More photos by Roger, Terry, Glen & Jonathan will be posted SOON
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Twelve DNCBers enjoyed a very sunny and mild Monday morning at several Parks in North Vancouver. We saw a few neat birds, including a rare eastern Blue Jay, and the nature walks and mountain vistas along this Burrard Inlet were really glorious. Check out the photo evidence on the DNCB Picasa site.
Seven folk (two cars with Roger, Mike, PB Lorna & Kay and Glen, Marian and me) left Petra’s shortly after 7:30 a.m. Ironically, it was cloudy in Tsawwassen, and unusually sunny and clear when we finally arrived at Cates Park in North Vancouver, almost 1 ½ hours later. Traffic was horrendous accessing the Trans Canada highway 1 around the tunnel and Second Narrows Bridge. Newbie local expert Charlie met us in the Cates Park parking lot near the Totem Pole and, also traffic-challenged, Kirsten, Jonathan, and Bryan & Janet joined us at various times throughout the morning.
Not much in the inlet other than a couple of Common Loons, Double-crested Cormorants, lots of Crows, and a fly-by Merganser, but the surrounding view across the water and of the surrounding snow-capped mountains, including Grouse and Seymour, was magnificent. We walked out on a wharf where Salvadoran “crabber” Luis took our first Group Photo (9) facing the brilliant sun. Lorna’s Belted Kingfisher made several fly-pasts. Then, under Charlie’s direction, we followed the manicured path along the shore, beneath tall second growth conifers toward Indian Arm. We heard Kinglets and had good looks at a Ruby-crowned. Several Wrens calling too and we finally saw a Pacific Wren. Some saw a Brown Creeper. Several Northern Flickers and Downy Woodpeckers around and lots of Pileated evidence. Roger heard a Pileated. Glen searched in vain for mushrooms; but we discovered the neat historical remnants of the Dollar Cedar Mill which was active in the late 19th century, finally closing in 1942.
Back at the parking lot, Kirsten shared her Chocolate Sticks, Marian her Lemon Squares and reliable Lorna a couple of Egg sandwiches. Roger took the main Group Photo with all 12 participants as we posed around the kids’ playland structures.
Then we drove further up the Dollarton road to the quaint little village of Deep Cove. Here we wandered around the marina and harbour park, just enjoying the gorgeous area and the weather.
Only Crows, Robins and Mallards around, but we didn’t care. Marian had to have a Deep Cove donut, which for some reason known only to her are famous. Others had soup or coffee before heading back down the coast road to Maplewood Flats Park.
The flats at Maplewood were full of waterfowl. We saw flocks of Green-winged Teal, American Wigeon, rafts of both Common and Barrow’s Goldeneye, Bufflehead and Hooded Mergansers, and Mew Gulls. A couple of mature Bald Eagles chased a Glaucous-winged Gull for several non-stop minutes. We guess that the eagles finally wore out the Gull and enjoyed lunch. We walked to other Lookouts and as the erudite Lorna observed, “we saw the same species, only further out”. We were blanked on the reportedly-seen Pygmy Owl, however, another male Belted Kingfisher posed for us before we decided to leave as it was approaching 1:00 p.m.
My vehicle whipped back to Tsawwassen in record time (~ ½ hour) arriving around the scheduled 2:00 p.m. Meanwhile, Roger’s car enjoyed Fish & Chips at the now renowned Crab Shack, made famous by Michael Buble and us DNCBers, before heading to 215 Gamma (3 blocks north of Willingdon Ave on Hastings Street in North Burnaby). At the feeder here, they saw a Fox Sparrow, House Finch, Juvenile American Goldfinch, Song Sparrow, Steller’s Jay, House Sparrows and the target bird, the Blue Jay. Hopefully the photo evidence will be on our Blog soon. It was a long outing, and we didn’t see a lotof bird species, but it was a new and beautiful destination for lots of us and a very enjoyable morning, thankfully with magnificent weather for December.
Our next DNCB outing will be Wednesday, December 11 for our quarterly Birds on the Bay event. We will meet at and leave from historic Cammidge House in Boundary Bay Regional Park at 9:00 a.m. Also, some DNCBers will be joining the White Rock-Surrey Naturalists on an outing to Blaine, Washington on Tuesday, December 10. Check our Blog for more details.
And, don’t forget our monthly Nats meeting next Monday, December 9 at 7:30 p.m. at Cammidge House. The Aquarium’s Danny Kent will give a pictorial presentation on the Marine Life of BC. Also, participants are welcome to join the Ladner Christmas Bird Count (CBC) on Sunday, Dec. 22. As always, comments welcome, and let me know if you don’t want to receive these erudite (twice?) missives. Cheers: Tom
Tom Bearss, President, Delta Naturalists’ Society