DNCB Outing No. 2013-31 to Boundary Bay and Serpentine Fen

Photos will be added to this Blog soon!

Fifteen DNCBers enjoyed another glorious Wednesday morning in our corner of BC paradise.  We started at the dike on Boundary Bay at 104th Street looking for newly arrived Shorebirds and then wandered around Serpentine Fen (aka Serpentine Wildlife Management Area) for the rest of the morning.  Hi-lites included: several Shorebird species including breeding plumage Black-bellied Plovers, Spotted Sandpipers, a Barn Owl and scrumptious Blackberries everywhere.  Check out photos on the Picasa link at https://picasaweb.google.com/DNCBirding.

The fifteen were: Roger M, Bill, Gerhard, Mike B, Glen, Jonathan & Lorraine, White Rock Al, Jackie, Marion, three Anne’s – Guru Anne M, WRSN/Langley Anne G and Anne of Ken & Anne, and me.  We (8 of us) car-pooled from Petra’s at 7:30 a.m. and made an unscheduled stop at 104th Street on the Boundary Bay dike (at the Heritage Air Park).  We had reports of sightings of many new migrating Shorebirds there, including Red-necked Stint (common in Western Australia).  The tide was way out and we could see many Shorebirds on the horizon, but too far away to enjoy, or identify.  A few still in breeding-plumage Black-bellied Plovers were closer to shore.  A flock of Peeps flew by in the distance and one of our participants declared he saw the Stint, but passing-by Birding Guru George Clulow, on his bicycle, would not corroborate the sighting.  In the bushes along the path Anne M pointed out a couple of Orange-crowned Warblers, just before a Mink ran across the path.  Lots of Barn Swallows around which aroused discussion about recent articles detailing the decline in numbers of this species.  Since the tide was too far out, we left this spot for Serpentine Fen, arriving at the parking lot behind Art Knapp’s Nursery before our 9:00 a.m. suggested arrival time.

While waiting for others to join us, we checked out the barn and found the well-hidden Barn Owl, a Lifer for a number of our crew.  Along the path from the parking lot were lots of little birds, including Willow Flycatchers, Common Yellowthroats, Black-headed Grosbeaks, Rufous Hummingbird, House Finches, Sparrows (Song, White-crowned) and “waxy” Cedar Waxwings, cleaner than the mottled young one seen at 104th Street.  We climbed the first tower, and the view was awesome, but not much excitement bird-wise.  Roger saw a Cooper’s Hawk dive into a bush.  The first pond was unusually dry, and Killdeer were foraging in the mud.  Mallards were the only duck species we saw there.  Further on we saw a nice flock of Shorebirds including Dowitchers (likely Long-billed), Black-bellied Plovers and other unrecognizable Peeps.  Several Spotted Sandpipers foraged close to us and Yellowlegs (both Greater and Lesser) were regular sightings throughout the park.  Northern Harriers patrolled the open fields.

Although the birds are not singing as much this time of year, some saw Marsh Wrens, Common Yellowthroats and Savannah Sparrows.  Robins of various ages and plumages often aroused faulty interest.  After finally finding the blackberry engorged Gerhard, Ken took the obligatory Group Photo at the second Tower, where we all had great looks at a pair of Belted Kingfishers.  We had several plant aficionados on this outing who pointed out the different flora species; I particularly enjoyed the Pineapple Weed, growing rampantly on the path, which really smelled like pineapple.  And the old Oyster Farms along the Serpentine River, apparently closed years ago because of contamination, were interesting too.  We got back to the parking lot just before Noon, and no one had any goodies (PB Lorna was sorely missed), so we had some Trail Mix, chatted briefly about future outings and then took a leisurely drive back to Tsawwassen.  Another grand DNCB morning!

Next Wednesday, August 14, we will meet and leave from Petra’s at 7:30 a.m. for Deer Lake Park in Burnaby, a new destination for me.  Local expert Naturalist George Clulow has agreed to shepherd us around the Park; we will meet George at the Royal Oak Road parking lot around 8:30 a.m. See map at https://maps.google.ca/maps?q=49.238506,-122.988819&num=1&t=h&z=19 for directions.

The following Wednesday, August 21, is our all-day Manning Park outing.  Like last year’s outing, we will meet at and leave earlier (6:30 a.m.) from the Ladner Bus exchange for car-pooling purposes.  Some may want to be “picked-up” along the way, so arrange among yourselves.  The second meeting place will be the Sumallo Grove Park, near the entrance to Manning Park, where we expect to be around 8:30-9:00 a.m., then at the Manning Park Lodge after that.  Annie Kaps has offered her spacious Tulameen chalet for accommodation (bring sleeping bags) for DNCBers who want to extend their visit to the area (Princeton) and perhaps hike the Ochre Bluffs on Thursday, going through Princeton’s railway tunnel.  For those interested, Annie’s e-mail address is akaps(at)kwik.net .

Also, note the annual Animal EXPO event at Memorial Park in Ladner this Sunday, August 11Note from Terry:  registration mixup, no Delta Nats display this year.  As usual, comments encouraged, and if this drivel annoys you, let me know and I will remove you from my illustrious List. Cheers: Tom

Tom Bearss, President, Delta Naturalists’ Society

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, 104 Street, Barn Owl, Black-bellied Plover, Boundary Bay, Cooper's Hawk, Long-billed Dowitcher, Mink, Northern Harrier, Serpentine Fen, Spotted Sandpiper. Bookmark the permalink.

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