At 9:00 a.m. this morning (Wed. Jan. 12), Rochelle and I were alone at Cammidge House. An unusual heavy, for Delta, snowfall hit the Lower B.C. Mainland last night and this freaks out the locals. At writing this, it’s now 7:00 p.m. and the snow is nearly all melted away. However, Delta Nats first 2011 “Birds on the Bay” outing started late but eventually had nine keen participants who came and went throughout the morning walk, through a sunny (even had a Rainbow) and relatively mild Boundary Bay Regional Park in Tsawwassen. Participants with me were: Rochelle, Jim, Anne M., Lorna, Roger, Sandra, and newbies Jill and Marian. Hi-lites included: Eurasian Wigeons, Brewer’s Blackbirds, Sanderlings and Dunlin together, and especially the delicious snacks prepared by the Delta Nats Ladies to end the walk.
On leaving Cammidge House at about 9:30 a.m. a pair of Northern Harriers entertained us with a bit of frisky flying routines together. Lots of Bald Eagles around and one of the resident Red-tailed Hawks was perched for viewing. In the partially-frozen pond at the Snack Shack were several Mallards, American Wigeon and a Northern Shoveler. We found one brilliant male Eurasian Wigeon in the flock of about 200 birds grazing beside the pond. The resident Brewer’s Blackbirds were there as well, among the Red-winged Blackbirds, European Starlings and a Northern Flicker.
At the beach, the tide was high as were the waves, so we had difficulty seeing the ducks way out, but did recognize some Scaups and Scoters. Some Sanderlings raced along the shore right in front of us. We saw some Mew and Ring-necked Gulls among the mostly Glaucous-winged. Along the Park path we saw several LBJ’s, including Song, Golden-crowned and Fox Sparrows. A neat Marsh Wren caught our attention along the dyke path. Hundreds of Northern Pintail in the Bay, and often flying over us in big V’s toward the Georgia Strait side of the isthmus. Some Green-winged Teal and Canada Geese among the many Pintail and Wigeons, but we did not see any Brant Geese there this morning. On the spit were small flocks of Dunlin, which interestingly intermingled with Sanderlings occasionally in their brief swarming flights.
We got back to Cammidge House at about 11:45 a.m., enjoyed some tasty delights, hot soup and refreshments prepared by the Delta Nats Ladies, under Rochelle’s direction, and then took the obligatory Group Photo. Check out our new DNCB Picasa photo site at: http://picasaweb.google.com/dncbirding, to see these and other shots of today’s outing. Jim Ronback’s photos are at http://picasaweb.google.com/113357506005013094897/BirdsOnTheBay12Jan11.
Although not a prolific outing in terms of number of species seen, it was nonetheless a very enjoyable morning, with some interesting conversation with nice folk. Indeed, we may have seen more had Annie chatted less. Our next Delta Nats “Birds on the Bay” outing will be Wednesday, April 20 leaving from Cammidge House at 9:00 a.m., a good time to see some interesting Spring migrants. Check out our Blog at www.dncb.wordpress.com for more outing Reports and photos.
Tom Bearss, President, Delta Naturalists’ Society