About 30 participants enjoyed a mild, dry outing around Boundary Bay Park on Wednesday, February 10 (yesterday) on the Delta Nature’s 2nd Winter “Birds on the Bay” event. The tide was in, but there was a bit of shoreline exposed, so the shorebirds, geese and ducks could be seen up-close-and-personal and were in nice breeding plumage, the way we like it. At the Park entrance we saw lots of Green-winged Teal, American Wigeon, Northern Shoveler and Northern Pintail. We met Richard Swanston at the Lookout and he explained the two different races of Brant Geese and the banding program. About 300 Brant were there, many on shore for easy viewing; some were banded and Richard had a photo of one with a transmitter. We also saw a large raft of Greater Scaup and a flock (~25) of Dunlin foraged in front of us. Many other diving ducks were further out; we recognized Common Goldeneye among them. At the Point, a flock of Sanderling (~20) were racing among the stones on the beach. We crossed the slough into the interior of the Park; several Northern Harriers glided by us as several mature and Juvenile Bald Eagles rested in various trees along our walk. A couple of Northern Flickers posed for us, as did a number of Red-tailed Hawks. Lots of LBJ’s (i.e. Little Brown Jobs) flitted along the path. We identified: Song, Fox and Golden-crowned Sparrows, House Finches and Spotted Towhees. Many of the noisy Red-wing Blackbirds displayed their brilliant red scapulets (I think that’s what they’re called) [scapulas or epaulets Ed.]. A Peregrine Falcon flew quite low over us. Kay spotted a beautiful Varied Thrush and some of us had good looks at it before it hid in the bushes. At the pond at Centennial Beach we watched a drake Eurasian Wigeon chasing a female American Wigeon, to the discern of several male American Wigeons. Not sure whether “the deed was done”.
Also near the pond were the resident Brewers Blackbirds and an “eagle-like” Red-tailed Hawk. At 11:30 a.m. we arrived at Cammidge House where Delta Nats Rochelle, Jennifer and Mary had delicious goodies (i.e. home-made scones and cakes), soups, cheeses, fruit and beverages for us to enjoy. Don, with Rochelle’s careful guidance, took the obligatory group photo.