DNCB Outing No. 2015-33 to Tynehead Regional Park

11 DNCB (plus Hatchery volunteer Joe) at Tynehead Park - click on photo to see large version

11 DNCB (plus Hatchery volunteer Joe) at Tynehead Park – click on photo to see large version

Eleven DNCBers enjoyed a very pleasant Wednesday morning wandering the trails of Tynehead Regional Park in Surrey.  Not many birds around, but  a few neat bird, flower and fish sightings and some decent conversation.  Check out the photo evidence (by Jonathan, Glen, etc.) on our DNCB Picasa site.

KB_joe_DSC9681

Hatchery volunteer Joe points out salmon waterways to Tom (KB)

Only three of us met at Petra’s at 7:30 a.m.; PB Lorna and I rode with Glen, very smoothly via the SFPR to Tynehead, arriving about 8:15 a.m.  The other eight (Ken B & Anne A, White Rock Al, returnees Jonathan & Lorraine, Jean G, “youngster” Eric L, and Pat S without her sister) met us at the Fish Hatchery parking lot.  The Hatchery was closed, but Tynehead Volunteer Joe gave us a tonne of information on its operations and the park.  Ken took the Group Photo with Joe before we left on the trail walk.  Our sightings were minimal, a few Robins, Black-capped Chickadees, Downy Woodpecker and Song Sparrows.  The neatest bird sightings were a Red-breasted Sapsucker, Brown Creeper, Pacific Wren, Chestnut-backed Chickadees and Lorna’s Belted Kingfisher.

WR Al kept us enthralled with his oft-repeated identification speech on the various tree species.  One would think after being shown, seemingly hundreds of times, the identifying characteristics of Grand Firs, Douglas Firs, Western Red Cedars, Alders, etc. that we would be able to recognize them (not).  We did recognize the many “nurse” trees and some huge first-growth stumps left from the 19th century logging days.

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And some of the flowers were pretty, even the invasive Himalayan Orchid (aka Policeman’s Helmet).

Several Salmon species use the Serpentine River for their spawning migration and, although currently very low (in some places dry) in the Park, with Eric’s guidance we did find several Coho Fry swimming in pools under bridges.

Coho fry (GB)

Coho fry (GB)

It was a very picturesque walk through the woods, even cool, but as the morning passed, it became much warmer, especially in the sun.  Jonathan was impressed with a number of the “carved faces” on tree stumps.  We got back to the parking lot around 11:00 a.m. where a crowd of young people were enjoying an “Employee Development Day” away from their office, playing silly games in the park.

Teamwork on the 4-person skis (KB)

Teamwork on 4-person skis (KB)

While eating PB Lorna’s peanut butter and banana sandwich, I reminisced about the “interesting” Employee Development Days I had some 40 years ago.

On the ride home, Glen, Lorna and I decided to check out Boundary Bay at 104th and then 96th Street.  The tide was way out so we saw no Shorebirds (expecting Hudsonian Godwits, Golden and Black-bellied Plovers, Buff-breasted Sandpiper, or even the escapee Ruff).  Glen got a shot of a Common Yellowthroat.

Common Yellowthroat (GB)

Common Yellowthroat (GB)

We got back to Petra’s around 12:30 p.m., pleased with another almost-exhilarating DNCB morning.

Next Wednesday, August 26, is our Gulf Islands outing.  We take the 9 a.m. Ferry to Swartz Bay, then 11 am to Fulford Harbour, Saltsping – check Maps & Directions page for outing details.  Also, join your Delta Nats Display Team at the Delta Animal Expo on Sunday, August 23 at Ladner Memorial Park, 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.  As always, your comments are encouraged and let me know if these incredibly verbose missives annoy you.  Cheers: Tom

Tom Bearss, President, Delta Naturalists’ Society

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DNCB Outing No. 2015-32 to Port Moody Parks

12 DNCB at Rocky Point

12 DNCB at Rocky Point (click on photo to see large version)

Twelve DNCBers enjoyed another gorgeous Summer Wednesday morning at “new to me” Rocky Point Park and then Buntzen Lake Park in Port Moody.  Some beautiful flowers, vistas, and even a few neat bird sightings; you can savour the photo evidence by Liz, Marion, Glen and Pascale & Alberto on our DNCB Picasa site.

