DNCB Outing No. 2017-41 to Jericho Beach & Camosun Bog

More photos at our DNCB Flickr site

It was a rainy and windy Tuesday morning, so only six stoic DNCBers enjoyed an eventually sunny morning in Vancouver at Jericho Beach, and then Camosun Bog.  We had some neat sightings among the gorgeous Fall colours, as you will see from Richmond Brian’s, Roger’s, Glen’s and Terry’s photos on our Flickr site at: www.flickr.com/groups/dncb, then click the magnifying glass icon in the “Photo Pool” row, and add 2017-41 to “flickr_search_dncb-photosDNCB Photos” in the Search box at the top of the page.

Roger drove 5 of us (Glen, Terry, Mike & me) in his Birdmobile from Petra’s at 7:40 am and we met Richmond Brian at Jericho Park.  The drive was horrendous (again) as the traffic was backed up on 99 and in Vancouver.  Rain and wind warnings didn’t help.  We took several of “Roger’s Shortcuts” which always add significant time, but with four local BC born guys in the van, the 40 minute drive that took over an hour and half, was seamless, relaxing and very informative.  At almost every corner we passed through the side streets of Vancouver, the conversation escalated from each guy as to what buildings were there over the past 70 years, who lived in them (including ancestral relatives), what crimes were committed there, where were the best haunts for misspent youths, etc.  Truly fascinating listening.

Arriving just after 9:00 am, we parked on the street (free) next to the Jericho Beach east parking lot.  The rain had stopped, but it was still windy and cool as we met Brian who had just photographed a Sharp-shinned Hawk sitting on a picnic table.  Then a flock of Savannah Sparrows surrounded us in the grass. We walked to the beach where Roger hailed down a runner, in shorts and T shirt, who took the group photo of us all rugged up like we were in the Arctic.  We walked the beach as the sun began to appear on the horizon, enjoying the vista across English Bay to Vancouver, Stanley Park and the mountains behind North and West Vancouver.

Large flocks of Double-crested Cormorants circled by, a few Pelagics around too. Horned Grebes bobbed among the waves.  We had a bit of an ID test as there were several Gull species on the shore other than the common Glaucous-winged.  We saw Mew, Ring-billed, Thayer’s (now included with Icelandic?), Herring, probably Western and perhaps California, and of course various Hybrids of these Gull species.  It was sort of fun to confirm an ID, when in reality we were just guessing.

At the Sailing Club, we wandered inland along the treed trails of Jericho Park.  The sun was shining now and it warmed up nicely as flocks of Finches, both House and American Goldfinches glistened in the bushes.  I had good looks at both Golden- and Ruby-crowned Kinglets.  Lots of common stuff around including Steller’s Jay, Golden-crowned Sparrows, Wigeons and GBH in the ponds, but we couldn’t find any Warblers or a Goshawk. Approaching 11:00 am, we decided to visit Camosun Bog before lunch.

Brian and I entered the Bog at 21st and saw a Bewick’s Wren and a flock of Bushtits.  The others entered at 19th St and saw an Anna’s Hummingbird.  We met in the middle and all commented on the beautiful new boardwalks and very informative signage.  Some were fascinated with the fungi on the trees, others with the carnivorous Sundew plant, rare Cloudberry, Bog Cranberry or prolific Labrador Tea. This urban wilderness in Pacific Spirit Regional Park is a very interesting and rare ecosystem.

Approaching Noon, we drove to Terry’s choice, Aphrodite’s Organic Café on West 4t Ave. Not being a real fan of healthy organic stuff, I was very pleasantly surprised with my Bacon & 3 poached egg Aphrodite Breakfast along with a tasty Scandal Beer (organic lager made in Prince George).  It was so good that I don’t remember the ride home in the brilliant sun as I snoozed in the back seat.  I got home before 2:00 pm with a Timmy’s Donut and Iced Cap for Sandra, and in time to take Grandson Thomas for a walk in the neighbourhood.  Meanwhile Glen continued on, passing the Tsawwassen fields full of our early migrant Snow Geese.  It turned out to be a glorious DNCB outing.

Next Tuesday, October 24, we will leave Petra’s at 7:00 am and carpool at 7:30 am from the Peace Arch Park parking lot to Deception Pass in Washington State.  This is a new DNCB destination, and Roger & Terry have organized an interesting itinerary for the all-day outing.  Check out directions (below), and other outing info on our website.

As always, your comments are encouraged and, let me know if these meandering, gossipy missives bore you and you want off my e-mail list.  Cheers: Tom

Tom Bearss, President, Delta Naturalists Society

Details of Oct. 24 DNCB Outing 2017-42 to Deception Pass, by Terry:

We will leave Petras at 7, and leave Peace Arch Parking Lot at 7:30.
