Highway 5A Wetlands

An excursion to the wetlands along highway 5A was a delightful little expedition, requiring little physical exertion. Many sites of interest captivated the viewer. Every field was filled with ponds due to the spring runoffs and these ponds hosted numerous bird species. We recorded 24 species, and the birds gave us an opportunity to stop and photograph them as they lazily swam by. Others were busy setting up nests and starting new families. It was wonderful! The Brown-headed Cowbirds were of interest because it is a bird that people talk about but which this writer has never seen. The wetlands at the junction of Otter Lake road and Hwy 5A proved to be disappointing. Usually this is an active area, but not this time. Birds had more choices available to them.

Photo by M. Masiel

Kane Valley was a let down. This being the long weekend, camping units abounded around the lakes. However, we were enthused to see some lovely Chocolate Lilies, Small flowered Blue Eye Marys, Larkspurs, and Yellow Violets. We had lunch at one of the lakes then retraced our tracks by going back to Otter Lake Road. Here we fared somewhat better. Again spontaneous ponds everywhere gave an insight to different bird species. It was a tranquil road and very interesting, geologically speaking. From the plateau, the road descents through some ancient lava flows.

Photo by M. Masiel

We followed Otter Creek to where the old Thalia trestle used to be on the KVR. Here the creek expanded considerably due to the high spring runoff, further emptying into Frembd Lake, then on to Otter Lake. Tulameen gave us a rude awakening; we thought that we had entered a military zone. Small and big ATV’s crowded the streets and the noise level was deafening.
This was the first time that this outing has been done, and it is one worthwhile repeating again next year.