DNCB Outing No. 2012-45: Burnaby Lake

Thirteen, there’s that number again, casual birders traveled to Burnaby Lake hoping to find the Rusty Blackbirds that had been there for the past few weeks.  Lorna, Sheila, Kay, Hans and I (Roger) met at Petra’s and joined Jonathan, Ken and Anne A, Brian and Janet, Mike, Marion S, and newcomer, Lee Perry, at the Burnaby Lake Nature House.  Spending a few moments watching the feeders in front of the house yielded some Chestnut-backed Chickadees, Spotted Towhees, Song Sparrows and an overhead Raven.  Moving down along Eagle Creek we saw Mallards, Green-winged Teal and Wood Ducks.

Green-winged Teal (m)

Wood Duck pair

On the spit boardwalk we found the Rusty Blackbirds had moved on but, after a slow start the species count began to pick up.  On a lump of mud an American Pipit was sighted (identified by Bryan), and along the muddy shore a single Dunlin,

American Pipit (Marion S)

a single Dowitcher sp, while on the water were a pair of Pied-billed Grebes, some American Coots,  a few Hooded Mergansers, and somehow Bryan managed to spot a Northern Shrike (confirmed by Ken’s scope) on a beaver lodge half a kilometer away.  (Apologies if I missed giving credit for sightings as I don’t have Tom’s incredible memory).  Earlier Bryan had seen a Peregrine Falcon startling the ducks.  Some also had sighted a Belted Kingfisher over the spit.  The only other raptor we sighted was a single Northern Harrier cruising the shoreline.  At the end of the spit we paused for the traditional group photo.

Casual Birding at Burnaby Lake (click on photo to see larger version)

Having exhausted the spit we decided to walk the east trail to the dam on the Brunette River.  Along the way we had (accompanied by the familiar “Bird Alerts” from Lorna) large numbers of American Robins, incredibly large flocks of Pine Siskins, Ruby and Golden-crowned Kinglets, House Finches, a few Purple Finches (we missed you, Anne M, with your expertise here), Dark-eyed Juncos, a single Downy Woodpecker, Song Sparrows, American Goldfinches, Golden-crowned Sparrows, Black-capped Chickadees,  Northwestern Crows, Canada Geese (flying by along the river) and some late Yellow-rumped Warblers.  There were many sites showing the work of Pileated Woodpeckers but not a one to be seen.  We were hoping to see and American Dipper below the dam, but the lake was so filled with water from the recent rain that the runoff was too rapid.

At the dam we were able to watch large salmon (we were told they were “chum”) entering the fish ladder from the river up to the lake level.  Having run out of time we retraced our steps to the Nature House where the usual ingestion of peanut butter sandwiches, etc, occurred.

Next week’s trip will be to the White Rock Pier.  By popular demand (that would be Kay) it was decided that the departure time would be changed to 8:00 am.  If we leave Petra’s at 8:00 am we should be at the pier by 9:00 am to meet those coming from Vancouver, Surrey, etc.  Hopefully there will be an abundance of sea birds and the  recently sighted Clarke’s Grebe (do your homework people) will still be there.  Tom, if you can get this way down under, we miss your guidance and I certainly miss your blog writing skills!

Roger Meyer, Delta Naturalists

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.
This entry was posted in *DNCB, Burnaby Lake, Northern Harrier. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to DNCB Outing No. 2012-45: Burnaby Lake

  1. Tom Bearss says:

    Blog report is awesome, Roger. Sandra and I arrived yesterday in Western Australia; 23 hours in the air. Some of my sightings so far include: Galahs and Ring-necked (28’s) Parrots at our feeder, Common Bronzewing and Spotted Turtle-Doves in front yard, Silver Gulls, Crested Terns, Hoary-headed Grebe, Pied and Little Pied Cormorants, Australian Pelicans all in front of me for breakfast in Mandurah, Grey Currawongs, Australian Magpies and similar-looking Magpie Larks hanging around our garbage cans, Brown Honeyeaters in our shrubs, Tree Martins, Pied Oystercatchers with a juvenile near the beach, Swamp Harrier mobbed by a couple of Australian Ravens and Willy Wagtails playing on the lawn. Going birding tomorrow with some “real” birders. Enjoying an Emu Export beer right now. Don’t miss you, yet. Luv: Tom

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