The Lonely Six (Roger & Mike, Hans-Ulf and newbie Gerhard, Lorna and me) spent a delightful Wednesday morning walking the boardwalk trail at Burns Bog. Hi-lites were the flowers and plants, very few birds, but a delicious breakfast of five wild Berry species. Roger took some photos which I hope he will put on our Blog at: https://dncb.wordpress.com/ and/or on our Picasa site at: http://picasaweb.google.com/dncbirding.
We decided to go “local” this morning, and since the tide was low, the Pacific Golden Plover and Bar-tailed Godwit at Boundary Bay were not an option. So we selected Burns Bog where we have not been for a year or so. It was a gorgeous walk along the Bog Boardwalk, but the number of birds seen reinforced our reasoning as to why we do not go there often, and especially not in mid Summer. Following Roger’s “methodical” route to the Bog parking lot (a 20 minute drive in 40 minutes), we saw our first birds at the boardwalk entrance, some Cedar Waxwings (young too) and American Goldfinches among the Black-capped Chickadees. It was quiet for most of the rest of the walk, except for the 25 Bog Camp kids on their “Survival Day” outing (according to their Leader), and the dozen dogs and their walkers. Even if there were birds calling, it would be difficult to hear them with the noise of the traffic as the park is carved right between highway 91 and the railroad tracks.
But our Biologist Roger and his trusty book-toting assistant Hans-Ulf, delighted us with the names and descriptions of many of the flowers and plants along the way. As usual, I have forgotten the names, but hopefully Roger will enter some along with his photos in our Blog. Since I missed breakfast at home this morning, the hi-lite for me was munching on five different Berry species which were all deliciously ripe and in abundance along the trail, including; Blackberries, Thimbleberries, Huckleberries, Blueberries and the most common Salal berries (actually tasted more like grapes than berries). We thought about making a pot of tea since the Labrador Tea plants (beautiful aroma) were everywhere too. I also tasted the inedible and sour Dogwood berries. As for birds, there was lots of woodpecker evidence, but we only saw a couple of Downies (spotted by our most ardent and jovial birder Lorna) and a Northern Flicker. Song Sparrows, the elusive American Robin and some tiny fish in the stream entertained us fleetingly. Not to sound too down on Burns Bog, on past trips there we have seen several Warbler species, hawks and falcon species, Pileated Woodpeckers, Thrushes, Flycatchers and a Northern Shrike. But not today. The Boardwalk was in excellent condition and the new Signage was very informative. Following a pit stop at the GPF Arena adjacent to the Bog parking lot, we each shared a bite of Lorna’s PB sandwich and some of Eleanor’s mixed nuts (with smarties). We returned to Petra’s before Noon, satiated from the excitement of such an exhilarating outing.
I will be at Petra’s next Wednesday morning, August 17, for departure at 7:30 a.m. on an outing “somewhere around the Bay” (TBD). Don’t forget, we’re still looking for volunteers to “(wo)man” our Delta Nats Display at three upcoming events; Festival of Birds at BBRP and Starry Night at Deas Island Park, both this Saturday, August 13 and the Richmond Raptor Festival at Terra Nova Park on Sunday, August 21. Contact me or Terry Carr if you’re available and interested. Again, comments encouraged, and let me know if you don’t want to receive these tidbits of irony.
Tom Bearss, President, Delta Naturalists’ Society