DNCB Outing No. 2015-12 to Queen Elizabeth Park, Vancouver

DNCB at QE Park (photo by Roger) click on photo to see large version

DNCB at QE Park (photog. Roger not in photo) click on photo to see large version

Photos by Marion (MS), Jim (JK), Liz (LS), Terry (TC), Glen (GB), David M (DM) and Pascale & Alberto (P&A) at Picasa website

Twenty-two DNCBers enjoyed our last Tuesday morning of birding (Wednesdays next month) at Queen Elizabeth Park and the Bloedel Conservatory in Vancouver.  Hi-lites included a Barred Owl, beautiful Spring blossoms and early flowers, about 50 new species on our tour of the Bloedel Conservatory, and a lovely lunch at Cravings.  Check-out the very colourful photos on our DNCB Picasa site.

Nine of us car-pooled from Petra’s at 8:00 a.m.  Rush hour traffic was a bit heavy, especially on Cambie St., but we got to the tennis court parking lot just after 8:45 a.m.  The rest of the group were already studying the Ruby-crowned Kinglets and Pine Siskins in the conifers next to the parked vehicles.

Lots of evidence of Red-breasted Sapsuckers too, but we couldn’t locate any on our search of its normal hang-out trees.  We did see Downy Woodpeckers and Northern Flickers.

We started our walk through the flower beds from the golf shop.  No hummingbirds at the feeder (workers were there), but we saw several Anna’s during the morning, but no Rufous Hummingbirds.

After finally corralling everyone from their wanderings and “courtesy” breaks, Roger took the obligatory Group Photo by the golf shop.

We proceeded along the “lower trail” and Hutton’s Vireos along with Fox and Song Sparrows were in the bushes.  Robins around too and a couple of Varied Thrush gave us some nice poses.

Varied Thrush (TC)

Varied Thrush (TC)

We saw several pairs of Bushtits making nests which thrilled Liz (and others).  Pacific Wrens were buzzing too and some even saw and photographed one or two.

We saw more Kinglets and Mary heard Golden-crowned but no one was able to photograph them.  Although we were early for most of the flowers, several species were in full bloom and the gardens were gorgeous.

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It’s amazing what has been done to this former quarry.  And the view from the hilltop of the city and mountains behind was exhilarating, despite it being a cloudy morning.

We searched the big trees at the bottom for the Barred Owl, in vain, but heard Brown Creepers.  Most then just wandered the paths aimlessly, chatting predictably about their “amazing” sightings on other days.  Meanwhile Keener Kirsten found the Barred Owl, so we traipsed down to see it.

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(TC)

Roger opened a few pellets below it and noted that this owl was feeding on rats, unlike our Delta owls that eat mostly smaller voles.  We got back up to the top in front of the Bloedel Conservatory at about 11:30 a.m.

(RM)

(RM)

 

Although not planned, we decided to take advantage of the Group Rate and 14 of us toured the Conservatory.  About 200 exotic birds live inside and you can see some beaut photos on our Picasa site, and in the slideshow below.  The Bird Watcher’s Check List was very helpful in identifying these brilliant parrots, macaws, finches and other exotic species from Africa, Asia, Australia and South America.  Mike even had a friendly chat with Kramer, the Moluccan Cockatoo.

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We left the Park round 12:30 p.m. and nine of us went for lunch at Cravings Restaurant on 72nd Avenue near the Oak Street Bridge.  I splurged on the chicken & fig linguine with the mandatory pint of lager.  We got back to Petra’s shortly after 2:00 p.m.; another almost-fantastic DNCB outing.

