DNCB Outing No. 2014-8 to Tynehead and Surrey Lake Park

DNCB in Hollowed Stump (TC)

DNCB in Hollowed Stump (TC)

Photos by Terry Carr (TC)

Ten hardy DNCBers spent a snowy Monday morning at beautiful Tynehead Regional Park, then Surrey Lake Park.  Check out Terry’s photo evidence on the Picasa link to our Blog.

It was snowing lightly when Terry, Gerhard and I left Petra’s around 8:00 a.m.  The roads were clear and the drive along the new SFPR highway to its end was quick and smooth.  We got to Tynehead Park, a new destination for me, well before the 9:00 a.m. schedule, and Keen Jean was waiting for us.  While waiting for others, we trudged through the almost foot of snow to the Fish Hatchery, but it was locked up.  Then, surprisingly, Kirsten, then Otto, then Ken & Anne (from Cuba), then Jonathan & Lorraine arrived.  Earlier I had received several messages from other “wimpy” DNCBers who weren’t coming because of the weather.  So we ten charged ahead to the Serpentine Loop Trail.  A few others, mostly dog walkers, had been there earlier so the trails were a bit packed down and not uncomfortable walking.  And everyone was already commenting on how gorgeous the scenery was along the Serpentine River, how mild it was, and how glad they were to have decided to join this outing.

As for birds, a couple of Varied Thrushes welcomed us to the Trail entrance.  At another spot, Otto’s mixed seed attracted several species, including Song, Fox and Golden-crowned Sparrows, Juncos, Towhees, Douglas Squirrels, and both Black-capped and Chestnut-backed Chickadees which ate from our hands.

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An Anna’s Hummingbird whizzed by and we heard a Sharp-shinned Hawk squeal; Otto and Jonathan got a glimpse of it, but we could not re-locate it.  Several dog-walkers gave us instructions as to where we might find the recently-seen Great Gray Owl (GGO), our destination bird, and we trudged off the path in search, but alas in vain.  While most of us searched for the GGO, romantic Ken entertained Anne by building her a Snowman, which disintegrated quickly, as often happens to lovers’ dreams.

At another of Otto’s “feeding spots”, we saw a Ruby-crowned Kinglet and two Brown Creepers climbing up a trunk right in front of us.  Two thrushes feeding together, Robin and Varied, was kind of neat.  Terry took the obligatory Group Photo of us all huddled inside the hollow trunk stump remnants of what once was a huge first growth tree.

DNCB in Hollowed Stump (TC)

DNCB in Hollowed Stump (TC)

We continued back, along weaving boardwalks, listening for bird calls over the constant drone of Otto’s incessant gibberish.

It was only 11:00 a.m. when we got back to the Park parking lot, so we decided to check out Surrey Lake Park, about 10 minutes drive away.  Kirsten left us to go to Halifax and Keen Jean for a luncheon date.  (Ed. note: no one had Goodies at this Smoko Break.)  At Surrey Lake there were lots of waterfowl in the lake, including: American Coots, Greater Scaup, Bufflehead, Common Goldeneye, Hooded Mergansers, Pied-billed Grebes, Green-winged Teal and a few neat Ruddy Ducks, but no Canvasbacks.

On returning to the SRP parking lot, we discovered that two vehicles had been vandalized (back windows smashed).  We called Surrey RCMP and I was later informed that Surrey has 35-40 vehicle break-ins per day.  How can this be allowed to happen in our “modern society”?  I digress.  Since no PB sandwiches were provided, we finished off our morning outing with lunch in the Big Ridge Brew Pub at Highway 10 and 152nd.  Burger and Beer was on Special so we were in heaven.  It was another glorious DNCB outing.

Next Monday, March 3 will be a local outing around the Bay.  We will meet at and leave from Petra’s at 8:00 a.m. heading for 104th St. and the Delta Heritage Air Park.  We should be there around 8:45 a.m.

See DNS Events Page for details of March 24 DNCB outing to Victoria (7 am ferry, returning on 5 pm ferry) – near bottom of page

This past Tuesday, nine Nats did the Spring preparation of our 30 Delta Nats Bird Boxes in BBRP in anticipation of the Tree Swallows arriving in March; see report (soon) and photos on our Blog.  As always, your comments are encouraged, 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 *DNCB, Douglas Squirrel, Ruddy Duck, Sharp-shinned Hawk, Surrey Lake, Tynehead Park. Bookmark the permalink.

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