DNCB Outing No. 2013-44 to Point Roberts USA

A cool morning at Lighthouse Marine Park

A cool morning at Lighthouse Marine Park

Photos by Roger, Terry, Jonathan, Tony, Glen, Marion & Ken

Twenty DNCBers enjoyed a brilliant Monday morning of sort of “pelagic” birding at several locations in Point Roberts, USA.  Lots of DNCB Photogs took some super shots so I urge you to check them out on our Picasa site at: http://picasaweb.google.com/dncbirding.

Sixteen (Roger, Mike, PB Lorna, Hans-Ulf, Kay, Anne, rookie Mary-Pat, Glen, Terry, Sheila, Jonathan & Lorraine, Marion, Donna, Tony and me – They love their names in Print) carpooled nicely (4 vehicles only) from Petra’s at 7:30 a.m.  We made the short drive up the hill to the “reasonable” line-up at US Customs.  No problems other than Donna’s inability to open the Van’s sliding door for a “facial check”; surprisingly, East Indian Land Baron Tony passed.  We got to Lighthouse Park shortly after 8:00 a.m. where Ken & Anne, PR Paul and new Mushroom Expert Pauline met us.  They showed us a Marbled Murrelet, which turned out to be a Pigeon Guillemot.

The Guillemots are currently in changing plumages and difficult and confusing to ID.  Here we also saw Common Loons, Horned and Western Grebes,

Pelagic and Double-crested Cormorants, Red-breasted Mergansers

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, Surf and White-winged Scoters and lots of beautiful Harlequin Ducks.

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Roger claimed that a dot on the horizon was a Common Murre.  A couple of Killdeer were running on shore.

We wandered down to the “lighthouse stand” where an accommodating flock of Black Turnstones arrived to pose for us.

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Close to shore a “whale-like” Steller’s Sea Lion was slowly cruising by and flashing his big fin out of the water.

Other Harbour Porpoises were in the distance, but we did not see the large herd of recently-seen Pacific White-sided Dolphins.  We saw Mew Gulls but few Bonaparte’s and no Heermann’s.  Roger and Tony took the obligatory Group Photo as we posed on some driftwood logs.

Worm's-eye view of DNCB Group

Worm’s-eye view of DNCB Group

We strolled back through the Park’s bushes, getting glimpses of Golden- and Ruby-crowned Kinglets and a Chestnut-backed Chickadee among the Black-capped.  We also saw some common regulars: Song, Golden-crowned and Fox Sparrows, Northern Flickers.  Hans-Ulf pointed out two Spotted Towhees and our renowned author and literary giant Anne erupted with the Quote of the Day: “It’s almost a Foot”!

We got back to the parking lot at about 10:00 a.m. and drove in convoy to another viewpoint between some cottages.  There, a small flock of Black Oystercatchers were feeding with a couple of Greater Yellowlegs among them.

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A nice view of a Great Blue Heron on the break wall with Mt. Baker silhouetted behind.  We then moved to the other side of the Marina.  At the inlet were more Oystercatchers, and House Finches, but the pelagics were way too far out, so we decided to go to Lily Point Park.

At the first Lookout, it was a beautiful view of the San Juan Islands, but the specks below were hard to identify.  We saw more Scoters, Scaup and magical Roger again identified a Marbled Murrelet close to Lummi Island.  We heard Kinglets and Pacific Wrens in the forest, but interestingly under Pauline and Glen’s tutelage, DNCBer’s enjoyed many different Mushroom sightings.

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Check out the Picasa site for photos and ID’s.  Approaching Noon, Roger led a few (5) DNCBers down the cliff to the beach

while most of us, including bored Terry, returned to the parking lot for departure.  Dependable Lorna’s Egg Sandwich and Muffin was my only sustenance, so we returned back to Canada in Anne’s Birdmobile, starving.  Another awesome DNCB outing.

Next Monday, November 11 (Remembrance Day), we will go to Stanley Park.  Some will leave Petra’s at 7:30 a.m. and meet others at the Second Beach Parking Lot around 8:30 a.m.  (see map http://goo.gl/maps/0umAI)

Don’t forget our Nats November monthly meeting at Cammidge House, also on November 11 at 7:30 p.m.  (see Agenda for Nov. 11, 2013).  Photographer and Naturalist Ron Long will be giving his Presentation on The Amazing Game Parks of Namibia and Botswana (click on link for details).  As always, comments welcome and let me know if you want off my List.  Cheers: Tom

Tom Bearss, President, Delta Naturalists’ Society

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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 Black Oystercatcher, Black Turnstone, Harbour Porpoise, Harlequin Duck, Lighthouse Marine Park, Lily Point Park, Marbled Murrelet, Pigeon Guillemot, Steller Sea Lion. Bookmark the permalink.

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