DNCB Outing No. 2013-52 to Blackie Spit and White Rock Pier

KB_group_DSCN2491Photos by Glen Bodie (GB), Bill Denham (BD), Terry Carr (TC), Eric Lotto (EL), Ken Borrie (KB), Bryan King (BK) at DNCB Picasa site

A large group of 21 DNCBers enjoyed a very pleasant and fruitful final 2013 outing to Blackie Spit and then the White Rock pier.  Hi-lites included: Long-billed Curlew, Marbled Godwits, Long-tailed Ducks and a tasty feed at Uhli’s Restaurant in White Rock.  Check out the photo evidence on the Picasa link to our website at DNCB Picasa site.

Eight of us (Hans, Mike, PB Lorna, Mary-Pat, Otto, Glen, Terry and me) left Petra’s around 8:00 a.m. on Monday morning in a poor car-pooling convoy (4 vehicles).  With little traffic, plus using the new SFPR, we got to the Blackie Spit parking lot well before the 8:45 a.m. schedule.  We were welcomed there by South Slurry Al, Ken & Anne, Bryan & Janet, Bev and her phantom hubby Bill, gift-bearing Marion, Jean, returnees Eric and Johnny Mac, Richmond’s Bill and Donna.

Following introductions, we wandered through the entrance toward the Nicomekl River shore.  Almost immediately we spotted our target birds, the Long-billed Curlew and three Marbled Godwits.  They were feeding among American Wigeons, Northern Pintail, Green-winged Teal with about a dozen Long-billed Dowitchers there too.

In the river were several Double-crested Cormorants (Pelagic seen later), a few Common Loons and Horned Grebes.  The temperature was comfy, around 10 Celsius and the tide was high as it tends to be in Winter.

We walked to the end of the Spit where Ken took the obligatory Group Photo, to get this “thorn” off many DNCBers minds.  No little birds seen (e.g. Savannah Sparrows) but we did see a

Greater Yellowlegs (TC)

Greater Yellowlegs (TC)

Greater Yellowlegs (plus several later), a herd of Harbour Seals on the far shore and a few Eurasian Wigeons (actually thanks to the newbie Bill, we saw many Eurasian Wigeon on the day).  Most of the Gulls were Ring-billed and Glaucous-winged.  Surprisingly, we didn’t see any swarms of Dunlin and Black-bellied Plovers, but we know they’re there.  In the distance were large rafts of Scaup (We identified them the day before/Sunday while on the White Rock-Surrey Christmas Bird Count).  Walking back to the Savenye section of the park, along the path were a number of Northern Flickers, House Finches,

Sparrows and a Northern Harrier in the grass.  The mangled carcass/bones of a River Otter thrilled some of the weirdoes in our group.

PB Lorna’s Belted Kingfisher eventually made an appearance and a neat flock of “trumpeting” Trumpeter Swans flew by above us.

Trumpeter Swans (TC)

Trumpeter Swans (TC)

Walking further along toward the Community Gardens we finally saw a couple of Golden-crowned Kinglets and an Anna’s Hummingbird.

Anna's Hummingbird (KB)

Anna’s Hummingbird (KB)

Then Bev scared up a Cooper’s Hawk which posed nicely for us on a shrub tree a bit further down.

Cooper's Hawk (TC)

Cooper’s Hawk (TC)

Approaching 11:00 a.m. we decided to return to the parking lot and go to the White Rock pier.  During our brief Smoko before leaving for the pier, while enjoying PB Lorna’s special PB and Banana New Year’s feast, Marion, recognizing the missing ingredient to successful DNCB outings, presented a much appreciated “beverage” to the Leader.  No one saw the tears of joy as he wolfed it down with the sanger (translation at australian-slang.html.)

We begrudgingly paid for the parking at the White Rock pier, and got over the tracks before a train passed by.  The Surf and White-winged Scoters were in beaut plumage and up-close-and personal.

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Among them were Bufflehead, Common Loons, Greater Scaup and Terry got shots of both Common and Barrow’s Goldeneye.

We saw Horned and Red-necked Grebes, and Western’s in the distance, but were blanked on both Roger’s nemesis, Eared Grebes and Black Scoters.  We took a couple of other smaller Group shots at the end of the pier

White Rock Pier (BK)

White Rock Pier (BK)

while watching Long-tailed Ducks and a Pied-billed Grebe.

Nearing 12:30 p.m., eleven of us decided to celebrate another awesome DNCB morning with lunch at Uhli’s Restaurant, just across from the pier.  Most enjoyed their soup, sandwich or hamburg; my fish & chips was forgettable, but the beer and conversation were delectable and demented, respectively.  Terry and I got back to Petra’s around 2:30 p.m. and I had time to begin Sandra’s New Year’s Eve To Do List.

Next Monday, January 6, on our first 2014 outing, we will tour Drayton Harbour/Semiahmoo in Blaine, Washington.  We’ll leave Petra’s at 8:00 a.m. and meet at Peace Portal Park parking lot behind the Duty-Free shop at 8:30 a.m. for car-pooling across the Border.  Terry and South Slurry Al will lead us.  Don’t forget your Passport.

As always, your comments welcome and let me know if you want to be deleted from my List.  Wishing you and your family a happy and healthy 2014, full of love, luck and good birding.  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 Bald Eagle, Barrow's Goldeneye, Blackie Spit, Cooper's Hawk, Long-tailed Duck, Northern Harrier, White Rock Pier. Bookmark the permalink.

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