On a miserable, wet and cold Friday morning, six “Weirdos” met at Beach Grove Park to search for the pair of regularly nesting Great Horned Owls. This was meant to be a joint outing with the Langley and White Rock/Surrey Naturalists’ Clubs. Anne G and Bob from Langley, and Al S from WRSN showed up, along with veteran Lorna and newbie Joyce M (new to DNCB but an “oldie” with the Nats) from our Delta Nats.
It was pouring rain, and for an hour we checked all the trees in the Park for a GHO and saw nothing, not even any pellets. A few Bald Eagles and chickadees humoured us a bit on the trails. I was getting frustrated and we decided to give up and go for coffee. At the parking lot, Joyce spotted some irate crows across the street near the houses. Before leaving, I decided to check out the conifers there, and found the male Great-horned Owl perched half-way up the tree. Our juices were re-invigorated. Just then, Anne M with Kay and her Japanese entourage showed up; they were equally as excited to see this bird, especially after we had done all the work finding it.
We were soaked, but decided to check out Boundary Bay Regional Park (BBRP) at the foot of 12th Avenue before seeking warmth and a coffee. The Japanese wimps (just kidding Anne/Kay) went off to Alaksen [where we saw a Barred Owl, Snow Geese and a Brown Creeper – AM]. The flock of Golden-crowned Sparrows welcomed us at the BBRP entrance. We scoped the Green-winged Teal in the inner Bay and one bird had a horizontal white stripe. Rick Swanston had reported seeing a Common (Eurasian) Teal there and we think we may have seen it. It looks exactly like the one depicted in Sibley’s. We continued to the Lookout and watched the 100+ Brant Geese close to us for a couple of minutes. The Yellowlegs were around the corner, but we had had enough of the wind and rain.
After acrobatic Bob took the obligatory Group Photo on Anne’s camera, we checked out the new café on Beach Grove Road just a block from the parking lot. The hot drinks, soup and warmth hit the spot. Another very enjoyable outing with some nice folk.
I will be at Petra’s on Monday, Feb. 27 for departure at 8:00 a.m. on a DNCB outing, probably to Iona Regional Park. I and others will be celebrating Heritage Day at Cammidge House this Sunday, Feb. 26, from Noon to 3:00 p.m. Comments welcome/encouraged, and check out our DNCB Blog at www.dncb.wordpress.com for other Reports and Photos.
Tom Bearss, President, Delta Naturalists’ Society