DNCB Outing No. 2015-9 to Beaty Biodiversity Museum, UBC

See full set of photos by Terry (TC), Marion (MS), Glen (GB), Ken (KB) & Alberto (AA) at DNCB Picasa site

DNCB & Blue Whale skeleton (KB)

DNCB & Blue Whale skeleton at Beaty Bioversity Museum, UBC (KB)

A brilliant sunny but cool day saw 9 members meet at Petra’s to carpool to UBC, Old Marine Drive for 9 a.m.  Others met there as did our westside resident guide, Bev Ramey.  From our parking spot in Pacific Spirit Park, 25 of us walked west to Totem Park and adjacent forest where a flicker, Steller’s Jay and Song Sparrow were spotted.

The group proceeded north and west to briefly explore the Earth Sciences Building and the Aquatic Research Lab where we met Professor Andrew Trites who was responsible for the suspended Blue Whale skeleton.

Professor Andrew Trites at Aquatic Research Lab (KB)

Professor Andrew Trites at Aquatic Research Lab (KB)

At 10 a.m., met by Marylile, Annie and Rob, we entered the Beaty Biodiversity Museum.

Ildiko Szabo (KB)

Ildiko Szabo (KB)

Thanks to Terry our admission went smoothly, and we were met by Ildiko Szabo, the Assistant Curator of Birds.  She toured us through the Cowan Tetrapod Collection comprising over 40,000 specimens shelved in drawers from floor to ceiling, row upon row.  A conventional taxidemy display of birds was viewed, which included an extinct passenger pigeon.  Highlights of the shelved “skins” included Penguins, a Harpy-looking large duck, a colourful Macaw, and various Saw-Whet Owls including a “glow-in-the-dark” species unique to Haida Gwaii.

Our tour concluded with a visit to the lab where grad students and volunteers worked on preparing bird carcasses.

We were shown the wing of a Golden Eagle and learned how age could be determined.  This specimen had been shot through and through but survived.  Ildiko escorted us back to the entrance from the lab where a Snowy Owl carcass awaited her attention.  Rob reported a glimpse into the Bone Room where skeletons are cleaned by beetles.

Outside, Bev Ramey guided 15 of us on a further walk around UBC.  We headed for the Nitobe Garden, skirting it and the neighbouring Museum of Anthropology where hordes of school kids frolicked.  Looking north at the top of the cliffs we had great views of Bowen Island, Howe Sound, and Lighthouse Park.  We carried on east  past Cecil Green Park and the Chan Centre.  Turning south, we climbed many sets of stairs to the Rose Garden.  The Buchanan courtyard brought back many memories for UBC grads Roger, Terry and Marylile.  We then passed the Main and Sedgwick Libraries where we encountered several Anna’s hummingbirds doing diving displays, and a Spotted Towhee, House Finch and Bushtits.
We continued south on the Main Mall back to Beaty.  Twelve of us were guided by Bev to Mahoney’s Pub, involving a creative detour through the Immunology Building as the University Boulevard sidewalk was blocked by massive construction.  A fine meal ensued, expertly served by ex-manager Joey.

by Marylile Martin

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Filed under *DNCB, Beaty Biodiversity Museum, UBC

DNCB Outing No. 2015-8 to Point Roberts, USA

Photos by Terry Carr (TC), Glen Bodie (GB), Tony Mitra (TM) & Marion Shikaze (MS)

More than 20 birders (actually 23, duly named at report end) joined our DNCB group on a beautiful February Tuesday morning at a number of Parks in Pt. Roberts, USA.  We had tonnes of neat species, many up-close-and-personal.  Check out the photo evidence on our Picasa site and Tony’s site.  Some neat “nose hair” photos included in Tony and Marion’s collages (see slide show at the end of this Report).


