Seven weirdos weathered a windy Wednesday (Roger & Rose, Mike & Lorna, Hans Ulf, Sleepy Alan and me) at Brunswick Point, and then a more enjoyable and successful late stint at the North Forty. Hi-lites were an American Bittern, nesting Cooper’s Hawks, Bullock’s Oriole and Lively Lorna’s Butter Tarts. See photos of our outings on our Picasa site at http://picasaweb.google.com/dncbirding or on our DNCB Blog at https://dncb.wordpress.com/, or contact me and I will send you Roger’s shots.
It was windy and cool (what happened to B.C.’s Summer?), and the tide was halfway out and receding when we began our walk along the Brunswick Point dike trail. A normally fairly productive spot, but today wasn’t. We saw some American Goldfinches, a couple of Mute Swans (no Cygnets) in the Fraser, Savannah Sparrows and Common Yellowthroats were singing everywhere, a couple of Rufous Hummingbirds gave us a bit of a treat. Cedar Waxwings and Swallows, Barn and Tree, were quite common. A Northern Flicker flew past as we were being entertained by a bunch (~10 birds) of Bald Eagles circling and playing games with each other along the shoreline. While watching this 5 minute aerial jousting, an American Bittern made a brief appearance flying from one spot to another in the marsh. Further along, near the “fabricated patio” in the marsh where we took the obligatory Group Photo, we saw our only Shorebird species, a couple of Killdeer. The tide was way out by now. We were blanked on our Destination Birds, the Black-bellied Plovers and Western Sandpipers and only saw two Caspian Terns fly by close to us. The saving grace was that Roger pointed out and photographed several beautiful flowers along the way, but I forget their names, other than Giant Hogweed, apparently a dangerous invasive species that Delta Corp workers were (almost) busy removing with a bulldozer. On the quick walk back to our cars, our returning rookie Alan was impressed with a couple of Northern Harriers, one female which soared close by displaying all its ID features.
Following a quick MacDonald’s pit stop, and savouring one of Lorna’s tasty Butter Tarts (Hans-Ulf stole my PB Sandwich), we decided to check out the North Forty. It was Noon, so fairly quiet except for the constantly singing Common Yellowthroats. We met Brian Self, Viveka Ohman and their group who had seen a Lazuli Bunting earlier, but we didn’t. Roger took us to the Cooper’s Hawk nest; the Dad stared at us from his branch about 4 feet from the nest where two fluffy young hid down so we could barely see a bit of their feathers. Mom must have been off getting lunch. A big juvenile Bald Eagle was sitting on his nest next door. We saw the Bullock’s Oriole near the tree where we saw one last year. We drove across the road (40th Avenue) from the Park, to some trees near the airport hangar, where on Sunday son Scott and I saw the Oriole pecking at a juvenile Red-tailed Hawk. We suspected the Orioles may be nesting there. A Cop (apparently doing paper work) was parked nearby, so Alan stayed and slept in the car while the rest of us enjoyed the sighting of the day. The beautiful male Bullock’s Oriole landed in the tree above us (and the oblivious cop in his car) and the juvey Red-tail followed him in.
The Red-tail jumped from branch to branch chasing the Oriole, very, very closely. Finally the Oriole flew to another tree. Interesting behavior. We woke up Alan, and took off back to Petra’s, exhilarated after an otherwise rather blah morning.I will be at Petra’s next Wednesday, July 6, for an outing at 7:30 a.m. “somewhere around the Bay”. My Report is late because last night Sandra and I enjoyed a brilliant production of Hairspray at the Stanley Theatre, and I played golf this morning before spending 800 bucks at IKEA for a 300 dollar bed that Sandra “had to” have. Happy Canada Day! Tell me if these Reports are annoying.
Tom Bearss, President, Delta Naturalists’ Society