Ten DNCBer’s (Lorna, Sheila, Marion, Bryan & Janet, Jonathan, Mike, Donna, me and Gerhard) started on our Monday morning outing to Terra Nova Park in Richmond. My “Bird of the Day” was a Townsend’s Solitaire, while Gerhard’s dessert following Lorna’s PB and Banana Sandwich was also a hit. Check out Marion and Jonathan’s photos on our DNCB Picasa site.
Four of us (Lorna, Sheila, Gerhard and me) left Petra’s around 8:00 a.m. and following a pleasant and quick drive via the HOV lane, we met the other six at the Terra Nova Park parking lot near the washroom on the dike path. We chatted “inanely” a bit and then scoped some Red-breasted Mergansers in the Fraser and one or two Horned Grebes. It was overcast and pretty chilly on the dike path and Wimp Gerhard garbled something about being cold and not having proper clothes, so he left. Before departing, and following his desecration by most DNCBer’s, he surrendered to us his Smoko Pastry. We walked the dike path for a bit, scanning the hordes of Red-wing Blackbirds, and also seeing Song and Golden-crowned Sparrows, Spotted Towhees, both House and Purple Finches, Juncos, Robins, Starlings in both winter and summer plumages. In the marsh were several Bald Eagles, Northern Harriers and Great Blue Herons. We saw some Snow Geese in the distance, and later on hundreds (perhaps thousands) flew over us in small flocks toward inland fields I suppose.
We entered the “under renovations” Terra Nova Park, Donna’s “home turf”, and saw a few neat birds in the shrubs along the very comfortable walking trails, including; both Red- and Golden-crowned Kinglets and Pacific Wrens. A Peregrine Falcon gave us a fly-past look. Jonathan and Marion each took the obligatory, and almost comical Group Photo.
We were blanked on owls, but found lots of pellets under some tall conifers. Bryan saw a Hermit Thrush and a few of us saw a Varied Thrush, Brown Creeper, Red-breasted Nuthatch, Northern Flickers and a Downy Woodpecker, but no Redpolls. The ponds were uncharacteristically void of waterfowl other than the occasional American Wigeon and Mallards; we saw a couple of Green-winged Teal. A neat Cooper’s Hawk posed on a branch for a few seconds before taking off.
Our “bird of the day” came near the end of the morning when a Townsend’s Solitaire flitted in some shrubs along the trail and we all got great looks, and photos. On the dike walk back to the parking lot, as we were admiring the Snow Goose fly-overs, a flock/swarm of shorebirds (probably Dunlin) landed on the river edge beyond the reeds. Marion saw a few Trumpeter Swans too.
Back at the vehicles we enjoyed our Smoko with dependable Lorna’s PB and banana sandwich, Mike’s tea and then, hesitating in fear of being poisoned, we (Sheila, Mike, Lorna and me) tasted the wimp Gerhard’s pastry “gift” and surprisingly, it was delish. Another very enjoyable DNCB morning; we got back to Petra’s around 1:00 p.m.
Next Monday, Feb. 4, we will bird locally “around the Bay”, probably including the Ferry Terminal, leaving Petra’s at 8:00 a.m.
Tom Bearss, President, Delta Naturalists’ Society