~~~~~~~~If the weather is wet, we will go to Blaine instead.~~~~~~~~~~
Our first stop will be Coupeville Ferry Terminal, which is one hour and 50 minutes from Blaine.
• Take I-5 to Hwy 20 West (exit 230).
• Follow Hwy 20 past Anacortes to the Coupeville Ferry Terminal (for Port Townsend ferry).
Shorter route: turn right off Hwy 20 in Coupeville onto S Main St/S Engle Rd via Fort Casey.
Park at the ferry.
We will take the 10:15 ferry to Port Townsend as foot passengers.  Often see Guillemots, Murres, Auklets and Loons from the ferry.  We will take the same ferry back at 11.
• Buy a return ticket.  Fare each way is $1.65 for seniors, and $3.35 for adults.

After returning on the ferry, we will bird Keystone Spit, Crockett Lake and the trail to Fort Casey.

We may have lunch at
Greenbank Farm
765 Wonn Rd, Greenbank
https://whidbeycamanoislands.com/things-to-do/food-wine/greenbank-farm/

After lunch, depending on timing and weather, we may stop at Deception Pass Campground, and at Cranberry Lake.

Advertisements
Posted in *DNCB, Camosun Bog, Crockett Lake, Deception Pass, Deception Pass Campground, Fort Casey, Greenbank Farm, Herring Gull, Jericho Beach, Keystone Spit, Mew Gull, Pelagic Cormorant, Port Townsend, Sharp-shinned Hawk, Thayer's Gull, Western Gull | Leave a comment

DNCB Outing No. 2017-40 to Boundary Bay at 104th Street

More photos at our DNCB Flickr site

The Honeymoon is over!  Sixteen DNCBers started dry and finished wet on our Tuesday outing along the Boundary Bay Dyke trail at 104th Street.  Check out the photo evidence of some neat sightings, despite the weather, on our Flickr site at: www.flickr.com/groups/dncb, then click the magnifying glass icon in the “Photo Pool” row, and add 2017-40 to “flickr_search_dncb-photosDNCB Photos” in the Search box at the top of the page.

Ten of us left Petra’s at 7:30 am, carpooling nicely in three vehicles to the Delta Heritage AirPark on 104th Street.  We met the others here at 8:00 am as the tide was out, but coming in.  White-crowned Sparrows were flitting in the bushes and an adult Bald Eagle perched above us as both David H and Roger M took a Group Photo (14 without time challenged “Germanics” Margaretha & Gabriele) with the Bay behind us.  It was cloudy and cool, but seemingly (to me) no threat of rain.

There were thousands of ducks and peeps on the horizon at the incoming water’s edge, seen clearly through our scope.  The ducks were mostly Northern Pintail, American Wigeon and some Green-winged Teal.  The thousands of Shorebirds were mostly Black-bellied Plovers, Dunlin and Pectoral (and a few Baird’s) Sandpipers as we learned later when they were pushed closer.

As we walked toward the Mansion and 88th St., we tried unsuccessfully to find the recently seen Sharp-tailed Sandpiper and the Godwits (Bar-tailed or Marbled).  Small flocks of American Pipits gave fly pasts and landed on the shore very close for good photo ops.  The Pectoral Sandpipers also came close and, late in the morning, we also identified a couple of Baird Sandpipers.  We met Mike Tabak at 88th St who had seen an American Golden Plover among the Black-bellied, but we missed it.  As we traversed the dike trail, the thousands of waterfowl were often raised, spectacularly, to flight by passing Bald Eagles and Falcons.  We saw Peregrines, and a MerlinNorthern Harriers occasionally glided by too.

At 88th, at about 9:45 am, the tide was fully in and the sky was getting a bit darker, so we decided to turn back to 104th.  Most walked briskly and got back to their vehicles before the downpour.  Some of us dilly-dallied and got soaked.  If you can’t handle rain, you shouldn’t live in BC.

At 10:30 am, the four stalwarts, dry WR Al & Mike and drenched Roger & me decided to go to Boundary Bay Airport restaurant for coffee.  My supplement with French Toast and Strawberries warmed me up nicely, albeit without a beer.  Although a rain-shortened outing (I was home before Noon), as always it was very enjoyable.

We Sixteen were: Yachties David & Noreen (also soaked, but better dressed), photogs Glen & Terry, Chris drove Roger K & Jim K, DNCB Chauffeur White Rock Al, three North Deltan’s Johnny Mac, Jean G and Liz S, our always-smiling Germanics Margaretha & Gabriele, and unflappable Roger M drove Mike & me.

Next Tuesday, October 10, we will leave Petra’s at 7:30 am for Jericho Park and Camosun Bog in Vancouver, meeting others around 8:15 am at Jericho Beach parking lot East. There is free parking just outside the lot on West 2nd Ave and Wallace St.

