Iona Sewage Lagoon ~ Casual Birding #81

American Tree Sparrow at Iona by Hank Tseng

Eight of us (Jim, John & Kay, Lorna, Eleanor, Terry, Gord and me) spent a pleasant morning of birding at the Iona Sewage Lagoons and Park. As we passed the airport, a dark morph Red-tailed Hawk was perched on the fence. The tide was out, but lots of Northern Pintail, Green-winged Teal, American Wigeon, Mallards and Great Blue Herons were feeding close to shore. Inside, at the Sewage Lagoons, Northern Shovelers, American Coots and Lesser Scaup were seen along with the aforementioned species. Large numbers of Brewers Blackbirds were among the flocks of Redwing Blackbirds, some brilliant, and European Starlings. Entering the Park via the back gate, Kay ran into a Coyote. A few Bufflehead and Scaup were the only ducks in the ponds. A few Common Mergansers in breeding plumage were in the river; about 15 Trumpeter Swans (many first year birds) were feeding on the other side, with the Wigeon and Pintail. The Purple Martin boxes on the pilons were cleaned, numbered and ready for clients (none arrived yet, nor Swallows). A Northern Shrike posed for us before continuing its survey perching on shrubs along the rivers edge. We wandered through the Logging Yard to the beach/strait side marveling at a huge unidentifiable white floating structure, parked nearby. Several Northern Harriers cruised by us. We picked out a couple of smaller gulls among a flock of Glaucous-winged Gulls on the beach. We saw no shorebirds, nor Black Oystercatchers which were seen there yesterday (Sunday). We met a birder who saw the Western Meadowlarks, but we were blanked on them as well. So we went to the “American Tree Sparrow bushes” near the washrooms, and were rewarded with good lucks at at least two of the five birds that have been there for a couple of months. Hank and his 10 foot camera was there and he showed us some shots he took earlier today (see above). Many Marsh Wrens were singing and seemed to be gathering nesting material along the pond’s edge in front of the washrooms (pretty early?). We returned to Petra’s around 12:45 p.m. following a less-than-earth-shattering, but very enjoyable morning. And some of the conversation was even a bit stimulating.

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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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