Eight of us (Rick & Marg, scope-bearer Ron, Lorna, Gord, Sam, son Scott and me) enjoyed a gorgeous Thanksgiving (Canadian) Day morning at Brunswick Point. Our destination bird was the Tropical Kingbird (TKB) which was seen around there since first spotted at Reifel last Tuesday. Since we had some “newbie Cas Birders”, we drove through the Tsawwassen First Nations Reserve and Delta farm lands, stopping on several occasions to photograph Bald Eagle pairs, Northern Flickers and Downy Woodpecker, European Starlings in various plumages and Red-tailed Hawks. Scott spotted a Ring-necked Pheasant and Rick even got a shot as it took off from the ditch. He also got a good shot of a Merlin posing for us. See these, other photos and the obligatory Group Shot of today’s outing on his site at: http://picasaweb.google.com/crossfyre.
At Brunswick we loaded our pockets with peanuts and began our walk on the dike. Lots of Sparrows (Song, Savannah, White- and Golden-crowned and perhaps other yet-to-be-identified species). One photographer was at the TKB location, and he had not seen the bird for an hour, so we decided to continue along the dike. Black-bellied Plovers were on the pylons with other smaller Shorebirds (Dunlin?). Marsh Wrens called and several Northern Harriers cruised by. On two occasions, we, notably Sam, looked closer and the harriers turned out to be American Bitterns. Neat sighting. We also saw at least six Western Meadowlarks among the Red-wing Blackbirds and Starlings in the marsh.
There were lots of small flocks of ducks (mostly American Wigeon, Northern Pintail and Mallards, I think) flying by. We saw several hunters camouflaged in the marsh and a few ducks dropped from the sky following their shots. A couple of large flocks (~1000 birds) of Snow Geese flew by heading north (??); going to feeding fields, I suspect. Small flocks of Shorebirds occasionally flew by us over the marsh; since the tide was high, we were only able to see them on land at the bend near the farm house, where we turned around. We identified Yellowlegs and Dowitchers among the Black-bellied Plovers, and guessed other smaller shorebirds (Sanderling, Western Sandpipers?). A Peregrine Falcon briefly roused the shorebirds with a fly-past, but did not stick around.
On the walk back to the TKB site, we saved a few Caterpillars crawling across the path. There were several photogs and birders at the TKB site, and when we arrived the bird came and posed 10 feet from us. Why wouldn’t it? Most of us (especially Lorna) were very excited, except Scott, who explained that these flycatchers were common like robins in his yard for the 10 years he lived in Trinidad & Tobago. To add colour to the scene, a couple of brilliant Steller’s Jays flew in front of the TKB. Then Golden-crowned Kinglets called in the bush below the TKB and Rick got some nice shots. Grudgingly, we left the Point at 12:30 p.m. to re-load on turkey sandwiches at home.
Markus Merkens gave a very interesting and informative presentation on Beavers tonight at our monthly Delta Nats meeting. Tomorrow (Tuesday) we meet with Metro Vancouver Parks & Recreation at 10:00 a.m. at Cammidge House to discuss the Redevelopment at Centennial Beach. Our next outing is this Saturday, October 16, with Nature Vancouver on a Birds on the Bay walk at Boundary Bay Regional Park. We leave from Cammidge House at 9:00 a.m. and return there around 11:30 a.m. for refreshments prepared by the Delta Nats ladies. Check out our Blog at: www.dncb.wordpress.com, comments are welcome, and please advise me if you don’t want to receive these reports.