Next Wednesday (not Tuesday), April 1, we will meet at and leave from Petra’s at 7:30 a.m. (not 8:00 a.m.) on an outing to Ladner Harbour and the South Arm Marsh Parks.  Check out our DNCB website for reports, photos and info on future DNCB Outing Destinations and other Delta Nats stuff.  As always, comments welcome and let me know if these meandering missives annoy you and you want off my list.  Cheers: Tom

Tom Bearss, President, Delta Naturalists’ Society

P.S. Participants (21) were: Photogs Roger M, Terry C, Marion S, Liz S, Glen B , Alberto & Pascale, Jim K. Others included Guru Mary T, Rob & Marylile, David M, Richmond’s Bill and Donna, affable Otto, Mikie B, Patrick O G and garbling Gerhard, Keener Kirsten, Aussie Nance and me.

Next DNS Meeting: Tuesday April 7, speaker Larry Cowan on “A Peruvian Birding Adventure – Lima to the heart of the Amazon”, at Benediction Lutheran Church, Tsawwassen.

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Filed under Barred Owl, Bloedel Conservatory, Queen Elizabeth Park

DNCB Outing No. 2015-11 to Iona Regional Park

DNCB at Iona (minus wayward “Rail Searchers” & JB) (KB)

DNCB at Iona (minus wayward “Rail Searchers” & Janice B) (KB) click on photo to see large version

Photos by Glen (GB), Ken (KB) and Pascale & Alberto (P&A)

Almost 30 (actually 28-see names at end) DNCBer’s toured Iona Regional Park and the adjacent Sewage Lagoons on another dry and comfortable Tuesday morning.  Hi-lites included lots of Waterfowl species, a few Shorebirds, lots of idle chatter with Newbies, and a tasty lunch at the Flying Beaver on the Fraser.  Check out the photo evidence on our DNCB Picasa site.

Nine of us left Petra’s at 8:00 a.m. in three vehicles; good carpooling for using the HOV lanes.  Driving past the airport we saw a “non-tagged” Red-tailed Hawk and a couple of Ravens.  Mary T also saw a small flock of Dowitchers, and some others even saw a Short-eared Owl on the Airport fence.

jailbird – Short-eared Owl (KB)

We met the masses at the Iona parking lot at 8:40 a.m.  While giving the Intro Welcome, we watched three Common Mergansers and a few Lesser Scaup in the unusually flat and quiet front pond.  Lots of Marsh Wrens and colourful Red-winged Blackbirds around as well as Tree Swallows already guarding many of Peter & Ken H’s Boxes.

A few Violet Green Swallows were flitting over the pond too, but we did not identify any other Swallow species.  We meandered over to the beach and the Georgia Strait to check for Shorebirds.  None seen as the tide was low and the rafts of ducks (Northern Pintail, Surf Scoters) were far out.  We were aghast with the removal of the brush that used to cover this area and where we often saw rare “vagrants”.  There were two Bald Eagles on a log in the water.

Ken took the obligatory Group Photo here with the Strait behind and the brilliant morning sun facing us.  Of course, the wayward “Rail Searchers” Roger, Otto and Mike were absent as was time-challenged Janice B.

No Terns here either, so we began our walk back through the Park.  A Pied-billed Grebe was in the middle of the first pond and a Ring-necked Duck was skulking among the reeds.  Lots of Tree Swallows were pairing up on the nestboxes.

Virginia Rails were calling and some eventually saw one.  Both Ruby- and Golden-crowned Kinglets were seen as were other LBJ’s (Song, Golden-crowned and Fox Sparrows, House Finches, possible Savannah Sparrow).  The paths have been widened and cleared of Blackberry bushes by Metro Vancouver, so walking was very easy.  A large flock of Snow Geese flew over us and landed in its usual spot on the north side of the Fraser.

When we got to the Sewage Pond Gate a calamity occurred.  Our combination didn’t work, and the gate would not open.  Alberto & Anne A volunteered to walk around to enter at the front gate and then open this back gate for us.  Meanwhile, while waiting, we surveyed along the fence, saw a huge Painted Turtle, Marsh Wrens, Great-Blue Herons, Spotted Towhees, etc.  Our newbie “Monkey Wayne” decided to climb the fence over the barbed wire and tried the gate door from the other side.  It wouldn’t work.  So we adopted Plan B.  We left the Martyrs Alberto, Anne B and Wayne on the other side, and continued our walk back through Iona to the River.  Chivalrous Ken agreed to drive around to save them.

