DNCB Outing No. 2015-47 to Harrison Mills

DNCB at Harrison Mills(RM)

DNCB at Harrison Mills (RM)

Photos by Roger (RM), Terry (TC), Jim (JK), Glen (GB), Denise (DK), Liz (LS), John (JMac), Pat (PS)
– see their photo albums at DNS Picasa site.

About twenty-two DNCBers  enjoyed an “away” outing to Kilby Park and Chehalis Flats in Harrison Mills on another sunny but windy and chilly Tuesday morning.  Check out lots of beautiful photo evidence on our DNS Picasa site.

Twelve of us left Petra’s at 7:30 a.m. in 3 vehicles; awesome car-pooling.  It was a long but very pleasant drive along the SFPR, highways 1 and 11 to the parking lot at Kilby Park in Harrison Mills.  Interestingly all 3 vehicles plus most of the other 10 participants arrived right at the designated 9:15 a.m. scheduled time.

It was such a gorgeous setting that we all raced to the beach and wandered along it, photographing the scenery and Trumpeter Swans in the Fraser and Bald Eagles eating on pylons and sand bars.  A few Bufflehead, Common Goldeneye, Mergansers (probably Common), Canada Geese and Mallards were also in the river.  With directions from Marion, Roger eventually took the Group Photo (minus the time-challenged sisters Pat & Maureen) of everyone squinting facing the sun, except Marion.

There were spawned Salmon corpses everywhere, in all stages of dissolution, but none with eyes.

We met a couple of DFO workers who were counting and studying the Salmon.  Fish eyes are the tastiest part for the Eagles and other birds.  They also said the Pink were almost done here but the Coho, Chinook, Chum and Sockeye were still arriving to spawn.  Pinks are only two years old when they spawn whereas the other species can be 4 to 7 years old.  The DFO officers were taking scale samples to determine the age.  They didn’t say whether it was a good or bad year, number-wise, but I “heard” that there were only about 1000 Eagles in the area (David Hancock told me once that they get as many as 12,000 in a good season) because there was a low number of spawning Salmon (over-fished at the mouth of the Fraser?).  Interesting stuff.

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Led by visiting Whitby Janice, we drove to Morris Valley Road, parked at the Tapadera Estates, and walked to the Eagle Point Park Observatory.  A “kettle” of about 30 Baldies was circling above us.  Along the path behind the homes we were entertained by Anna’s Hummingbirds, Golden-crowned Kinglets, Steller’s Jays and Liz photographed a beaut Varied Thrush.

From the Lookout we could see many Eagles dining on the Chehalis Flats, while more Trumpeter Swans, Hooded and Common Mergansers, Green-winged Teal and American Wigeon were feeding in the shallow water, I assume on fish eggs.  We walked closer to the water and saw several female Salmon making their “Redd” or spawning nest.

Next stop was the Sandpiper Golf Course and a walk to the Pretty Estates Observatory.  The area had obviously experienced a recent wind storm as lots of trees and branches were down everywhere.  It was very windy at this Lookout and we didn’t see anything new (Downy Woodpecker).  A few Eagles were perched close by in trees and lots on the flats, but not hundreds as we expected.  We got back to the Clubhouse around Noon, and the famous idyllic Rowena’s Inn on the River was already booked for lunch.  So we moved to Plan B and drove down the road to the historic (family-owned since 1930) Sasquatch Pub.  With a photo of owner Bruce’s Dad overlooking us, he and Nancy gave us excellent service.

Some enjoyed the renowned Sasquatch Burger, including our young Spanish Ornithologist, Sergio, visiting from Madrid.  My Fish & Chips and two pints of Canadian hit the spot, as always.

We left the Sasquatch Pub around 2:00 p.m. and some of us decided to stop at the Inch Creek Salmon Hatchery in Deroche on the way home.  Although this facility primarily produces salmon fry for distribution in local rivers, since 1989 they have had in their Lagoon (formerly a settling pond), two male White Sturgeon which are 7 to 7 ½ feet long, weigh about 200 lbs each, and are about 80 years old.  Neat to see as a noisy Belted Kingfisher flew by.  It was a lazy ride home; Gerhard’s driving was abnormally legal, and I snoozed to the drone of Jack and Glen’s incomprehensible chatter about computer programing.  Another super DNCB adventure.

