Twenty DNCBer’s (Wow, big group – Roger & Sheila, Marion & Marti and newbie Charlie, Bryan & Janet, Susan & Gerhard, Mike & Lorna, Paul & Quinn, Terry & Kay, Eileen & Annie K, Donna, and me; I missed one) battled the cold and snow this morning in downtown Vancouver to see the rare Brambling and then wander around beautiful Queen Elizabeth Park. Hi-lites other than the Brambling were a beaut Red-breasted Sapsucker, both Golden- and Ruby-crowned Kinglets, and Lorna’s PB & Banana sandwich. Check out Terry’s and other’s photos on our DNCB Picasa site.
Eight of us left Petra’s around 8:00 a.m. and met the rest of the group around 9:00 a.m. in the alley behind the Laurel Avenue home where the Brambling has been hanging out for a couple of weeks. This Eurasian Vagrant was skulking in the thick bramble bush with House Sparrows, House Finches, Song Sparrows and Juncos, but all of us got at least a glimpse of the bird. It was difficult to see clearly as the snow and cold kept the bird deep in the thicket. Marion and Roger got super photos on the weekend during the gorgeous weather here.
We left the Brambling around 10:00 am. and parked by the tennis courts at Queen Elizabeth Park, the highest point in downtown Vancouver. We cased the big Pine Trees near the courts and Marion found an Anna’s Hummingbird, then Kay spotted the Red-breasted Sapsucker on a trunk, close-and-personal for good views. A Red-breasted Nuthatch was also nearby. Roger conned a passer-by to take our mandatory Group Photo. We searched other trees for Pine Grosbeaks and Varied Thrushes, in vain, but saw tonnes of Robins. We walked in sort of a circle around the top of this beautiful park, past the Pitch & Putt golf course, the restaurant, sunken gardens and the Bloedel Conservatory. We got good looks at both Golden-crowned and Ruby-crowned Kinglets so we could distinguish the differences. A Red-tailed Hawk was our only raptor seen. We checked the Hummingbird feeder at the Pitch & Putt, but no Anna’s showed up, so we decided to abort the outing, perhaps too early for some, but just fine for others whose toes were frozen. Lorna’s peanut butter and banana sandwich made the drive home much more comfortable as I could concentrate on eating rather than attempt to translate Gerhard’s garbling in the back seat. We got back to Petra’s shortly after Noon; not a lot of species seen today, but another very enjoyable outing.
Next Monday’s outing (Jan. 21) will be to Burnaby Lake Park, leaving Petra’s at 8:00 a.m. and meeting others at the Park’s Nature House around 9:00 a.m. Burnaby Lake is Roger Meyer’s home turf and he will be leading the outing (I have Ontario relatives visiting). As usual, comments welcome, check out our DNCB Blog (i.e. to see last week’s report which I did not circulate), and advise me if you want off my Bird List.
Tom Bearss, President, Delta Naturalists’ Society