DNCB Outing No. 2015-20 to Burnaby Mountain & SFU

Birdnapy Mountain, Old Age Pensioners' Convention (RM)

Birdnapy Mountain, Old Age Pensioners’ Convention (RM) Click on photo to see large version

photos by Liz (LS), Terry (TC), Glen (GB), Pascale & Alberto (P&A), Rick (RW), Roger (RM) at DNCB Picasa site

Twenty-five DNCBers enjoyed a gorgeous, warm and sunny Wednesday morning on spectacular Burnaby Mountain, and then a visit with David Lanks and his Ruffs at his “chicken coop” laboratory at Simon Fraser University (SFU). This was a first-time destination for me and many others, surprisingly even BC locals. Check out the photo evidence on our Picasa site at: https://picasaweb.google.com/113357506005013094897.

Thirteen of us left Petra’s around 7:30 a.m. car-pooling nicely in 4 vehicles. I followed Roger since he was born and raised in Burnaby and “knows” the area well. Of course, as always, we took Roger’s short cuts and arrived at the Burnaby Mountain parking lot at 8:45 a.m., 20 minutes after everyone else. Not only did we pass every house where Roger slept during his misspent youth, but I think every car on the road past us on the way. Anyhow, the spectacular views from the top of Burnaby Mountain made us quickly forget the dreary drive getting there. Following introductions, we walked past the Horizons Restaurant and the Japanese Totem Poles and “Flower Cranes” to another amazing view of Deep Cove and up Indian Arm. Liz got a nice shot of a Pacific Slope Flycatcher here. Roger and Tony took the Group Photo (23) here, before time-challenged Alberto & Pascale arrived.

We followed the trail through the woods, heard lots of birds singing, but didn’t see much. A Downy Woodpecker, then a beaut Red-breasted Sapsucker gave Rick and a few others a thrill. Pacific Wrens were calling around us, as was the occasional Swainson’s Thrush. Little birds were flitting in the tree tops and we identified a Junco, that became a Black-throated Gray Warbler, and the photo evidence proved it to be a Yellow-rumped Warbler (Audubon’s). That’s Casual Birding at its finest. Of course, we saw several common species such as Song and White-crowned Sparrows, Spotted Towhees and American Robins.  Our “florist” Wayne identified a few Fern species as well as a number of other flora species, for the neophytes who have already forgotten their names.

The trail ended at SFU and we wandered through the campus buildings to a former laboratory in the woods with chicken coops attached where Biologist and SFU Professor David Lank met us. David has been breeding and studying Ruffs, a migratory shorebird, for more than 30 years.  He currently has about 350 birds in this outdoor facility.  We wandered past the pens of female (Reeves), male and mixed-sex pens while David explained the complex genetics of Ruffs. Three genetically distinct male types (Territorial, Satellite and female Mimics) have different but evidently successful mating behaviors. Fascinating stuff, especially when a female was introduced into a flock of the three types of males.  A brief explanation of David’s study is at: https://www.sfu.ca/sfunews/stories/2014/ruff-courtship-a-matter-of-genes.html. While thanking David for his enlightening tour and presentation, a Chestnut-backed Chickadee flitted in the conifer beside us.

David directed us up the hill to the Campus Eateries, where our group separated to different establishments. I along with about 10 others chose an outdoor restaurant and I had a Pabst Blue Ribbon with fish & chips. The beer was delicious, the conversation with White Rock’s Chuck & Audrey very decent, but the food was brutal. I should have foregone the beer (no way) and had a sub like the others. The walk back down to the parking lot was eventful, only because we passed through a Uni Fair of booths and displays of SFU clubs, organizations and interest groups, and I got a free Candy Floss (felt like a kid again). The drive back to Ladner with Rick & Marg (and without Roger’s guidance) took less than half the time it took to get there. Not a lot of bird species seen on this outing (blanked on the Sooty Grouse), but the views, walk, Ruff Talk,  and the occasional conversation (when the ILB was not monopolizing it) were magnificent.

