Elgin Park and Blackie Spit ~ Casual Birding #80

Great Blue Heron catching a pipe fish; photo by Terry Carr

Seven participants (Hans-Ulf, Lorna, Gord & Roberta, Roger, Terry and me) spent a pleasant post-Olympic Monday morning of birding at Elgin Park and Blackie Spit in South Surrey. We drove the main highways (17 and 99) to get there, and did happen to see a couple of Red-tailed Hawks and the Rough-legged Hawk along Highway 17 in Ladner. Elgin Park was quieter than our earlier visit last year. We saw another Red-tail, lots of American Wigeon near the marina, Red-breasted Mergansers, Green-winged Teal, House Finches and an American Goldfinch, Spotted Towhees, Golden-crowned and Song Sparrows, Northern Flickers and lots of other common birds like European Starlings, Red-wing Blackbirds, American Robins, Black-capped Chickadees and House Sparrows. We heard Marsh Wrens. A few Bald Eagles were around and a male Northern Harrier gave us a nice look. A few Gadwall were in the river as well, along with some Canada Geese. The tide was out at Blackie Spit, but we saw several Common Loons on both sides of the spit. We searched in vain for the Marbled Godwit and Long-billed Curlew among the hundreds of American Wigeon. Several colourful Eurasian Wigeons were spotted among the Americans, as were some Northern Pintail and Northern Shovelers, and of course Green-winged Teal. We also saw Common Goldeneye, Bufflehead, Double-crested Cormorants and a flock of a few hundred Dunlin. About ten Greater Yellowlegs (perhaps a couple were Lesser) were the only other Shorebirds we saw. The new resident Mute Swan and the Ring-billed Gulls were there too. The Northwestern Crows seemed to be pairing up, at least their kissing impressed Roberta. A Great Blue Heron capturing and swallowing a Pipe Fish (it looks like a small eel) was our exciting entertainment of the morning, other than Lorna’s goodies. – Tom Bearss

Kissing Crows; photo Terry Carr

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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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