Not much seen in the treed area by the banding hut. We blanked on the Wilson’s Snipe although Monica saw it a little while later.  A few Gadwall, American Wigeons and Northern Pintail were around the log booms in the river.  No activity yet at the Purple Martin Boxes, and Yellow-headed Blackbirds have not yet arrived.  A glorious flock of Trumpeter Swans glided in to join the Snow Geese on the other side of the river.

We hurried back to the parking lot to drive to the front gate of the Sewage Ponds.

The combination worked at the front gate and the ponds were full of waterfowl.  Lots of Lesser Scaup (of course, only Roger saw a Greater Scaup among them), Northern Shovelers, Northern Pintail, Gadwall, American Coots, American Wigeon, Mallards and a few neat Ring-necked Ducks.  And Canada Geese, some threatening passersby on the path.  The Tufted Duck and Redhead have left the area.

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Marian found a Killdeer wandering among the ducks in the mud and near a few Brewer’s Blackbirds.  Someone saw Brown-headed Cowbirds too.  Lots of Bald Eagles still around, but we saw no falcons or other raptors.  As I am writing this, I have come to the conclusion that we didn’t see a helluva lot of exciting stuff this morning. I think our/my expectations are too high as Iona is always an exciting birding spot.  Nonetheless, the inane conversations were, as usual, inane.  And most seem to have a fun morning.  Frankly, I did, and that’s what counts.

We left the ponds just after 11:30 a.m.  (I wrote my gate frustration in the Birder’s Report in the boook at the Gate).  About 10 of us went to the Flying Beaver along the other arm of the Fraser near the South Terminal.  The Fish & Chips and two beer were magnificent as we sat on the outside patio in the sun.  A few Trumpeters, a lonely Mute Swan and a Double-crested Cormorant entertained Mary T as the Gulf Island Float Planes loaded and took off.  Another awesome DNCB outing.

Next Tuesday, March 24 we will leave from Petra’s at 8:00 a.m. for Queen Elizabeth Park.  I expect to be at the QE Park parking lot above the tennis courts by the Golf Course around 8:45 a.m.  As always, comments welcome and check out the other Reports and Photos here on our DNCB website, let me know if these long-winded, boring reports irk you and you want off my List.  Cheers: Tom

Tom Bearss, President, Delta Naturalists’ Society

The 28 DNCBers were: Roger M, Mikie B, always loquacious Otto, Marian P, Jean G & Pauline O, time-challenged Janice B, our newbie “Monkey” Wayne G, White Rock Al and his single harem Alice, garrulous Gerhard, Pascale & Alberto, Martyrs Anne & Ken, Roger K, Aussie Nance, Kathy E, Richmond Donna, newbie Lidia, Dutch Tom and his friend Edmonton Joe, Johnny Mac (fitting appearance on St. Paddy’s Day), Guru Mary T, Kirsten W, Sheila Y, photog Glen and me.


Nature Vancouver Photo Competition Results
Annual Nature Vancouver photography contest will take place next Thurs, March 26 at Unitarian Church, 949 W. 49th, Vancouver, at 7:30.  Everyone is welcome, and the show is usually well attended.  There is a parking lot, and plenty of street parking if the lot is full.  Terry, Marion and Ursula usually enter a full slate of 10 photos.  It is a great learning opportunity as Ron Long gives out bits of constructive criticism during the show, plus you get to see what others are doing.  Marion Shikaze

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Filed under *DNCB, Bald Eagle, Iona, Red-tailed Hawk, Short-eared Owl, Virginia Rail

DNCB Outing No. 2015-10 “Birds on the Bay” Event in Boundary Bay Regional Park

BOTB Group at Centennial Beach (RM)