DNCB at Lighthouse Marine Park (TM)

Thirteen of us left Petra’s at 8:00 a.m., car-pooling smoothly through the Border.  We met most of the others as scheduled at 8:30 a.m. at the Lighthouse Marine Park parking lot.  The tide was high and water calm; lots of neat sightings here including: the resident flock of Black Turnstones, Double-crested and Pelagic Cormorants and perhaps a few Brandt’s, Common Goldeneye, Red-breasted Merganser, Horned and Red-necked Grebes, Common (but no Pacific or Red-throated) Loons, Bufflehead, Surf and White-winged (but no Black) Scoters, a raft of Brant in the distance.

A family of five Trumpeter Swans (2 adults, 3 juvenile) swimming in front of us then flying over were an elegant sighting.

Tony took the Group Photo (20 folk) here to “get it over with early”.  Then we walked toward Lighthouse Point watching several Harbour Porpoises going “up and down” not far off shore.

Harbour Porpoises (TC)

Harbour Porpoises (TC)

Harbour Seals were also foraging along the way.

At the Point, Anne and Roger spotted Common Murres, Pigeon Guillemot, Rhinoceros Auklet and Marbled Murrelets in the scope.  Here we saw the first of several Harlequin Ducks in beautiful breeding plumage.

About 6 Sanderling were foraging in the stones along the water’s edge.  Some saw a few Dunlin too.

Sanderlings (GB)

Sanderlings (GB)

Time-challenged Dave M and newbies Pascale and Alberto joined us here making 23.  A large V of Snow Geese heading south toward Skagit Valley was a neat sight above us.

We walked back to our vehicles via the inland trail.  Not as active with “little birds” as usual: the Parks staff have done a lot of “cleaning up” by removing many shrubs.  Of note, we saw a few Northern Flickers, House Finches and a Killdeer plus other common “regulars”, including Robins that look like Varied Thrushes.

We left Lighthouse Park for the Marina, stopping at the pond along the way to see the American Wigeon and Hooded Mergansers.  Three Red-tailed Hawks were perched at various spots as we approached the Marina turn, off APA Way.  At the Marina, we stopped abruptly to photograph a Western Meadowlark perched on a brush pile.

In the water were a flock of Greater Scaup and a female Common Merganser. Bald Eagles posing on signs gave some of our photogs a rush.

A flock of 11 Black Oystercatchers and 42 Harlequins were up-close-and-personal at the Marina entrance until an incoming yacht scared them away.

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Terry got nice shots of a Pacific Wren on the logs.

Not much seen on the drive to the Lily Point Parking lot, except for some funny looking midget Donkeys.  From the Lookout, down the cliff to the water, we saw lots of waterfowl, but too far away to get good looks, even with the scopes.  We could ID Scoters, Scaup, Loons, Harlequins and Oystercatchers on shore, and that’s about it.  The Black Scoters and Murrelets, if there, were not close in.  We walked the forest trail to the other lookout.  An Anna’s Hummingbird whizzed by and we heard Kinglets and Pacific Wrens.

The second Lookout gave beautiful vistas across to the Gulf and San Juan Islands and White Rock but no new bird sightings.  We trudged back to the parking lot, noting the freshly budding plants and different flora at this Park (I can’t remember what the different plants and trees are).

Now Noon, the outing ended and some of us decided to have lunch at Mario’s in Tsawwassen.  Two reasons: no decent restaurants were open in Pt. Roberts and PB Lorna’s absence meant no sandwiches provided.  Cod & Chips were just okay, but German beer was delicious.  A nice end to another super DNCB outing.

We 23 were: Guru Anne, Marylile & Rob, Mikie B, Roger 2, Photogs Glen, Marion, Tony, Terry, Richmond newbies Alberto & Pascale, and Richmond Bill, Pt Bob’s Paul and newbie Pat H, Sheila, Fern, Pauline with newbie Siegy, Dave M, Scopers Jean and Roger M, sophomore Kathy E and me.

After lunch, some (Roger, Marion, Tony, Terry, Kathy and me) went to the Ladner Trail off Ferry Road to see the White-throated Sparrow.  It posed nicely as did a Pacific Wren, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Eurasian Wigeon and six Ring-necked Ducks in the slough.

