Casual Birding #88
Six birders (Hans-Ulf, Val, Lorna, Jim, rookie Annie and me) spent a pleasant morning at Beach Grove Park in Tsawwassen and a bit of time at the dike on Boundary Bay. Our destination bird was the Great Horned Owl, and we were happily entertained by the parents and their two fuzzy young owlets. Mom and Dad were on guard duty in adjacent trees beside the nest from where the two young peered down at us. We had seen the adult(s) on previous visits to the park, but could not locate the nest until today.
Also in the trees were two pair of Downy Woodpeckers chasing after each other, and a few Yellow-rumped Warblers (Audubon’s) feeding high up. Along the park paths we saw several Rufous Hummingbirds, some posing to display their iridescent red throats. Lots of White-crowned Sparrows and noisy Spotted Towhees around. A Red-breasted Nuthatch made an appearance. Overhead, pairs of Bald Eagles circled and gave us brief glimpses of mating behavior (i.e. grasping claws).
At the dike, the tide was out so the thousands of Dunlin, Western Sandpipers and ducks were feeding on the horizon. Unfortunately, I left the scope in my car. But lots of breeding plumage Black-bellied Plovers were fairly close in, along with a few Dunlin, Westerns and Green-winged Teal. Lots of Baldies (>30) and Great Blue Herons feeding way out as well. Val and Hans identified some pretty flowers too, but I forget their names.
Additional sightings: I joined the Alouette/Langley groups at Grant Narrows Park/Pitt Polder on rainy Saturday and saw the Ospreys nesting, Mute Swans mating, an injured “funny-looking” Shrew, two Wilson’s Snipe, lots of Warblers (Yellow-rumped, Wilson’s), Purple Finches and Kinglets, two male Ring-necked Ducks and heard a continuously calling Virginia Rail but could not locate it. We did not see an American Redstart (like last year’s outing there). On Sunday at Terra Nova Park in Richmond, Sandra and I were entertained by a Long-billed Curlew feeding on the river shore.
We will have our Delta Nats Display at the Earth Day event at Delta City Hall on Thursday, April 22.