Next Tuesday, December 1, we will leave Petra’s at 8:00 a.m. (note new later start time) for Sunnyside Acres Urban Forest Park in Surrey.  We will stop at Boundary Bay dike at 104th St about 8:15 (park at Delta Heritage Air Park) and then meet at the Wally Ross parking lot (24 Avenue between 148 and 144 Street) at Sunnyside Acres at 9:45 a.m. to start our Park Tour with Dr. Roy Strang at 10:00 a.m.

Also, on the evening of December 1 at 7:30 p.m., we will have our monthly Delta Nats meeting at the Benediction Church in Tsawwassen and the renowned World Traveler Terry Carr will give a presentation on his and Janan’s Adventures in Haida Gwaii.  Be there or be square.  As always, your comments are encouraged, check out our website for more info, reports and photos – and let me know if you want off my List to receive these meandering muses.  Cheers: Tom

Tom Bearss, President, Delta Naturalists’ Society

The twenty-two included: Roger M, Mike B, Chris M, Terry C, Rob & Marylile, Madridian Sergio M, Gerhard L, Ladner Jack, Glen B, Jim K, Marion S, Kirsten W, Whitby’s Janice M, Denise (Uma) K, Alan & Liz, Sisters Maureen & Pat, Mission “local” Laurie K, Island Marti and me.

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Filed under *DNCB, Bald Eagle, Eagle Point Park Observatory, Harrison Mills, Inch Creek Salmon Hatchery, Kilby Park, Pretty Estates Observatory, White Sturgeon

DNCB Outing No. 2015-46 to Terra Nova Park

"Selfie" of 6 wet DNCB at Terra Nova (P&A)

“Selfie” of 6 wet DNCB at Terra Nova (P&A)

Only six hardy souls braved the elements on Tuesday on our outing to Terra Nova Park in Richmond.  We saw a few birds and other neat stuff (e.g. Perigeal Raft); check out Pascale’s i-phone photos on our DNCB Picasa site.

It was pouring rain at Petra’s at 7:30 a.m. and only Mike B and visiting birder Janice M from Whitby, Ont. were there to join me.  The traffic was heavy but the incessant chatter made the trip to Terra Nova less onerous and seemingly quicker than it actually was.  We got to the dike trail parking lot about 8:15 a.m. and surprisingly, bundled-up Pascale & Alberto were waiting for us.  Also there was Paul Levesque, a Founder of WildResearch (among their programs is the Bird Study and Banding at Iona) who was “working” and unable to join us and share his expertise.  It was still raining, so no one used their good cameras; however, Pascale took some artsy photos, including a Selfie of the Fab Six (Richmond Donna joined us on the trail), our mandatory Group Photo.

There were two pair of Buffleheads in the river, along with one Common Loon, several Double-crested Cormorants and lots of Mallards and American Wigeon.  A flock of Sanderling gave a fly-past.  Our new best friend Janice had an awesome Scope which she even carried herself.

Eurasian Wigeon (m) (P&A)

Eurasian Wigeon (m) (P&A)

We picked out a Eurasian Wigeon in the raft and talented Pascale took an excellent photo through the scope with just her phone.

We saw large flocks of European Starlings and Rock Pigeons on the wires; you may interpret that if I mention these common invasive species, this report may not be too exciting.  Stick and pitch.


Skull and bones in an owl pellet (P&A)

We entered Terra Nova Park through the new Adventure Playground. In the first pond were some Mallards and a neat Pied-billed Grebe.  Not much else in the reeds or the bushes.  At the Community Gardens an Anna’s Hummingbird was trying vainly to get to a feeder, annoyingly guarded by Alberto.  A flock of Bushtits flitted by and we saw Golden-crowned Kinglets too.  Under the trees at the Administration House, we found some Owl Pellets which I opened in my hand to display the mole/vole bones.  We couldn’t find an Owl in the conifers.  We crossed the road to follow the trail past the home backyards.  No active feeders at the houses, so we didn’t see any little birds other than Spotted Towhees and Song Sparrows.  More Wigeons, including another Eurasian, Gadwall and Green-winged Teal in the field ponds.  As we circled around past the Quilchena Golf Course, back toward the dike trail, some saw a Coyote in the field, beneath a Barn Owl box.

We crossed the dike trail through the bushes to the shore.  The tide was very high completely covering the shore right up to the bushes.  Three Red-breasted Mergansers, Bald Eagles and Northern Harriers cruised by, but the Snow Geese weren’t here. Obeying Richmond Donna’s instructions, we followed an inland trail back to the parking lot.  The rain had stopped, it was less windy and frankly, quite mild now (around 10:30 a.m.).  This was quite a productive trail.  In one big pond, in addition to the above-mentioned waterfowl species, were Northern Shovelers, Hooded Mergansers, one lone Trumpeter Swan and a pair of Ring-necked Ducks.  In the trees we saw Pine Siskins, House Finches, Golden-crowned Sparrows and lots of other common species (e.g. Northern flickers).

