other DNCB 2013-28 Photos coming soon!
Below this Report are details of
• Gulf Island Ferry Tour Wednesday, July 24
• Bellingham boat trip – Saturdays until Aug 24
We had another huge turn-out (21 participants) on another glorious BC Wednesday morning as we toured Hi-Knoll Park and Brydon Lagoon in Surrey, virgin territory for some of us. Our very knowledgeable guide for this outing was White Rock Al along with his able assistant Kenny B (DNCB’s Batman & Robin). We heard lots of species, but close-up sightings were at a minimum, so our photogs took lots of plant and people shots. Check them out on the DNCB Picasa Link.
Anne and Roger drove nine of us (Gerhard, Lorna, Terry, Marian, Sheila, newbie Moira and me) from Petra’s at 7:30 a.m. (car-pooling is always recommended) and we arrived at the Hi-Knoll parking lot, following Al’s explicit instructions, spot on the 8:30 a.m. predicted arrival time. I mention this because often a number of our drivers are what might be termed “doddlers” or “directionally challenged”, so our arrival times are frequently notoriously late. Following introductions (including another newbie Tony and new Dad Eric) and Al’s pre-walk explanation of our itinerary, his Sidekick “Robin” suggested that we take the obligatory Group Photo while we were still together. Only 20 in the photo as time-challenged Glen joined us a bit later.
We began our walk through the woods of Hi-Knoll, along well-used trails by people, dogs and dirt bikes. Some of the species we heard and saw included: Pacific Wrens, the elusive Swainson’s Thrushes, Brown Creepers, and of course the common birds which I’m not going to mention. Some others that we heard (recognizing that a high percentage of DNCBers are hearing-impaired), but I didn’t see include: Pacific Slope and Willow Flycatchers, Western Tanager and Kinglets squeaking. Al informed us of the park’s history and was excellent in describing and identifying the various tree and plant species along the way. Some participants actually showed some interest, but it’s a good thing there was no test at the end of the outing. In the open areas, beneath the hydro towers, we saw Rufous Hummingbirds, American Goldfinches and Song Sparrows.
We got back to the parking lot around 10:30 a.m., just in time for a civilized Smoko (Aussie term for morning tea break). PB Lorna’s egg sandwich, Terry’s mixed nuts, Moira’s apple slices and black licorice, and Marian’s plum all hit the spot. We were re-energized for the kilometre or longer walk to Brydon Lagoon. This walk was over the Nicomekl River (saw Salmon Fry?) and through sort of swamp land. We saw Marsh Wrens, Common Yellowthroats and an interesting young fellow who was fishing for Bull Frogs (to study, not eat, so he claimed). An active Bald Eagle’s nest entertained a few. A couple of brilliant “crow-like” Steller’s Jays flew by. Over the Lagoon hawking bugs were Barn and Violet-green Swallows (probably Tree Swallows too). Among the Mallards and Canada Geese in the lagoon, Anne A spotted a diving Pied-billed Grebe. We got back to the parking lot around Noon and, although we didn’t see a lot of birds, I think everyone really enjoyed the “easy” walk, the beautiful park venue and the inane chatter (I’m cajoled to continue to use this descriptor) among a lot of like-minded naturalists. The drive back to Tsawwassen was quick and pleasant (I only nodded off a couple of times); it was so nice to have new Grandma Annie back.
Next Wednesday, July 24, we will do our Gulf Island Ferry Tour, which is all day. We will meet on the Salt Springs Ferry which departs at 10:20 a.m. (with several Island stops) and we will return on the 5:00 p.m. Swartz Bay Ferry, arriving at Tsawwassen around 6:40 p.m. It’s Free for Seniors. Roger’s Gulf Island Ferry Tour itinerary is posted below. Terry Carr has also put info on the Saturday July 20 Bellingham Boat Trip below.
As always, your comments are encouraged, and advise me if you want of my List. Cheers: Tom
Tom Bearss, President, Delta Naturalists’ Society
From Roger: Gulf Island Ferry Tour, Wednesday, July 24
Tsawwassen to Saltspring Ferry: Departs at 10:20, arrives at Long Harbour at 1:35 pm.
The ferry is met by the shuttle bus to Ganges: Cost $2:75
Leaving Saltspring (two scenarios):
a) (reversing our arrival route): Shuttle leaves Ganges at 2:55 pm, arrives at Long Harbour at 3:05 pm; Tsawwassen ferry leaves at 3:25 pm, arrives 6:45 pm
b) (via Swartz Bay) Shuttle leaves Ganges at 3:05 pm, arrives at Fulford Harbour at 3:25 pm, ferry to Swartz Bay leaves at 3:50 pm, arriving at 4:25; Tsawwassen ferry leaves at 5:00 pm, arrives at at 6:35 pm.
Last year we had to split the group for the return home trip due to the limited capacity of the shuttle, hence the two scenarios for the return trip. The shuttle arrives and leaves from the information office in the center of Ganges. We will have about 1 1/2 hours to wander Ganges, eat, etc.
For those going to the ferry terminal by bus, the 620 leaves the Ladner Exchange (where you can park for free) at 9:22 am. Remember, the cut off for ferry tickets is 10 minutes before the scheduled sailing time. Pay parking is available at the terminal but is cheaper at the lot at the light at the beginning of the causeway, and there is a free shuttle right to the entrance of the terminal.
From: Terry Carr
Bellingham boat trip – Saturdays until Aug 24
The trip is from 9-4 from the Alaska ferry terminal in Fairhaven in Bellingham.
Cost is $79.
The parking lot is 50 cents an hour (you put cash in an envelope).
There is limited free parking on the streets of Fairhaven (eg Harris Ave).
They have 8 people signed up so far. There are usually about 20 on the trip. The boat is licenced for 56.
The border lineup could be a problem on a summer Saturday for people without Nexus.
We have Nexus and plan to leave about 7.
Not considering border time, the drive is about an hour.
To book, call Toll Free 800.443.4552 office hours 8-7
Tentative Schedule for DNCB outings…
July 24 – Gulf Island Round Trip
July 31 – Cypress Mountain/Yew Lake
Aug. 7 – Serpentine or Mud Lake
Aug. 14 – Deer Lake, Burnaby
Aug. 21 – Manning Park
Aug. 28 – Surrey Lake or Blackie Spit
Sept. 4 – Mount Baker
Sept. 11 – BOTB in BBRP
Sept. 14 – Jericho Beach/Camosun Bog