Check out our website for more info on outings and reports and photos.  As always, your comments are encouraged, and let me know if these weekly musings annoy you and you want off my e-mail List.  Cheers: Tom

Tom Bearss, President, Delta Naturalists Society (now going to my Wednesday Noon hockey)

Posted in *DNCB, 104 Street, American Pipit, Baird’s Sandpiper, Bald Eagle, BBRP, Black-bellied Plover, Boundary Bay, Dunlin, Merlin, Northern Harrier, Pectoral Sandpiper, Peregrine Falcon | Leave a comment

DNCB Outing No. 2017-39 to Derby Reach and Brae Island Parks

RM_DNCB_group_tip_of_island

Tip of the Island (photo by Roger Meyer)

More photos at our DNCB Flickr site

Twenty-five DNCBers enjoyed a gorgeous Tuesday morning wandering in two Langley Regional Parks, Derby Reach and Brae Island.  We saw lots of new and neat stuff in a beautiful setting along the Fraser River; check out the photo evidence on our Flickr site at: www.flickr.com/groups/dncb, then click the magnifying glass icon in the “Photo Pool” row, and add 2017-39 to “flickr_search_dncb-photosDNCB Photos” in the Search box at the top of the page.

Ten of us left Petra’s at 7:30 am, car-pooling nicely in three vehicles, and via the new SFPR highway got to the Derby Reach “heritage” Park parking lot at 8:35 am.  The cast of thousands met us with smiles, including our Leader, Gareth Pugh, and his Langley Field Naturalist colleagues, local Guru Anne Gosse, Tom W, Ralph B and his wife and visiting Mom from Alberta.  We chatted for a bit while Mary T watched the Kinglets in the surrounding trees, then “Cruisin’ Returnee” David H and our ILB Tony took the Group Photo (only 22 w/o time-challenged Margaretha, Gabriele and Abbotsford Laurie K).  Gareth outlined our itinerary for the day before we began our stroll along the manicured Houston Trail through the woods toward the Lookout over the Langley Bog.

Despite the inevitable Chatfest, we managed to hear and/or see a few birds including: both Chestnut-backed and Black-backed Chickadees, House and Purple Finches, Bewick’s and Pacific Wrens, Red-breasted Nuthatches, Dark-eyed Juncos, and our first small flock of Yellow-rumped Warblers.  At a clearing where one of the “three” Fort Langley’s was located in the early 1800’s, a Sharp-shinned Hawk gave a fly-past (seen again later at the Lookout).  Some of us took a side trail to look at the Beaver’s dam and saw some neat Mushrooms and heard a Varied Thrush.

At the Lookout over the bog, some saw a Red-tailed Hawk.  We took more people photos here because several of the vain among us love to see themselves on our Flickr site.  The coup de grace here was seeing the resident pair of Sandhill Cranes give a flypast.  Anne G reported that the pair had one Colt which they hope survived.  We got back to the parking lot around 10:00 am and drove in a huge convoy to Brae Island Regional Park (BIRP) on McMillan Island.  It’s difficult to organize and corral 25 folk in a convoy of about 15 vehicles, but it worked out well, despite the annoying highway construction delays.

Standing around the washrooms at the BIRP entrance, another flock of Warblers entertained us.  We finally saw a Myrtle (white-throated) Yellow-rumped among the mostly Audubon’s (yellow-throated).  Marion and Kirsten saw an Orange-crowned too.  I think we got both Ruby- and Golden-crowned Kinglets as well.  As we walked along the Tavistock Point Trail, the Fraser was flat and calm at low tide.  No exciting waterfowl around, only Mallards and Canada Geese, but some got excited when our Lunch spot across the water, the Fort Pub, was pointed out.

We followed a circular trail on this island through beautiful forest, occasional seeing the Fraser on both sides from side path lookouts.  Other new sightings here included a Brown Creeper, four Woodpecker species, both Hairy and Downy, Northern Flickers and a neat “red-headed” Red-breasted Sapsucker, Common Raven and other common stuff.  The vistas across the river of the Coquitlam Mountains and the Golden Ear peaks were magnificent under the clear blue skies.

At Tavistock Point, while luring at the elegantly landscaped mansion across the river with its float plane and yacht, a Beaver glided by in front of us for its photo op.  Then Roger persuaded us all to walk out onto the mud for another Group Photo under the regrettably still-unused Purple Martin Houses.

We got back to the parking lot at 12:45 pm, to more warblers, and celebrated an awesome morning before about 17 of us drove across the bridge to the Fort Pub for lunch.  Some sat outside on the patio in the sun while most of us were inside, but the food, service and comradery was superb.  My “special” Pot Pie, Salad and two pints of Kokanee (the cheapest beer) were delicious, of course with some of Mikey’s chips for added flavour.  It was a relaxing drive back to Ladner, listening to the dulcet tones of another edition of the Roger & Mike Historic Duet.  We’re so lucky to be DNCBers.

