Robert of Cacouna, Que. outside of the new bird blind at the Vaseux Lake Wildlife Refuge Friday. The structure was officially opened during a special ceremony. Mark Brett/Western News

Bird’s eye view at Vaseux Lake

Visitors to the Vaseux Lake Wildlife Refuge now have comfortable viewing area with bird’s eye view of their feathered friends.

The new, three-storey, architect-designed wooden blind was officially opened Friday at a special ceremony hosted by BC Nature.

Situated at the end of the trail and boardwalk leading from the parking lot to the lake front offers a panoramic, 360-degree vie of the lake and surrounding marshlands, grasslands and mountains from the top floor.

“I was the project manager and it’s taken four and a half years to get it built but it’s going to be a lovely conservation and education facility,” said Eva Durance, site volunteer caretaker and member of the BirdLife International Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBA). “It’s quite a bit larger than the old blind but has the same footprint and it’s also going to be just a lovely place for people to stop here and take a break from the highway.”

The wooden structure replaces the previous blind which was built in the 1990’s and badly in need of replacement.

A regular visitor to the site over the years, local bird expert Dick Cannings was also on hand for the opening.

Vaseux Lake is one of the most diverse places in the country in terms of natural history goes and spectacular scenery,” he said. “This is very well used 12 months a year and it’s a real benefit to visitors and residents alike.”

While the top floor is exposed to the elements the lower two levels have shutters which protects visitors from inclement weather, especially in the winter.

The new facility is also wheelchair accessible on the first floor. Its design was also done to deter rodents, especially pack rats which found the previous blind to their liking according to Cannings.