Six weirdos (Roger & Mike, Lorna, Eleanor, Hans and Bill) joined me this morning on a miserable and unproductive, but enjoyable, Monday morning at Minnekhada Regional Park in Coquitlam. Hi-lites of the outing were: Lorna’s butter tart at Smoko, Hans’ inane conversation and that we survived. Bill’s photos are already on our Picasa site at http://picasaweb.google.com/dncbirding.
We left Petra’s in the pouring rain and did the 40 minute drive to Minnekhada in an hour and 40 minutes. Roger led us on a number of “shortcuts” to avoid the traffic jams. First required stop was the washroom at the entrance to DeBoville Slough Park (another hi-lite with its powerful dryer), then a search for Can Vo’s Pygmy Owl 15 metres along the trail. It wasn’t there. A few Common Mergansers were in the slough. We moved on to the Minnekhada Lodge. The beautiful lodge building with its museum, info and artifacts inside was of course closed. We marveled at a stone Mallard in a pond, the only bird we saw there.
Then we walked along the Lodge Trail around the Lower Marsh. In the Marsh, before Bill scared them away, we had brief glimpses of a raft of Common Mergansers, Bufflehead, about 20 Ring-necked Ducks, two pair of Hooded Mergansers and some Canada Geese. A Red-tailed Hawk did a fly-past. That was the extent of the birds seen. We trudged along the forest trail as the rain pi..ed down on us, neither heard nor saw a bird, but the moss and licorice fern covered trees were enchanting. The rainforest habitat is quite different to what we have in South Delta, and very beautiful, but preferably visited on a dryer sunny day.
Before one of us slipped and broke something, we took the easier Quarry Trail back to the Lodge. It was Noon, late for Smoko, but Lorna’s Butter Tart hit the spot. Of course, Hans brought nothing and sponged off the rest of us. We followed Roger on another half hour tour on dirt roads around the Park and again saw nothing. The drive back to Petra’s was also long and dreary, but fortunately Hans’ inane conversation about his misspent youth in Hamburg kept disinterested Eleanor, Lorna and me awake. Cynically sarcastic as I may sound, the morning was still a lot of fun. A bad day of birding is better than a good day “working”.
I will be at Petra’s next Monday, Jan. 31 around 8:00 a.m. for departure at 8:30 a.m. on an outing “somewhere around the Bay”; not sure where yet. Again, comments welcome and please advise if these Reports are unwanted Junk Mail.
Tom Bearss, President, Delta Naturalists’ Society