Ten birders (Roger & Mike, Lorna, Terry, Bill & Mary, Ansa, Marian, Annie K and me) spent a relatively productive Monday morning at Blackie Spit (Crescent Beach in South Surrey) and a not-so-productive morning at Serpentine Fen. It was cold early, but warmed up nicely. Did anyone else see the brilliant orange/red sunrise this morning at about 7:15 a.m. as it rose over and above Mt. Baker? This morning’s hi-lites (for me) were a Long-billed Curlew and 5 Marbled Godwits. Check out photos on Picasa at http://picasaweb.google.com/dncbirding, and our DNCB Blog at http://www.dncb.wordpress.com.
Near the parking lot at Blackie Spit was a flock of Gulls, mostly Ring-billed and Glaucous-winged. The water was high, but the several Common Loons, Horned Grebes, Common Goldeneye and Red-breasted Mergansers were not real close to shore, but easily seen. Roger spotted a Red-necked Grebe. We walked to the end of the Spit and, on the other side, hundreds of ducks were lounging; mostly American Wigeon and Northern Pintail. We saw at least one Eurasian Wigeon. Interestingly, we found two frozen dilapidated carcasses on the Spit; one looked like a Great Blue Heron, the other a Cormorant with a Tag (BC Beach Survey #2911), zip-tied to its leg.
We walked passed Annie K’s First Nations’ Calendar (12 Stones in a circle with neat messages on each) to the inlet where, among the hundreds of ducks (including Green-winged Teal) was the resident Long-billed Curlew and five Marbled Godwit. Two Greater Yellowlegs flew over and we saw at least six more near the Godwits. We enjoyed our Smoko at the washrooms near the “Dog Run Park”. Mary’s tuna and Marian’s muffin hit the spot. One idiot was drinking a flat Coke, which was clear when he poured it out onto the ground. It turned out to be a Budweiser encased in a Coke wrapping. What a waste! A Northern Flicker and several American Goldfinch were seen laughing at this scene.
Serpentine Fen Park was a bit of a let-down; the ponds were unexpectedly frozen. On the drive in toward the parking lot, an immature Red-tailed Hawk posed for us, near one of the many Bald Eagles that seemed to be everywhere. Ansa and Annie K saw a Eurasian-collared Dove (they seem to be really expanding their territory in B.C.). We got close-up looks at Fox, Song, White-crowned and Golden-crowned Sparrows so the Newbies could see their differences. The common Spotted Towhees were especially colourful today and we had brief glimpses of a couple of Wrens, probably Marsh. A few American Coots and Mallards were the only waterfowl seen in the small bits of open water. Several flocks of Canada Geese around and a small flock of Trumpeter Swans flew over us. We probably saw more stuff, but I forget.
Our Boundary Bay Bird Box Program is this Thursday, Feb. 4, meeting at 9:00 a.m. at the 12th Ave. parking lot entrance. I will be at Petra’s around 8:00 a.m. next Monday, Feb. 7 for departure at 8:30 a.m. on an outing to Blaine, Washington. Bring your Passport. As always, comments welcome and let me know if you’re sick of reading this crap.
Tom Bearss, President, Delta Naturalists’ Society