Son Scott and I visited the North Forty Park behind Boundary Bay Airport today (Sunday, June 26) for a couple of hours in mid afternoon (3:00 to 5:00 p.m.). It was hot, sunny and a beaut outing: we got all our Destination Birds (LB, BO and Candy), up-close-and-personal. It is so nice to go with “young eyes” as Scott spotted all the birds first. The first Lazuli Bunting was seen in the trees east of the main path passed the new sign. We only had a fleeting glimpse of the female, but we are fairly certain we saw two brilliant males on the day. They were singing consistently, and at first hard to find. Later one posed and sang on a bush where we had seen him (or another) earlier this month, and last year. We could not find a nest (or other evidence), but surely they are nesting there.
We also saw a beautiful male Bullock’s Oriole in the same tree where we saw one last year. Later, we saw him again at the top of a tree across the BB Airport road, across from the Pine tree with the Red Tail Hawk’s nest. It was hanging around that tree for the hour that we watched it, fending off a Red Tail (juvenile I think) that came to roost in the tree a few times. Again, we looked but could not find a hanging nest in the tree, but this Oriole’s protective action leads me to think there might be one there.
A pair of Red-tailed Hawks were soaring above us while the large juvenile was screaming constantly on the nest, then flew off on his own. There are two pair of Red-tails nesting near here, the second pair that used to nest near the mound with the water tank or ammunition cellar below, has moved to a tree on the other side of 72nd Street near the gate that the construction trucks use.
Lots of Bald Eagles were screaming too; I gather the young have fledged from their nest (in the middle of the park) but are still hanging around those trees (near where we first spotted the Lazuli today). Not far from there, we saw a Cooper’s Hawk fly into a bush/tree where we were told a pair have a nest. We did not search it out, but were told it’s only about 8 feet above the ground. Don’t know status or number of young.
Scott showed me several “masked” Common Yellowthroats that were singing everywhere, a few Savannah Sparrows (also singing), American Goldfinch, Cedar Waxwings, House Finches and several Rufous Hummingbirds – all nice Candy Birds. Also saw a few gorgeous Swallowtail Butterflies. It was a fun outing, bonding with my new birding Guru Scott, followed by a refreshing beer on the patio at Kings Links Golf Course (watching both male and female Northern Harriers cruising for voles) and then enjoying several Pina Colada’s at home to celebrate the beginning of Summer.
Tom Bearss, President, Delta Naturalists’ Society