Next Wednesday, May 27, we will leave Petra’s at 7:30 a.m. for Maplewood Flats Conservation Area where we expect to meet in the parking lot around 8:45 a.m. Check out our DNCB Blog at www(dot)dncb(dot)wordpress(dot)com for directions and other reports, photos and Delta Nats info. As always, comments welcome and please advise me if you want off the List to receive these verbose missives. Cheers: Tom

Tom Bearss, President, Delta Naturalists’ Society

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Filed under *DNCB, Red-breasted Sapsucker, Ruff

DNCB Outing No. 2015-19 to Colony Farm

DNCB at Colony Farm (TC) click on photo to see large version

DNCB at Colony Farm (TC) click on photo to see large version

photos by Liz (LS), Terry (TC), Glen (GB), Pascale & Alberto (P&A), Rick (RW) at DNCB Picasa site

Twenty-four DNCBers enjoyed another beautiful Wednesday morning wandering around Colony Farm in Coquitlam. Hi-lites were: Lazuli Buntings, families of Pied-billed Grebes and Hooded Mergansers and a tasty lunch at the Gillnetter Restaurant in PoCo.

Eight of us left Petra’s in 5 vehicles (very poor car-pooling) and had a smooth drive via the SFPR and Pattullo  Bridge to Colony Farm, arriving at the Garden Plot parking lot just before 8:30 a.m.  We met the rest of the group and introduced some Newbies, Owl’s Catherine,  Pat & Maureen, returnees Rick & Marg and then Janet later with time-challenged Pascale & Alberto. We walked the path past the Psych Hospital in search of our target bird the Lazuli Bunting. We saw several beauties, posing and singing. Also saw Savannah, Song and Golden-crowned Sparrows, Common Yellowthroats and gorgeous iridescent Rufous Hummingbirds.  Terry took the Group Photo on the path here (to get it over with early). Back at the parking lot, a male Downy Woodpecker was pecking loudly for our entertainment.

We then walked the trail past the expanded and renewed Kwikwetlem First Nation buildings watching the Tree and Violet-green Swallows hawking insects. We saw Barn and Northern Rough-winged Swallows later to make it a 4 Swallow morning. An interesting sighting for us Casual Birders was a “Tree” Swallow among a flock of Barn Swallows perched in a tree. They took off and a Barn was seen feeding the Tree Swallow in mid-flight. Obviously, the Tree Swallow was really a juvenile Barn; our ornithological lesson for the morning.

We crossed the bridge as Marsh Wrens and more Common Yellowthroats sang in the reeds. From the bridge we saw a flock of about six Cedar Waxwings land in a tree close by, then take off. A Northern Harrier was gliding over the grassland and a Bald Eagle flew past being harassed by a Cooper’s Hawk. Being all-round naturalists, we also saw and noted  a dead vole, a dead garter snake and some gorgeous flowers. A Mother Hooded Merganser was herding her brood of seven along the slough beside us. Two Mallard ducklings were with them; don’t know whether they stayed or found their real mother. A pair of scintillating Cinnamon Teal were in this slough too. We got to the Grebe Pond and Mom Pied-billed Grebe was there with her two chicks. It’s amazing the size of food bits that these chicks can wolf down from their mother’s beak. We did not see the Sora  or Virginia Rails, but a Muskrat swam by and the Great Blue Heron was perched on the same Tree Swallow box where we saw him last year.

On the walk back we saw Gadwalls, Brown-headed Cowbirds, American Goldfinches, House Finches and a Red-tailed Hawk. Pascal, Alberto and the extremely garrulous Otto saw and photographed a Yellow Warbler and a Mourning Dove. We got back to the parking lot around Noon and decided to go for lunch at one of Mikie’s old haunts, the Gillnetter Pub & Restaurant in Port Coquitlam. Not unexpectedly, in true “Roger fashion”, Mike led us on a convoluted (i.e. lost) route to get there; the place was packed; we waited 20 minutes for seating. However, it was worth it; the 12 of us enjoyed the beer, Gillnetter Special Seafood sandwich and the usual inane conversation. Terry guided me back to Tsawwassen while Hans snored in the back seat. The more things change, the more they stay the same.

