A dozen brave souls, including several rookies, joined me this morning in the rain on Delta Nats first Winter “Birds on the Bay” Casual Birding outing at Boundary Bay Park in Tsawwassen. At the park entrance at the foot of 12th Avenue, we watched the Canada Geese, Great Blue Herons and dabbling ducks (e.g. Northern Pintail, Green-winged Teal, Mallards, etc) foraging. The tide was high with not much shore available, so no Shorebirds were there. However, a couple of flocks (~20 birds each) of “Anne’s” Sanderling flew by in unison and landed for a few fleeting moments to give us good looks. A raft of about 400 Brant Geese was relatively close to shore in their usual spot. Occasionally they would take flight, especially when a Bald Eagle or two flew over. We saw a couple of Double-crested Cormorants, but the large numbers of ducks in the Bay were too far out to see.
So we walked through the inner trails of the Park. There were Bald Eagles perched throughout the park and this combined with the rain, made the birding very quiet. Our sightings included: Spotted Towhees, Northern Flickers, four Sparrow species (Song, Golden and White-crowned, Fox), Northern Harriers, Red-tailed Hawk, House Finches. In a flooded area we watched a few Northern Shovelers “shovelling” for food. A flock of American Wigeon was foraging on the grass near Centennial Beach; we identified one nice Eurasian Wigeon among the flock. Although we did not see any unusual or rare birds this morning, it was an enjoyable outing, and if chatter among the participants is a measurement, it was non-stop and rampant.
Again, the coup-de-grace of the morning was the “goodies” at Cammidge House prepared by the Delta Nats ladies (Jennifer, Eleanor and Rochelle). The home-made scones and ginger cookies, with the soup, make-your-own sandwiches, fruit and beverages, were delectable. Photog Don took the habitual group photo, which I will forward to participants along with other outing photos once I receive them.