We twenty-five were: Langley Leader Gareth Pugh, Guru Anne Gosse, Species-recorder Tom W, Yachtie Ralph B and his wife & Albertan Mom (Wanda and I forget), Roger Two, Jim K & Mary, T, Marion & Kirsten, Margaretha & Gabriele, our ILB (Indian Land Baron)Tony M, North Van Richard H, Richmond Brian A, returnee Cruisers David & Noreen & photog Glen B, North Delta’s Johnny Mac, Abbotsford “Biker” Laurie K, Roger, Mike, Terry C and me.

Next Tuesday, October 10, we will leave Petra’s at 7:30 am for a walk along Boundary Bay dike, meeting at 8:00 am at the 104th Street Heritage Airport parking lot.

For more info on this and other outings, and reports and photos, check out our website.

We had a super AGM last night (Tuesday), elected a terrific Executive, and enjoyed a very interesting and informative presentation by our friend Ken Hall on his passion about Water and its impact on the desert area from the Okanagan south to the Mexican border.

As always, your comments are encouraged, and should this weekly drivel annoy you, let me know and I’ll remove you from my email list.  Cheers: Tom

Tom Bearss, President, Delta Naturalists Society

Posted in *DNCB, Beaver, Brae Island Park, Brown Creeper, Derby Reach, Houston Trail, McMillan Island, Orange-crowned Warbler, Purple Finch, Red-breasted Sapsucker, Red-tailed Hawk, Sandhill Crane, Sharp-shinned Hawk, Tavistock Point Trail, Yellow-rumped Warbler | Leave a comment

DNCB Outing No. 2017-38 to Squamish Estuary

Photos at our DNCB Flickr site

TC_DNCB_group

DNCB at Squamish (photo by Terry Carr)

About 18 Delta and Squamish Naturalists had a grand Wednesday morning wandering the trails and wetlands of the Squamish estuary.  It was a new and interesting destination for DNCBers and we met some nice new folk.  Check out the photo evidence on our DNCB Flickr site at: www.flickr.com/groups/dncb, then click the magnifying glass icon in the “Photo Pool” row, and add 2017-38 to “flickr_search_dncb-photosDNCB Photos” in the Search box at the top of the page.

Four of us (Glen, Terry, Johnny Mac and me) left the Ladner Bus Exchange at 6:30 am and had a leisurely and surprisingly very smooth 1 ½ hour drive through Vancouver to the Howe Sound Brew Pub in Squamish.  I guess we beat the rush hour traffic.  We met my “Trinidadian” friend Larry Murray and his smiling band of Squamish birders (Vanessa, Patrick, Marcia, Marilyn and Hilary; I may have the wrong names) at the Pub, along with DNCBers Richmond Bill D, North Van’s Richard H, Lidia, sisters Pat & Maureen, Marion, Marti and Kirsten.

After introductions and renewing acquaintances, Larry and Vanessa led us along the path toward the estuary.  The scenery was magnificent as we looked up at the Stawamus Chief, Mt. Garibaldi, and Black Tusk where Roger, who deserted the DNCBers, was climbing this morning.  Although the chatting was indefatigable, we did see a few birds along the trail, including sparring Song Sparrows, White-crowned Sparrows, several Northern Flickers, Steller’s Jays, House and Purple Finches, Crows and Common Ravens, and other common stuff.  Glen posted a photo of a Savannah Sparrow (originally mistaken for a White-throated).

When we got to the estuary, after taking the mandatory Group Photo, we split into two groups to circle the trail portion and meet on the railroad tracks.  The tide was low and the weather was simply perfect.  While following the tracks, our group met a flock of Long-billed Dowitchers that posed nicely for us in a marsh pond.  The other group had a Black Bear cross the tracks right in front of them.

We met up after an hour and together we entered the trails through the wetlands, which Larry said were probably made by the early settlers 200 years ago, cultivating Hops.  Of course the area had been traversed, fished and inhabited by Squamish First Nations for 5000 years, and in 2007 the land was declared a Squamish Estuary Wildlife Management Area.  Some interesting sightings through these narrow “rooted” trails included a few Common Mergansers, raft of American Wigeon, pair of Belted Kingfishers, a kettle of Turkey Vultures, Brown Creeper.  Some heard Common Yellowthroats, Red-breasted Nuthatches, Kinglets and both Marsh and Pacific Wrens, but I didn’t see these.  We probably saw other neat stuff too, but I forget.