Next Wednesday, May 20 we will leave Petra’s at 7:30 on an outing to Burnaby Mountain led by renowned Pt. Pelee expert Roger (see his photos on our Picasa site) and then to see the Ruffs at SFU. We will meet at Horizons Restaurant, 100 Centennial Park Way, about 8:30. After birding around the restaurant area we will follow a trail to SFU. We will meet David Lank, an SFU biology professor who oversees one of the world’s largest ruff aviaries, housed at SFU’s Burnaby campus. He currently has 300 ruffs in his outdoor facility and breeds an additional 60 birds each year.  We will then walk back to our cars and drive to the Burnaby Mountain Golf Course for more birding and lunch. For info on David Lank see https://www.sfu.ca/sfunews/stories/2014/ruff-courtship-a-matter-of-genes.html

Check out our DNCB Blog for other Reports and photos and, as always, comments encouraged and let me know if you want off the List to receive this drivel. Cheers: Tom

Tom Bearss, President, Delta Naturalists’ Society

PS: The 24 were: Photogs Terry, Liz & Alan, Pascale & Alberto with newbie Janet, Glen, returnee members Rick & Marg from Vancouver Island, Delta-ites Guru Anne, Rob & Marylile, Hans-Ulf, Mike B, Marian, newbie Owl’s Catherine, Johnny Mac, Otto, and Langley/White Rock DNCBers Pauline, Laurie K, White Rock Al, and Vancouver’s Pat & Maureen, and me. A bone fide eclectic group.

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Filed under *DNCB, Cinnamon Teal, Hooded Merganser, Lazuli Bunting, Muskrat, Pied-billed Grebe

DNS Displays at Delta Regional Heritage Fair (May 9) & Mother’s Day Tea With the Birds (May 10)

DNS display at Delta Regional Heritage Fair (TC)

DNS display at Delta Regional Heritage Fair (TC)

 

DNS Display at Mother's Day Tea with the Birds

DNS Display at Mother’s Day Tea with the Birds

Click to enlarge photo.  More photos at DNCB Picasa site

Delta Nats had a display at the Delta Regional Heritage Fair at the Harris Barn on May 9, presided over by Terry, Donna and Moira. On May 10 the display at the Mother’s Day Tea with the Birds at Cammidge House was presided over by Marylile, Rob, Val, Joanne and Terry. The display on both days included our new tent, banner and tablecloths. Many adults and children were interested in the bird nests, other natural history items and printed materials. Val led a group of adults and children on a birding walk.
Terry CarrFor the third year in a row, the Boundary Bay Park Association (BBPA) celebrated International Migratory Bird Day with a Mothers Day tea at Cammidge House in beautiful Boundary Bay Park.  This year’s theme was Restore Habitat- Restore Birds.  It was a lovely sunny day, perfect for browsing displays on the porch and on the lawn and/or participating in one of two guided walks, followed by a delicious tea and a theme-related presentation.  About 24 children and 59 adults visited during the afternoon for a fun and educational experience.  Vanessa and Meghan, Metro Vancouver Park Interpreters, Catherine from Bird Studies Canada (also representing Important Bird Areas and the Young Naturalists Club) and Terry and his crew of volunteers from the Delta Naturalists Society engaged children and adults with their wonderful interactive displays and take-home brochures and buttons. It was really amusing to see children getting a sense of how fast a hummingbird’s wings move by comparing their “wing beats” to those of a hummingbird (600 times in 10 seconds) and checking out bird calls with the help of “stuffies”. Thanks go to:  Ursula Easterbrook of BBPA for organizing the event: Delta Corp. for the cookies, dainties, tea, coffee and juice: Anita and Denise for serving the refreshments: Valerie and Catherine for leading the upland birding walk: Jennifer and Doug for leading the intertidal/shoreline walk: Don DeMill for his presentation on restoring Burns Bog and to all of you who came out to celebrate with us. The more we know about our little feathered friends the more we appreciate the incredible journeys they make and the need to retain and restore habitat for their migratory stop-overs as well as their nesting areas.
Elizabeth Perrin