Marian took Glen, and Roger had Mike and me, in two cars, leaving Petra’s around 7:30 a.m.  Not unpredictably, Roger drove us via his “short cuts” through many of the side streets of New Westminster and Burnaby, showing us a number of his old homes/haunts and even his friends’ homes (including Clifford Olsen).  Predictably, everyone was patiently awaiting our late arrival at 8:45 a.m. at the Rocky Point parking lot.  Following the usual idle chit chat, Roger took the Group Photo (with Liz & Scoutmaster Alan, photog and local expert Marion, sisters Pat & Maureen, effusive Pascale & Alberto) and then we all meandered down to the harbour pier.

The talented Pascale played a few bars on the Public Piano at the jetty entrance as we admired the flower boxes and hanging baskets.  There were many Purple Martins on and around their nesting boxes on the pylons in the harbour.  Looked like a very successful nesting colony.

As exciting as this was, Liz was confounded by the disjointed sailboat storage barge, and it created lengthy inane discussion.  How could sailors get to their boats on this island far from shore?  The Scoutmaster finally answered the query – a floating raft to the island.  A Harbour Seal, some California Gulls (according to Roger) and Rock Pigeons also showed up.

Harbour Seal (P&A)

Harbour Seal (P&A)

We walked the “lower” unpaved trail around the bay (2.3 kms).  Although a very beautiful walk through woods and on boardwalks, not many birds around.  There are likely to be several wildflower species including Rice lilies, in the area by the bridges, just past the zig zag boardwalk over the marsh.  Several Killdeer foraging in the mud were a small hi-lite.

Song Sparrows, Chickadees, bathing Crows, a Rufous Hummingbird, Northern Flicker, and Great Blue Herons were common.  Marion had American Goldfinches, Cedar Waxwings and House Finches.

A Belted Kingfisher gave a fly-past.  A flock of about 50 Band-tailed Pigeons, up-close-and-personal, was my hi-lite.  These resident birds are the survivors from the almost-decimating Hunt of several years ago.

Meanwhile, Marian P had lost, then found, her keys and four of her local friends (out on Day Passes I suspect) arrived to guide her home before she was afflicted with another accident.  DNCBers are an eclectic group.

We returned to the parking lot at 11:30 a.m. and six of us (Roger, Mike, Glen, Pascale, Alberto and me) decided to have lunch at the St. James’s Well, Olde Irish Pub.  After walking in 30 degree plus heat, the two Okanagan 1516 beer went down very smoothly.  Everyone enjoyed their meal here and my Liver and Onions & Bacon was a rare and scrumptious treat.

Before returning home, we decided to check out Buntzen Lake, another spot I had never visited.  It’s a gorgeous setting higher up the mountain.  This BC Hydro operated lake and park was packed with bathers and we, especially Mikie B, really enjoyed the “eye candy”.  Although the trail around to the dam was enchanting, not many birds, of the feathered variety, seen here.

We left the park exhausted, and took another convoluted drive back to Tsawwassen, getting to Petra’s near 3:30 p.m.  Although I dozed for most of the ride back, it was another very gratifying DNCB outing.

Next Wednesday, August 19, the DNCB destination is Tynehead Park, where we should convene at 96 Avenue/Hatchery parking lot (around 166 Street) around 8:15 a.m., after leaving Petra’s at 7:30 a.m.

Don’t forget to visit our Delta Nats Display at two events this weekend; Starry Night at Deas Island Park on Saturday, August 15, 7:00 to 10:00 p.m. and the Richmond Raptor Festival at Terra Nova Park on Sunday, August 16, 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.  As always, your comments are encouraged, and let me know if this drivel annoys you and you want off my List.  Cheers: Tom

Tom Bearss, President, Delta Naturalists’ Society

P.S. Marian’s friends are very nice folk; I used my “Literary License”.