The walk through the trees and even on the mud of the estuary was fun too.  A huge Sitka Spruce tree with a big “burl” (i.e. deformed growth at the base of the tree) on it was interesting.  It was approaching 11:00 am, when Pat fell, fractured her ankle, and had to be fireman–lifted (thanks Larry & Patrick) out of the park to a waiting ambulance that Glen had called.  Later, Terry drove Pat & Maureen home from the Squamish Hospital, and Pat is currently “using a Walker” and hoping to have surgery tomorrow or Monday at the Royal Columbian Hospital.  Our first, and hopefully last, accident on a DNCB outing.  It’s not true that Pat fell because she was desiring attention.

While Pat was enjoying herself in the Squamish Hospital (X-rays confirmed ankle fracture), the rest of us went for lunch at the Brew Pub.  The Soup & Chicken Pot Pie Special with a jug of their Belgian style Lager, along with a couple of Larry’s delicious Calamari, hit the spot.

GB_DNCB_pub

DNCB at pub (photo by Glen Bodie)

Like Delta Nats, the Squamish Environment Society is a member of BC Nature, and you can learn more about them on their website at: www.squamishenvironment.ca.  Thanks to Larry and his Squamish birders, we really enjoyed an informative, interesting and fun morning with our new friends.  My vehicle, without Terry, left the pub at 2:00 pm and got back to Ladner at 3:30 pm, a super smooth and surprisingly quick ride over the Lion’s Gate Bridge and through Vancouver.  I think Johnny Mac slept all the way, and fortunately Glen’s historical conversation kept me awake.

Next Tuesday, (yes, TUESDAY) October 3, we will meet at and leave from Petra’s at 7:30 am for Derby Reach Park and Brae Island (new DNCB destination).  We will meet at the Heritage Area Parking Lot in Derby Reach Park around 8:15 am, and be led by our friend and local expert Gareth Pugh.

Also on Tuesday October 3 is our Delta Nats monthly meeting and AGM, with Ken Hall presenting on “Water in the Desert”.  Join us (free) at 7:30 pm at the Benediction Lutheran Church for a very enjoyable evening.

For more info on our DNS Meeting guest speaker and his topic, our DNCB outings and other Delta Nats stuff, check out this website.  As always, your comments are encouraged, and if these rambling missives annoy you, let me know and I’ll remove you from my email list.  Cheers: Tom

Tom Bearss, President, Delta Naturalists Society (written at 1:00 am Sunday morning, it’s been a busy golf week)

Posted in *DNCB, Black Bear, Brown Creeper, Long-billed Dowitcher, Purple Finch, Squamish Estuary, Turkey Vulture | Leave a comment

DNCB Outing No. 2017-37 to White Rock Pier, Blackie Spit and Elgin Park

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

photos by Brian Avent (BA), Chris McVittie (CMcV), Glen Bodie (GB), Maureen Sinilaid (MS), Pat Smart (PS), Roger Meyer (RM) & Terry Carr (TC) at our DNCB Flickr site

A large crowd of nearly 30 birders joined us at very stages of our Wednesday outing to White Rock Pier, Blackie Spit and then Elgin Park for the American Avocet.  It was a very birdy morning and you can see some beautiful photo evidence on our Flickr site at:
www.flickr.com/groups/dncb, then click the magnifying glass icon in the “Photo Pool” row, and add 2017-37 to “flickr_search_dncb-photosDNCB Photos” in the Search box at the top of the page.

Ten of us left Petra’s at 7:30 am and got to the free morning parking at the White Rock Pier just after 8:00 am.  The group expanded quickly as we walked out the pier, as the high tide was receding.  Killdeer on shore and lots of Surf Scoters, Common Loons (maybe Red-throated too), Horned and Red-necked Grebes around, with a few Western Grebes too.

I think there was a Pied-billed Grebe there too.  The Belted Kingfisher posed on a mast, and a few American Pipits flitted in the rocks among the Pigeons, and one lone Band-tailed Pigeon (possibly injured as the “Feed Lady” said it was covered with lice as it crawled over her feet).

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Terry and Maureen took Group photos here, without some time-challenged and those who joined us later at Blackie Spit.  We saw other stuff here, Harbour Seals, Crabs, Cormorants, etc. but I forget what waterfowl (Scaup, Wigeons, Mallards, Teal, Shovelers).  A flock of unidentified Shorebirds whizzed by.

We drove to Blackie Spit around 9:30 am, stopping once to unsuccessfully look for Black Scoters.  I didn’t even see a White-winged Scoter, although I’m sure some were there.  The Long-billed Curlew and Marbled Godwit (Target birds here) were posing on shore at the Blackie Spit entrance when we arrived.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

In sporadic groups, we wandered out to the Spit, entertained by Savannah Sparrows and more Pipits; we missed the Western Meadowlark.  Lots of Ring-billed Gulls around, fly-past Caspian Terns, and there were a few Shorebirds (Peeps) on distant “islands”.

