shots show the very beginning of the water route from Grice bay to Tofino.The channel in spots is less than 6 feet wide.You wouldn’t want to be late rowing out as Grice is a very shallow bay & goes dry at low tide.



There also were homesteaders down in the Grice bay flats.They had cattle & kept them corralled with a cedar fence. You can still see the poles.


As you can see,the grasses inside this fenced off area would of been covered by the ocean. This salty grass couldn’t of made the meat taste appealing? The milk would of tasted off too I suspect?

People using this water road portion would of rowed right by this spot.Not sure when the settlers moved in or moved out?

So,in conclusion using this rough west coast road would of been only for the strong of heart!


20150108-IMG_544920150108-IMG_545720150108-IMG_5470It started out sunny today but I could see some clouds moving in from the satellite!
I normally wouldn’t have gone out with this cloud coming but during the winter,beggars can’t be too choosey!
So,I headed out. The light failed almost as soon as my boat hit the water! I hate going out in poor light! It makes things so much more drab & uninteresting!
I headed down to Cannery bay to check & see if any of the Lions were around………………..apparently not! Not surprised actually. They love the warmth of the sun & Cannery Bays float is still in shade. There is a rather large hillside to the south the sun is hiding in behind at the moment. I think the sun should be able to flood the bay in about 2 weeks or so?
Headed out of Cannery for Tranquil. I saw several dozen Trumpeters coming out of the system yesterday & I thought I might be able to sneak up on them? Apparently not as well! They weren’t home.
I tried to go my normal route but couldn’t! It appears a log jam is forming! I found a way around. With it being high tide,I was able to get up on a plane. Always freaky travelling so close to the bottom. My prop must of been just several feet above the bottom. I know the bottom of this creek well.
So,no Trumpeters were inside the system either. That was three strikes for me! The light failing,no Lions & no Trumpeters!
Trying to get good shots in conditions like this is like making a silk purse out of a Sow’s ear!
Headed out of Tranquil. Stopped off at Rankin rocks to find several thousand Dunlins resting. Saw some Black Bellied Plovers as well.
Took some shots of my little feathered friends & took off. Headed back to town.
I passed by the mouth of Gunner inlet. A friend lives in his float house there. I ran into him later & asked if he heard or felt that earthquake we and a few days ago? He said he not only heard it,but the primary surface wave actually lifted his float house!
The epicentre was about a mile north of him! He would of been one of the first to feel it!

Headed over to Tsapee Narrows to visit with the Daredevil & Delilah. Delilah just watched me from afar but the Daredevil came over to pose for me! Took some action shots & said goodnight.
Headed back to into town. Stopped off to visit with Maggie for a few minutes. She’s such a Trooper! Because the sun is so low in the south,Nielson island is casting a large shadow north into the spot I like to take pictures of her. So I have to travel further north to get back into the sunshine! Maggie doesn’t complain about having to fly so far.She just flys out & circles around me!
The light was poor when I took shots of her. The background was muted.
Said goodnight to my girlfriend & headed over to see Romeo & Juliette. They both were around but Romeo didn’t feel like coming over to his rocky throne for me! He gets lazy sometimes. So I headed over to him on Deadman island.
Took some sunset silhouettes of my fussy friend & called it a night.
I knew the light was going to be a problem,but with rain guaranteed for the next few days,I went out anyways. I still think it was a good call! Had fun at any rate!