Nine birders (Roger & Mike, Alan & Marian, Ken & Anne, Anne M, Lorna and me) left Petra’s at 7:30 a.m. on Wednesday and just went down 12th Avenue to the parking lot at the entrance to Boundary Bay Regional Park. Our morning walk through the Park was fairly quiet bird wise, but featured some newly-arrived Shorebirds (mostly Peeps), residents feeding young (e.g. Common Yellowthroats) and lots neat flowers and insects. Hopefully there will be some photos soon on our Picasa site at: http://picasaweb.google.com/dncbirding and our Blog at: https://dncb.wordpress.com/,
After chatting with MV’s Lynden, who was surprisingly working at the 12th Avenue entrance to Boundary Bay Regional Park (BBRP), we set up our scopes just inside the gate to view the small flocks of newly-arrived (already here, what happened to Summer) migrant Shorebirds that were feeding in the Bay. These Peeps are difficult to identify, especially when they are in non-breeding plumage, but with Anne’s guidance (and Sibley’s Guidebook), we saw mostly Western and a few Least and Semipalmated Sandpipers. There may have been other species (Dunlin, Sanderling) but we could not be certain. Lots of Killdeer feeding there too, as the Barn and Tree Swallows hawked insects above them. The tide was out so not a favourable time for seeing Shorebirds. There was a bit of a cool breeze, so we/the Wimps decided to take the inland trail rather than along the outer dike path. There were not a lot of birds around but some of our somewhat-interesting sightings included: Rufous Hummingbirds, Cedar Waxwings, a pair of Common Yellowthroats (Marian was happy with her Lifer) guarding and feeding young,
Brown-headed Cowbirds, lots of Savannah Sparrows, noisy Marsh Wrens, Northern Harriers carrying food and landing in the marsh where we suspect they have nested, brilliant American Goldfinches, House Finches and Spotted Towhees. We checked several of our Delta Nats Nesting Boxes and one had a pair of Tree Swallows entering while a few others had House Sparrows using them. Although the birding was crappy, Anne and Roger made the outing excruciatingly interesting with their descriptions of and commentary on the many beautiful Wildflowers and Insects that live in BBRP.
The vivid Purples and Yellows were striking and I remember a few names like Fireweed, Loosestrife, parasitic rust-coloured Dodder,
several Wort species. The three different species of Sand Wasps seen burrowing in the ground were also intriguing. The bored (or boring) group posed for Roger to take the obligatory Group Photo at the Lookout Tower. We left BBRP about noon and went to nearby Beach Grove Park to check out the Great-horned Owls. We were blanked on them and our walk through the woods was lifeless, except for a couple of Eurasian Collared-Doves and some sour Thimbleberries. The weather was sunny and comfortable and the usual inane conversation almost kept me awake for most of the morning, but very enjoyable nonetheless.
I will be “working” at the Canadian Open Golf Tournament at Shaughnessy GC next week, but on Wednesday, July 20 several DNCBer’s have indicated that they will be at Petra’s for departure at 7:30 a.m. “somewhere around the Bay”. I recognize that these Reports may be nauseating, but comments welcome.
Tom Bearss, President, Delta Naturalists’ Society