Next Tuesday, March 3, our DNCB outing will be to UBC and include a tour of the Beaty Biodiversity Museum at 10:15 a.m.   Numbers are restricted so please notify Terry Carr if you want to participate.  Some of us will meet at and leave from Petra’s at 8:00 a.m.  Information on the outing, including fees and parking suggestions, can be found on the DNS Upcoming Events page.

Also next Tuesday evening, March 3 is our first Delta Nats monthly meeting at our new larger venue, the Benediction Lutheran Church on 56th St. in Tsawwassen.  Dudley Booth will be giving a Presentation entitled “Journey to the Stars”.

Also, this Friday, February 27, we are meeting at 9:30 a.m. at the 12th Street entrance to BBRP to “Clean & Close” our 35 Delta Nats Bird Boxes in the Park, readying them for the newly-arriving Tree Swallows.  Join us at these events if interested.  As always, comments encouraged, and let me know if you want off my List to receive this drivel.  Cheers: Tom

Tom Bearss, President, Delta Naturalists’ Society

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Filed under *DNCB, *Special Birds, Black Oystercatcher, Black Turnstone, Brandt's Cormorant, Common Murre, Harbour Porpoise, Harbour Seal, Harlequin Duck, Marbled Murrelet, Pelagic Cormorant, Pigeon Guillemot, Red-breasted Merganser, Red-tailed Hawk, Rhinoceros Auklet, Western Meadowlark

DNCB Outing 2015-7 to Blackie Spit & White Rock Pier

DNCB at Blackie Spit (KB) - missing Al, Wim, Leona

DNCB at Blackie Spit (KB) – missing Al, Wim, Leona (click on photo to see large version)


Wim & Leona (counting birds for Gareth)

Check out photos by Terry (TC), Glen (GB), Greg (GH), Marion (MS) & Ken (KB) on DNCB Picasa link





The as-always happy and enthusiastic DNCB birders met in the Blackie Spit parking lot for our weekly outing to view birds and “occasionally” exchange friendly banter.   Twenty of us assembled for the group photo: Terry, Pauline, Anne M, Otto, Kirsten, Gerhard, Glen, Roger K, Sheila, Ken, Anne A, Marion, Mike, Kathy, Marti, David, Donna, Fern, Greg and myself (Jean).  Al, Leona and Wim were unfortunately not included since they were involved in recording the weekly bird count for the area.

The group spent some time viewing the ducks in the water near the entrance to Blackie Spit.  In addition to the usual Great Blue Herons, there were Horned Grebes, Common Loon, Red-breasted Mergansers and a female Common Goldeneye.  Both American and Eurasian Wigeons could also be seen as well as some lovely little Green-winged Teal.  Distant shorebirds were visible along the waterline of the bay and a careful search revealed the often seen Long-billed Curlew.  We were all delighted to see two Snow Buntings at the end of the spit, always a great find.

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Other small birds such as, Black-capped Chickadees, Red-winged Blackbirds, Northern Flickers and Song Sparrows were seen flitting about in the trees and bushes.

Bald Eagles and a Harbor Seal were other occupants of the area that morning.

Our birding group soon formed several smaller clusters that busily exchanged information of varying importance.  A close view of three Greater Yellowlegs could be seen in the Savenye area, an ID helpfully confirmed by Anne Murray.  At least 6 Anna’s Hummingbirds were seen on the trail to the dike.  Their aerial acrobatics were stunning and some truly great photos were able to capture the animation of these tiny birds.

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A Cooper’s Hawk was perched on a tall pole near the pump house.  Leona spotted the Long-billed Curlew across the Nicomekl River from the pump house.  White-crowned Sparrows and a Brown Creeper were reported by Anne and Ken as they returned along the dike trail while others took the ‘thicket’ route hoping to see the elusive and unseen Surfbird.

The birders that continued on to the White Rock pier reported seeing Horned Grebes, Buffleheads, a female Greater Scaup, Pelagic Cormorant and Black Turnstones in and around the rough water.  Then a remaining 7 decided that lunch at Uli’s was the best way to end the day.  All in all, another great outing among birds and friends.  Jean Gartner (for vacationing Tom Bearss)

NEXT WEEK, Tuesday, February 24th, we will leave Petra’s at 8:00 am for Point Roberts; meet at Lighthouse Marine Park around 8:20 am.

