December Birds on the Bay outing

Greater Yellowlegs at Beach Grove, Boundary Bay; photo: Rochelle Farquhar

Seventeen grandmothers, parents and children, enjoyed a cold but sunny morning walk through Boundary Bay Park in Tsawwassen on Wednesday. This was the third and final Delta Naturalists’ Fall “Birds on the Bay Casual Birding Outing” (note that we will do three Winter outings in January, February and March; watch for info). There was a lot of ice in the foreshore, but many birds were huddled in the open water spots for excellent viewing. The first pond near the entrance at the foot of 12th Avenue had the normal 4 duck species, Mallard, American Wigeon, Northern Pintail and Green-winged Teal, most in brilliant breeding plumage. Among them were several Greater Yellowlegs and a few Dunlin. A pair of gorgeous Hooded Mergansers were in the creek beside the path. Golden-crowned Sparrows were feeding in the shrubs and on the path. From the viewing stand we saw thousands of waterfowl along the shore and on the ice. Among the many Wigeon we spotted at least two Eurasian Wigeon. There were about 30 Brant Geese among the many Canada’s. More Yellowlegs (Greater), a Northern Shoveler, Double-crested Cormorant, Great Blue Herons and lots of Glaucous-winged and Mew Gulls were also huddled in and along the open water or on the ice along the shore. A flock of Dunlin huddled among the gulls, but we did not see the flocks of thousands that we usually see; probably they were on the other side of the Bay. Further out we saw diving ducks, including Surf and White-winged Scoters and Scaup, but not good looks because of the distance and the water was wavy. Occasionally Bald Eagles flew by arousing the ducks in brief flights before returning to rest. Many Northern Harriers soared by us, including one male that caught a vole and entertained us as he ate it among the weeds. We took the inland trail in search of smaller birds. We saw lots of Spotted Towhees, American Robins, House Finches, Fox and Song Sparrows, a Northern Flicker and for some, the Bird of the Day” was a juvenile Northern Shrike that posed for us on a branch. A Peregrine Falcon flew over us out toward the Bay. Several Killdeer also flew close to us, calling. The resident Red-tailed Hawk was posted near Cammidge House, with a juvenile also sitting nearby. We were all happy to get to Cammidge House around 11:30 a.m. and out of the cold. Here we enjoyed hot soup, cider, chocolate or coffee prepared by Delta Nats Mary, Jennifer and Rochelle. They also provided us with delicious home-made scones and cakes, which we all wolfed down prior to Don taking the habitual Group Photo. Thanks also to Roger and Jim for their “scope management” and to Guru Anne for expert birding guidance. Another very enjoyable morning. 

Cheers: Tom

A chilly group of birders on the 12th Ave Dyke for our December Birds on the Bay walk; photo: Rochelle Farquhar


Nicely warmed up beside the Christmas tree in Cammidge House; photo Don Farquhar who also got himself into the picture!


About dncb

DNS: Delta Naturalists are a group of nature lovers whose aim is to foster interest in the natural history of the Fraser delta by sharing and enjoying nature and promoting environmental awareness and conservation. DNCB: Delta Nats Casual Birders is a group of Casual Birders who go Birding at different locations each week, usually within the Lower Mainland or in nearby Washington State.
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One Response to December Birds on the Bay outing

  1. Tom Bearss says:

    I went to Reifel this morning on Mary Taitt’s 10:00 a.m. walk, with Brian Self accompanying her. Cold with snow flurries, but some good sightings; including a female Ring-necked Duck (with a brilliant “ring bill”) with a female Lesser Scaup, 10 Sandhill Cranes on the ice in the inner ponds, all four Sparrow species together under a feeder near the entrance (Song, Fox, Golden-crowned and White Crowned), over 200 Robins accompanied by several Cedar Waxwings and Red-winged Blackbirds, Hooded and Common Mergansers, one lonely Snow Goose hanging around the tower. Thousands of Snow Geese were in Reynold’s farm fields (despite the hunters) and a few Trumpeter Swans were with some Canada Geese in another field near Emma’s.

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