Back at the parking lot, a flock of Snow Geese (lots of juveniles) was camped in front of my vehicle, thrilling Whitby Janice.  She got some excellent shots with her good camera.  Two Horned Grebes were in the river.  It was around 11:00 a.m. and we had had enough.  Mike, Janice and I returned to Tsawwasen and dined again at the Rose & Crown Pub.  A couple of Carlsberg pints deliciously washed down my Roast Beef Sandwich, Salad and shared Fries.  Despite the initially inclement weather, it was a very enjoyable morning, with some beaut folk.

Next Tuesday, November 24, we have an “Away” outing to Harrison Mills and Cascade Falls Regional Park.  We will leave Petra’s at 7:30 a.m. and plan to meet somewhere in Harrison Mills around 9:00 a.m.  This will be my first outing to these places, so check our website for current information about where and when we expect to meet in Harrison Mills and then Cascade Falls.  As always, your comments are welcome, and please advise if you want to be removed from my List to receive this drivel.  Cheers: Tom

Tom Bearss, President, Delta Naturalists’ Society

7:30 am leave Petra’s
9:15 – 9:30 meet at Kilby Park campground (west end of Kilby Road)

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Filed under *DNCB, Bald Eagle, Eurasian Wigeon, Northern Harrier, Terra Nova

DNCB Outing No. 2015-45 to Stanley Park

DNCB at Stanley Park (TC)

DNCB at Stanley Park (TC) – click on photo for large version

Twenty-four folk spent a cool (10˚ C) but comfortable Tuesday morning wandering around Vancouver’s “jewel”, Stanley Park.  Lots of neat bird, and animal, sightings; check out the photo evidence by Denise (aka Uma), Pat, Terry, Glen and Marion on our DNCB Picasa site.

Three carloads left Petra’s at 7:30 a.m. and the morning traffic was horrendous, not so much going through the tunnel, but on Oak and Granville Streets.  We got to Second Beach around 8:45 a.m. and the masses were waiting, including Stormcat’s newbie friends Roy and Gordon.  We gathered at the point by the swimming pool and Terry took the annoying but obligatory Group Photo (21).  It was a bit overcast but no rain, and the tide was receding.  Lots of Barrow’s and a few Common Goldeneye around, some seemingly thinking about doing their weird, back-breaking mating ritual.   One Horned and a few Red-necked Grebes were there too.  We walked along the path toward 3rd Beach.  We saw the regular stuff, American Wigeon, Double-crested and Pelagic Cormorants, Surf Scoters, Buffleheads (one diving in the swimming pool), Common Mergansers, a flock of Black Oystercatchers, and the gorgeous Harlequin Ducks.  Most waterfowl were already in brilliant breeding plumage which thrilled us Candy Birders.  We heard and some saw a flock of Red Crossbills, and a large flock of Pine Siskins posed, swarmed, and entertained us on the beach.  The path was littered with broken clam shells, dropped there by the crafty Northwestern Crows and Glaucous-winged Gulls.

We didn’t make it to the “folk artwork” in the concrete and stone strip that separates walkers from bikers that begins where the asphalt path goes up to the Third Beach concession.  Aussie Nance was getting cold, so we turned back to the Lost Lagoon Trail.  Just as we crossed the road to the Lagoon trail, three huge River Otters approached us in the reeds, then scampered back to the creek.  The photogs were thrilled to follow these animals as they wound their way along the creek, catching and eating fish.  We met Maureen and Pat on the bridge and they had seen FIVE Otters.  From the bridge, Anne saw a Hermit Thrush, while the rest of us saw the regular four Sparrow species (Song, Fox, White- and Golden-crowned), Chestnut-backed Chickadees (coming to our hands for food), Towhees, Juncos and one Anna’s Hummingbird.  As we walked around the Lagoon, Golden-crowned Kinglets and some singing and posing Bushtits appeared in the shoreline shrubs.