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Filed under *DNCB, Bald Eagle, Black Turnstone, Blackie Spit, Cooper's Hawk, Long-billed Curlew, Pelagic Cormorant, Red-breasted Merganser, Snow Bunting, White Rock Pier

DNCB Outing 2015-6 to Stanley Park

DNCB at Second Beach (RM)

DNCB at Second Beach (RM)

Photos by Terry (TC), Tony (TM), Jim (JK) & Roger (RM)
Complete sets of photos at our
DNCB Picasa site and at Tony’s Picasa site.

Sixteen keeners braved the threatening skies to meet at Second Beach at 9:00 a.m.  A damp mist prevailed as our group made our way to the Sea Wall.  Tony, Jim, Lorna, Otto, Fern, Nance, Glen, Rob, Marylile, Mike, Roger K, Gerhard, newbies Lynn and Kathy followed the lead of Terry and Roger M.  Seaward in English Bay we spotted Barrow’s Goldeneye, Horned Grebe, and juvenile Mew Gulls.

Then heading east towards the lagoon, an Anna’s Hummingbird posed on precisely the same tree as seen a year ago.

Anna's Hummingbird (TM)

Anna’s Hummingbird (TM)

On the way to Lost Lagoon, American Wigeon, Wood Ducks, a female Common Merganser and Scaup were encountered.  Taking the southern lagoon path, more Wood Ducks, Common Mergansers, a Great Blue Heron and a Pied-billed Grebe were sighted.

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To the right on the snag trees were the usual raucous Canada Geese perched on top.  Many examples of beaver damage were noted – gnawing by young much in evidence.

The Mute Swans seemed to mimic our route around the lagoon, swimming by a group of Ring-necked ducks and female Hooded Mergansers.

Heading west a Sharp-shinned Hawk was sighted (not in photos).  Otto tempted fate by hand feeding a begging racoon.

Raccoon (JK)

Raccoon (JK)

Also on the return to Second Beach, Black-capped chickadees, Towhees, Song and Fox Sparrows were seen.

About 11:00 our convoy continued on to Beaver Lake.

Great enjoyment ensued at the hand feeding of perky Chestnut-backed Chickadees.  Also spotted were Fox and Song Sparrows, and many Spotted Towhees, while Bufflehead and a few Canada Geese swam just past the old beaver lodge.

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Fourteen of us headed into the park to lunch at the Royal Vancouver Yacht Club’s floating Mermaid Inn.  Roger’s highlight of the day was his lunch special of the bacon/avocado/tomato sandwich.

Lunch at the Mermaid Inn (Royal Vancouver Yacht Club) (TM)

Lunch at the Mermaid Inn (Royal Vancouver Yacht Club) (TM)

Thanks to Terry and Roger for their able coaching as I compose.

Marylile (Tom Bearss is in Ontario)

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Next week, Tuesday February 17, we will be going to Blackie Spit, South Surrey and White Rock Pier; leaving Petra’s at 8 am, arrive Blackie Spit around 8:30 am.

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Filed under *DNCB, Barrow's Goldeneye, Beaver Lake, Lost Lagoon, Raccoon, Second Beach, Sharp-shinned Hawk, Stanley Park

DNCB Outing 2015-5 to Ferry Causeway & Reifel Bird Sanctuary

Photos by Liz (LS), Terry (TC), Jim (JK), David M (DM), Tony (TM), and Roger (RM).

DNCB at Reifel (TM)

DNCB at Reifel (TM)

Twenty-one DNCBers enjoyed a bountiful birding morning, 56 years after the “Day the Music Died”, at our “Mecca” Reifel Bird Sanctuary.  Hi-lites included rarities Harris’s and Swamp Sparrows, Northern Saw-whet and Great Horned Owls, three Wren species, and lots of ducks in gorgeous breeding plumage.  Check out the photo evidence by Liz, Terry, Jim and David M on our DNCB Picasa site, Tony’s  Picasa link, and a few here by Roger.

