Ten birders (Ken & Anne, Jonathan & Lorraine, Roger, Mike, Lorna, Hans, Eleanor and me) spent a cold, miserable morning at Beach Grove Park, Boundary Bay Regional Park (BBRP), Tsa Tsu Shores, Tsawwassen Ferry Port, and on the Tsawwassen First Nations reserve (TFN). Hi-lites were: Great-horned Owl, Brant Geese, Western Grebes, Black-bellied Plovers, a Rough-legged Hawk , and a very enjoyable Smoko at the Si’em Cafe on the TFN. Check out Jonathan’s photos on our Picasa site at: http://picasaweb.google.com/dncbirding and our DNCB Blog at: https://dncb.wordpress.com .
From Petra’s at 8:00a.m. we first went to Beach Grove Park to check for the nesting Great Horned Owls. Roger found one adult roosting in a conifer that was “pruning” according to Lorna (preening?). We looked in vain for the partner and the nest. Perhaps it’s a bit early, but hopefully we will have GHO activity for our Feb. 24 joint outing with the Langley and WRS Naturalists’ clubs. Several Downies and Northern Flickers were drumming in the trees around. We left the 20+ dog walkers there to check out BBRP at the foot of 12th Ave. Lots of Golden-crowned and House Sparrows and House Finches at the entrance. Not much in the close-by marsh, but the flock of 200 Brant Geese was near the Lookout. A couple of Eurasian Wigeons were spotted among them and the American Wigeons. We met Big Rick who later saw some banded birds among the Brants. Next stop was the Heronry at Tsa Tsu Shores. Only a few Great Blues in the trees, but a dark Red-tailed Hawk stood out on a branch for us. We checked the feeders on the beach side of the Condos, but saw no hummingbirds (Annas are still at my home feeders). There were Black Oystercatchers, Surf Scoters, Common Goldeneye Bufflehead, common Loons, Horned Grebes, more Brant Geese and Double-crested Cormorants in the Bay on both sides of the causeway to the Ferry Port. We saw a couble of Western Grebes, but could not find the Clarke’s Grebe or the Surfbirds.
The rain was spitting off and on and it was quite chilly, so we decided to check out the new Si’em Cafe on the TFN. The staff was very friendly and the Chili was very tasty and warmed me up nicely. I think it was Robin who took our mandatory Group Photo.
Ken and Anne wimped out, but the rest of us soldiered on around the TFN. In a field near the start of 41B Street, a flock (200+) of Black-bellied Plovers caught our attention. They were close to us, but we could not pick out any Golden Plovers, although lots of Dunlin were among them. They were not bothered when Northern Harriers flew over them, but Bald Eagles occasionally raised them into a neat swarm before relanding. My passengers were getting a bit edgy at the sound of my gas gauge ringing, so we decided to return to Petra’s. Along 28 Ave. we saw a few Trumpeter Swans and another Red-tailed hawk, but no Gyr Falcon. Then on 52nd Street, I stopped near a telephone pole, raising the fear in my passengers of being stranded; however, we were treated to a brilliant Rough-legged Hawk posing, then flying for a good photo op. We got back to Petra’s safe and sound, and I went to Point Bob for gas. Not a sterling morning of birding, but we saw some nice stuff, and had a helluva good time doing it.
Next Monday, January 30, the DNCB outing will be at Burnby Lake Park. I will be at Petra’s for departure and car-pooling at 8:00a.m., but others (Russell, Mike) may wish to meet us at the Nature House in the park when we arrive, I suspect just before 9:00a.m. Again, comments welcome, and let me know if this gibberish annoys you and you want off my List.
Tom Bearss, President, Delta Naturalists’ Society