BOTB Group at Centennial Beach (photo by Roger) click on photo to see large version

Photos by Terry (TC), Glen (GB), Liz (LS), Ken (KB) and Pascale & Alberto (P&A)
on DNCB Picasa site

About 30 “casual” birders (see names at end) spent a very enjoyable 2 1/2 hour ramble around Boundary Bay Regional Park (BBRP) on an overcast but dry and comfortable Wednesday morning.  This was our Delta Nats quarterly “Birds on the Bay” outing.  Hi-lites included lots of Waterfowl species close to shore, a few neat smaller bird sightings, several “almost interesting newbies”, and a super feed of home-made goodies by the Delta Nats Ladies to end the walk.  Check out the photo evidence on our DNCB Picasa site.

(TC)

Assembling at Cammidge House (TC)

We met at historic Cammidge House (CH) at 9:00 a.m.  Following the signing up of several fresh faces and my introductory comments, the mass of 25 (others joined us on the trail later) started our walk along the road toward Centennial Beach.  I flushed a bunch of Mallards in the slough while a couple of Bald Eagles watched from the big tree by the parking lot.

Bald Eagle (juv) (TC)

Bald Eagle (juv) (TC)

At the re-invigorated pond surrounded by the many diverse native species planted by Metro Vancouver Parks, we saw lots of American Wigeons and one American Coot.  No Brewer’s Blackbirds seen, but Red-winged Blackbirds were in colourful and noisy form.

We walked across the sand to the shoreline; tide was high (unusual for our outings).  Lots of dabbling ducks close to shore but we couldn’t see any “divers” among the waves.  Six beaut Sanderling flew in and landed in front of us for their photo op.

We continued our walk along the trail sort of close to shore.  V’s of both Snow and Canada Geese occasionally flew above us.  The bushes were fairly quiet (bird-wise, but certainly not people-wise) along here; we saw Spotted Towhees, Song and Golden-crowned Sparrows.  We saw the flash of a bird with white on it swoop over the marsh and dive down, not to be seen again.  Otto was sure it was a Northern Shrike.  When we reached the Lookout, Roger took the mandatory Group Photo.  Lots of resident Northern Harriers gliding by but not yet performing their mating rituals.

Continuing along the dike trail next to the water, hundreds of Green-winged Teal and Northern Pintail were close-up-and-personal.  We searched in vain for the Common Teal.

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A few Gadwall were there too, and a small flock (~8) of Dunlin flew by.

Northern Flicker (TC)

Northern Flicker (TC)

A male Northern Flicker posed and pecked noisily on a fence post thrilling the photogs and newbies.

But the attraction as we approached the Pump House was the hundreds of Brant Geese.  Of course, our resident Brant Expert, Tall Rick was there doing his thing, counting and taking notes of bands.

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Among the Brant were American Wigeon, including one Eurasian Wigeon.  A flock of six Greater Yellowlegs took off from this group and some of us saw them.  In the Pump House pond was one female Bufflehead and one female Hooded Merganser.

Our DNS Bird Houses were quiet; we saw no Tree Swallows this day.

Downy Woodpecker (TC)

Downy Woodpecker (TC)

Following the inland trail back to CH, a male Downy Woodpecker gave us good looks.

Lots of other “lbj’s” (Little Brown Jobs) in the bushes including Dark-eyed Juncos, House Finches and Chickadees.  Also a yellow-shafted Northern Flicker.  We finally saw a Hummingbird and some got good shots of an Anna’s.

Anna's Hummingbird (TC)

Anna’s Hummingbird (TC)

We heard several Marsh Wrens, but I didn’t see one.  A pair of Northern Shovelers were in the Bert Brink slough.