Two cars left Petra’s at 8:00 a.m. for the Tsawwassen Ferry Port; Tony took Terry and  Gerhard; Roger had PB Lorna (welcome back to the fold), Jim K and me.  At our “pull-over” stop along the causeway were lots of American Wigeon, both Double-crested and Pelagic Cormorants, a few Common Loons and Common Goldeneye.  Across the road on the south side were lots of Surf Scoters and a couple of Black Oystercatchers.

A “Harper” Stop Sign gave us a laugh with a No Left Turn sign below it (no political comment here).

Tom & STOP Harper sign (TM)

Tom & STOP Harper sign (TM)

Following sign photos, we drove to the Terminal where we spotted a Red-necked Grebe and a raft of Bonaparte’s Gulls, which we don’t often see.  We continued through the TFN land to the overpass over the Deltaport Highway.  A Hawk with a big white Tag (R8) on its right wing caught our attention.  It was a Rough-legged Hawk banded by the Airport Wildlife team in November 2014.

Feb. 8 Thank you for reporting your sighting of Rough-legged Hawk R8… I tagged R8 as a Hatch Year bird at the Vancouver International Airport (YVR) on 10 November 2014 and released him the next day in Chilliwack, BC.  Yours is the 10th sighting of this bird since it was translocated to Chilliwack (all in the same area).  Gary Searing.

Already past 9:00 a.m., we hurried to get to Reifel to meet the masses.  The other 14 were not too disturbed by our tardiness.  They saw both Bewick’s and Pacific Wrens, Anna’s Hummingbirds and early-arrived Barn Swallows near the entrance, while they entertained themselves hand-feeding some of the 11 Sandhill Cranes hanging around the Sanctuary.

A Cooper’s Hawk posed in a tree and a pair of Eurasian Wigeon were cruising in the office pond (not common there).  Almost 50 Great Blue Herons were roosting around the first pond and they did not disturb the 4 Winter resident Black-crowned Night-Herons.

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To get me off the hook early, Tony took the obligatory Group Photo at the Reifel Snow Goose Info Board before we started our walk.  They love their names in print so the 21 were: Photogs Liz, Langley’s Wim, Marion S and another “returnee” David M,  Rob & Marylile, Aussie Nance, our Guru Mother Mary Reifel, non-teaching teacher Greg, an ancient returnee Gord L, White Rock Alice without Al, Kirsten, Fern and the loquacious Otto, plus the earlier-noted seven.

Following Mary’s astute guidance, we followed the “left” trail (again, no political comment).  Hooded Mergansers, Bufflehead, Lesser Scaup, Northern Shovelers, Northern Pintail, Gadwall, American Coots and a Ring-necked Duck were in nice plumage.  And everyone’s favourites, Wood Ducks, were gorgeous, and almost rampant throughout the Sanctuary.

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Several DNCBers resembled SAVE-ON Grocery Store clients with their bags of food.  This proved very helpful as not only the Black-capped Chickadees ate seeds from their hands, but also did Red-winged Blackbirds and even a Red-breasted Nuthatch.

Lots of V’s of Snow Geese flying over us and Northern Harriers, Bald Eagles and the occasional Red-tailed Hawk cruising over the marshes.  From the outer dike trail, we saw a regal Peregrine Falcon perch then take off. He may have been after the flock of Shorebirds (probably Black-bellied Plovers) flying over the water.  The 100 or so Trumpeter Swans were not bothered.  We heard Marsh Wrens and Virginia Rails and some of the group saw a Rail walking near the Tower.  Purple Finches (all female?) were feeding on the crab apple bushes as a Downy Woodpecker pecked below.

Swamp Sparrow (RM)

Swamp Sparrow (RM)

At the Tower, some saw and photographed the Swamp Sparrow that has been hanging around there this Winter.

We think the Cedar and Bohemian Waxwings have left the Sanctuary.  As we walked back toward the entrance, we stopped to check out three well-hidden Northern Saw-whet Owls.  A friendly visitor also showed us the roosting Great Horned Owl.

