Twenty plus birders participated in the Delta Nats “Birds on the Bay” outing in Boundary Bay Regional Park on Wednesday morning, September 15. We had visitors from Hamilton, Ontario, Smithers, B.C. and other areas of Metro Vancouver (e.g. West Van, White Rock, Surrey). Our walk left from historic Cammidge House at 9:00 a.m. and the buzz of Marsh Wrens caught our attention in the “ditch” at the house entrance. We continued to the pond by the restaurant/wash rooms, but only a few Mallards were there. Then onto the beach and the tide was way out, so we thought we were doomed for a good birding day. Lots of Great Blue Herons, ducks and a few Bald Eagles could be seen in the distance. So we decided to take the inland trail through the Park and return to Cammidge House via the shore line, when the tide would be closer.
In the shrubs at the start of the trail, our luck changed as Anne spotted a Black-throated Gray Warbler. Then several other small Warblers gave quick appearances, including; Common Yellowthroats, Yellow, Orange-crowned and Yellow-rumped. And a Northern Flicker posed for some of us less skilled at spotting the quick little ones. Following the trail, we enjoyed a neat “Sparrow day” as Song, White-crowned, Golden-crowned, Savannah, a Lincoln’s and a Fox were all seen by some or all of us. It was an “education” to identify the various Sparrow and Warbler species, many in their non-breeding plumage and many juveniles. A Rufous Hummingbird, lots of Spotted Towhees and American Robins darted among the shrubs. A couple of entertaining and gorgeous juvenile Northern Harriers flew past and landed nearby for their photo ops. A flock of Cedar Waxwings along with another pair of red-shafted Northern Flickers cooperatively landed in a large dead tree in front of us, along with some European Starlings and Brown-headed Cowbirds. A few Barn and Tree Swallows flew over us. We walked the boardwalk and got good looks at Common Yellowthroats and Yellow-rumped Warblers. Then we posed for a group shot at the viewing tower. You can easily access Terry’s and Ricks photos of this outing on their Picasa websites at: http://picasaweb.google.ca/terrancecarr and http://picasaweb.google.com/crossfyre respectively.
We wandered back to Cammidge House along the shore and the tide was in now, but the only birds we could see without scopes were Common Loons. We scoped a couple of Caspian Terns on a sandbar. A flock of twenty Shorebirds, probable Western Sandpipers, flew by. House Finches and Savannah Sparrows flitted along the dunes with us. Near the beach a Cooper’s Hawk mobbed by crows landed in a tree for some good looks. Reaching Cammidge House at 11:30 a.m., we realized the outing was too short, but the coffee and delicious home-made scones and cookies provided by the Delta Nats ladies, Eleanor and Jennifer, rejuvenated us. Following the snacks, some of us stopped at the 12th Avenue Park entrance where we saw a few of the shorebirds we were expecting to see earlier. Several Greater Yellowlegs and Long-billed Dowitchers were foraging in the mud, along with a flock of Ring-billed Gulls, and of course some Glaucous-winged Gulls. A flock of ducks was near the shore, mostly American Wigeon and Northern Pintail.
Our next “Birds on the Bay” outing at Boundary Bay Park with our friends with Nature Vancouver will be Saturday, October 16, leaving Cammidge House at 9:00 a.m.