Nineteen birders (our Gurus Al & Jude Grass, Ken B & Anne A and Christie, Bryan & Janet, Eric L, Jane Z, Gerhard L, Roger & Mike, returning scope bearer Ron D, White Rock/Surrey Nats Anne G and Al S, Photogs Marion S and Terry C, Alan P and me) enjoyed a glorious Wednesday morning outing at Campbell Valley Regional Park (CVP) in Langley. CVP was established as a Metro Vancouver Park in 1979 and is larger than Stanley Park. Check out Terry’s, Marion’s and Ken’s photos on our Picasa site at http://picasaweb.google.com/dncbirding.
We left Petra’s around 7:30 a.m. and met the group at 8:30 a.m. at the 16th Avenue entrance to CVP. A Wilson’s Warbler entertained us in the parking lot as we waited for everyone to arrive. Following introductions, and led by our Gurus Al and Jude Grass, we began our walk along the Little River Loop Trail beneath the forest canopy. We heard Pacific Wrens and White-breasted Nuthatches and some saw a Brown Creeper. At the first bridge over the meadow, a Pileated Woodpecker gave us a fly-past. Lots of Barn and Tree Swallows hawking insects around us. A Willow Flycatcher sang and posed on a tree. We heard, and some may have seen a Pacific-slope Flycatcher and a Western Wood-Pewee. Yellow Warblers were calling and most of us saw one or two, and of course, Common Yellowthroats. Al also heard an Orange-crowned Warbler. Lots of Marsh Wrens chattering around us too. The loudest bird seemed to be the Black-headed Grosbeak and one gorgeous male circled us at the Listening Bridge where we stopped for the mandatory Group Photo (taken excruciatingly annoyingly by Ken B who had difficulty finding the on-off button on his camera). Spotted Towhees and Douglas Squirrels were close enough to eat from our hands.
We continued our walk toward the Nature House, hearing warblers, but struggling to get good looks at them. Swainson’s Thrushes were also calling and some got a glimpse of this species. Common species like Song Sparrows, Black-capped Chickadees, Bushtits and Dark-eyed Juncos kept us interested during quiet times; although with this group of 19 chatterboxes, there was very little quiet time. A Purple Finch sang and posed for us, and Marion got some neat shots of a young Cedar Waxwing family.
American Goldfinches and Rufous Hummingbirds gave us candy birders a small thrill. Two of the three Als (Grass and Schulze) also pointed out and described expertly much of the flora and trees in the Park; unfortunately, the interesting and valuable information was absorbed by most like water on a duck’s back.
When we got to the Nature House, some thought the Washroom was the hi-lite of the morning. Swallowtails and other butterflies were flitting around the butterfly garden. A huge Bullfrog and three invasive Red Slider Turtles were loafing in the pond. Jude pointed out a Thatcher Ant nest.
We walked back along the South Valley and Vine Maple Trails, passing Al G’s Owl Headquarters, where of course there were no owls. We dipped on Vireos, Tanagers and Kinglets too.
We got back to the cars at Noon where Jane Z presented her dish of fresh strawberries to the group (and a PB & Jam sandwich for the Leader).Jane was commended on being the sole person to have read and responded positively to the instructions in last week’s report. It was a wonderful morning wandering through a beautiful park with an eclectic group of almost-interesting naturalists.
Next Wednesday morning, July 11, I will be at Petra’s for departure at 7:30 a.m. on a DNCB outing to Minnekhada Regional Park. I expect to be at the Minnekhada Lodge parking lot off Oliver Road at 8:30 a.m. As is customary in these reports, comments are encouraged, to see earlier reports and photos check out our DNCB Blog at www.dncb.wordpress.com, and if you want off my List to receive these missives, tell me. Cheers: Tom