Photos by Brian Avent (BA), Terry Carr (TC), Jack MacDonald (JMacD), Pat Smart (PS) at our DNCB Flickr website.
Sixteen DNCBers spent a very pleasant Tuesday morning wandering around Stanley Park. And we saw some neat species, up-close-and-personal as depicted by the gorgeous photos on our Flickr site at: https://www.flickr.com/search/?group_id=3027315%40N23&text=2018-12&view_all=1.
We car-pooled from Petra’s Kafe at 7:30 am; Mike B1 had Roger, Johnny Mac & Terry, Glen took Mike B2, and I had Ladner Jack Mac and PB Lorna. Nice, peaceful drive (Kids are off school) to the 2nd Beach parking lot, arrived at 8:15 am. Richmond Brian was there, David & Noreen, Sisters Pat & Maureen, Marion S and Rupert Fisherman Roy (w/o Solveig) arrived shortly thereafter. That’s our sweet 16. Of course, the painful and frustrating Pay Parking machines were not working. We/I calmed down and set the scope on the rafts of birds in English Bay.
About 300 Surf Scoters were packed together, cavorting and diving in unison. Sort of weird to see (see photos and Ladner Jack’s video). And rafts of Barrow’s Goldeneye together too. Also, sporadically around these, were a few Bufflehead, Horned Grebes, both Common and Pelagic Cormorants, and a couple of Common Goldeneye. David H took the Group Photo before we strolled along the Seawall Path.
The tide was high, so we didn’t see Oystercatchers or other shorebirds. The spectacular Harlequin Ducks were there in brilliant breeding plumage. Three Western Grebes gave us a fleeting look before disappearing. Great Blue Herons were there too from their recently-occupied Heronry in the Park. We didn’t go far along the Seawall and decided to turn around and do the Lost Lagoon Trail.
We saw most of the regular “little birds” on this park walk: Anna’s Hummingbirds, Sparrows (Fox, Song, Golden-crowned), Black-capped Chickadees (some saw Chestnut-backed), a flock of Bushtits, Spotted Towhees, Downy Woodpeckers, Northern Flickers, Finches, etc. The native Douglas Squirrels are neat too; we don’t see them in Delta. A large raft of Lesser Scaup (~300 birds) landed majestically in the Lagoon. Three Common Mergansers posed on a log, and many brilliant Wood Ducks were cruising among the bushes and reeds near shore. A few American Coots still here among the American Wigeon, Mallards and a few Green-winged Teal. The regularly-seen Snow Goose was there too; we were unsuccessful in making it a Ross’s Goose. Not sure whether we were successful in identifying any Greater Scaup among the Lessers. Glen got some neat shots of some new Spring flora. I enjoyed PB Lorna’s Peanut Butter sandwich on this peaceful stroll around the Lagoon.
It was approaching 11:00 am when I had to leave for Opening Day of Tsawwassen Men’s Golf Club at the Tsawwassen Springs course. Meanwhile, the group continued on to Beaver Lake where they saw a Brown Creeper, leucistic Fox Sparrow and Varied Thrush along with many of the previous-mentioned species.
Then Nine DNCBers went to Milltown Bar & Grill for lunch; sorry I missed that (I had Chicken Wings with three pints of Pat Quinn Lager after shooting 92; too many double bogies). After lunch, some looked for the Summer Tanager on W 71 Ave. They did not find it, but saw several Downy Woodpeckers and House Finches. It was another awesome DNCB Tuesday.
Next Tuesday, March 27, we will leave Petra’s at 7:30 am for Point Roberts, expecting to meet others before 8:00 am at Lighthouse Marine Park parking lot.
For more info, reports and photos, check out our website. As always, your comments welcomed, and let me know if this weekly drivel annoys you and you want off my email list. Cheers: Tom
Tom Bearss, President, Delta Naturalists Society
Thursday, March 22: Sad news about Al Schultze
We just received news that Al passed away peacefully this morning at 8:00 A.M. at Peace Arch Hospital. The following is an excerpt from Tom’s email response to Fran:
WR Al was Champion to, with, and for us Delta Nats. He was always so friendly, relaxed and cool, while walking, riding his bike, or leading our DNCB outings. Everyone looked up to WR Al, and listened intently to his descriptions and explanations of the trees, flora, fauna and history of almost every park, marsh or habitat we visited. All questions were directed at WR Al, because he knew everything. We even listened intently to his tirades on ancestry, language dialects, and the evils of beer (only to his diet).
WR Al was the definition of a Team Member. He designed, organized, led, and reported on many outings for us. I especially enjoyed his outings to the USA and Campbell Valley Park. He always offered to transport others too. I think his most endearing quality, to me, such as at the post outing gatherings, was that he was simply a lot of fun to be with. Personally, Fran, I am devasted that WR Al has left us, but I feel really blessed to have known and hung around with such a pure, wholesome, and really nice guy. We will certainly Toast WR Al on our next DNCB outing. My thoughts, along with all us Delta Nats who knew and loved Al, are with you and your family. Regards: Tom
Tom Bearss, President, Delta Naturalists Society