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DNCB Outing No. 2015-18 Serpentine Fen and Kwomais Point Park

DNCBers at Serpentine Fen (TC)

DNCB at Serpentine Fen (TC) click on photo to see large version

photos by Liz (LS), Terry (TC), Glen (GB), Marion (MS), Pascale & Alberto (P&A) at DNCB Picasa site

At little after 8:00 on another sunny Wednesday morning, nineteen DNCBirders began flocking together in the parking lot of Serpentine Fen. The area, which covers almost 240 acres (97 ha) of the lower flood plain of the Serpentine River, was dyked and partially drained in the early 1900’s and, thus, transformed from a salt marsh into a fen. Much of it served as farmland until 1961 when it was expropriated by the Province during the construction of Highway 99. Although the Fen is owned by the government, Ducks Unlimited manages it for the benefit of wildlife with a variety of habitats: shallow open ponds, pastures and grasslands, hedgerows and treed areas bordering the waterways and fields. Many of the trees and shrubs were planted between 1975 and 1983 by the White Rock and Surrey Naturalists as a habitat improvement project.

While waiting for others to trickle in, several early birders wandered over to the nearby barn and promptly scared a squirrel which scared the feathers off the resident Barn Owl. It escaped so quickly that no one managed to take a picture. Others surveyed the treed area around the parking lot and observed and photographed pairs of Red Crossbills, several Yellow-rumped Wobblers, Bushtits and a Robin with a smorgasbord of worms and caterpillars in its beak. Siskins, House Finches and their Purple Cousins were heard, and a Belted Kingfisher flew over while the troop assembled for the customary group portrait. Only 16 photogenic faces can be seen in the photo – Terry as the camera operator is missing and Surrey’s Liz with son Ross had run off to the first observation tower. At that location, latecomers Pascale with Alberto and the routinely unpunctual Otto showed up, bringing the total to twenty two participants.

The leisurely walk from tower one – from where a Harrier was seen feasting on a vole – to the river took about an hour, as there was much to explore and view. The trees and shrubs, both native and introduced, and the reeds along the path yielded a Common Yellowthroat, many rattling Marsh Wrens, both species of Hummers and a lot of squeaky Red-winged Blackbirds, one of which was feeding its young in the nest. Squadrons of waterfowl paddling on the ponds included Mallards, Gadwalls, Cinnamon Teals – all three with little offspring – as well as Coots, Bufflehead, a Ruddy Duck or two, a Scaup and one Pied-billed Grebe. Many of the nesting boxes were occupied by Tree Swallows, some of which were photographed cavorting with Barn Swallows on a hydro wire. A Sora appeared briefly right beside the path for a photo-op, both sexes of Cowbirds were sighted en-route and a Pheasant called from a nearby field, likely a descendant of birds reared in the Fen in the 1970s for hunting by the ducks folks.
Except for a couple of GB Herons and a Greater Yellowlegs, there was little activity along, on and in the river between towers two and three, but in the bog near the latter stop, Shovelers, Wigeons, Pintails, Green-winged Teals, a reed-munching Muskrat and a pumped up Bullfrog were encountered. On the way back to the starting point, the expected species such as Song and White-crowned Sparrows, Towhees and Collared Doves were seen and/or heard.

The majority of the outing participators travelled as planned to Kwomais Park, where the nest of the Barred Owl was soon located. Tail feathers protruded from the cavity in an Oregon Maple and Mr. Owl was spotted and snapped at a relatively low height in a small Douglas Fir. A Creeper was tending its nest tucked behind a piece of bark in an adjacent tree, and in the surrounding woods, two Steller’s Jays were screaming, Pacific-slope Flycatchers were whistling and the songs of a Ruby-crowned Kinglet and a Bewick’s Wren were audible. While the second group photo was being taken at the viewpoint overlooking Point Roberts and Tsawwassen, one of the resident Baldies and a black-headed gull – most likely a Bonaparte’s – soared by. As a grand finale, a Black-headed Grosbeak sang its heart out, accompanied by a Goldfinch, and on that note, everyone had to agree that it was another fabulous DNCB outing. After all, the weather had been excellent, many trees, bushes and wildflowers were in bloom, the scenery was great and more than 45 avian species had been seen and/or heard.

