Eight hardy DNCBers (Roger, Sheila, Donna, Marion, Bryan & Janet, chauffeur Gerhard and me) braved the crappy weather this morning (Monday) on an outing to the North Forty “dog-walk” Park, Kings Links Golf Course and then the dike overlooking Boundary Bay at the end of 72nd Street. Hi-lites included a Rough-legged Hawk, Peregrine Falcon, Northern Shrike and half of Gerhard’s Blueberry muffin. Check out Marion’s and Roger’s photos on our DNCB Picasa site.
When Donna finally arrived at Petra’s we took the back roads to Delta Corp’s North Forty Park on 72nd Street. We passed a flock of Trumpeter Swans feeding in a potato field on 34B Ave. In the parking lot at the park entrance a Northern Shrike posed for good looks (and photos).
We walked along the main road of this former Wireless Station, accompanied by several dog-walkers, who passed us as we caught sight of some Kinglets, mostly Golden-crowned, however Roger claims a couple of them were Ruby-crowned. Lots of Bald Eagles around, and one pair was occupying a new nest. We also saw a few Red-tailed Hawks, Northern Harriers, Northern Flickers and a neat flock of Bushtits, plus lots of other common stuff. Roger led us to the new Monkey Tree which had about 20 stuffed monkeys hanging on it. Then he showed us “his original Teddy Bear Tree” which had about 20 stuffed bears hanging on it,
but sadly his original stuffed bear wasn’t there.
(I feel that this description is a bit incomprehensible; you have to see the trees and hear Roger’s story to get the gist. See DNCB Report #2012-21 and ….)
We toured the streets of the old 40’s to 60’s “overgrown” residential area, noting the fruit trees and other other uncommon trees (e.g. white poplars) planted back then. We took a couple of Group Photos “inside” a huge Spruce tree. No Cooper’s Hawks were seen near their old nest.
Back at the Park entrance, it was Smoko time and in the absence of PB Lorna, our chauffeur Garbling Gerhard shared his blueberry muffin, which hit the spot. We drove down 72nd to Kings Links Golf Course. While renowned resident golfing birder Richie N and Yvon teed off in the rain on the 10th hole, we surveyed the Northern Shovelers, Gadwall and Bufflehead in the adjacent pond. The Hooded Merganser pair (seen yesterday) were not there. We walked to the pond between the 9th and 7th fairways where a couple of hundred American Wigeon were lounging. We picked out at least 5 Eurasian Wigeon and a few Northern Pintails. Nothing in the pond along the 18th, but about 200 more Wigeon were in the 17th hole pond. Interestingly, they did not move when a Bald Eagle flew over them, but scattered when a Peregrine Falcon flew by.
Our last stop was the dike walk at the end of 72nd where we met another local birding guru, Mike Tabac. We saw 8 to 10 Snowy Owls in the distance toward 64th Street and a huge swarm of Dunlin in the Bay, but were blanked on both Short- and Long-eared Owls. However, a beaut Rough-legged Hawk posed in a tree beside the mansion, then hovered characteristically for us, to provide a nice end to the outing. Approaching Noon and hunger pains dominating (half a muffin just doesn’t cut it), we decided to return to Petra’s before Gerhard was apprehended for stealing his wife’s vehicle.
Next Monday, Feb. 25, we will meet at 8:30 a.m. at the new Concession Stand parking lot at Centennial Beach. This is a “Work/Birding” outing where we will clean/close/install new Bird Boxes in Boundary Bay Regional Park. Delta Nats currently have 30 nest boxes in BBRP, many of which need replacing. Wear boots, gloves and other appropriate clothing. The following week, on Monday, March 4, our DNCB outing may be to Blaine, Washington and Drayton Harbour. As always, comments encouraged.
Tom Bearss, President, Delta Naturalists’ Society