We left the spit in search of Roger’s Scrub Jays, not to be found. We saw some Northern Flickers, Northern Harriers, then a Merlin posed on top of a tree.  A flock of about six Greater Yellowlegs flew in for us in Rene Savenye Park.  I think we saw a Peregrine circling too and it was later harassed by the Merlin.  Song and White-crowned Sparrows around, and we did see a couple of Yellow-rumped Warblers.  We had some difficulty identifying a few Gadwall in a stream.  Roger took a Group Photo here, including several participants not in the White Rock Pier photo.

We left Blackie Spit at 11:30 am for an unscheduled stop at Elgin Park as a couple of birders (I forget their names) told us an American Avocet was there.  We found the Avocet, with a Greater Yellowlegs, right where they said, on the Nicomekl River.

Elated with the joys of birding, we retired to the Town Hall Pub for lunch.

RW_DNCB_pub2

We had a great time as usual, and it’s always so nice to see you guys again.  Rick & Marg Wooley

The “Hard Corps” at lunch of White Rock Al, Mike B, Terry C, Lidia and me were joined by our Vancouver Island Nats, Rick & Marg.  The Beef Dip and Beer Special was delicious and cheap, and the conversation almost-stimulating.  We got back to Tsawwassen around 2:00 pm, and home by 2:30, not too late to join Sandra and our Daycare Grandkids, Juliette and Quinn.  Another super DNCB outing.

The 28 participants included: Liz S, Lidia J, Guru Anne M, Anne A (w/o Ken), Richmond Brian A, White Rock Al, Chris McV (see Flickr site for some neat plant/flora photos), other Photogs Glen B, Terry C, Denise (aka Uma) K, Roger M, Mike B, Richmond’s Donna & Angela, sisters Maureen & Pat, Pauline O’T & Jean G, Langley’s Ralph B & Joanne R, Johnny Mac, more lovely Germans Gabriele S & Margaretha S, surprise visit by Coquitlam friends “expert” Larry C & Kathy (?), our Island friends and former DNCBers Rick & Marg and me.

Next Wednesday September 27, we will leave the Ladner Bus Exchange at 6:30 am for an “away” outing to the Squamish Estuary.  We will meet a few Squamish Birders at the Howe Sound Brew Pub at 37801 Cleveland Ave in Squamish around 8:00 am and, following our outing, should leave Squamish about 1:00 pm to return home, to avoid the often horrendous Vancouver traffic.

Note from Pat Smart: From Howe Sound Brew Pub we travel 1km (see map https://goo.gl/maps/sooGDYnAy3P2) to the gates of Squamish Terminals,
37500 3 Ave, Squamish, BC V8B0B1, and explore the Cattermole Slough area.
Later we travel to the Chelem trail on the Spit (see map https://goo.gl/maps/HQ7xuw7V5oH2)
Chelem Trail:  1.1 km loop off Spit Road (also called the Marsh Trail).  Chelem is the Squamish language word for eel grass.

Note that the following week, Tuesday October 3, DNCB Outings change to TUESDAYS.

Check out our website for more info on this outing, and other reports and photos.  Also, as always, comments encouraged, and let me know if you want off my list to receive these annoying reports.  Cheers: Tom

Tom Bearss, President, Delta Naturalists Society

Reason for late drafting of this report is that I was in Vernon from Thursday morning to late last night (Sunday) at the BC Nature FGM and Conference, an awesome weekend in a beautiful area.

Posted in *DNCB, American Avocet, American Pipit, Band-tailed Pigeon, Blackie Spit, Caspian Tern, Elgin Heritage Park, Harbour Seal, Long-billed Curlew, Marbled Godwit, Merlin, Mew Gull, Northern Harrier, Pelagic Cormorant, Peregrine Falcon, Pied-billed Grebe, Red-necked Grebe, White Rock Pier, Yellow-rumped Warbler | Leave a comment

DNCB Birds on the Bay Outing No. 2017-36 in Boundary Bay Regional Park

More photos at our DNCB Flickr site

Around twenty participants enjoyed another glorious Wednesday morning on our quarterly Birds on the Bay outing in Boundary Bay Regional Park.  We reversed our route to accommodate the tide and had some neat sightings.  Check out some spectacular photo evidence on our Flickr site at: www.flickr.com/groups/dncb, then click the magnifying glass icon in the “Photo Pool” row, and add 2017-36 to “flickr_search_dncb-photosDNCB Photos” in the Search box at the top of the page.

