Twelve casual birders (Roger, Terry, Ken, Mike, Lorna, Gerhard, Marion, Kirsten, David, John, Bryan, and Janet) joined forces in the pouring rain at Minnekhada Regional Park for an Outward Bound worthy DNCB outing. Conspicuously absent was our leader Tom, who also managed to miss another recent DNCB soak-a-thon at Pitt Lake. Almost absent were trip leader Roger and his carload of attendees who reportedly got stuck behind a traffic snarl on all of a myriad of attempted routes and bridges between Petra’s and Port Coquitlam. If they were seeking bridge nesting Dippers or juvenile Barn Owls, they didn’t mention it.
As we waited for Roger and company to arrive, we saw a Barred Owl flying past the Lodge garden, and then a Willow Flycatcher perched conveniently above the small pond at the start of the trail. Interim leader Terry led 9 of us along the west side of the lower marsh, and up a nicely gravelled trail – which unfortunately deteriorated into wide puddles and squishy mud. We phoned Roger to let him know that we were headed back; halfway back, there was a joyful reunion between latecomers and the now returning group; I’m not sure if it was because of this, or the cheerful greetings from triplets and quartets of mud splattered joggers, but not one DNCBer quit, and no one left early. Truly, this is an intrepid bunch of birders.
Our new route took us away from the marsh, and away from the worst of the heavy rain, along the Panabode Trail and up out of the mud to the Low Knoll. En route, “Fun Guy” Roger identified the myriad fungi.
From there we descended to the Addington Lookout, where we took a second (dry) group photo, and then scrambled down a steep rocky path to circle back to our cars by roadways. Bryan cleared a Black bear off our path, then went ahead to fetch his vehicle to offer a ride up the hill to stragglers as the rain began again in earnest. A true gentleman!
Oh – and by the way, we did see some birds: a Barred Owl at the lodge garden;
a Great Horned Owl hiding from scolding robins; a Willow Flycatcher posing at the marsh lookout; lots of Cedar Waxwings;
Black-headed Grosbeaks, including downy young; Western Tanager, thanks to Mike;
a family of Hairy Woodpeckers making strident noises; Northern Flicker; Brown-headed Cowbird; Wilson’s Warbler pointed out by sharp-eyed Terry; Common Yellowthroat busy around its nest;
glimpses of Swainson’s Thrush, Western Wood Pewee, Bald Eagle, American Goldfinch, female Rufous Hummingbird; Dark-eyed Junco, some juvenile and one in full song atop a Low Knoll tree; Terry & Roger watched a Red-breasted Sapsucker going into a nesthole (and Marion and Janet heard the babies);
Chickadees, Spotted Towhees, Song Sparrows, (Barn, Violet-green, Tree?) Swallows, European Starlings, Northwestern Crows, …. Not seen, but heard (at least by some): Black-throated Grey Warbler, Pacific-slope Flycatcher, Brown Creeper in song, Yellow Warbler (did anyone see one?), Red-breasted Nuthatches.
And in all that great big marsh – one family of Canada Geese.
Click here to see some photos on our DNCB Picasa link
As for the traditional DNCB snack share, I think it was the sight of Lorna with her bag of sandwiches hanging off one arm that really encouraged all of us to complete this birding marathon. Luckily, the local black bear arrived too late for the picnic. We saw it as we drove away.
Report by Janet & Bryan King, in lieu of absent leader Tom Bearss
The next DNS Display event is Ladner’s Canada Day Celebration (Monday, July 1) in front of the Delta Museum in Ladner Village. Contact Terry to volunteer at this and other DNS Display events this Summer.
Tentative schedule for DNCB outings (subject to change!):
July 3 – Lighthouse Park, West Van – leave Petra’s 7:30 am, arrive Lighthouse 8:30-8:40 am.
• map via Lion’s Gate Bridge at http://goo.gl/maps/fkjVk
• map via Second Narrows Bridge at http://goo.gl/maps/iNqHG
• trail map here: LHP_Hiking_Trail_Map.pdf
July 10 – Local: Reifel/Alaksen (Galapagos Presentation is July 9)
July 15 (Monday) – Ferry trip to Galiano for “invitees” (June 30 NEWS: ferry schedule may force this trip to late September)
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
• Grouse Mountain, Mount Seymour