Northern Shoveler (TC)

Northern Shoveler (TC)

We got back to Cammidge House at exactly 11:30 a.m. (excellent management by the Leader).  The Delta Nats Ladies (Jennifer, Elizabeth and Eleanor) were all smiles as the voracious vagabonds wolfed down their scrumptious home-made scones, cookies and Sandra’s egg salad sandwiches.

BOTB at Cammidge House (RM)

BOTB at Cammidge House (photo by Roger) click on photo to see large version

Some newbies including Nootka and her keen-eyed daughter Sarah toured historic Cammidge House.  Another super “Birds on the Bay” outing.

Next Tuesday, March 17, we will meet at and leave from Petra’s at 8:00 a.m. on an outing to Iona Regional Park.  Depending on traffic, we expect to be at the Iona Park parking lot around 8:30 a.m.  A reminder that the Wings Over Water event is on in Blaine, Washington this weekend.

As always, comments welcome, check out earlier reports and photos including last week’s outing to the Beaty Biodiversity Museum, on our DNCB website, and let me know if these missives annoy you and you want off my List. Cheers: Tom

Tom Bearss, President, Delta Naturalists’ Society

P.S. Participants were:  Scoper and Photog Roger M; other Photogs were Liz with guest Wayne, Glen, Terry, Ken & Anne and new DNS members Pascale & Alberto; DNCB Regulars were Kathy E, Marylile w/o Rob, Mike B, Fern, Gerhard, White Rock Al and his harem of one Alice, time challenged Otto and Dave M; Newbies included Nootka and daughter Sarah, Lidia J, Nugent (?), Wing Wong, Bernadette & hubby and Mary H; Brant Guru Richard S, and our Delta Nats Ladies Elizabeth, Jennifer and Eleanor.  That’s 31 including me, and I may have missed someone.

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Filed under Bald Eagle, BBRP, Birds-on-the-Bay, Eurasian Wigeon, Northern Harrier, Northern Shrike

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

See full set of photos by Terry (TC), Marion (MS), Ken (KB) & Pascale & Alberto (P&A) at DNCB Picasa site

DNCB & Blue Whale skeleton (KB)

DNCB & Blue Whale at Beaty Bioversity Museum, UBC (KB) (click photo to see large version)

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 Northern Flicker, Steller’s Jay and Song Sparrow were spotted.  We had our DNCB group photo taken by the lovely Frances in front of Totem residences.

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DNCB at Totem residences (photo taken by Frances, from UBC) – click on photo to see large version

The group proceeded north and west to briefly explore the Earth Sciences Building, the Pacific Museum of Earth with its dinosaur fossils,

and the Aquatic Ecosystems Research Lab where we met Professor Andrew Trites who was responsible for the suspended Minke Whale, Orca and three Pacific White-sided Dolphin skeletons in this building, as well as the Blue Whale skeleton in the Beaty Biodiversity Museum.

Professor Andrew Trites at Aquatic Ecosystems Research Lab (KB)

Professor Andrew Trites at Aquatic Ecosystems Research Lab (KB)

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At 10 a.m., met by Marylile, Annie and Rob, Geof and Jean, we entered the Beaty Biodiversity Museum.  We were awestruck at the massive skeleton of a 26 m long female Blue Whale floating magnificently above us in the atrium.  This Blue Whale washed ashore on Prince Edward Island in 1987, was dug up in 2008 and transported 6000 km to UBC, where it was reassembled (read how this was accomplished at http://www.beatymuseum.ubc.ca/blue-whale-project).

Ildiko Szabo, Assistant Curator of Birds (KB)

Ildiko Szabo, Assistant Curator of Birds (KB)

Thanks to Terry’s excellent organization, 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 taxidermy 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.

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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

Next week, the DNCB Outing will be “Birds on the Bay” on Wednesday, March 11, setting out from Cammidge House at 9 am to walk around Centennial Park and end back at Cammidge House around 11:30 am.

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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).

TM_DNCB_group_20150224-DSC03595

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)

KB_DNCB_Wim_Leona_DSC6135

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