DNCB Outing No. 2011-33 to Boundary Bay Dike

Birders on the Bay

Nine participants (Roger & Mike, Rick & Marg, Hans & Gerhard, Alan & Lorna and me) enjoyed a gorgeous Wednesday morning along the Boundary Bay dike path between 104th and 88th Streets.  Hi-lites were a Western Tanager, Peregrine Falcons, a “white-winged” Crow, lots of “distant” Shorebirds, and the Plum and Blackberry Lunch at the North 40.  Check out Roger’s and Rick’s photos “soon” on our Picasa site at http://picasaweb.google.com/dncbirding.

Rather than going to Iona, on Tidal advice from our Homophone Expert (i.e. Focus: Son’s raise meat and Sun’s rays meet is a triple homophone), we decided to travel the dike along Boundary Bay to check out the migrating shorebirds and find the Bar-tailed Godwit.  Our expert turned out to be better at grammatical entertainment than reading tidal charts.  When we arrived at the dike at the foot of 104th Street at the Delta Heritage Air Park, the water was so far out we could hardly see the edge, let alone the birds feeding along it.  Nonetheless, we saw hundreds (perhaps thousands) of Shorebirds in the distance, but could only identify Black-bellied Plovers and lots of Peeps (e.g. Western Sandpipers).  Then four Peregrine Falcons entertained us with their dives at the shorebirds and playful antics among themselves.  Lorna spotted a neat Western Tanager in the tree right at 104th St.

We enjoyed a very pleasant but almost-birdless walk all the way to the Mansion at 88th St., avoiding tractors, cyclists and dog walkers.  And the conversation was forgettable as well.  Included in our limited bird sightings on this walk were: a couple of Eurasian Collared-doves, Savannah Sparrows, House Finches, Northern Harrier, Cedar Waxwings, Great Blue Herons, Bald Eagles and one weird Southwestern Crow with a very noticeable white feather in its right wing (Rick’s photos on Picasa may show this).  A Bi-Plane taking off from the airport was exciting.  And the Blackberries around the Airport parking lot were ripe and delicious.  The berries were the hi-lite for Newbie Gerhard who probably exploded when he got home.

On the way home we stopped at the North Forty Park on 72nd St.  There were few birds there, too.  We saw the empty Cooper’s Hawk, Bald Eagle and Red-tailed Hawk nests.  However, it was near Noon, so we gorged ourselves on several varieties of ripe and delectable Plums from the trees that were planted by the Base residents back in the 40’s and 50’s.  Interestingly, we found one tree that had a bunch of birds in it, including a Yellow-rumped Warbler, Bushtits, two Downy Woodpeckers, Cedar Waxwings, Ruby-crowned Kinglets and Black-capped Chickadees.  Before leaving the North Forty, we took a group photo in the Base Wading Pool and then, what has become another DNCB tradition, we shared a bit of Lorna’s PB sandwich.

North 40 Wading Pool

I will be at Petra’s next Wednesday, August 24, for departure at 7:30 a.m. on an outing, perhaps to Yew Lake on Cypress Mountain.  Don’t forget the Richmond Raptor Festival this Sunday, August 21 from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at Terra Nova Park. Delta Nats will have its Display set up, as we did for the very successful events last Sunday at BBRP (Festival for the Birds) and Deas Island (Starry Night).  Again, comments welcome, check out our DNCB Blog at https://dncb.wordpress.com/, and let me know if you want off this List.

Tom Bearss
President, Delta Naturalists’ Society

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About dncb

DNS: Delta Naturalists are a group of nature lovers whose aim is to foster interest in the natural history of the Fraser delta by sharing and enjoying nature and promoting environmental awareness and conservation. DNCB: Delta Nats Casual Birders is a group of Casual Birders who go Birding at different locations each week, usually within the Lower Mainland or in nearby Washington State.
This entry was posted in 104 Street, 72 Street, 88 Street, Boundary Bay, Cooper's Hawk, North Forty/VWS, Northern Harrier, Peregrine Falcon, Western Tanager. Bookmark the permalink.

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