Photos by Terry Carr (TC), Bill Denham (BD), Marion Shikaze (MS), Roger Meyer (RM) & Ken Borrie (KB)
Another large group of 25 DNCBers fought through the fog and enjoyed a pleasant Monday morning walk at Piper Spit and along the trails of Burnaby Lake Park. Hi-lites included; an American Dipper, Ruddy Duck and lots of up-close-and-personal looks at ducks and shorebirds in beaut plumage. Check out the photo evidence on our DNCB Picasa site.
Ten people (Roger with Lorna, Mike and Sheila, Otto with Gerhard, and Terry, Jim and Kay with me) left Petra’s at 8:00 a.m., car-pooling nicely in three vehicles. Following another of Roger’s convoluted shortcuts apparently designed to avoid traffic congestion, we eventually arrived at the Burnaby Lake Nature House parking lot close to 9:00 a.m. The horde of others was there waiting patiently for our arrival. They were: White Rock’s Al, Alice & Pauline, Richmond’s Donna & Bill, Marion, Kirsten & Marti, Bryan & Janet, Ken & Anne A, Anne M, newbies Janice and visiting Kamloopian Norm
with his 50 lb. camera. That’s the 25. We mustered, chatted, then wandered out through the fog to the platform on Piper Spit.
Lots of little birds in the bushes and eating seeds on the trail:
Song and Fox Sparrows, Juncos and two Chickadee species (Black-capped and Chestnut-backed – I did not see the latter but Bill got a photo), Spotted Towhees, singing Red-winged Blackbirds, and Marti may have seen a Hermit Thrush.
Native Douglas Squirrels were almost eating from our hands.
At the Spit were lots of gorgeous species very close for our Photogs including:
Wood Ducks, Green-winged Teal,
Lesser Scaup (pointy head), Northern Pintail, American Coots, American Wigeon, Gadwall, Mallards, Hooded Mergansers plus a foraging flock of Long-billed Dowitchers.
A bit further out near some Buffleheads and Common Mergansers was a Ruddy Duck. The water level was very low and an interesting “sighting” was a broken Fish Ladder that had been washed onto the spit, perhaps as a result of the recent coal train derailment that occurred close by. Ken took the obligatory Group Photo as the 25 of us huddled along the railing at the Spit.
We decided to take the trail toward the “dam” and it was very quiet bird wise, but no one noticed as evidenced by the incessant, and inane, chatter. Some saw Golden-crowned-Kinglets, Brown Creeper, Pacific Wren, Downy Woodpeckers,
Varied Thrush, Golden-crowned and White-crowned Sparrows, a Raven along with the many Crows. Lots of woodpecker activity, but we were blanked on the big varieties, including Red-breasted Sapsuckers. At the fenced-off Dive site, we watched, and listened to, a Diver scraping the bottom of the river, I guess for spilled coal.
A Pied-billed Grebe diving nearby wasn’t bothered. At the Cariboo Dam, we were elated to see an American Dipper “dipping” in the running water.
it will never happen.
We marvelled at the elite and artistic fish ladder (made by First Nations?) for the spawning salmon accompanying the dam. Marion took some neat fungi and other shots on the walk back through the woods to the parking lot.
Back near the Nature House while discussing future DNCB destinations, I wolfed down reliable PB Lorna’s Egg Sandwich and choc chip cookie, and
Donna surprised us with some tasty Fruitcake. The drive back to Tsawwassen took half the going time, and I was in time to drive Erica downtown then to her rehearsal (Maggie’s Getting Married – a plug). Another gratifying DNCB outing.
Next Monday, January 27, we will leave Petra’s at 8:00 a.m. for Terra Nova Park in Richmond. We should be at the Park parking lot on the dike path around 8:30 a.m. Comments encouraged and please advise if you want off my List to receive these weekly reports. Cheers: Tom
Tom Bearss, President. Delta Naturalists’ Society