Lucky thirteen (again) DNCBers enjoyed a beautiful “short-sleeved” Wednesday morning walk and birding outing at Colony Farm Regional Park in Coquitlam. We were: Roger, Hans-Ulf, Terry, Kay, Ken & Anne, White Rock Al, Back-of-the-Bus Gus, Kirsten, Jonathan & Lorraine, Mike and me. Hi-lites included: Lazuli Buntings, Eastern Kingbird, Vaux’s Swifts, nesting Pied-billed Grebes and lots of other neat stuff. Check out photos on the Picasa link.
Four of us left Petra’s at 7:30 a.m. and picked up a couple of others on our faster-than-normal (one hour) drive through the tunnel, along the Connector, over the bridge, through New Westminster to the Coquitlam entrance to Colony Farm Regional Park. During introductions in the parking lot by the community garden plots, White Rock Al heard a Western Tanager. We never did see one of these elusive birds.
We walked the trail beside the “Funny Farm” searching for our target bird, the Lazuli Bunting. A flock of Vaux’s Swifts circled relatively low above us; one or two Black Swifts may have been among them (according to Back of the Bus Gus). We saw many Common Yellowthroats and were finally rewarded with two, and probably four, brilliant Lazuli Buntings, which hopefully our photogs got some decent shots of. We walked back to the parking lot where Tree Swallows and Song Sparrows were posing and Kay spotted another Lazuli on the telephone wire.
We then walked the main path into the Park, seeing several irridescent Rufous Hummingbirds, sleek Cedar Waxwings, Spotted Towhees and then a couple of beautiful Yellow Warblers.
A couple of Pine Siskins, then a small flock of American Goldfinches caught our attention too. Ken took the obligatory Group Photo on the Bridge over the Coquitlam River. We heard several Black-headed Grosbeaks and finally got some good sightings. Doves flew by us which may have been Band-tailed Pigeons, or more likely Eurasian Collared-doves. Several Red-tailed Hawks, in various plumages, circled above us, and one was seen being harassed by a Peregrine Falcon. After spotting a Turkey Vulture which turned out to be a juvenile Bald Eagle, Roger recouped himself and found the Eastern Kingbird (another target bird for Colony Farm) which posed nicely for us. We took the path toward the Pied-billed Grebe pond and our “Chief Spotter” Kay spotted the beautiful cock Ring-necked Pheasant not far from where we were told that the hen pheasant is sitting on their nest. No one was banding at the VARC station, but lots of little birds (LBJ’s) flying around.
At the pond, we saw the Pied-billed Grebe, but could not locate the nest. We were told by local “Bicycle Birder” Dave Schutz that their first nest had been destroyed by bad weather (flooding). We/Kirsten “called” the Virginia and Sora Rails (and American Bittern) but got no response. The pond was full of families of baby Mallards and Marsh Wrens were buzzing there too. Interestingly, we saw four Swallow species hawking insects around this pond – Tree, Barn, Violet-green and Rough-winged, and we got excellent views of all four species. A Great Blue Heron, as in past visits here, was posing uncharacteristically on top of an old Wood Duck nesting box (near the many Swallow boxes).
On the walk back we decided to check out the grove of trees where Dave Schutz had earlier seen both Western Tanagers and Bullock’s Orioles. We were blanked on both, but saw a neat female Common Merganser in the river and our photogs got some more nice shots of Hummers and Grosbeaks.
Roger, Ken & Anne saw a Flycatcher which was likely a Western Wood-pewee. It was approaching 1:00 p.m. when we got back to the parking lot, where no one, except Kay with her new sweeter-than-tasteless biscuits, had any goodies to share. We missed PB Lorna. Starving, I drove back to Tsawwassen nibbling on my dried fruit/nut mixture. Nonetheless, it was another glorious morning of DNCB birding.
Next Wednesday, May 29, we will have a “local” outing to the North Forty Park (near Boundary Bay Airport) where Western Tanagers, Bullock Orioles and Lazuli Buntings have all been seen this week. You might want to check out our Delta Nats Display this Sunday, May 26 at the 117th annual Ladner Pioneer May Days in Memorial Park. As always, comments encouraged and let me know if you want off this illustrious DNCB List. Cheers: Tom
Tentative Schedule for DNCB outings…
- 1) May 29 – Local, North Forty;
2) June 5 – BOTB in BBRP;
3) June 12 – Pitt Lake.