Boundary Bay dyke birding

Casual Birding outing # 108

American Pipit by Jonathan Mwenifumbo

It was cloudy at first, but turned out clear and sunny on Wednesday morning, September 8 (our 37th Wedding Anniversary) when 12 birders (Can, Rick & Marg, John & Kay, Jonathan & Lorraine, Lorna, Gord, Roger and Terry) joined me on Outing #108 (Hans-Ulf did 106 and 107) along the Boundary Bay dyke between 64th and 104th Streets. The tide was going out, so the ducks and most shorebirds were too far out to identify, but there were lots on the horizon.

 First stop for our four car convoy was the bottom of 64th Street. Not much there but a few Savannah Sparrows flitting about and many Great Blue Herons feeding way out on the mud flats. We drove the back roads, passing two of the new SFPR overpasses, to 88th Street.  We stopped at the Eurasian Collared Dove farm and several birds posed for our rookies Jon, Lorraine and Can.  You can see shots of these and other birds (and birders) on Terry Carr’s picasaweb site under Boundary Bay photos at:  Can Vo and Jonathan Mwenifumbo also took photos which I will send to anyone, on request. And, I expect Rick to post his photos shortly in Rick and Marg’s Gallery on his picasaweb site at:

 At the foot of 88th, following a nice chat with a farmer parking cop, we canvassed the shorebirds, and then John spotted a very cooperatively posing Merlin in the tree behind us. Merlins are not uncommon along here, now that the shorebirds have begun to arrive.  A flock of American Goldfinch feeding on the thistles got our attention; meanwhile a pair of squawking gulls were having an aerial fight nearby. I ignored them, only to learn later from Roger and Gord that one of the “gulls” was a Parasitic Jaeger chasing the gull. Another sighting I missed.  Among the several species of gulls there were Ring-billed and Bonaparte’s. Most shorebirds were far out, but several small flocks (~20 birds) would fly by us and occasionally land near the dike. We identified lots of Pectoral Sandpipers and a few Baird’s. Several American Pipits were also foraging along the shore as were some Brown-headed Cowbirds.  We did not see the Buff-breasted Sandpiper which was seen that morning in the area we walked between 88th and 104th, nor the Marbled Godwit or Red Knot. A grand morning!

 Our next outing, a Birds on the Bay event, will be this Wednesday, September 15, leaving from Cammidge House at 9:00 a.m. to wander around Boundary Bay Regional Park, followed with goodies prepared by the Delta Nats ladies at 11:30 a.m.  And our first 2010/11 Delta Nature monthly meeting is this Monday, September 13 at 7:30 p.m., also at Cammidge House. Genevieve Singleton will be giving an illustrated Presentation on Wild Flowers of Vancouver Island. Join us if you can, and remember, comments are welcome .

 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.
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