In the Lagoon were gorgeous Wood Ducks, and almost-as-gorgeous Hooded Mergansers.  American Coots, Northern Shovelers, the resident Mute Swans, a Pied-billed Grebe, and a lone female Ring-necked Duck caught our attention too.  Our Spanish visitor Sergio was impressed by the Beaver evidence of chewed tree stumps.  Then he, and others were thrilled by a bunch of playful Racoons that sort of followed us, I think expecting handouts.  Meanwhile Marion finally saw a normally-common Northern Flicker and a Chestnut-backed Chickadee.  We got back to the vehicles at 2nd Beach and met Langley’s Lost Laurie whose bus connections apparently were faulty.  Approaching noon, we decided to end the outing and not go to Beaver Lake.  Mike, Anne and I dined at Tsawwassen’s Rose & Crown where the daily special of a sort of egg and other stuff sandwich, plus a pint of Coors Lite, hit the spot.  Another beaut DNCB outing.

Next Tuesday, November 17, we will leave Petra’s at 7:30 a.m. for Terra Nova Park in Richmond.  We expect to meet at the back/dike parking lot around 8:00 a.m.  As always, comments welcome, and let me know if you want off my List to receive these meandering missives.  Hope you “remembered” today.  Cheers: Tom

Tom Bearss, President, Delta Naturalists’ Society

Check out Tom’s Report on DNS Barn Owl Box “Tour” at King’s Links, November 12, 2015

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Filed under Barrow's Goldeneye, Black Oystercatcher, Harlequin Duck, Hermit Thrush, Lost Lagoon, Pelagic Cormorant, Pied-billed Grebe, Raccoon, Red Crossbill, Red-necked Grebe, River Otter, Second Beach, Stanley Park, Third Beach

DNCB Outing No. 2015-44 to Point Roberts, USA

18 DNCB at Lighthouse Marine Park, Point Roberts (minus 9 latecomers)

18 DNCB at Lighthouse Marine Park, Point Roberts (minus 9 latecomers) – click on photo to see large version

A cast of thousands (actually 27, see names at end) enjoyed another gorgeous Tuesday morning (yesterday) of birding in Pt. Roberts, USA.  It was a banner morning, but you will have to read to the end of this exhausting epic to learn the species seen (~65), some rare, and/or check out the photo evidence on our DNCB Picasa site.

Twelve of us left Petra’s at 7:30 a.m. in 5 vehicles and went through a very smooth Border to meet at Lighthouse Marine Park at 8:00 a.m.  Car-pooling was virtually ignored; with the gas price at a bargain US $0.629 per litre, we had as many as 18 vehicles in our convoy at times during the day.  The tide was high, the water calm, and sun shining brilliantly, unusual but very welcome in November.  Red-necked Grebes, Common Loons, both Pelagic and Double-crested and Pelagic Cormorants (probably Brandt’s too) and Surf Scoters were diving close to shore.  We meandered along the path toward the “lighthouse” and saw Red-breasted Mergansers and White-winged Scoters.  Interestingly, at the lighthouse we saw Horned and Western Grebes, and Black Scoters fly by to complete the 3 Grebe and 3 Scoter species seen.

From the Lighthouse, although we only had two scopes, Ken’s and our “weak” DNS scope, we had a utopia of bird, and Steller Sea Lion, sightings.  Beautiful Harlequin Ducks were close to shore.  Among the Gulls, mostly Glaucous-winged, out further were several Common Murres and Pigeon Guillemots (no Rhinoceros Auklets).  Flocks of Bonaparte’s Gulls were cruising there too and some identified Mew and California Gulls.  We got several photos of orange-billed Heermann’s Gulls that have not yet gone south.  We were blanked on seeing any Terns or Jaegers, seen on past visits here at this time.  Anne saw a Marbled Murrelet and a Pacific Loon.  Flocks of Canada and Snow Geese flew over and we saw Brant Geese too (no Trumpeter Swans, but they have arrived).  A Black Oystercatcher flew by as did a nice flock of Sanderlings; some saw Dunlin.  Black Turnstones foraged in the stones in front of us.  We did not see the Surfbird, but Anne found it here when she returned in the afternoon.  We did not see the Whimbrel either, but Tall Rick reported it seen across the bay at the Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal that afternoon, with a Ruddy Turnstone.