Next Wednesday we will leave Petra’s at 730 and meet at Colony Farm about 830.

Al Schulze

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Filed under *DNCB, Barred Owl, Cinnamon Teal, Kwomais Point Park, Muskrat, Northern Harrier, Red Crossbill, Serpentine Fen, Sora, Yellow-rumped Warbler

DNCB Outing No. 2015-17 to Minnekhada Regional Park, Coquitlam

IMG_5072

DNCB at Minnekhada (TC) click on photo to see large version

Photos by Terry (TC), Glen (GB), Liz (LS), Marion (MS), Roger (RM), Pascale (PC) at DNCB Picasa site
We had a group of 17 today with warm weather and a sprinkling of rain at the end. We were joined by newcomers Janet, Pat, and Maureen.  On the way to the lodge I (Kathy) stopped at a no parking zone to check out some Chickadees, Orange-crowned Warblers and Common Yellow-throat.  Wayne drove by and escorted me safely to the parking lot.  We were joined by Pascale (early riser) and Janet, Liz and Alan, Kirsten and Marion S., Terry, Gerhard, Hans, Roger, Glen, Mike, Pat, Maureen and Otto.

At the parking lot we were assaulted by loud Pacific Wrens, a Common Raven, and a sound we would all become very very familiar with.  Yes!  Our first Pacific-slope Flycatcher.  A pair of Wood Ducks were seen high up in the trees.  A Red-breasted Sapsucker was on a snag before we got to the lake.  There were some disappointed faces from those who had stayed behind and searched fruitlessly for the flycatchers.

We wandered to the lake to look at the Canada Geese and their cute goslings. Careful counting of same ended up with accounting errors until a second set of goslings were discovered and counting resumed.  An American Robin flew past us and in the distance Ring-necked Ducks, Bufflehead, Wood Ducks, Mallards, and Tree Swallows were sighted.  A small group including Pascale and Otto stood on a precipitous perch and searched for Sandhill Cranes.  Bernie, a Parks employee gave us a bit of history on the lodge.  It was built in 1934 by Eric Hamber (a former Lieutenant Governor) and was a private residence until 1976.  The pond was trout filled and more recently bass.  There is a rumour that a copy of the lodge was built by a Mrs. Wallace in Whistler.  Bernie kindly took the group photo.  We missed ya Tom.

We carried on down the west side path. It was beautiful, with reflections of trees in the small ponds.  The Pacific-sloped Flycatchers continued to elude us.  Glen tried for a shot but didn’t have the right filters.  A Juvie Bald Eagle soared past us.  A Red-tailed Hawk was seen by some. Red-winged Blackbirds were a bit scarce.  We met other birdwatchers and walkers throughout the trail.  Marion, Kirsten, and a few others searched for some warblers (Yellow-rumped).  We heard or saw all three wrens.  We saw a Mourning Dove or three.

Some enthusiastic birders charged towards the long way around.  A Grouse or two were booming.  We saw two more Red-breasted Sapsuckers.  We noticed we had lost a bit of the group, after a quick phone call, we came back the trail and rejoined the main group.  To our disappointment, we’d missed out on seeing a PS flycatcher.

Roger insisted to me that he had nothing to do with the group splitting up.  I’m not sure how many others he told this to, so I thought I’d share.  Oops, forgot to mention the Fox Sparrow and possible nest.  We dodged two sinkholes on the causeway and saw an older group of goslings.

It was a bit of a slog up the Low Knoll trail.  A few heard some hooting.  Marion later identified the hooter as a Northern Pygmy-Owl (after listening to it on Dendroica).  Two Varied Thrushes were admired.  Two ladies passed us and later pointed out another Sapsucker.  Many great photos of it should be posted to our Picasa site.  A Bewick’s Wren posed momentarily on a stump and a Spotted Towhee was here and there.  The outlook had a tremendous view and a Sandhill Crane briefly obscured it.  A few LBJs were spotted here and there.  Gerhard, Mike and I were collapsed on a picnic bench when the tardy ones pointed out a Pileated Woodpecker over our heads.  Drat, missed it.  Roger photographed a Bushtit nest just before we completed our loop.

