DNCB Outing No. 90 to Colony Farm on a windy day

Casual Birding Outing #90

Savannah Sparrow by Terry Carr

Twelve participants (They like to see their names in print – Hans, Lorna, Don & Rochelle back from umpteen Mediterranean cruises, Photog Terry back from Morocco, Annie K back from Salt Springs Island, Guru Anne back from Oz, Roger, John & Kay back from Mexico, Eleanor back from Trinidad and me back from the grocery store with the peanuts) enjoyed a windy and chilly outing to Colony Farm this morning.  The hour-long torturous drive to the Farm through bumper-to-bumper traffic in three vehicles with Roger’s next-to-useless walkie-talkies was otherwise uneventful.

After donning extra clothing (it was sunny, but very windy), we started our walk along the creek path.  Savannah and White-crowned Sparrows caught our attention in the parking lot.  Further along brilliant American Goldfinches and Purple Finches flitted in a tree.  Then a couple of Rufous Hummingbirds showed us their iridescent throats.  We heard several masked Common Yellowthroats and finally got to see a few.  Bald Eagles, Northern Harriers and Red-tailed Hawks flew by and over us on occasion.  Some of us saw a gorgeous American Kestrel on the wire on the entrance road.  A Canada Goose nesting inside an old pylon in the middle of the river caught our attention.  A few Barn and Tree Swallows hawked insects above us, but the wind made hearing and seeing the birds very difficult.

We passed the spot where the Bird Banding took place on the weekend.  In the pond nearby we saw our hi-lite bird, a pair of nesting Pied-billed Grebes.  On the walk back, the other humorous hi-lite (at least to 11 of the 12 participants) was the outing leader ineptly trying to climb back up the vertical creek bank after recovering his hat which had blown off.

Common Yellowthroat skulking; photo by Terry Carr

We moved to the Colony Farm entrance parking lot and walked a more protected trail near the highway.  We heard a Pheasant in the shrubs, but Rochelle was unable to flush it for us.  We saw lots of LBJ’s and then a nice male Belted Kingfisher posed for us.  I think we were a bit too early to see the Lazuli Buntings, Bullock’s Orioles and Willow Flycatchers which nest in Colony Farm and should arrive soon.

Pied-billed Grebe at Colony Farm; photo Rochelle Farquhar

We next drove to Mundy Park in Coquitlam and walked the trail around the pond in this mostly conifer forest.  We tried in vain to locate a singing Winter Wren.  A pair of Bufflehead were the sole ducks in the pond.  But a pair of large red-eared Slider Turtles caught the attention of our photographers.  This park is good habitat for warblers, thrushes and other woodland birds and worth re-visiting.  The photos attached were taken by Terry Carr.

Friday 30 April 2010
Anne, John & Kay and I went to Iona last Friday.  Some of our sightings included: thousands of Dunlin and Western Sandpipers, two playful Ospreys (are they going to nest nearby?), Peregrine Falcon, several Purple Martins near the boxes, Killdeer, three Teal species: Green and Blue-winged and a gorgeous pair of Cinnamon, brilliant Common Yellowthroats, seven Cackling Geese in the sewage ponds and lots of other waterfowl species (American Coots, Northern Shovelers, Northern Pintail, Lesser Scaup, American Wigeon, Gadwall, Bufflehead, Mallards).

I went to Reifel on Sunday and the nesting Sandhill Crane is sitting on one egg.  A Chipping Sparrow was hanging around the entrance and the three Teal species and pair of Ring-necked ducks are in the ponds.  Also, an American Bittern has been frequently seen foraging on an outer path, posing still when approached, I guess thinking he is hidden/disguised from view.

Don’t forget Delta Nature’s monthly meeting next Monday, May 10 at 7:30 p.m. at Cammidge House when Oliver Busby will give a presentation on Invasive Wildlife, Friend or Foe.

Tom Bearss

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.
This entry was posted in *DNCB, American Kestrel, Bald Eagle, Blue-winged Teal, Chipping Sparrow, Cinnamon Teal, Colony Farm, Dunlin, Iona, Northern Harrier, Peregrine Falcon, Purple Finch, Purple Martin, Red-tailed Hawk, Ring-necked Pheasant, Western Sandpiper. Bookmark the permalink.

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