With the usual annoying corralling, Ken took the obligatory Group Photo (18 with 9 time-challenged not included) at the Lighthouse, with the brilliant sun in our faces.  Then we walked further south along the shore.  Lots of Greater Scaup seen, and probably Lesser too.  We took the inland park trail back to the parking lot but didn’t see much in the bushes, other than common stuff such as the four Sparrow species, Song, White- and Golden-crowned and Fox, heard a Bewick’s Wren.  Northern Flickers and Downy Woodpeckers were around.  We convoyed in umpteen vehicles along Marine Drive/Edwards Drive toward the Marina, stopping at the “pond on the left”, where a large flock of elegant Hooded Mergansers caught our attention, males with their hoods up in full view.  Buffleheads, American Wigeon and Mallards were also in this pond and a Red-tailed Hawk was perched overlooking the ducks.

At the Marina, we gathered before walking to the rocky shore.  Four beautiful Western Meadowlarks welcomed and escorted us to the water.  More Harlequins, Scaup, Scoters and Grebes at the marina entrance and we searched the rocks in vain for our Target Bird, the rare Rock Wren.  Surprisingly, while watching the flock of Black Turnstones, Terry spotted a Snow Bunting join them.  This bird hung around and everyone got good looks and photos.  A couple of Killdeer joined the group too, while the noisiest pair of Belted Kingfishers ever surrounded us.  House Finches and more Sparrows seen here, including a Lincoln’s Sparrow.

Approaching 10:30 a.m. and being impatient, we left the Marina and convoyed to Lily Point Park.  The very patient Kirsten stayed and finally saw the Rock Wren around 12:30 p.m., interestingly posing on a rock where a number of our photogs were sitting earlier.  Anne & Ken watched a magnificent stag in a field 300 m from the border.

Stag near US/Canada border (KB)

Stag near US/Canada border (KB)

At Lily Point we walked to the Lookout and gazed across the Bay at Delta, Surrey, White Rock, Blaine, the San Juan and Gulf Islands; a magical vista.  Far below were many rafts of birds, mostly specks, but we did identify Scaup, Scoters, Harlequin, Mergansers and a few Long-tailed Ducks.  We walked the forest trail and heard (some saw) both Ruby and Golden-crowned Kinglets.  Of course, we also heard Pacific Wrens and Rob & Marylile saw a Pileated Woodpecker.  Some saw Varied Thrush, but we missed Hummingbirds which I’m sure are there somewhere.  At Noon we met back at the Lily Point parking lot washrooms, and, because all the acceptable restaurants in Point Bob were closed today, we (10) decided to return to Mario’s in Tsawwassen for lunch.  A couple of pints of German beer and Beef Dip lunch hit the spot after a banner morning of birding.  You can download Anne Murray’s list of 65 species seen today.

Next Tuesday, November 10, we will leave Petra’s at 7:30 a.m. for Stanley Park.  As usual, we will meet at the Second Beach parking lot, near the swimming pool, around 8:15/8:30 a.m., depending on traffic.

On Monday, Nov. 2 your DNS Birds Committee gave a Presentation to Delta’s Mayor and Council promoting our vision for a Delta Birds and Biodiversity Strategy.  I think it was well-received; check it out at: http://www.delta.ca/your-government/mayor-council/meetings-workshops/council-meetings-online.  Also on Tuesday evening, we had our popular Delta Nats monthly meeting and AGM, electing an almost-fantastic, new (actually old) Executive.  Your Club is in great shape and doing tonnes of super stuff, and having fun doing it.  Check out reports, photos and other neat stuff on our website!

As always, comments encouraged, and let me know if this seemingly-endless verbiage bores you and you want off my List.  Cheers: Tom

Tom Bearss, President, Delta Naturalists’ Society

P.S. The Twenty-seven were: Guru Anne M, webmaster Ken B & Anne A, photogs Terry C, Glen B, Jim K, sisters Pat & Maureen, Denise (aka Uma Thurman), and Roger (Two) K, Bird Box Ladner Jack, Lidia, Rob & Marylile, Nicki B, Mikie B, patient Kirsten W, and me are the 18 in the photo.  Other participants throughout the day included: shy but loquacious Mandy, time-challenged but awesome photogs Pascale & Alberto and Jonathan & Lorraine, our wayward Marian P, our linguistic Giant White Rock AL and his chauffeur Alice, and our own rabble-rouser healthy Tall Rick S.  That’s 27.  Later on Tuesday, Pascale & Alberto saw and photographed a Rough-legged Hawk and a Long-eared Owl on the Boundary Bay dike path near 72nd Street.