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Filed under *DNCB, Band-tailed Pigeon, Buntzen Lake, California Gull, Harbour Seal, Port Moody, Rocky Point

DNCB Outing No. 2015-31 to Mill Lake Park in Abbotsford

17 DNCB at Mill Lake, Abbotsford (KB)

More photos on the DNCB Picasa website

Seventeen DNCBers converged on Mill Lake, Abbotsford, on a gusty dull August day, the group from Petra’s being unusually late.  There were few birds to be seen on the 2.7 km walk around the lake, which included a variety of habitats from open park, many tall trees, lots of scrub by the water, reeds, the lake,  forested area, lots of viewpoints, areas of stony beach and generally what could be great habitat during the right season.  Many ducks use this lake during the spring and winter, including Ruddy Ducks in the spring, which stay there until they leave to nest elsewhere.  There were lots of Blackberries as well.  A lovely boardwalk over the water at the west side of the lake can be very productive on a good day.  Our trip ended with a well needed rain, and many decided to go to eat or have coffee.

Our first sighting was a Pied-billed Grebe which was difficult to spot, but which became easier to find as we advanced around the lake.  One was exciting enough, but when the count became four later on, we became jaded.  We were entertained by a pair of Steller’s jays, an Eight-spotted Dragonfly that didn’t seem to be doing too well, Tom getting hung up on a blackberry vine, Northwestern Crows, many Canada Geese, Mallard Ducks, an empty Bald Eagle’s nest, one Great Blue Heron, a lovely Catalpa tree with long bean-like seed pods hanging from it, American Coots, white lily pads galore, a green cricket, and a blooming Monkey Puzzle tree.  Some heard and/or saw a Song Sparrow, Spotted Towhee, and Cedar Waxwing.  Maureen managed to find and photograph a Spotted Sandpiper.

Next week, Wed. August 12, we will leave Petra’s at 7:30 am to go to Rocky Point, Port Moody.  Meet at Murray St. parking lot around 8:30 am.  Map at https://goo.gl/4hteU9, directions at https://dncb.wordpress.com/maps/#rockypoint

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Filed under *DNCB, Abbotsford, Mill Lake

DNCB “Ferry” Outing No. 2015-30 to Victoria

Eight DNCBers (Terry, PB Lorna, Mike B, White Rock Al, Islanders Rick & Marg, visiting “Pommy” Greg W and me) enjoyed another gorgeous Wednesday in paradise, riding the ferry to Vancouver Island, double-decker bus to Victoria, and then wandering through spectacularly-colourful Beacon Hill Park.  We saw a few neat birds and brilliant flowers, but basically just savoured a relaxing day outside with nature.  Check out Terry’s photo evidence on our DNCB Picasa site.

Six of us met at the Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal and took the 7:00 a.m. ferry to Swartz Bay (1/2 price for Seniors).  While a number of us were inside eating the on-board White Spot breakfast, others got great sightings on the deck of Common Murres, Pigeon Guillemots, Pelagic and Double-crested Cormorants (possibly Brandt’s), Black Oystercatchers, Ring-billed and Glaucous-winged Gulls, and Harbour Seals.  We spent most of the hour and 40 minute ride at the bow in the refreshing breeze; see Group of Six photo.

Travelling through Active Pass, we saw a pair of Pigeon Guillemots entering their nest burrow in the rock face on Galiano Island.  On arrival at Swartz Bay, we raced to the Bus to get front seats on the upper deck.  Using Mikie’s special $1.50 tickets, it was a pleasant ride to Victoria, although we did not see any of the resident Skylarks as we passed the Airport.