He commented that our group was very nice, but a bit “noisy”.  Dah!  Lots of little birds along this trail too including: Golden-crowned Kinglets, Song, Fox and Golden-crowned Sparrows (no Lincoln seen today), Spotted Towhees, Juncos, etc.

Back near the entrance, with the help of Otto’s never-ending feed bag, and keen-eyed Liz, the Harris’s Sparrow finally showed up and everyone got great looks and photos.

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Some continued on next door to Alaksen and saw a Barred Owl while others went up Mount Seymour to get beaut shots of the Gray-crowned Rosy-Finches.  Nine of us retired again to Speed’s Pub in Ladner for the beer, fish & chips Special.

Lunch (TM)

Lunch at Speed’s (TM)

Not unexpectedly on our Reifel outings, we saw a tonne of species today, most up-close-and-personal, and many in their beautiful breeding plumages.  Plus the weather was mild and dry, and a few of the conversations were less than hideous, Otto and the ILB excepted.  An awesome outing.

Next Tuesday, February 10, the regular DNCB meeting and departure will be Petra’s at 8:00 a.m. to Stanley Park.  Then meet around 9:00 a.m. at the Second Beach Parking Lot near the swimming Pool.  Some may want to join Rob & Marylile for lunch at the Royal Vancouver Yacht Club’s Mermaid Restaurant (advise Marylile).  Sandra and I leave next Tuesday for a week’s “holiday” in Ontario visiting friends and relatives, so I will not be at Stanley Park.

Don’t forget our monthly Delta Nats meeting at Cammidge House on Monday, Feb. 9Mark Drever will be presenting on the “Northward Migration of Shorebirds”.  Note that we have CHANGED the DATE and VENUE of future monthly meetings:  starting TUESDAY, MARCH 3, the DNS monthly meetings will be at the larger Benediction Lutheran Church at 56th and 6th in Tsawwassen.

As always, comments welcome, check out our Blog for more reports, photos and DNS info, and please let me know if these long-winded missives annoy you and you want off my List.  Cheers: Tom


Mary T & Tom (TM)

Mary T & Tom (TM)

Tom Bearss, President, Delta Naturalists’ Society

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Filed under *DNCB, Bald Eagle, Barred Owl, Black Oystercatcher, Black-crowned Night-Heron, Bonaparte's Gull, Cooper's Hawk, Eurasian Wigeon, Gray-crowned Rosy-Finch, Great Horned Owl, Harris's Sparrow, Northern Harrier, Northern Saw-whet Owl, Pelagic Cormorant, Peregrine Falcon, Red-necked Grebe, Red-tailed Hawk, Reifel, Rough-legged Hawk, Sandhill Crane, Swamp Sparrow, Tsawwassen Ferry Port

DNCB Outing No. 2015-4 to Terra Nova Park in Richmond

DNCB at Terra Nova (photo by Ken Borrie) (click on photo to see large version)

DNCB at Terra Nova (photo by Ken Borrie) (click on photo to see large version)

Twenty-five DNCBers enjoyed a very mild (~14 degrees) and pleasantly dry Tuesday morning wandering around the rejuvenated Terra Nova Park (TNP) in Richmond.  Lots of neat bird sightings including a rarely seen Common Teal.  Check out the photo evidence on our DNCB Picasa site.  We 25 were: Gurus Anne M and Mary T, photogs Terry, Jim K, Liz and Marion, time-challenged Glen, Marian P and Ken & Anne, our new Newsletter editor Audrey and Richmond Donna, “under-the-thumb” Patrick, newbie Roger 2, Mike B, White Rock Al without his harem, Gerhard, Aussie Nance, spotter Kay, Kirsten & Marti, Bryan & Janet, Marylile without Rob, and me.  The 26th, Tony M aka ILB, called but couldn’t find us.

