Fifteen participants enjoyed another gorgeous, sunny and warm Wednesday morning of “almost-birding” at a new DNCB destination, Derby Reach Regional Park in Langley. Not many birds seen, but some non-bird hi-lites were the walk through a beaut mixed forest and then along the Fraser River leading up to a delicious lunch in the Fort Langley Pub. Check out photos of this outing on the DNCB Picasa link.
Eight of us (Hans, Lorna, Kay, Marian, Gerhard, Terry, Sheila and me) car-pooled from Petra’s at 7:30 a.m. It was smooth sailing through Delta, Surrey then the fields of Langley to the Edgewater Bar parking lot where we met Ken & Anne, Marion & Kirsten, Bill, Tony, and our Trip Leader, South Slurry Al (formerly White Rock Al) at around 8:45 a.m. Following the usual inane introductory discussion, we car-pooled 2 km down the road to the Houston House Heritage Area. Following “functional stops”, we performed the birthday song for young Lorna, who rewarded us with hugs all-round;
after a quick viewing of the old Milking House, we began the 4 km circular walk on the Houston Trail through a very interesting mixed deciduous and coniferous forest.
It was very quiet, but we heard lots of Pacific Wrens, and saw some LBJ’s (Little Brown Jobs) high in the trees, mostly Chickadees and Kinglets. Several Steller’s Jays appeared, and some saw Yellow-rumped Warblers and a Mourning Dove. Al pointed out a lot of the trees, plants and mushrooms and, with the lack of bird sightings, Marion & Marian, Tony & Terry (neat alliterations) had to be content to photograph them, when they weren’t focusing on Hans’ new facial hair. We arrived back at the parking lot about 11:00 a.m. where Ken took the obligatory Group Photo. I snuck down Lorna’s PB and banana sandwich, a tasty grain & fruit bar along with Marian’s walnuts before we crossed the road to follow the Fraser River trail back to the Edgewater Bar lot. Richmond Bill, fearing a wasp sting, took off.
This walk was a bit more productive, bird wise. A Bald Eagle posed on a pylon across the river. Interestingly, we had not seen an eagle on our last three DNCB outings as they have all “gone fishing”. Along the beach there was a seemingly endless line of fishermen and women casting out for Spring Salmon.
A Raven was feeding on a dead salmon at the water’s edge. Some saw a Turkey Vulture fly over us, and others saw an Osprey. A Swainson’s Thrush was hopping along the path in front of us so most got good looks at it.
A brilliant iridescent Anna’s Hummingbird flitted in the bushes while House Finches fed on tree berries.
We got back to the Edgewater parking lot around 12:30 p.m. and decided to go to the Fort Langley Pub for lunch. A good decision as I really enjoyed my “crappy additive-filled” beer along with fish & chips. We thanked SS Al for leading us through a very enjoyable day, and especially for his guidance on healthy beer drinking. Fortunately, Gerhard’s garbling and Sheila’s snoring in the back seat on the drive back to Tsawwassen kept me from nodding off.
DNCB outings move to MONDAYS effective next Monday, Sept. 30. We will meet at and leave from Petra’s at 7:30 a.m. on a “local” outing.
Monday, October 7 will be to IONA. NOTE that Terry’s Mt. Baker outing has been POSTPONED until next year. Check out our Blog for current info on our “developing” Outing Schedule as well as to see some very interesting past outing reports and photos which I have not circulated.
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Tom Bearss, President, Delta Naturalists’ Society