Archives for 2019

Something for Everyone: Nature Event at Saltcoats

By Kathy Morrell

Join the Yellowhead Flyway Birding Trail Association (YFBTA) on April 13, 2019 at the Saltcoats Community Hall for the 2019 Nature Event.

Details and information:

12:30 Doors open

1:00   Presentations

                Dr. L. Robbin Lindsay: Ticks, Talk and Related Diseases

                Kristen Gabora: The Great Trail

                Joan Feather: Birds of Saskatchewan, publication of Nature Saskatchewan

                Ryan Fisher: To be announced


 Banquet to follow


Additional: sharing of nature photos, raffle draw, nature/bird book exchange


For registration, please go to the YFBTA website


Everything about ticks

“Ticks are my life.” said Dr. L. Robbin Lindsay, presenter at the upcoming YFBTA event at the Saltcoats Hall.

Lindsay is a research scientist at the National Microbiology Laboratory in Brandon. He studies different kinds of ticks and how their populations have changed over time.

“The deer (black-legged) tick is present now in places never seen before,” he continued. This tick, the one that causes Lyme Disease, has increased its range over the past decades.

Despite that, the risk of Lyme disease in Saskatchewan is low. According to a recent article published in the Leader-Post, the province has collected 25,000 ticks since 2009. Only 65 were deer ticks and of that number only eight tested positive for the bacteria that cause Lyme Disease.

The other types of tick found in the province include the dog tick, the Rocky Mountain wood tick and the winter tick. They are more a nuisance than a public health issue.

“Still,” Lindsay added, “it is wise to know how to dress for tick season and how to remove a tick if it becomes embedded. It’s all about prevention and control.”


Everything about The Great Trail    

The Great Trail is a network connecting more than 15,000 communities across Canada. According to its website, it “is the longest recreational trail in the world…It offers a variety of landscapes – urban, rural and wilderness, along greenways, waterways and roadways.”

Volunteers came up with the idea of a trail that would stretch across the country nearly twenty-five years ago. It was completed coast-to-coast in 2017.

“My hope is that people get out and experience what The Great Trail has to offer,” said Kristen Gabora, Trail Development Manager for Central Canada for the Trans Canada Trail (TCT).

In recent years, there has been a change in names. TransCanada Trail is the national organization that works with local groups, provincial parks, First Nations and municipalities, the actual owners and operators of their particular sections of the trail. TCT does not own the land on which the trail is located. Rather, its role is to promote the use of The Great Trail and offer grants for maintenance, signage and trail enhancement.

“One of our most recent projects was the completion of the boardwalk at the Ravine Ecological Preserve in Yorkton,” Gabora explained. “It is a unique structure that can withstand the weather and flooding.”

The venture was a partnership with the City of Yorkton. TCT granted $35,000 to the project while the City agreed to contribute an additional amount to a maximum of $65,000.

“The Great Trail gives residents and tourists the opportunity to be physically active in the outdoors,” said Randy Goulden, Executive-Director of Tourism Yorkton. In addition to the trail, visitors can tour the site of the homestead of the Dulmage family, early settlers in the Yorkton area.”

At the Spring Event, Kristen Gabora will tell the story of The Great Trail, not everything as the title might suggest. After all, the trail is 24,000 kilometers long. Her presentation will provide information about the trail in general and nearby sections in particular.


Everything about Saskatchewan Birds

Birds of Saskatchewan tells you nearly everything you ever wanted to know about the birds of the province. This book describes the 437 bird species ever found here, advocates for stewardship of the environment and provides a benchmark against which these species can be assessed in the future. It is a collection of the best in Saskatchewan’s birding photography.

But more than that, this ten-year project illustrates the commitment of those in the birding community. A bequest to Nature Saskatchewan from Manley Callin paid for the costs of layout, professional editing and printing Everything else was the work of volunteers.

One hundred and seven volunteer writers compiled the available research and wrote the text. Birders submitted 6000 photographs. Frank Roy of Saskatoon headed up the committee who reduced that number to the more than one thousand used in the book.

Alan R. Smith, Frank Roy and Stuart Houston were volunteer editors for the project. Houston is well-known in the area as a bird bander and writer. He began his study of birds as a boy in Yorkton. He and his wife Mary have banded more than 150,000 individual birds of 211 species.

Yorkton area birders made contributions to the text. They include Bill Anaka, Rob Wilson, and Frank Switzer.

Bill Anaka, with his long-time friend Stuart Houston, compiled their birding observations and research into the well-respected Birds of Yorkton-Duck Mountain (2003). The information they collected was used as one fact source in this new publication. Though Anaka died in 2017, his work lives on in Birds of Saskatchewan.

“This volume represents decades of observation and research,” said Joan Feather who will facilitate a Q and A about the book at the YFBTA event.

After retiring from a career at the University of Saskatchewan in Community Health Research, Feather became active in the Saskatoon Nature Society and Nature Saskatchewan. She has served as president of the Saskatoon group and on the board of Nature Saskatchewan.



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