Twelve of us car-pooled nicely in three vehicles from Petra’s.  Traffic was fine and we got to the TNP parking lot at the end of River Road at about 8:40 a.m.  The masses were waiting. Looking across to the airport in the Fraser River were flocks of American Wigeon, a few Bufflehead and Red-breasted Mergansers, one Horned Grebe and several Double-crested Cormorants.  Red-winged Blackbirds and Marsh Wrens were singing in the reeds as a flock of Black-bellied Plovers flew across the river toward the airport.  Marion took one of the Group Photos here before we started our walk through the newly-developed, child-friendly TNP.  Not having been here in a year or so, I think Richmond did a good job with the many participatory additions and improvements to the Park yet retaining the habitat.  Song, Fox and Golden-crowned Sparrows were foraging in the bushes along the ditch while a Great Blue Heron posed in it.  Richmond’s Donna & Audrey guided us along the well-groomed trails to the pond where a lone female Ring-necked Duck and a Pied-billed Grebe were diving for prey.  In the trees were Bushtits and both Ruby and Golden-crowned Kinglets and Mary T identified two Purple Finches.

We moved on toward the Community Gardens. Northern Flickers and several Anna’s Hummingbirds were entertaining sights.  We checked the trees for Owls, in vain, but did find and open a couple of pellets, one a “double-header”.   We crossed the road to the south part of the Park and followed the trail in front of the beautiful homes.  No feeders were here as we saw in past visits to TNP, so fewer little birds seen.  Across the ditch in the flooded field a flock of Green-winged Teal and American Wigeon were feeding.  Among the Teal we spotted a rare Common (aka Eurasian) Teal.  This bird looked slightly larger than the GWT so probably came from Asia, rather than Europe.  Interestingly too, among the Wigeon was a brilliant male Eurasian Wigeon.  Northern Shovelers were also feeding here as were three neat Greater Yellowlegs.

Back on the dike trail, we got more looks at Kinglets, a Brown Creeper, Downy and even one Hairy Woodpecker.  Some saw and/or heard Pacific and Bewick’s Wrens here which made it a three-wren day.  We walked through the bushes to the muddy shore area where lots of logs and driftwood had arrived since last year when this area had been “cleaned” by the city.  As Northern Harriers cruised by, we saw a Red-tailed Hawk and a Cooper’s Hawk perched on separate posts.  Lots of Snow Geese around, occasionally raised by Bald Eagle fly-pasts, some geese continuing on, apparently to feed in Richmond’s schoolyards.  A few Trumpeter Swans strolled elegantly among the geese.  A bushy-tailed Coyote caught our attention as it skulked along the shore.  Two Hooded Mergansers were in the ditch along the dike path.  Webmaster Ken took another Group Photo here, including the time-challenged DNCBers.  Mary almost wet herself at the sight of six beautiful male House Finches.

We got back to the vehicles around 11:30 a.m., excellent timing.  Most called it a day, while the “guys”, WR Al, Mikey B, Jimmy K and me decided to stop on the way home at Speeds Pub in Ladner.  The two-piece Cod & Chips special for under 10 bucks was deliciously washed down with two 5 buck pints of Canadian.  Along with this deal, Jim and I were entertained by the sagas of two vastly different upbringings in the 1940’s, one in war-ravaged Germany and the other in peaceful Burnaby.  Another super DNCB outing.

Next Tuesday, February 3, we will leave Petra’s at 8:00 a.m. on an outing to our “Mecca” Reifel Bird Sanctuary.  We expect to meet others at the entrance parking lot around the 9:00 a.m. opening time.  As always, comments encouraged, check out our website at wwwdotdncbdotwordpressdotcom, and let me know if you want off my recipient list.  Cheers: Tom (1:00 a.m. and going to bed)

Tom Bearss, President, Delta Naturalists’ Society  

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Filed under *DNCB, Bald Eagle, Black-bellied Plover, Cooper's Hawk, Coyote, Eurasian Teal, Eurasian Wigeon, Red-tailed Hawk, Terra Nova

DNCB Report No. 2015-3 to Point Roberts, WA

At Lighthouse Marine Park (photo by Roger Meyer)

At Lighthouse Marine Park (photo by Roger Meyer) – click on photo to see large version

Twenty-four DNCBers enjoyed another glorious sunny Tuesday morning wandering around a number of Parks in Point Roberts, USA.  Hi-lites included seeing lots of neat species, some in breeding plumage, plus 3 Grebe species, 3 Scoter species, 3 Cormorant species, and a delicious lunch in the Caffe Capanna.  Check out Jim’s, Liz’s and other’s photos on our DNCB Picasa site.

