About Me

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Delta, British Columbia, Canada
I took very early retirement from teaching in '06 and did some traveling in Europe and the UK before settling down to do some private tutoring. As a voracious reader, I have many books waiting in line for me to read. Tell me I shouldn't read something, and I will. I'm a happy, optimistic person and I love to travel and through that believe that life can be a continuous learning experience. I'm looking forward to traveling more some day. I enjoy walking, cycling, water aerobics & and sports like tennis, volleyball, and fastpitch/baseball. I'm just getting into photography as a hobby and I'm enjoying learning all the bits and bobs of my digital camera. My family is everything to me and I'm delighted to be the mother of two girls and the Gramma of a boy and a girl. I may be a Gramma, but I'm at heart just a girl who wants to have fun.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

W is for Westham Island


Westham Island is an island located near my little village of Ladner in British Columbia, Canada. It's accessible via the Westham Island Bridge, a partially single-lane, truss bridge.

Once over the bridge, you pass the Westham Island Rod and Gun Club, which was organized in 1925 by the farmers who lived on the island. "The objectives of the club were to conserve game birds, protect the property of its members, regulate shooting by nonresidents, and enforce the regulations of the Game Act. Regulation of gamebird hunting is largely done through the issuance of a limited number of permits. The club also contributed to the hiring of game wardens and stocking of gamebirds on the island."

The island is full of farms, one of the most famous of which is Bissett Farms. In 2003, the family opened a winery (Westham Island Estate Winery). In its first year, the winery won three medals in the Northwest Wines Summit in Oregon State and continues to this day to produce wines of the highest quality.

Continuing past the winery, the final destination on the island is the George C. Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary. This is the winter home of the Lesser Snow Goose and one of Canada's top bird-watching sites in the heart of the Fraser River estuary. It consists of 850 acres of managed wetlands, natural marshes and low dikes and is a place where people go during any season. Stroll through the sanctuary to view varieties of birds, enjoy the quiet rural scenery, take photographs or paint, and even climb the tower that overlooks the estuary and Vancouver Island in the distance.

In the month of November, the snow geese in flocks of 20,000 or more gather here on their migratory path south. Thousands of people from all over the Lower Mainland converge on the village of Ladner where buses take them out to the Island. The snow geese come all the way from Wrangel Island that lies in the Arctic Ocean, north of Siberia, and belongs to Russia. Most of these birds stay in the Skagit Estuary in the state of Washington, just south of BC until April when they return to Wrangel Island.

I've taken my children and grandchildren out to Westham Island many many times to see the ducks and geese. I even took my girls strawberry picking so we could make jam. (I'll never forget how hot it was that day!) Speaking of which, I should check and see if the "U-pick" farms are open yet.
From wine to Wrangel Island snow geese, there's lots to see and do on Westham Island. If you're ever in the neighbourhood, stop by and I'll take you there.

(You might also like to take a look at a post I did last summer when I took my Welsh visitors to Westham Island. Just click here.)

20 comments:

Paula Scott said...

It all looks so wonderful! Thanks for being our tour guide! Perhaps I'll get there someday...

Janie said...

Looks like a great place to visit. Wonderful bird shots. If I'm ever in the area, I'll stop by for some wine, wandering, and watching of the waterfowl.

Grace and Bradley said...

Thank you for sharing this fantastic island with us. It is filled with such natural beauty.

Carol said...

I enjoyed the tour of Westham Island...it's a great W..those snow geese are gorgeous...

david mcmahon said...

Sounds like a spot I must visit, Leslie.

In answer to your question, my second novel is called Muskoka Maharani and will be the next one from my publishers, Penguin.

The Jadu Master will be the third one. I aim to have that finished fairly soon, and then I have a fourth one all charted out!

Gordon said...

Thanks for the guided tour; wonderful shots and description of the island and its features.

photowannabe said...

I would love to see all of that someday. I know you would be a fantastic guide.
Thanks for the nice comment on my post Leslie. Its appreciated.

irene said...

Thanks for the tour of Westham Island. Your photos are lovely.

Maggie May said...

I must be wonderful to see so many geese all together and especially at lift off!
It looks tempting to go over that bridge.

Hyde DP said...

what an interesting place to visit

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

Thanks for this wonderful post. Great photos too. Especially the wildlife.

Miss_Yves said...

Lots of W in your text !
Wonderful trip !Thanks for sharing !

Q said...

I would love to visit. I was in Victoria a couple of years ago and stayed in a B&B on a bird sanctuary. It was amazing! B.C. is a lovely area. Westham Island looks to be amazing.
Sherry

ArneA said...

Thanks for visiting my blog once more, and that you liked my paintings

nonizamboni said...

Great choice for 'w' especially for a bird lover! Always interesting to visit your site.
Thanks for sharing.

JoAnn's-D-Eyes said...

Hi Leslie, How interesting is this post, very wonderful,

My W is up too,
Greetings JoAnn

jay said...

My favourite is the picture of the geese taking off! Looks like a beautiful place to visit. :)

kissa said...

What a deightful island you have told us about today. Have you read The snow geese by William Fiennes? Since I read it I very much want to see one of these beautiful bIrds and I never have.Now I know where to come!

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

It looks a fascinating place.

Shrinky said...

How lucky to have such a beauty spot close on your doorstep, what a brilliant way to spend a wonderful day out (finishing up at the winery, methinks).