We gathered at historic Cammidge House at 9:00 am and following introductions, especially of the newbie Renda, and “irregulars” White Rock/Surrey Gareth, Ansa, Gabriele and Marian, and saying farewell to New Yorkers Chief Bill & Caroline, Terry took a Group Photo and we started our 2 ½ hour amble.  A couple of Red-tailed Hawks were circling above along with a Northern Harrier as we walked out the driveway. Since high tide was not until 1:30 pm, we decided to take the inland trail first and return via the outer Bay trail.  It was a good decision; we saw much more stuff on the inland trail than we normally do.  Indeed, our Guru Anne and Gareth spotted an Orange-crowned Warbler and several Sparrow species for us.  We saw Lincoln’s, Fox, Savannah, Song, both White- and Golden-crowned.  That’s 6 sparrow species, seven counting invasive House Sparrows which aren’t really sparrows.  Then Liz heard a Bewick’s Wren and we all got good looks.  Then a flock of “starlings” landed in a tree; on closer examination they were Purple Martins.  Some were quite excited at seeing this species here, even suggesting that we install Nest Boxes to attract future residents.

We walked by several of our Delta Nats Swallow Boxes, and Chris reported that Nats and Delta NatureKids had examined and cleaned them all on Tuesday and early results are that we had our most successful nesting season in BBRP.  Other sightings along the way included: iridescent Anna’s Hummingbirds, Cedar Waxwings, Downy Woodpecker and Northern Flicker, brilliant American Goldfinches, House Finches, Spotted Towhees, and other common stuff, including the always photogenic Great Blue Herons.  The Blackberries, although almost finished, were quite tasty too.

Approaching the Pumphouse, there were lots of Mallards in the pool and a couple of Gadwall in the adjacent stream.  From the Observation Lookout, there were tonnes of waterfowl on the shore and large rafts in the Bay too.  Other than Mallards and Canada Geese, most were American Wigeon, Northern Pintail and some Green-winged Teal.  With them were Ring-billed and Glaucous-winged Gulls (perhaps other Gull species) and at least a half dozen Caspian Terns.  Roger took another Group Photo here at the Lookout including Terry, and time-challenged Margaretha.

Along the dike trail we saw our first Shorebirds.  They were close enough to shore that we even identified a Least Sandpiper with a few Western Sandpipers.  A flock of Yellowlegs (~6 birds) flew across and we saw the Killdeer too.  Not much else new seen along the trail back.  Scoters were in the distance, only seen through the scope.  Lots of chatter though, and I think most were getting anxious for the Delta Nats Ladies’ Goodies.  We got back to Cammidge House at the scheduled 11:30 am where always smiling Jennifer and Elizabeth met us with their array of scrumptious home-made Scones and Cookies, Sandra’s renowned Egg Salad Sandwiches, cheeses, crackers, fruit and coffee.  A fitting end to another enjoyable and “birdy” Birds on the Bay outing.

Next Wednesday, September 20, we will meet at and leave from Petra’s at 7:30 am for the White Rock Pier, then Blackie’s Spit. We should be at the WR Pier around 8:15 am (free parking), then go to Blackie Spit for around 9:15 am.

Check out our website for more info on this and other outings, and photos and reports. Also next week is the BC Nature FGM Conference in Vernon, Sept. 21 to 24; still encouraging Nats to attend.

As always, your comments are encouraged, and let me know if these nauseating messages annoy you and you want off my e-mail List, including if you receive duplicate copies. Cheers: Tom

Tom Bearss, President, Delta Naturalists Society

Posted in *DNCB, BBRP, Birds-on-the-Bay, Caspian Tern, Cedar Waxwing, Least Sandpiper, Lincoln’s Sparrow, Northern Harrier, Orange-crowned Warbler, Purple Martin, Red-tailed Hawk, Western Sandpiper | Leave a comment

DNCB Outing No. 2017-35 to Mount Baker

CMcV_DNCB_group

DNCB at Mount Baker – photo by Chris McVittie

More photos at our DNCB Flickr site

Ten DNCBers had an exciting Wednesday on our annual September climb of Mt. Baker in Washington State. It was “smokey” from the forest fires, but the vistas, wildflowers, some neat bird species, and the usual almost-interesting conversations made for a very enjoyable outing.  Check out the vivid photo evidence on our Flickr site at: www.flickr.com/groups/dncb, then click the magnifying glass icon in the “Photo Pool” row, and add 2017-35 to “flickr_search_dncb-photosDNCB Photos” in the Search box at the top of the page.

We car-pooled from Petra’s at 7:00 am, then from the Peace Arch Park parking lot at 7:30 am.  Pat had sister Maureen & Manli, Ladner Jack had Chris McV & Jim K, and Roger drove Mike B, Terry and me.  The Border was unbelievably smooth, no vehicles except us. It’s always a pleasant drive (~1 ½ hrs.) through the farmland of upstate Washington.  All three vehicles met almost on the dot at 9:00 am at the Mt. Baker Welcome Centre.  Each vehicle got the $5 Day Parking Pass and we began the drive up to our first stop at aptly-named Picture Lake.

