Eleven birders (Anne M, Marion S, Hans-Ulf, Lorna, Ken B, Kay G, Eric L, Jimmy “Red Socks” Ronback, Jonathan & Lorraine and me) spent a glorious Wednesday morning wandering around the South Arm Marsh Park in Ladner. Hi-lites were good looks at “Candy Birds” (i.e. Western Tanager, Black-headed Grosbeaks, Warblers and Vireos), Swainson’s Thrush and nesting Rufous Hummingbirds. A Caspian Tern flew overhead. Ken, Jonathan, Eric and Marion took photos, so there should be lots on our DNCB Picasa site soon at http://picasaweb.google.com/dncbirding.
When we entered the Ladner Park off Ferry Road, birds were singing all around us, but they were difficult to find and see. We saw lots of birds flitting about, mostly high in the trees, and our Guru Anne was able to identify Wilson’s and Orange-crowned Warblers and Warbling Vireos. Some of us got good looks at a Swainson’s Thrush. Several Hummingbirds buzzed us and a local dog walker pointed out a Rufous Hummingbird nest, currently unoccupied, but hummers around it. We saw a few Wood Duck pairs which hopefully are nesting there again, perhaps in the Boxes.
At the Lookout we heard both Bewick’s and Marsh Wrens but I’m not sure whether anyone saw them. The south arm of the Fraser River looked very inviting as we cased two BC Ferries docked for repair in their yard on the other side. Both Tree and Violet-green Swallows swooping around and White-crowned, Savannah and Song Sparrows singing. Ken took the mandatory Group Photo at the base of the Lookout. A resident Red-tailed Hawk gave a fly-past. On our way back, most people got good looks at (and photos of) a Western Tanager, while others missed it as they were trying to find an elusive Brown Creeper. Then several of the noisy Black-headed Grosbeaks finally gave us good views. Lorraine “followed” a Cooper’s Hawk along the fence trees; Cooper’s Hawks nested in this park a couple of years ago.
We had our Smoko of Peanuts, Jimmy’s raisins and Kay’s biscuits at the cars before walking the trail along the sloughs among the condos. Lots of ducks (Mallards, Wood, Gadwall) near the shores, some Mallards with only a few babies left; the Bald Eagles are picking off the young ducks and goslings with regularity.
We saw a late pair of American Wigeon and wondered whether they might stay here and nest. Bushtits were flying in and out of a couple of their nests. Downies and Northern Flickers were the only Woodpeckers we saw, although there was evidence of the Pileated being there. A super morning, that most of us really enjoyed, including Hans-Ulf who was kept awake by the glare (and odor) from Jimmy’s red socks.
Next Wednesday, May 23, we will leave Petra’s Kafe at 7:30 a.m. (note earlier time) on an “Away” outing to Pitt Polder (Grant Narrows Park – Orioles, Catbirds, Ospreys, Warblers) where we expect to meet in the parking lot there around 8:30 a.m. We expect to return to Tsawwassen by about 2:30 p.m. Bring goodies for the Leader. Again, comments encouraged, check out our DNCB Blog at www.wordpress.dncb.com, and tell me if you are sick of receiving this blathering. Cheers: Tom
Tom Bearss, President, Delta Naturalists’ Society