Vancouver Island’s Royal Couple, Rick & Marg, were waiting beside the Parliament Buildings as the bus pulled in, on time just before 10:00 a.m.  Following salutations, we wandered through the first of many scintillating flower gardens in front of the Parliament Buildings.  At the waterfront, tourist and whale-watching boats were leaving as some grubby-looking Mallards swam near us.  We decided to do a reverse walk from previous Victoria outings and start our wander through Beacon Hill Park.  There were a few Great Blue Herons standing on nests at the Heronry.  Not a lot of birds seen, but we were occasionally aroused by Brown Creepers, Red-breasted Nuthatches, Chestnut-backed Chickadees, House Finches, a beaut Chipping Sparrow and other unidentified Sparrows (see Terry’s photos).  A passing cyclist took our mandatory Group Photo here.

At 11:30 a.m. instead of our Smoko, we went for a light lunch at a small outdoor restaurant beside the park.  The hi-lite was the home-made dessert brought by our Brit visitor Greg, “tiffin”, aka dog food. Fortunately, PB Lorna’s peanut butter & banana sandwich tempered the tiffin taste.  Following lunch we walked passed the Mile Zero Monument to the coastal path, seeing both Rufous and Anna’s Hummingbirds, Bewick’s Wrens, American Goldfinches, Northern Flickers, Barn and Tree Swallows, and lots of invasive House Sparrows.  At Clover Point, there were rafts of diving ducks in the distance that looked like Scoters.  A lonely Western Sandpiper was feeding on the rocks along the shore.  We did not find the Brant Goose among the Gulls, but did pick out at least five Heermann’s Gulls.

We turned back, entering Beacon Hill Park where a flock of Bushtits welcomed us.  It was cooler walking in the shade of the Garry Oaks, Arbutus and many other tree species that WR Al pointed out and explained, ad nauseam.  More gorgeous gardens, and the resident cock Peacock was resplendent flaunting his tail.  A weird hybrid Mallard was in one of the ponds but no other interesting waterfowl.

It was about 2:30 p.m. when we left the Park and before boarding the bus to the ferry, we decided to drop in to the Sticky Wicket pub at the Strathcona Hotel.  The “funny” beers we tasted was the outing hi-lite for some.  Islanders R&M left us after the drinks, and most of the rest of us caught the no. 70 bus at 3:30 p.m. to the ferry.  Our intrepid explorer, WR Al, took another bus before joining us mid-trip.  Several of us didn’t know that Al was missing or that he re-joined us as they snored the entire trip to Swartz Bay.

It was a very pleasant ferry ride back to Tsawwassen.  Terry saw some Harbour Porpoises, and our most annoying sighting was our own DNCBer, Gambling Roger, photographing us on the ferry from the Mayne Island Pub, while getting inebriated with his cronies.  Amusingly, Terry photographed Roger photographing us.  Arriving in Tsawwassen at 6:45 p.m. we courteously said our good byes, emphasizing the wonderful day we had spent together.

Next Wednesday, August 5, we will leave Petra’s at 7:30 a.m. for another “away” outing to Mill Lake in Abbotsford.  DNCBer Marion S will guide us while there.  Map at https://goo.gl/PWrhnP, directions at https://dncb.wordpress.com/maps/#milllake.

Apologies for my tardiness in writing this Gem, but I have been busy chauffeuring for successful cataract surgery for Sandra, golfing, and entertaining our Aussie niece.  As always, your comments are encouraged, and let me know if this drivel annoys you and you want off my List.  Cheers: Tom

Tom Bearss, President, Delta Naturalists’ Society

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Filed under *DNCB, Beacon Hill Park, Common Murre, Harbour Porpoise, Harbour Seal, Heermann's Gull, Pelagic Cormorant, Pigeon Guillemot, Victoria

DNCB Outing No. 2015-29 to Manning Park

DNCB, plus Chilliwack, Langley, White Rock/Surrey & Delta Nature Clubs at Manning Park; Gerhard with friendly Ground Squirrel (P&A) click on photo to see large version

DNCB, plus Chilliwack, Langley, White Rock/Surrey & Delta Nature Clubs at Manning Park; Gerhard with friendly Ground Squirrel (P&A) click on photo to see large version

There were about 30 folk from four BC Nature Clubs (Chilliwack, Langley, White Rock/Surrey and Delta) on Wednesday’s outing to Manning Park.  It was very slightly overcast, but a gorgeous day.  Gerhard and I left the Ladner Bus Exchange at 6:45 a.m. and had a very pleasant and relaxing drive along the SFPR, Highway’s 1 and 3 to the MP Lodge.

