Twenty-two DNCBers (see names at end) enjoyed another gorgeous Wednesday morning wandering around Brydon Lagoon and Hi-Knoll Park on the Langley-Surrey border. It was meant to be a Wildflower outing, however, with the earlier Spring weather in BC and our outing being a bit later than last year’s, the Fawn Lilies and Trilliums had finished flowering. But check out many other beaut photos of plants, fungi, people and birds by our Photogs Ken B, Brian A, Roger M, Liz S, Jack M, Marion S, Terry C and Pat S on our DNCB Picasa site.
Nine of us car-pooled nicely in three vehicles from Petra’s at 7:30 a.m., arriving on time before 8:30 a.m. at the designated Brydon Lagoon parking lot. Lots of folk waiting for us including White Rock Al who gave some brief comments on the area, which many ignored as they were more interested in the getting to the Shorebird pond below the path. About 30 Long-billed Dowitchers and three Least Sandpipers, in breeding plumage, took precedence over Al’s (and my) briefing. We heard later from nature photographer John Gordon and his sidekick Coz that nine Wilson’s Snipe had been seen in this pond this past week; we were blanked. This area at the park entrance was a real birding bonus as a pair of Common Yellowthroats cavorting in a bush seemed unconcerned with the horde of photogs surrounding them. Savannah Sparrows posed too. And on the telephone wire we saw four species of Swallows; Tree, Barn, Violet-green and Northern Rough-winged, all up-close-and-personal for clear identification.
Before heading to the Brydon Lagoon, we gathered for Ken to take the obligatory Group Photo (22 in it but somehow Mike B counted 26?). Only Gadwall, American Coots and Mallards seen in the Lagoon with lots of little birds in the surrounding bushes; Bushtits, Song and Golden-crowned Sparrows, Spotted Towhees, Red-winged Blackbirds, and a couple of Brown-headed Blackbirds. At the end of the lagoon a Mallard pair with nine tiny ducklings was heart-warming to some. The Anna’s Hummingbirds were flitting in the same place as other years on the trail leading to Hi-Knoll; saw Rufous Hummers too. Lots of Marsh Wrens calling, and we heard Bewick’s Wrens later in the woods. The little bridge over the Nicomekl River was as idyllic as always and several wildflower species were in colourful bloom along the way (see Picasa photos).
At the road parking lot and entrance to Hi-Knoll Park, a Northern Flicker was in the dead tree where we saw the Hairy Woodpecker last year. We wandered up the trail into the forest park, mostly second and third growth but still pretty and serene. A quiet walk, I didn’t even hear Pacific Wrens. At the trail end in the open area of hydro lines, the White-crowned Sparrows were there again. A Cooper’s Hawk swirled above us showing his banded tail. And a Pileated Woodpecker posed briefly on a tower for Liz to take a silhouette photo. We were blanked on Orange-crowned Warblers, but some were very pleased that we found a washroom.
We walked back along a different trail, more Hummers, some brilliant American Goldfinches. As always, the group was very spread out. One splinter group took a wrong trail where, fortuitously, Ken spotted a Barred Owl roosting beside a tree trunk. We got excited and while many were fumbling for their cameras it flew off right over our heads. Terry was the only successful photog, getting a shot on the wing as it flew by. The Owl pair called to each other, but we weren’t able to find them again.
On return in the marsh area, we took the trail past the Bald Eagle’s nest with Mom sitting on eggs. The Snipe were not at the tree where we saw them last year, but we found an Anna’s Hummingbird sitting in her nest, well camouflaged by leaves. A juvenile Red-tailed Hawk (without a red tail) circling above was impressive. The trail back around the other side of the Lagoon was eventful with more baby ducklings, several Red-eared Sliders on logs, and a couple of young tattooed chicks smoking on a bench. No Green Herons.
Back at the parking lot, being 11:30 a.m. we decided to go just down the road to Samz Neighbourhood Pub for lunch. Another good decision; my Turkey Clubhouse Sandwich and pint of Canadian was delicious (note: only one pint of beer as I was feeling the brunt of a couple of heavy Rum-swilling days of birthday celebrations). On the ride back to Tsawwassen, I napped with Hans in the back seat as Roger and Mike reminisced about their misspent youth. Another awesome DNCB outing.
Next Wednesday, May 4, we will leave Petra’s at 7:30 a.m. on a new outing to Pt. Whitehorn and Tennant Lake in Washington State, led by White Rock Al Schulze. We will meet at the Peace Arch Park parking lot (behind Duty-free shop) at 8:00 a.m. to car-pool across the border. Then we will meet in the Blaine Harbor Marina parking lot (at washrooms) on Marine Drive at 8:30 a.m. to car-pool from there https://goo.gl/2BxIgb.
Don’t forget our Delta Nats monthly meeting next Tuesday, May 3, at 7:30 p.m. at the Benediction Lutheran Church in Tsawwassen where Peter Ward will give a scintillating presentation on his birding and water adventures in Chile and Argentina. As always, comments encouraged, check out the earlier reports, photos and additional info on our website, and let me know if you want off the List to receive these scintillating (twice, I like the word) reports. Cheers: Tom
Tom Bearss, President, Delta Naturalists Society
The Twenty-two were: Ken B & Anne A, Roger M, Maureen S & Pat S, Terry C, Marion S, Richmond Brian A, David & Noreen, Ladner Jack M, Liz S, WR Al, Rob & Marylile, Roger (Two) K, Mike B, Johnny Mac, Hans-Ulf, Richard H, Margaretha S and me.