Kathryn Morse, Atlantic director of communications, wrote via email, “We have done bird counts before, but never attempted to ID other species as well.”
Seven volunteers trekked through the Codroy Valley to identify flora and fauna, including a visitor from New Mexico. In total, the group observed 18 species of birds and found more than 90 species of plants from eight different observation points on the property.
Volunteers broke up into two groups, and trekked through bog and forest to four different waypoints in order to inventory some of the plants and animals native to each particular area.
“We were given GPS with everything programmed in,” said Mahoney via phone interview. “When we arrived at our waypoints we had a piece of rope – about six meters – and we would put it right in the middle and make a circle and everything in that circle we would document. Plants, flowers, bogs, different kinds of species of wood, even the birds – if we heard birds and identified them, we would put that in too.”
The group collected samples or took photos of anything they couldn’t identify in the field to bring back for proper cataloguing.
“First time I’ve ever done anything like that and I’ve learned a lot too,” said Mahoney, who enjoyed the beauty of the Codroy Valley estuary. “I’m into it a little bit myself but most of the people with us knew their business.”
Mahoney, who is now retired, hails originally from Harbour Breton but has resided in Stephenville for 30 years. He also plans to help out at the NCC’s annual Sandy Point beach cleanup, something he has done for the past three years. This will be the fourth year for the cleanup, and Mahoney intends to bring along his six-year-old grandson for the first time.
“I really enjoy it because I meet different people and I learn stuff,” said Mahoney. “And it makes you connect with nature in a great way.”