We met the eclectic group at 9:00 a.m. at the MP Lodge where “Leaders” Chilliwack’s Janne Perrin and Langley’s Bob Puls introduced the group.  We drove in sporadic car loads to the top of the mountain where we walked two trails (one was Paint Brush) for a couple of hours.  We saw lots of plants and flowers, a few birds and a few insects (beaut Butterflies), and mammals (Coyote, Bear, Columbian and Golden-mantled Ground Squirrels, Hoary Marmots).  Gray Jays and Clark’s Nutcrackers and Ground Squirrels ate off people’s heads, and hands.

Gerhard & Ground Squirrel (LS)

Gerhard & Ground Squirrel (LS)

Some saw: Fox Sparrow, Steller’s Jays, Mountain Bluebirds, Mountain Chickadee, Dark-eyed Juncos, Chipping Sparrows, Warbler species including Townsend’s, Orange-crowned, and Yellow-rumped, Evening Grosbeak, Rufous Hummingbirds.  Several people took photos which I hope get posted on our DNCB Picasa site.

Gerhard and I got back to Ladner at 5:00 p.m., in time for dinner with neglected spouse and guests.  A super day.  This is an abbreviated report; I look forward to seeing other reports and photos.

Next Wednesday, July 29, DNCBers will gather on the 7:00 a.m. Ferry to Swartz Bay for our annual Victoria outing.  We will bus to and from Victoria and take the 5:00 p.m. ferry back to Tsawwassen.  See details on our website.  Comments encouraged.  Cheers: Tom

P&A_Tom_jay_IMG_6416-1

Tom Bearss, President, Delta Naturalists’ Society


Manning Side-Trips

Several DNCBers and others continued on to the Beaver Lodge Wetlands area, and to the Lightning Lakes area as well.  At the former, various people were treated to an abundance of Cedar Waxwings picking berries and hawking insects, as well as a Mallard family feeding, Hairy Woodpecker, Three-toed Woodpecker, Red Crossbills, Pine Siskin, Common Yellowthroat, and other previously mentioned birds.  There were also several new plants species there.  At the latter, we added Ravens, Canada Geese, a gull, Robin, Red Squirrel, and were entertained by the usual Columbian Ground Squirrels and a Yellow-pine Chipmunk.

Marion S.

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Filed under *DNCB, Beaver Lodge Wetlands, Black Bear, Cascade Golden-Mantled Ground Squirrel, Chipping Sparrow, Clark's Nutcracker, Columbian Ground Squirrels, Coyote, Evening Grosbeak, Gray Jay, Hoary Marmot, Lightning Lake, Mountain Bluebird, Mountain Chickadee, Orange-crowned Warbler, Red Crossbill, Red Squirrel, Three-toed Woodpecker, Townsend's Warbler, Yellow-pine Chipmunk

DNCB Outing No. 2015-28 to Several Ladner Parks

Fifteen DNCBers spent another gorgeous Wednesday morning tramping around several parks in Ladner, namely Ladner Harbour Park, Earle Burnett Park and South Arm Marshes Wildlife Management Area (SAMWMA). Not a lot of birds seen, but there is beautiful photo evidence on our DNCB Picasa site.

