Photos by Terry Carr (TC), Jonathan Mwenifumbo (JM) & Marion Shikaze (MS)
A huge group of about 35 nature lovers enjoyed a brilliant Wednesday morning walk in Boundary Bay Regional Park on Delta Nats quarterly Birds on the Bay event. A few neat sightings, a lot of chat-bonding, and a finale of some scrumptious grub, all in a beautiful setting on a gorgeous Delta morning. Check out the photo evidence at DNCB Picasa site.
We met at and left from historic Cammidge House (CH) at 9:00 a.m. Following introductions and name-taking of the many “newbies” we set off toward the beach. I won’t list the participants’ names, but there were visitors from every part of Greater Vancouver including one by bicycle (and bus) from North Vancouver. Lots of Nats from Langley, White Rock, Surrey and of course Delta, and a few weird “internationals” from I don’t know where. We scared up a few Mallards,
Spotted Towhees and Red-winged Blackbirds, some with brilliant epaulets, in the slough along the Park road. Bald Eagles were roosting in the “Big Tree”,
along with Otto’s “Kite” (we don’t see many Kites in Delta). We circled the construction fence to the “re-invigorated new pond”. A couple of American Wigeons in it, and Anne M found about 5 of the resident Brewer’s Blackbirds near to where the former concession stand stood. We wandered across the sand to the shore. High tide gave us false expectations of hordes of Shorebirds pushed up close for good viewing. Not to be. Gulls and Wigeons and a Greater Yellowlegs gave a fly-past that a few saw. But Mt. Baker was stunning across the Bay.
Begrudgingly to some, we/Roger took the obligatory Group Photo here, and then we continued our walk along the trail. Marsh Wrens
were buzzing in the marshes and some got good looks. Not a lot of bird activity, but Song, Golden-crowned and Fox Sparrows were seen. We were all pretty excited at seeing lots of Northern Harriers, several involved in mating behaviour, circling and showing-off in the sky.
A Cooper’s Hawk flew past chasing a Robin, then spent the next while fending off attacks from Northwestern Crows. A Red-tailed Hawk (possible resident) posed on a stump for us.
A number of Green-winged Teal and Northern Pintail were also seen in the marshes with the other ducks. Interestingly, a large flock of Snow Geese was seen flying south over the Bay.
The group got a bit spread-out as we got to our Delta Nats “still plugged” Bird Boxes, approaching the Pump House. Several newly-arrived Tree Swallows were seen swirling above us throughout the morning. Only a few Brants were seen off shore here, not like the hundreds last week (Hunting Season ended March 10). And we saw no Shorebirds, unlike last week when thousands of Dunlin were feeding on the other side of the Bay. Lots of Northern Flickers around and a nice male Downy Woodpecker.
On the walk back to CH on the inland trail, some saw a Bewick’s Wren.
Of course, the Great Blue Herons are always fun to watch spearing prey. A neat flock (8) of Trumpeter Swans flew over us toward the farmers fields. The “bird of the day” for some was a posing Ruby-crowned Kinglet in a bush just off the trail. We got back to CH just after 11:30 a.m. and were welcomed by the Delta Nats Ladies, Rochelle, Eleanor, Jennifer, Sandra and their godfather Don. The home-made scones, cakes, cookies and egg sandwiches were wolfed down quickly by the starving mob. I think everyone left smiling.
Next Monday, March 17, we will leave Petra’s at 8:00 a.m. for Stanley Park. We should be at the 2nd Beach parking lot around 8:45 a.m. (near the Swimming Pool). Time permitting, we may go to Ambleside Park in West Van.
The following Monday, March 24, is our Ferry Outing to Victoria. Check Blog for details. Also, the Wings Over Water Festival is on this weekend in Blaine, WA.
We will change our DNCB outings to Wednesdays beginning on April 2 (no outing March 31). As always, comments welcome, and let me know if this drivel annoys you.
Tom Bearss, President, Delta Naturalists’ Society