DNCB Outing No. 2013-24 to Iona Regional Park

DSCN0329More photos by Terry, Jonathan, Marion, Roger & Ken will be added soon!

Seventeen birders, including a couple of DNCB rookies, enjoyed another glorious Wednesday morning at Iona Regional Park and the adjacent Sewage Lagoons.  Highlights included both Blue-winged and Cinnamon Teals, nesting Spotted Sandpipers, feeding young Yellow-headed Blackbirds and the usual inane conversation and no beer again.  Check out some beaut photos on the DNCB Picasa link on our DNCB Blog.

The seventeen were: Roger, Mike, Marion & Marti, Ken & Anne, Jonathan & Lorraine, Sheila, Hans-Ulf, Johnny Mac, Kirsten, White Rock Al, Terry, newbies Barb K and Dave M and me.  Seven of us left Petra’s around 7:30 a.m. in two vehicles and made good time using the HOV lane through the tunnel to the airport.  A Red-tailed Hawk was posted on a light pole as we entered the Iona Park road around the airport.  Then a “Kestrel-like” American Robin on the airport fence raised the interest of at least one hopeful participant.

IMG_6602We all met at the Iona Park parking lot around 8:15 a.m. where roofers were noisily working on the washroom facility roof.  Following introductions, we scanned the front pond (nothing there) and then, as if on cue, a beautiful adult Yellow-headed Blackbird (one of our Target Birds) flew by and landed for great photos.  We heard rustling and chirping in the bulrushes in front of us and spotted a fuzzy fledgling.  It was eventually joined by both parents and flew off to the next pond.

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Marsh Wrens were also buzzing everywhere.

We wandered to the next pond too, away from the roofers’ noise, saw more Blackbirds, both Red-winged and Yellow-headed, and lots of Tree Swallows, many nesting and feeding young in Peter & Ken H’s Boxes.

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We also saw a few Barn Swallows, and Rufous Hummingbirds entertained us at several spots throughout the morning.  No activity at Wildlife Research facilities, but we were impressed with their new banding shed.

We did not see the Pied-billed Grebes, but heard its distinct call.  Gadwalls were in the pond with a late-leaving American Wigeon.  Several new families of Mallards and Canada Geese in the ponds too.  Willow Flycatchers were calling (fitz-bew) and we eventually got good looks at one.  Common Yellowthroats were singing and some saw a Yellow Warbler.

We entered the back gate of the Sewage Lagoons and scanned the ducks in the 4 ponds.  Mostly Mallards and Gadwalls, but we found the beaut Blue-winged Teal in one pond and the brilliant Cinnamon Teal in another.  A Brown-headed Cowbird was seen along with the flocks of Starlings.  We normally see Shorebirds in the lagoons, but none were there this morning.  An Osprey hovered above us, and we later saw him/her or its mate carrying a fish to their nest on a pylon on the other side of the Fraser.  DSCN0279Ken took the mandatory Group Photo of the directionally-challenged seventeen.  We then left the Sewage Lagoons and followed the path along the Fraser.  There were many Purple Martins, adults and young, around their boxes on the pylons, more than I have ever seen there; seems like a successful year.

Lots of Sparrows (Song, Savannah and White-crowned) and Goldfinches and House Finches around too, but we were blanked on the Nighthawks.

A couple of racing Sea-Doos on the river didn’t disturb the Bald Eagle on a pylon.  We finally spotted (can’t believe I used this verb) a couple of Spotted Sandpipers near where we saw them nesting last year.

Spotted Sandpiper

Spotted Sandpiper

A third Shorebird was with this pair and we will examine Terry’s photo (when posted on Picasa) to determine its identification.  We saw more Spotteds and nesting Killdeer too as we walked further out the spit.  As we walked back along the beach to the washrooms, several Caspian Terns called as they flew above us.  Back at the parking lot, it was approaching Noon, and no one brought sandwiches or beverages for the Leader (we missed PB Lorna), so we ate a few peanuts, congratulated the newbies David and Barb on surviving the morning with this giddy gaggle of jabberers, and decided to leave.  Despite the hunger pains, it was a very enjoyable and productive outing.

Next Wednesday, June 26, Minnekhada Regional Park will be our destination.  Some will meet at 7:30 a.m. at Petra’s, carpool to the parking lot behind the Minnekhada Lodge where we should meet others around 8:30/8:45 a.m. (see map)

I have prepared a List of Destinations for DNCB outings for the next few months to mid September.  Ken will put this subject-to-change list on our DNCB Blog.  Looking forward to seeing many of you at our Delta Nats annual Garden Party this Saturday June 22 at Pam & Jen’s home.  Again, comments encouraged, and if you’re sick of receiving this drivel, let me know and I will remove you from my List.  Cheers: Tom

Tom Bearss, President, Delta Naturalists’ Society

Tentative schedule for DNCB outings (subject to change!):

June 26 – Minnekhada Regional Park (see map)
July 3 – Lighthouse Park, West Van
July 10 – Local: Reifel/Alaksen (Galapagos Presentation is July 9)
July 15 (Monday) – Ferry trip to Galiano for “invitees”
July 17 – Brydon Lagoon & Hi Knoll Park (Langley/Surrey border with Al Schulze)
July 24 – Gulf Island Round Trip
July 31 – Cypress Mountain/Yew Lake
Aug. 7 – Local: Serpentine or Mud Lake
Aug. 14 – Deer Lake
Aug. 21 – Manning Park
Aug. 28 – Local: Surrey Lake or Blackie Spit
Sept. 4 – Mount Baker
Sept. 11 – BOTB in BBRP
Sept. 14 – Jericho Beach/Camosun Bog

Other suggestions include:

• Sidney (Vancouver Island) area (with Rick & Marg)
• Barnston Island, Surrey (biking trail 9.7 km)
• Derby Reach Regional Park, Langley – join WRSN on July 6
• Burnaby Lake

About dncb

DNS: Delta Naturalists are a group of nature lovers whose aim is to foster interest in the natural history of the Fraser delta by sharing and enjoying nature and promoting environmental awareness and conservation. DNCB: Delta Nats Casual Birders is a group of Casual Birders who go Birding at different locations each week, usually within the Lower Mainland or in nearby Washington State.
This entry was posted in *DNCB, Bald Eagle, Blue-winged Teal, Cinnamon Teal, Iona, Osprey, Red-tailed Hawk, Spotted Sandpiper, Yellow-headed Blackbird. Bookmark the permalink.

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