Eight of us left Petra’s at 7:30 a.m., Roger F took PB Lorna, Glen and Terry, and Hans took Mike, and I had Garbling Gerhard in my Jeep Birdmobile.  We got to Ladner Harbour Park well before 8:00 a.m. and chatted inanely while the others sporadically arrived; Liz, Marion, Lidia, Rob & Marylile, Otto, then sleepy-head Roger M.  We walked to the north-eastern corner of the park where the trail ends (bridge removed several years ago).  Saw a Cedar Waxwing and both Marsh Wrens and Common Yellowthroats were singing in the marsh.  We returned to the park past a “retired” Bald Eagle’s nest to the Picnic Shed.  Other old nests were still in the shelter, but no evidence of Bewick’s Wrens.  Huge Spider webs in the ceiling made the shelter very eerie.  Terry took the first Group Photo (13) here, without Roger and Otto.

We walked the trail and since bird activity was at a minimum, we got excited seeing piles of Coyote Scat.  For the umpteenth outing, we heard Swainson’s Thrushes, but didn’t see one.  The invasive Blackberries were close to being perfectly ripe and Gerhard and his followers gorged themselves.  A small Plum Tree added another sweet taste to the menu.  Their Breakfast took precedence so most ignored the Northern Flicker, Barn, Tree and Violet-green Swallows, Eurasian Collared-Doves and the several gorgeous flower species that Marion photographically captured.  We got to the infamous Lookout that looks out onto nothing and Marion took another Group Photo (15) with the time-challenged Story Tellers Roger and Otto included.

On the walk back to the parking lot, we stopped at the historic Harbourmaster’s Building and wharf where a “wedge “ of Mute Swans was the attraction.  We left the “cleaned-up” Ladner harbour and park and drove to Ferry Road and the Earle Burnett Park.  We walked the short trail to the normally gated bridge to the homes across the slough, and almost-predictably Roger saw a non-existent Steller’s Jay (it was a dove).  From the bridge we spied on back yard feeders with residents drinking coffee surrounded by House Sparrows and House Finches.  Next stop was the slough trail toward Cove Links Golf Course.  Here we marvelled at a singing Song Sparrow (birding was really slow).  Mallards and not-real-pretty Wood Ducks were in the slough.A young lad fishing with his Dad caught a huge 2 inch Sunfish that had us all aghast.Big Catch

Big Catch 2What a sighting!

We continued on to the entrance to the South Arm Marshes WMA.  A Northern Harrier gave a fly-past.  Near the entrance some DNCBers were excited at the sight of a Belted Kingfisher.  The few DNCBers who are not deaf heard (some saw) Warbling Vireos and Western Wood-Pewees.  We tried unsuccessfully to turn a Robin into a Black-headed Grosbeak.  At the School Kids Party Site deep in the park, while Gerhard gathered beer cans, Marion got a nice photo of a Climbing Monkey (or was that Roger again?).  While watching the acrobatic Roger, I wolfed down PB Lorna’s scrumptious Peanut Butter and Banana sandwich (what a saviour!).  We went to the Lookout and got excited at seeing nothing there, again.  At 11:30 a.m. we decided to abort this mission and go to the Pub.

The Rusty Anchor Pub, next to the SAMWHA, was very pleasant with Mikie B, Rob (who fixed our Nats Scope, with thanks) & Marylile, and the garrulous Otto and me.  The draught beer and Chicken Gumbo Soup spiced up my day.   Mikie was a bit “dishevelled” on the ride back to Tsawwassen with me in my son’s Jeep Birdmobile, but he claimed that this was another very enjoyable DNCB morning.

Next Wednesday, July 22, is our all-day outing to Manning Park and the Wildflowers.  We will meet at and leave from the Ladner Bus Exchange at 6:30 a.m.  We plan to meet up with the Langley and Chilliwack Naturalists at the Manning Park Lodge at 9:00 a.m.  Check out our DNCB website at for more info on this and other DNCB outings, plus other informative and pictorial reports.  As always, your comments are encouraged and let me know if you want off the List to receive my delirious rants.  Cheers: Tom

Tom Bearss, President, Delta Naturalists’ Society

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Filed under *DNCB, Ladner Harbour Park, Ladner S.Arm Marsh, Warbling Vireo

DNCB Outing No. 2015-27 to Burnaby Lake

Photos by Roger (RM), Glen (GB), Marion MS), Ken (KB), Pat (PS) posted at DNCB Picasa site
– more photos will be added to this Report, please check back SOON!