Thanks to all who identified themselves and the birds.

Looking forward to next week Wednesday, May 5 to the Serpentine Fen in Surrey.   We will leave Petra’s at 7:30 and meet about 8:00 at the parking lot on 44th Ave just west of King George Blvd (behind Art Knapps).  For the directionally challenged, there is a map on our website http://goo.gl/OSvslD.

Kathy Ellwood

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Filed under *DNCB, Minnekhada Park, Northern Pygmy-Owl, Pacific-slope Flycatcher, Pileated Woodpecker, Red-breasted Sapsucker, Sandhill Crane

DNCB Outing No. 2015-16 Brunswick Point from Delta Port Way

Brunswick Point3Brunswick Pointers (RM)

See more photos at DNCB Picasa website

A somewhat cryptic Report from Tom’s sick bed

Twenty five participants spent a gorgeous day at Brunswick Point at the peak season for migrating shorebirds.  We followed the convoluted directions to a parking area under Deltaport Way railway bridge.

Kathy Ellwood brought our DNS Scope with new, heavy-duty, hi-class Tripod.  She is donating the Tripod to DNCBers because she enjoys us so much.  Other DNCBers, please take note.

Sightings: Common Yellowthroat, both Golden- and Ruby-crowned Kinglets, lots of Sparrows in beaut plumage (e.g. Savannah, Golden- and White-crowned, Song),   Brown-headed Cowbirds, Marsh Wrens (with nest). Liz had Bewick’s Wren at the other end of dike path. Orange-crowned Warblers were very photogenic.

Tide was in, moving out.  Guestimate: 50,000 Dunlin, a few fewer Western Sandpipers, some Black-bellied Plovers – probably lots of other Peeps too that we couldn’t ID (Least, Semi-palmated, etc.).  Lots of beautiful Swarms flying around us.  The Bird Studies Canada guy was very patiently photographing them out in the mud; the birds surrounded him.  Liz photographed Black-bellied Plovers on posts at the other end.  There was a neat Peregrine dive bombing the scattering mass.

Time-challenged Otto and Pascale “walked the plank” to join us.  Fit White Rock Al rode his bike.  We saw Anna’s Hummingbirds but I didn’t see Rufous.   Liz saw American Goldfinch and a flock of 3000 Snow Geese in a field “at the other end”.  Some Greater White-fronted Geese among the flock.  Ducks: Mallards, American and one Eurasian Wigeon, Green-winged Teal, Northern Pintail (Mergansers?).  Killdeer, two Caspian Terns, Red-wings and Robins.  Lots of Bald Eagles and Great Blue Herons.  A Northern Harrier was on its prey (a duck) in front of us. Lots of Barn and Tree Swallows and a few Violet-Green.  Eurasian Collared-doves at the farmhouse.  No Yellow-rumped Warblers seen, by me.

A Lost Driver’s Licence was found.  Our Hero Mikie Betts saved the newbie Laurie Klassen by returning it to her.  Brewer’s Blackbirds and Marion’s Chipping Sparrow were near our parking lot on departure.

Terry, Rob & Marylile, Kathy, Otto, Jim K and I  had lunch at Mario’s in Tsawwassen. The seafood linguine was delish that day, and the next day  at home too.  Two “Specialty” Beers, ok.

Super Photos by Glen, Dave M, Roger, Marion S, Liz, Jim K and Terry on our DNCB Picasa site.

Don’t forget Bat Presentation at DNS meeting on Tuesday, May 5.  Also Migratory Bird Day Presentations at TAC on Sat. May 2, 7:30 p.m.  I’m going back to bed now.  Cheers: Tom (from his sick bed – what a martyr!)

