DNCB Outing 2011-45 to Iona

Seven (Roger, Mike, Anne M, Alan, John W, Kay and me) met at Petra’s on a cold and windy Monday morning and most of us went to Iona Regional Park in search of a Snowy Owl and other newly-arrived migrants.  We were blanked on the Snowy, but some hi-lites seen included: Snow Bunting, Canvasback, lots of Pied-billed but no Eared Grebes, Rough-legged Hawk and lots of Ducks and Dunlin.

The tide was high and the wind was blowing hard when we arrived at the end of the Airport runway near the entrance to Iona Park. We scanned in vain for a Snowy.  A couple of adult Bald Eagles were on the pylons, hanging on with difficulty in the wind.  Later a Red-tailed Hawk stopped fleetingly on the airport fence. Lots of American Wigeon, Mallards and Green-winged Teal in the Bay.  Gulls identified included Mew, Thayer’s, Herring, Ring-billed and Glaucous-winged.  On the road in front of the causeway walk a very friendly Snow Bunting (another of our target birds this morning) posed for us.

Snow Bunting at Iona

At the Iona parking lot, while scanning the ducks in the Bay, a Peregrine Falcon gave us a neat fly-past. We were the only people in the Park at that time, so the birds were close to us in the ponds. We got good looks at several Pied-billed Grebes, Northern Shovelers, Northern Pintail, American Coots, Gadwall and a lone Canvasback. Then, Roger, Mike and John W. left to count their money. Alan had wimped out earlier. On our walk to the Park’s back entrance to the Sewage Lagoons, we flushed a Hooded Merganser in the back pond. The Sewage Lagoons had lots of the aforementioned duck species; nice when they are in breeding plumage and close-up for viewing, although it was bloody cold and windy, especially when one has just returned from warmer regions like Australia or Trinidad. Anne and Kay spotted a Marsh Wren along the lagoon edge. A Rough-legged Hawk posed on a stick on the Fraser side of the back pond. It left toward the Cottonwoods, and we were not able to locate it again. After enjoying Kay’s tasty biscuits, we decided to pack it in, but on the way out of the Park, we noticed several swarms of Shorebirds. The tide was starting to recede, and there was a bit of shoreline for them to feed. We were able to pick out the Sanderlings feeding among the Dunlin right in front of us. A fun morning with some fun people, albeit, some were a bit wimpy (including me).

Our Delta Nats meeting last night with Paul Jones presenting on the mysterious Marbled Murrelets in the Caren Range on the Sunshine Coast was very interesting and well-received. I will be at Petra’s next Monday, November 21 around 7:30 a.m. for departure at 8:00 a.m. on an outing somewhere around the Bay. We will also discuss an appropriate time and date to open and empty our 28 Bird Boxes in Boundary Bay Regional Park for the Winter. To read past outing Reports see our DNCB Blog at: https://dncb.wordpress.com/ and check out photos of our outings on our Picasa site at: http://picasaweb.google.com/dncbirding. Comments welcome, and let me know if you want off my Recipient List.

Tom Bearss
President, Delta Naturalists’ Society

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.
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