Casual Birding outing #95
Four Interpreters with Metro Vancouver Parks & Recreation (Vanessa, Jennifer, Michelle and Serena) joined Delta Nats (Hans, John & Kay, Anne, Lorna and me) this morning on an outing to Mud Bay Park which is part of, and located at, the southern most end of Boundary Bay Park along the dike. The dike path stops at this park where the railway bridge crosses the inlet of the Nikomekl River over toward Blackie Spit. It was a gorgeous sunny morning, temp in the mid 20’sC.
We drove there via the farm roads and, not unexpectedly, the Lewis Hamilton-like lead driver (me) lost the following car in a quick side-road turn off. Once re-joined at the Mud Bay parking lot, over the din of the passing cars on Route 99, we enjoyed the choir of the singing Common Yellowthroats along with the Savannah and Song Sparrows. We got lots of good looks at all three of these species singing. Of course, the Red-winged Blackbirds, Northwestern Crows and European Starlings cackling everywhere tried unsuccessfully to draw us away from our candy birds. As we walked the circle path around the park marsh, a Northern Harrier circled above us and several Bald Eagles and Great Blue Herons gave us fly-pasts, as did several Tree Swallows. A Mallard with five rather large chicks was in the stream with one Gadwall. The tide was very low in the Bay and the only birds we saw were Glaucous-winged Gulls. Lounging in the mud way out were over 50 Harbour Seals. A lone Rock Dove (Feral Pigeon) flew by in a falcon-like fashion. Anne and the four MV Staff left us at around 11:00 a.m. to run an event for school kids at Centennial Beach; although not a lot of species were seen, I hope they enjoyed the morning and will join the DNCB’s again.
On the way back to Petra’s, we stopped at the old war-time residential area near Boundary Bay Airport to see the Lazuli Bunting(s) that we saw there on last Monday’s outing. After a quick snack of the “expensive” M&M nut mixture, we walked the main path/road past the entrance. A couple of Cedar Waxwings were our first sightings. Lots of Common Yellowthroats around; I hope we’re not getting too blasé about them. One of the Willow Flycatchers was on the same branch as last week. Lorna spotted the first Lazuli Bunting on the top of a dead tree. As we walked to get a closer look, a Bullock’s Oriole flew by. We did not get another look at the Oriole, but on our walk around the area with fellow birder Mike, we saw several Lazuli Buntings (see Jim Martin’s photo attached). Others have seen at least two pair around and they have shown mating behavior. Hopefully, there will be future reports of them nesting here. We also saw several American Goldfinch, a singing and feeding Bewick’s Wren, Spotted Towhees, lots of Swallows (Tree and Barn) and young American Robins. Two Red-tailed Hawks were soaring above with the Eagles; perhaps they were the parents of the nesting chicks behind the “water hill”.
Tonight at 7:30 p.m. is Delta Nats monthly meeting at Cammidge House with Ursula Easterbrook giving her renowned presentation on her trip to Antarctica. And don’t forget our Birds on the Bay outing this Wednesday, June 16, starting at Cammidge House at 9:00 a.m. Delta Nats will share a Display Booth with MVRD at the Fathers Day (Sunday, June 20) Pancake Breakfast event at Centennial Beach.