Ten of us left Petra’s at 8:00 a.m. in far too many vehicles; we all wanted cheap gas at 49.9 US cents per litre.  We met the horde of DNCBers at Point Roberts Marine Park.  The water was very calm and the sun was gorgeous rising in the east beyond Mt. Baker.  We were amazed at the number of species seen from this spot by the boat ramp: Common and Pacific Loons, Common Golden-eye, Red-breasted Mergansers, three Cormorant species including Double-crested, Pelagic and the “hard-to-ID” Brandt’s, three Scoter species including Surf, White-winged and Black, beautiful Long-tailed Ducks.  While examining rafts of about 300 Brant Geese in the distance, two Harbour Porpoises swam by.  We saw Red-necked, Horned and even a few Western Grebes, but we couldn’t find an Eared Grebe.  As we walked along the beach toward the “lighthouse” corner, a Killdeer flew by and a lonely Sanderling posed on the shore. Some saw and photographed Pigeon Guillemots.  Some even saw our target birds Common Murre and Marbled Murrelets in the distance, but I didn’t.  Both Roger and Tony took Group Photos at this Point of the 23 (newbie Pt. Bob’s George had to leave for work).  Some gorgeous Harlequin Ducks landed near shore for some to photograph.  Further down the shore were a couple of Black Turnstones and more Sanderlings.

We took the inland trail through the Park back to the parking lot.  Gliding Northern Harriers glistened in the sun.  Mixed flocks of Sparrows were feeding in the bushes: Song, Golden- and White-crowned and Fox.  House Finches and a few beautiful Anna’s Hummingbirds posed higher up.  We missed Chestnut-backed Chickadees and Wrens (Bewick’s) normally seen here.  We moved on south along Marine Drive to another regular stop along the beach between some cottage homes.  Roger found the resident flock of Black Turnstones and some saw a couple of Black Oystercatchers.  Then we drove around the Marina to another regular stop near the break wall.  The recent storm damage was very evident here as the beach was chocker-block full of huge logs of driftwood.  A raft of Lesser Scaup (pointy heads) was close to shore here, along with more attractive Harlequins.

On driving in our huge convoy to Lily Point (LP) Park the resident pair of Red-tailed Hawks gave a fly-past.  At LP Park we walked to the Lookout.  The view across to White Rock, the Gulf and San Juan Islands and to Mt. Baker was electrifying.  Looking down the 200 foot cliff to the water we identified the three Scoter species again, and although there were lots of “specks” in the distance, we couldn’t confirm other pelagic species.  Lots of Bald Eagles around.  The impudent Roger and his legion of followers got bored with the lethargic Leader and took off on their own to get away from him.  Approaching 12:30 p.m. six “faithful” were hungry and drove to the Caffe Capanna (near Larry’s Liquor Store) to enjoy the French Onion Soup with grilled Ham & Cheese sandwich Special.  The border was smooth sailing on return; another awesome DNCB morning.

Next Tuesday, January 27, we will leave Petra’s at 8:00 a.m. on an outing to Terra Nova Park in Richmond.  We expect to be at the park parking lot on the dike around 8:30 a.m.  Check out our DNCB Blog for reports, photos and other Delta Nats info.  As always, comments encouraged and let me know if you want off my List to receive this drivel.  Cheers: Tom (going now to Wednesday Noon Hockey)

Tom Bearss, President, Delta Naturalists’ Society

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Filed under *DNCB, Bald Eagle, Black Oystercatcher, Black Scoter, Black Turnstone, Brandt's Cormorant, Common Murre, Harbour Porpoise, Harlequin Duck, Lighthouse Marine Park, Lily Point Park, Long-tailed Duck, Marbled Murrelet, Northern Harrier, Pelagic Cormorant, Pigeon Guillemot, Red-breasted Merganser, Red-necked Grebe, Red-tailed Hawk