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Filed under *DNCB, Bald Eagle, Black Oystercatcher, Black Scoter, Black Turnstone, Bonaparte's Gull, Brandt's Cormorant, California Gull, Common Murre, Harlequin Duck, Heermann's Gull, Hooded Merganser, Lighthouse Marine Park, Lily Point Park, Lincoln’s Sparrow, Long-eared Owl, Long-tailed Duck, Marbled Murrelet, Pelagic Cormorant, Pigeon Guillemot, Point Roberts, Red-breasted Merganser, Red-necked Grebe, Red-tailed Hawk, Rough-legged Hawk, Ruddy Turnstone, Snow Bunting, Steller Sea Lion, Western Meadowlark

DNCB Outing No. 2015-43 to Campbell Valley Regional Park


DNCB at Campbell Valley Regional Park • Wim & Mandy hiding • latecomers Pascale & Alberto not in photoclick on photo to see large version

Photos by Ken (KB), Pascale & Alberto (P&A), Jim (JK), Liz (LS), Pat (PS) and Maureen (MS)
– more at the DNCB Picasa site

At about 8:00 on a sunny, albeit initially cool Tuesday morning, twenty one enthusiastic nature nuts assembled in the parking lot off 16th Avenue.  The group photo taken at the kiosk depicts the likenesses of Marylile, sisters Pat and Maureen, Denise – who joined the troupe last week and was named Uma Thurman by Tom – Gerhard, Jim, Bob, Liz, Anne, Laurie, WR Alice and Al, Wim (completely hidden by Rob), Donna, Mike, newbie Vanessa from Metro Van Parks, Tom, Gareth and picture taker Ken.  Totally out of the picture is Mandy, the second newcomer.  Also missing are late arrivals Pascale and Alberto who caught up to us in the deep woods and brought the total to twenty three trippers for the day.

Before marching the troop of birding junkies off into the autumnal forest, I could not resist enlightening or, some likely thought, burdening them once again with tidbits of information about the location.  Campbell Valley Park covers an area of 1370 acres and is a third larger than Stanley Park at 1000.  It is a varied mixture of forests, meadows and wetlands, and it has 29km of trails, including an equestrian trail of 11km; for comparison, Stanley Park’s Seawall is about 9km in length.  The area was farmed from the late 1880s to 1973 when much of it was acquired by Metro Vancouver to create the park.  The diverse landscapes have resulted in a bird checklist, compiled by the Langley Naturalists, of an impressive 174 species.

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After the customary hellos and idle chitchat, we headed toward the Vine Maple Trail, a narrow winding pathway which lives up to its descriptive name.  It became quickly obvious that the forest had also suffered damage during the wind storm of August 29; a number of deciduous trees had fallen across the path, as witnessed by Anne A. in a photo taken by Ken.

Another picture shows that saw left behind by a logger aeons ago and now embedded in the double trunk of an Oregon Maple.  Only a few birds such as Pacific and Bewick’s Wrens, Pileated and Downie Woodpeckers and the two types of Chickadees were audible, but not sighted clearly, in this section of the park.  What was seen, however, were many varieties of mushrooms which no one volunteered to test for edibility.

After about an hour on the narrow trail, we connected with the Little River Loop.  Near and on the Listening Bridge, we finally got to observe and take snapshots of a few species including Steller’s Jays, Towhees and the common Sparrows and Chickadees.

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Most participants walked through the open meadows to the historic Langley Speedway, where some caught a glimpse of a speeding Peregrine Falcon.  Sightings became more sundry as well as entertaining along the eastern side of the Little River Loop leading back to the starting point.  Yellow-Pine Chipmunks and Douglas Squirrels were munching on handouts along the route,

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and several participants enticed numerous Black-capped and Chestnut-backed Chickadees and a Nuthatch to snatch tasty morsels from their hands.

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Both Golden-crowned and Ruby-crowned Kinglets were photographed; indeed, Liz managed to get a snapshot of a male of the latter species with that look of concern.  Because the little river was overgrown with reeds, only several Mallards and a Muskrat came into view at the second bridge,

but in the sky, two Red-tailed Hawks were tallied in addition to the Cooper’s Hawk seen earlier.

The outing ended back in the parking lot at 11:30.  While most of the trekkers decided to return to Tsawwassen to eat, drink and be merry in the Rose & Crown Pub, a couple headed to a lake in Hougan Park, Abbottsford to see the Pacific Loon in breeding garb.

Pacific Loon (Marion)

Pacific Loon (Marion)

Alice, Wim and I opted for a stop at Mclean Pond across 16th Avenue where we were able to add five species to the day’s checklist, including a soaring Harrier and three Killdeer lolling about in the tree farm.  Although the bird count was meagre – just 30 species were observed or heard only – everyone agreed that it was another worthwhile DNCB outing.  We enjoyed a great day with fine fall weather, good fellowship and wonderful pictures taken.

