Eight DNCBers (Rick & Marg, Ken & Anne. Alan & Lorna, Mike and me) enjoyed a beautiful Wednesday morning walk through Deas Island Regional Park (my backyard). Hi-lites were several Wood Creepers, Pileated Woodpeckers fly-past, blooming Wildflowers and a cold Corona to climax the outing. Ken has created a nice photo montage of the outing on our Picasa site at http://picasaweb.google.com/dncbirding.
We parked opposite the historic Burrville House (built in 1906-remember Raymond Burr/Perry Mason?) and started our walk on the trail behind it. A Bat colony roosts in the back of this building. We hung around the two bridges in the grove between the Burr building and the Rowing Club Boat House; this has historically been a good spot for warblers and thrushes. As expected, we saw neither. We heard lots of singing Swainson’s Thrushes, Black-headed Grosbeaks, but could only find Song Sparrows and Spotted Towhees. We continued our walk along the slough-side trail, trying to avoid stepping in horse dung, through some nice grassland habitat, then deciduous trees to the grove of conifers (where I think the Great Horned Owls nested). We saw some gorgeous wildflowers (see Ken’s photos), heard more singing, and saw a couple of Northern Flickers and Cedar Waxwings. We took the obligatory Group Photo
at a lookout across the slough to the RiverHouse Restaurant (and my home next door); a Wood Creeper was posing on a stump near a hole where we thought he/she may be feeding young. We walked further to a spot above the Massey Tunnel where Rick and Marg were able to satiate their longing to watch the cars entering the tunnel below; I have no idea why they wanted to do this, but we try to accommodate all DNCBer wishes, no matter how weird.
The walk back to our vehicles along the Fraser River-side trail was equally uneventful. A big foreign Car Ship caught our attention berthed on the other side near the Richmond rinks and theatres. No ducks or waterfowl in the river, other than a flock of Canada Geese and the resident Glaucous-winged Gulls. We finally had decent looks at a Swainson’s Thrush, but I guess the hi-lite of the walk back was the washroom break and photo op at an old bit of farm machinery. We left Deas Island Park, deciding not to go to 104th Street dike walk in search of the Bar-tailed Godwit, phalaropes and other migrating sandpipers and plovers, but rather to stop at my backyard for a bit of kielbasa (aka Horse-C…) and cold beer (wildberry juice for the wimps).
A pleasant decision. As we sat around the patio table (again, see Ken’s shots), Rufous Hummingbirds, brilliant House Finches, American Goldfinches and Black-capped Chickadees frequented my feeders. Rick nearly broke his neck watching the soaring Bald Eagles above. A fly-past of two Pileated Woodpeckers surprised us, although I know that they (including at least one young bird) feed regularly at my neighbour’s suet (ignoring mine?). I drove the giddy group back to Petra’s shortly after Noon.
This Report is late because I was/am busy; Sandra and I saw a delightful version of “Anything Goes” at the Theatre Under the Stars in Stanley Park on Wednesday evening, I played golf yesterday and then entertained Canada’s top Junior Hockey Coach with a couple of glasses of Guyanese award-winning Rum and a Cuban Cigar (not a cigar, but a SMOKE). I will be at Petra’s next Wednesday, August 3 for departure at 7:30 a.m. “somewhere around the Bay”, perhaps in search of newly-arrived Shorebirds. Comments encouraged, check out our Blog at: https://dncb.wordpress.com/ , and again, let me know if you want off my list to receive this drivel.
Tom Bearss, President, Delta Naturalists’ Society