Lucky thirteen birders (Roger, Hans-Ulf, Lorna, Jane, Kay, Donna, Janet, Sheila, Jonathan & Lorraine, Mike, newbie Gus and me) enjoyed another gorgeous Easter Monday morning at Maplewood Flats Conservation Area in North Vancouver. Hi-lites included: FOY Yellow-rumped Warbler, Evening Grosbeaks, Black Oystercatchers and delicious fish & chips at Michael Buble’s favourite restaurant, the Crab Shack. Check out photos on the Picasa site link to our DNCB website.
Six of us left Petra’s at 8:00 a.m. and did the 45 minute drive to the Park in an hour and 5 minutes (Indy Roger was leading). Following introductions in the parking lot, especially of first-timer Gus, we checked out the Bird List at the Nature House, then proceeded along the path to the first mudflats viewing area. The tide was high but there were a few Greater Yellowlegs near the shore among a flock of mostly Mew Gulls and Green-winged Teal. A Purple Finch flew by and a Savannah Sparrow was in the grass. The Bald Eagle pair was on their nest, assuming on eggs, but no Osprey have arrived yet. Around the distant Purple Martin boxes, we saw a few Tree Swallows, but no Martins. Bufflehead, rafts of Barrow’s Goldeneye, Hooded Mergansers, and both Double-crested and Pelagic Cormorants were diving in the Fraser river. Roger saw Scaup too.
Most DNCBers didn’t care about the birds as they enjoyed the warmth of the sun and the beautiful vistas over the water and surrounding hills, and of course their inane chatter. The sun was brilliant so Roger took our mandatory Group Photo here.
We followed the trail along the water; several Hummingbirds flashed (Rufous probably). Janet spotted a Yellow-rumped (Audubon) Warbler high in the trees, first-of-year (FOY) warbler for me. Ruby-crowned Kinglets were calling and flitting about, as were Bushtits, a Bewick’s Wren and other small birds. At another lookout eagle-eye Donna spotted the bright red bills of Black Oystercatchers on a rocky spit in the river. Belted Kingfishers were yapping and one flew past us up the creek, but Lorna missed it. Some saw a Cooper’s Hawk. A couple of Varied Thrushes landed in a tree above us for a quick peek before taking off.
At the bridge over a pond, we watched a pair of gorgeous Wood Ducks basking in the sun on one log while an American Coot cruised by and two (big and little) Red Slider turtles sun-bathed on another log. Then Donna, who was on fire this day, spotted three beaut Evening Grosbeaks in a tree next to the path.
We all got good looks before they took off. We walked up to the Lookout where Gus was enthralled with a Spotted Towhee. The time seemed to fly by as we got back to the Nature House just after Noon, some of us starving (I had forgotten Lorna’s PB Sandwich in the car).
We gathered at the vehicles, gorging down Jane’s bowl of fresh strawberries; then 9 of us went just up the road to the famous Crab Shack, wall-papered with photos of eminent folk including Michael Buble. Someone even mistook one of the patrons, former Vancouver Mayor and BC Senator Larry Campbell, for Michael.
Anyhow, the fish and chips were very tasty and satisfying. And the drive back to Tsawwassen was peaceful and serene as I cruised along to the hum of Jane and Kay’s drivel. What a super morning!
Our DNCB outings change to Wednesday’s next week (April 10), leaving Petra’s at the earlier time of 7:30 a.m. We will be going to Iona Regional Park, meeting, I expect, at the washroom parking lot at around 8:15 a.m.
Don’t forget our monthly Delta Nats meeting next Monday, April 8 at 7:30 p.m. at Cammidge House where renowned Peter Ward will give an illustrated presentation on his Birding Adventures in Zimbabwe (see poster below).
Par habitude, comments encouraged and please advise if you want off my List. Cheers: Tom
Tom Bearss, President, Delta Naturalists’ Society
Editor’s Note: Tom has understated the Michael Buble story… for more information about the hilarious incident, contact any of the members in the group photo. Also, the poor chap at the far left in the fish-and-chip place looks stunned because Tom had taken his chips.