Al Schulze

Langley Naturalists’ President, Bob Puls, has listed our sightings on “eBird” and you can view his list at: http://ebird.org/ebird/shared?subID=UzI1NTcxMTM1&s=t(If you don’t already have an account, you will have to set one up before you can see Bob’s list)

Next Tuesday, November 3, we will leave Petra’s at 7:30 a.m. on an outing to Point Roberts, USA.  We will meet in the Lighthouse Park around 8:00 a.m.  Our Delta Nats November meeting, and AGM, will be that evening (Nov. 3) at 7:30 p.m. at the Benediction Lutheran Church in Tsawwassen.  UBC Professor, Kathy Martin will give a presentation on Cavity Nesting Birds.

Also, on Monday evening of November 2, Delta Nat Anne Murray (and Tom) will be giving a Presentation on our proposal for a “Delta Birds and Biodiversity Strategy” to Delta’s Mayor and Council at Delta’s City Hall in Ladner.  Show your support by attending in the Council Chamber at 7:00 p.m. sharp.  Cheers: Tom

Tom Bearss, President, Delta Naturalists’ Society

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Filed under *DNCB, Campbell Valley, Chipmunk, Cooper's Hawk, Douglas Squirrel, Muskrat, Northern Harrier, Peregrine Falcon, Red-tailed Hawk

DNCB Report No. 2015-42 to Brunswick Point

Photos by Glen (GB), Liz (LS), Pascale & Alberto (P&A), Jonathan (JM) & Tony (TM)

Photogs (GB)

Pascale & Jonathan (GB)

Twenty-three DNCBers (names at the end of this report) spent another beautiful Delta morning walking the dike trail at Brunswick Point (BP).  There were many thousands of birds using this Roberts Bank IBA (Important Bird Area) to feed on their migratory flight from the north.  Check out the gorgeous photo evidence on our DNCB Picasa site, and on the ILB’s photo site.

After leaving Petra’s, we all met at 8:00 a.m. at the entrance to Brunswick Point at the end of River Road.  As always, following our frivolous introductory chatter, we started our walk at the mouth of this south arm of the Fraser River.  Not much in the river, but in the bushes along the trail we saw lots of stuff including: four Sparrow species (Song, Fox, Golden- and White-crowned), separate flocks of Pine Siskins and Cedar Waxwings, House Finches and American Goldfinches, some brilliant Golden-crowned Kinglets, Marsh Wrens, Eurasian Collared-Doves, and of course, Towhees, Robins, Red-winged Blackbirds, Chickadees and everyone’s favourite, Great Blue Herons.

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Other sightings included, Northern Flickers, flocks of Double-crested Cormorants, lots of Northern Harriers and a neat Peregrine Falcon hoping/trying to get lucky with a Shorebird meal.

There were literally thousands and thousands of Snow Geese (many juveniles) on the bank and flying overhead (a good breeding year on Wrangel Island, Russia).

Among them were thousands of Shorebirds, mostly Dunlin, Black-bellied Plovers

and other Peeps (Western Sandpipers), and thousands of Waterfowl, mostly Green-winged Teal with Northern Pintail, Northern Shoveler, American Wigeon among them.  Do you get my point?  There were a helluva lot of birds there.

A Coyote skulked across the Bay, but didn’t seem to disturb the birds much.

Bald Eagles raised a few at times.

DNCB at Brunswick Point (missing Al & Alice) (TM)

DNCB at Brunswick Point (missing Al & Alice) (TM)

cyclist Al w. Mike, Roger & Tom (P&A)

cyclist Al w. Mike, Roger & Tom (P&A)

We took the Group Photo (21) midway down the path, facing the brilliant sun rise.  Note the Newbie Denise (aka Uma Thurman) in the photo, but White Rock’s Al (on his bike) & Alice arrived late.

You will also see some beautiful flower photos on our Picasa site.

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Ring-necked Pheasant (GB)

Ring-necked Pheasant (JM)

On leaving the Point, a brilliant male Ring-necked Pheasant stood in the middle of the road, then scampered off into the grass.

We were blanked on Owls and American Bitterns which we have seen on other BP outings.  A few of us (Roger, Jim K, two WR Al’s, Mike B, Glen B and me) dined again at Speed’s Pub in Ladner and my Fish & Chips and two 1516 beer were awesome.  And surprisingly, the service was good too.  Another fantastic DNCB outing.

