We had 10 participants this morning on our DNCB outing along the dike, first at 72nd Street, then at 104th Street. It was a bit overcast, but mild and the tide was fairly high and receding. We drove the back roads by the farmers’ fields and the fast developing South Fraser Perimeter Road (SFPM) construction. Lots of Gulls and dabbling Ducks in the fields, and flocks of Snow and a few Canada Geese flying overhead.
The hedge rows had lots of Starlings, Robins, Finches and we saw one Savanah Sparrow. Bald Eagles seem to be returning to the area. A huge pile of discarded Tomatoes and Red and Yellow Peppers near a greenhouse aroused some discussion. At 72nd Street, on scanning the foreshore, we saw several Northern Harriers, but no Short-eared Owls (reported as seen yesterday). There were four hunters, and the ducks were too far out to see, so we decided to move to 104th.
At 104th, there were thousands of Ducks and thousands of Shorebirds. We walked and scanned; American Wigeon, Northern Pintail, Green-winged Teal, Northern Shovelers and Mallards were the most common ducks. Dunlin and Black-bellied Plovers were everywhere. We picked out some Least Sandpipers and Sanderlings and there were likely other species of unidentified Shorebirds. A Merlin entertained us when it aroused a flock of Dunlin, picked out one and chased it for a while, then tired and landed in a tree nearby to pose for us, before being scared away by some Crows. A Northern Shrike flew past and landed in the same tree, to pose for us.
The bushes along the dike were alive with “little birds”. We had good looks at Yellow-rumped Warblers, White-crowned Sparrows (many juveniles that often confused us with their “golden crowns”), Ruby-crowned Kinglets, Fox and Song Sparrows, House Finches and House Sparrows. Rochelle took the obligatory group photo with the Bay in the background.
Regulars John & Kay, Anne, Jim, Terry, Rochelle and I welcomed newcomer Kathy, “hold-out” Roger and Rookie Len to the fold. It was a very enjoyable morning with some neat sightings and lots of good conversation.