The Whiskey Jacks (aka Gray Jay or Canada Jay) were there to welcome us, and the “kids & photogs” loved these “camp-robbers” eating peanuts, “Lionel Richie” popcorn, or whatever from their palms.  A California tourist took our mandatory Group Photo in front of the interpretive sign, then we began our walk around the “reflection” lake, followed by the insatiable Jays.  The Cascade Blueberries were small, but as plentiful and tasty as I’ve ever enjoyed on this outing. No ducks on the pond, but a Sharp-shinned Hawk gave a fly-past, mobbed by swallows.  Lots of Dark-eyed Juncos in the bushes, and Robins & Common Ravens around too, but we didn’t detect any warblers.  The Andesite Columns intrigued almost no one.

We moved on up to stop number two at Heather Meadows Visitor Centre.  More beautiful vistas here too, with many pockets of snow still on some hill sides. Some of us walked down and along Bagley Creek to see the American Dippers (Target Bird here), and surprisingly a neat Spotted Sandpiper.  After returning to the Visitor Centre, we walked a new trail (to me) around Terminal Lake which was surprisingly productive.  We found the American Pipits (another Target), but also saw a Sooty (Blue) Grouse and several other “little” birds that we thought were Juncos, but the photos showed at least one Yellow-rumped Warbler and Cedar Waxwings, and a Northern Flicker.  Now around 11:30 am, we ate our bag lunches (my personally-made PB sandwich, no beer) and Maureen’s home-made cookies in the parking lot before driving to the top to Artists Point.

We started our walk from Artists Point along the Chain Lakes Trail to where we normally get the best views of Mt. Baker glacier itself.  Some of us posed for the snow-ball throwing shots, simply because we could.  The trees along the first part of this trail had some interesting species.  The Sparrows proved to be Chipping Sparrows, a rare sighting for us.  Also more juncos, waxwings and robins.  I did not see any Picas or Hoary Marmots, some saw a Chipmunk, and we were blanked on the Mountain Goats.

Despite the hazy views caused by the smoke, our photogs got some beautiful shots of the wildflowers and even a rare/endangered Edith’s (Taylor’s) Checkerspot Butterfly.  Pat even provides the Latin name for species she photographs, but here are a few of the Wildflowers we saw, and photographed: Aster, Fireweed, Yellow & Pink Monkeyflower, Indian Paintbrush, Mountain Ash, Mountain Veronica, Mountain Sorrel , Subalpine Spiraea, False Hellebore, Pink Heather, Partridge Foot, Fringed Grass-of-Parnassus, Broadleaf Arnica, Pearly Everlasting, Common Tansy and Hound’s-tongue Hawkweed.  It was about 1:30 pm when we all gathered back at the Artists Point parking lot, exhausted, sweaty and dry (Thanks Maureen for the refreshing Peachwater).  Since Mike and I were attending the Canadians Baseball playoff game in Vancouver that evening, we decided to head home.

It was a pleasant leisurely drive back, via the Sumas Border crossing, which also surprisingly had almost no traffic.  I got home at 4:00 pm, and Mike and I enjoyed my first, very entertaining Canadians game that evening (2-1 victory over Spokane Indians) at the historic Nat Bailey Stadium.  And yes, the Hot Dog and Beer were delish too.  Another super DNCB Day.  Apologies again for the tardiness of this report, but again it was a busy week with my golf plus the Nats first monthly meeting, grandkids first days at Kindergarten, Bird Studies Canada conference on “Conservation of the Fraser River Estuary”, BBPA meeting, Car Boot Sale, annual Day at the Farm event, and a Paddle Wheeler Cruise on the Fraser River today.  All fun stuff.

This Wednesday, September 13, is our quarterly Birds on the Bay outing in Boundary Bay Regional Park (see BOTB Poster).  We will meet at and leave from historic Cammidge House (CH) at 9:00 am on a leisurely walk in the Park, returning to CH at 11:30 am for the renowned “goodies” made by our Delta Nats Ladies.  All welcome, and free.  We should see Fall migrants, especially Shorebirds.

We also have on Tuesday, September 12, our annual BBRP Bird Box Examination and Cleaning, meeting at the 12th Avenue Park entrance at 9:30 am.

For more info on these and other events, reports and photos, visit our website.  As always, comments encouraged, and let me know if these long-winded, boring reports annoy you and you want off my e-mail List.  Cheers: Tom

Tom Bearss, President, Delta Naturalists Society

Posted in *DNCB, American Dipper, American Pipit, Artist Point, Austin Pass, Begley Creek, Blue Grouse, Cedar Waxwing, Chipping Sparrow, Gray Jay, Mt. Baker, Picture Lake, Sharp-shinned Hawk, Yellow-rumped Warbler | Leave a comment