Next Tuesday, October 27, we will leave Petra’s at 7:30 a.m. for Campbell Valley Park.  We expect to meet others around 8:15 a.m. at the 16th Avenue entrance parking lot.  As always, comments invited, and let me know if you want off my List to receive these annoying missives.  Cheers: Tom

Tom Bearss, President, Delta Naturalists’ Society

Fearless leader Tom (GB)

Fearless leader Tom (GB)

The 23 were:  Roger M, Jonathan w/o Lorraine, Rob & Marylile, Mike B, Marion S, Tony M (aka ILB), Liz S, Jim K, Ladner Jack, Alberto & Pascale, Pat w/o Maureen, Kirsten, WR Al & Alice, Lidia J, Patrick & Joanne, Richmond Donna, Glen B, Newbie Vancouver Denise (aka Uma Thurman) and me.

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Filed under *DNCB, Black-bellied Plover, Brunswick Point, Coyote, Northern Harrier, Peregrine Falcon, Ring-necked Pheasant

DNCB Outing No. 2015-41 to Iona Regional Park


DNCB at Ions (P&A) – click on photo to see large version

TM_DNCB_group20151014-DSC06244Photos by Terry (TC), Glen (GB), Marion (MS), Tony (TM), Roger (RM), Pascale & Alberto (P&A)

Wow!  We had about 33 almost-manageable participants on a gorgeous Wednesday morning at Iona Regional Park and the adjacent Sewage Lagoons.  The tide was high, sky clear and jacket-less temperature.  Check out the photo evidence on our DNCB Picasa site.

We met at the Iona RP washroom parking lot around 8:00 a.m.  I arrived early, by-passing Petra’s, and found Hooded Mergansers in the main pond and juvenile Killdeer on the Bay shoreline with the flocks of Snow Geese.  Following introductions and idle gossip, we took the Group Photo here to get it over with.  Wendy Vreeken and John joined us from Metro Vancouver Parks with their huge camera equipment.  They collected videos and interviews during the outing for use on their MV website, hopefully to showcase our DNCB outing.

The day’s sightings included: Northern Shrike, large flocks of Snow and Canada Geese,

five Sparrow species (Song, Fox, Golden- & White-crowned and Savannah), Marsh and Pacific Wrens, Merlin, Bald Eagles, large flocks of Double-crested Cormorants, Common Yellowthroat, Yellow-rumped Warblers, and Belted Kingfisher; shorebirds included Long-billed Dowitchers, Dunlin (much discussion about this one!), Pectoral Sandpiper and Killdeer (no swarms of Peeps as expected).

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Ducks/Waterfowl included Pied-billed Grebes, Ring-necked Ducks, American Coots, Northern Shovelers, Northern Pintail, Gadwall, Green-winged Teal, American Wigeon (perhaps a Eurasian) and Mallards, including a weird Leucistic Mallard hybrid.  Other common regulars included House Finches and American Goldfinches, Juncos and Chickadees, Robins and Towhees, Red-winged but no Yellow-headed Blackbirds.  We missed earlier-seen Western Meadowlarks and were blanked on seeing Rails (Sora, Virginia).

Returning to the parking lot at 11:30 a.m., we decided to end the Iona outing and drive to the dike path at the foot of Steveston Highway in Richmond to see the Tropical Kingbird.  See photo evidence on the DNCB Picasa site.

Attached is a brilliant report of our Iona outing beautifully authored, including his photos, by our own Indian Land Baron (ILB), Tony Mitra.  It’s titled “It happened at Iona“:

A species of hominids attempted to describe an entire class of Aves, and a member of the hominid gang made a report… (etc.)

– I hope you enjoy Tony’s Tale as much as I did!

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Next Tuesday, October 20 (not Wednesday), we will meet at and leave from Petra’s at 7:30 a.m. on an outing to Brunswick Point (River Road entrance at 8:00 a.m.).  Today (Thursday), several Nats examined and cleaned our DNS Nest Boxes at BB Regional Park (30), Earthwise (12) and Tsatsu Shores (4).  Tomorrow (Friday), some of us will do the same to our 30 boxes on Kings Links Golf Course.  Cheers: Tom.

Tom Bearss, President, Delta Naturalists’ Society

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Filed under *DNCB, Bald Eagle, Hooded Merganser, Iona, Long-billed Dowitcher, Merlin, Northern Shrike, Pectoral Sandpiper, Tropical Kingbird