DNCB at Burnaby Lake (KB)

12 DNCB at Burnaby Lake (KB) click on photo for large version

latecomers Maureen & Pat (KB)

latecomers Maureen & Pat (KB)

Fourteen DNCBirders met at Piper Spit, Burnaby Lake, on a warm, if not hazy from forest fire smoke, day.  They were Tom, Ken and Anne, Glen, Al Schulze, Lorna, Marion S., Roger M., Hans, Mike, Rob and Marylile, and (shortly after the group photo) Pat and Maureen.

The first arrivals busied themselves in the Nature House garden, which attracts Hummingbirds (Rufous and Anna’s seen), bees, butterflies and other nectar-loving insects.  When Roger arrived, he had a Red-slider Turtle in tow, which he had rescued from the middle of the road—it was released into the water at Piper Spit with some wondering if that’s legal, since the species is considered invasive.

The main attraction at Burnaby Lake lately has been a young Sandhill Crane, (see pictures posted under link) the offspring of a first ever nesting pair of cranes at that location.  Unfortunately, the young bird, who first appeared with its parents on June 25, was last seen on July 5, and has not been seen since.  The cause of his assumed demise is unknown, but there has been a lot of speculation which ranges from predation (bobcat, coyote, eagle), to inadequate diet as in too much seed (altho parents were observed feeding fish, worms, bugs etc), too much heat and smoke, or disease.  Unfortunately we will never know, but there is hope that next year the parents will successfully raise a chick.

As we made our way down the boardwalk to the observation deck, we saw many Mallards, Wood Ducks, and families of Canada Geese, all with offspring of varying ages.  As well, there were 5 Killdeer and 2 Least Sandpipers out in the marsh.  Many Brown-headed Cowbirds, both mature and juveniles, Song Sparrows, Pigeons, Towhees were present, and a few Tree Swallows flew back and forth hawking insects.  Common Yellowthroats called from the marsh at the spit and as well on our walk.  A juvenile Marsh Wren entertained us taking a long dust bath on the path.  As we made our way back to pick up the path along the lake, a young Anna’s Hummingbird seemed to be fascinated by our group (who wouldn’t be?), and hovered over us, especially Pat, in between rests in the trees above.

We continued on the walk heading towards the Cariboo dam, hearing birds which were mainly hidden in the overhead canopy.  Many Swainson’s Thrushes sang their beautiful song, but did not appear.  We managed to see American Goldfinches, a Wilson’s Warbler, American Robins, Chickadees (both Black-capped and Chestnut-backed), two Downy Woodpeckers, Spotted Towhees, and Song Sparrows.  Some heard a Bewick’s Wren on both legs of the walk.  Two Belted Kingfishers flew back and forth by the turtle nesting area, and hovered quite close to us for great viewing.

At the Cariboo Dam, a Great Blue Heron was keeping an eye out for fish, and a single Northwestern Crow walked around on the rocks in the low-level water.  We lingered there, and then headed back along the Conifer and Spruce loops without adding to the list of species.  The two Sandhill Crane adults had come to the boardwalk area by the time we returned, and afforded great views and photo ops.  Roger spotted a nesting (Mute?) Swan.

Most of the group continued on to the viewing area by the water’s edge at the rowing club, where they saw Barn Swallows, Osprey, and a Hooded Merganser.  Several of us contented ourselves at the Nature House garden photographing birds and flowers there.

Report by Marion Shikaze


Next week, Wednesday July 15, we will visit several parks in Ladner.  Leaving Petra’s at 7::30 am, first destination Ladner Harbour Park parking lot at 8:00 a.m. (map at https://goo.gl/83jxuJ)

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Filed under Burnaby Lake, Douglas Squirrel, Osprey, Sandhill Crane