Tom Bearss, President, Delta Naturalists’ Society

 


Next Week Wed. April 29 we will go to Minnekhada Regional Park, Coquitlam, leaving Patra’s at 7:30 am, arriving at Minnekhada Lodge car park shortly after 8:30 am.

from Petra’s to Minnekhada Lodge
via Patullo Bridge
via Port Mann Bridge

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Filed under *DNCB, Black-bellied Plover, Brunswick Point, Chipping Sparrow, Dunlin, Eurasian Wigeon, Northern Harrier, Orange-crowned Warbler, Peregrine Falcon, White-fronted Goose

Watershed Park Fish Release and Nature Walk

Part  of the Scattered Group (RM)

Watershed Nature Walkers – part of the group (RM)

On a gorgeous Sunday, April 19, Delta Nats participated again in Delta Corp’s annual Fish Release at Watershed Park in North Delta.  It was a very successful event with hundreds of kids, parents and grandparents participating.  Terry, Marylile & Rob and their team of Roger, Joyce and Lorna set up our renovated “hands-on” Display at 11:00 a.m. at the Old Pump House area where the fish release takes place.  Lots of other exhibitors there too including OWL and Delta Corp.  You can see from Terry’s and Roger’s photos on our DNCB Picasa site that our Nats Display was awesome.  Note Marylile’s new tablecloths, her refurbished Boundary Bay poster and colouring sheets, and Jim K’s more stable Info/Photo Panels.  We also had some new “real” exhibits and info pamphlets.  Our Display team (Terry, Marylile, Rob, Joyce & Lorna) did masterful jobs explaining, educating and entertaining the hordes of kids and adults that visited our booth.

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Tom (me) along with Roger, Johnny Mac and Otto met at Pinewood Elementary School around 11:00 a.m. to lead a Birding/Nature Walk down the Park trails to the Fish Release site.  At the 11:30 a.m. departure, the group of participants numbered somewhere between 30 and 40, and ranged in age from newborn to 75+, with kids 10 and under being the majority.  I registered some (copied) and gave a brief introduction about the Walk and the Park.  As we wandered down the trail toward the Meadow, the group developed massive breaks from front to back.

Although the Leader obviously lost control, there were a few birds singing that aroused interest in a few of the participants.  We saw some flitting birds in the canopy of the second/third growth conifers.  We identified Black-capped Chickadees, and suspect that there were Kinglets there too.  A Brown Creeper gave a brief appearance “creeping” up a trunk.  The unflappable and tremendously voluble Otto claimed hearing an Orange-crowned Warbler.  Pine Siskins and common species like Song and White-crowned Sparrows, Spotted Towhees, American Robins and Dark-eyed Juncos were heard and occasionally seen.  We blanked on Raptors/Hawks, Thrushes and even Woodpeckers, although the resident Pileated Woodpeckers were seen earlier in the morning.  Roger also pointed out some of the interesting plant species in the park.

We got to the Meadow area and Roger took the Group Photo (of the half that was left) as we gazed out onto Boundary Bay.  An immature Bald Eagle gliding by thrilled a few of us.

Nurse stump (RM)

Nurse stump (RM)

We continued on, noting the Woodpecker trees and the Nurse Stumps, some very “artistic”.

It was Noon so we didn’t expect to see many birds, and we didn’t.  I suppose the most excitement was when we got to the end of the Walk at the OWL Exhibit, and participants finally got to see some birds, a Barred Owl and a Merlin.

Nonetheless, it was a very enjoyable Walk on a beautiful day in very pleasant surroundings.  And the apple and hot chocolate at the finish line were tasty too.

Other Notes: The Girl Guides did a super job coordinating the Tree Planting, and the kids really enjoyed releasing the Fry into the stream.

And Angela did yeoman’s work repetitiously explaining and demonstrating the damage that people do to our landscape, while Erin wandered around looking, and being important.  We closed down at 2:00 p.m. and the Team loaded Roger’s van for return of our Display material to our locker at Centennial Beach.  I, and I think other Nats too, always feel good after events like this.  It’s the fulfillment of actually realizing one of our DNS mandates “to promote nature education at public events”.  Check out our website for more info and photos at.  Cheers: Tom

Tom Bearss, President, Delta Naturalists’ Society

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Filed under *DNCB, Bald Eagle, Watershed Park