Eleven DNCBers showed up this morning at Campbell Valley Regional Park in Langley for a walk in this heritage setting of diverse natural beauty. Mike, Kirsten, Gareth, Ken (without Anne) and our “Leader” White Rock Al were at the 16th Avenue parking lot when the Petra’s group of Hans, Marian, Kay, PB Lorna and I arrived around 8:20 a.m. Time-challenged Marion toured the park on her own and met us later for goodies. Hi-lites were: Western Tanager, lots of Warblers, a “saw tree”, and repetitive inane conversation, but in a gorgeous setting. Check out Marian’s and Marion’s (the M&M Twins) photos on the DNCB Picasa link.
The weather was perfect as we set out along the newly-groomed Vine Maple Trail about 8:30 a.m. (following introductions and a lavatory break). We were very fortunate to have White Rock Al with us who knows every tree, plant and bird in the Park and continuously numbed us with his explanatory drivel. His coup de grace was a band saw “growing” out of the trunk of tree.
No joke, check out Marian’s photo evidence on our Picasa site. The “Big Leaf” Maple Trees were aptly covered with ornate vines and moss. Lots of birds singing and some were identified as Pacific Slope Flycatchers, Purple Finches, Pacific, Marsh and Bewick’s Wrens, Pine Siskins, none of which we (at least me) could find. We did get glimpses of Wilson’s Warblers, and a couple of noisy but hiding Black-headed Grosbeaks finally gave flypasts. We irritated a pair of Dark-eyed Juncos protecting their nest. Irridescent Rufous Hummingbirds occasionally posed for us.
At the Listening Bridge there was lots of activity. While forgetful Ken and his photog protégé Marian were going through the ridiculous ritual of taking the obligatory Group Photo, several brilliant
Yellow Warblers sang and posed around us. Native Douglas Squirrels
hung around our feet awaiting our peanuts.
Ken had a Red-breasted Nuthatch (along with both Black-capped and Chestnut-backed Chickadees) eating from his hand, but his protégé was a bit too slow to capture the photo evidence.
She did get shots of the darker-than-normal Song Sparrows.
We followed the Deer Trail to the historic Langley Speedway oval, then headed back along the Little River Loop Trail. Marian spotted my “bird of the day” a beaut male Western Tanager and Ken even got it up-close-and-personal in the scope. Two Ravens were being mobbed by Crows providing helpful comparative ID analysis. Other birds heard included Mourning Doves, Orange-crowned Warblers and we finally saw a Common Yellowthroat and American Goldfinches.
We got back to the parking lot around 12:15 p.m. where the wandering waif Marion met us following her 3 hour search, obviously on trails we weren’t on.
All ended well as we savoured Marian’s ham and Lorna’s PB sandwiches, along with someone’s (I forget who) fruit & nut mixtures, Kirsten’s Girl Guide cookies and pretzels. It was a serene drive back to Petra’s as the three chicks (Lorna, Kay and Marian) snoozed in the back while Hans tried unsuccessfully to amuse us with his incoherent slaver about one of his German University professors, way back in the olden days. Another stimulating DNCB outing.
Next Wednesday’s DNCB outing (May 15) will be “local”, that is to Ladner parks including the South Arm Marsh Park. We will leave Petra’s at 7:30 a.m., arriving at Ladner Harbour Park around 7:45 am (see GOOGLE map http://goo.gl/maps/Z3pK9)
Two important upcoming events you should consider attending:
1) on Sunday, May 12, International Migratory Bird Day, a Mother’s Day Tea and Bird Talk n’ Walk at Cammidge House from Noon to 3:30 p.m. and
2) our Delta Nats Monthly meeting on Monday, May 13 at Cammidge House at 7:30 p.m. featuring a presentation by zoologist Karen Needham on “Aquatic Insects” (Agenda and details on DNS EVENTS page)
Again, comments encouraged and let me know if you want off my List to receive these “enlightening” missives. Cheers: Tom
Tom Bearss, President, Delta Naturalists’ Society
Tentative Schedule for DNCB outings…
- 1) May 15 – Local, Ladner Parks;
2) May 22 – Colony Farm;
3) May 29 – Local, North Forty;
4) June 5 – BOTB in BBRP;
5) June 12 – Pitt Lake.