DNCB Outing No. 2014-13 to Ladner Harbour and South Arm Marsh Parks

Revisit this Blog… photos will be added to this report SOON!

Eighteen slackers spent another gorgeous Wednesday morning at several Ladner Parks including Ladner Harbour Park, Brigantine Park and the South Arm Marsh Park.  Among the hi-lites were several nesting species, some interesting Spring behaviour antics, and some gorgeous ducks.  Check out the photo evidence on the DNCB Picasa link.

Ladner Harbour

Ladner Harbour

Ten of us car-pooled (Roger with Mike, PB Lorna and Terry, Jonathan & Lorraine took Glen, I lucked out with Otto & Gerhard) from Petra’s at 7:30 a.m. taking the farm roads to Ladner Harbour Park (LHP).  While waiting for us in the LHP parking lot, the eight others (Marion, returnee Peggy, Jean, Pauline, Kay, Cyclist Paula, newbie Liz and time-challenged Donna) were watching the Yellow-rumped Warblers in the surrounding trees.  Following intro’s, we started our walk along the trail.  Birds were singing all around us.  Kay spotted a Ruby-crowned Kinglet.  Marion saw the Pacific Wren; we saw both Marsh and Bewick’s Wrens there too.  Rufous Hummingbirds were frequently whizzing by, flashing their iridescent throats.  We followed a pair of Red-tailed Hawks as they were bringing sticks to their nest in the crotch of a tree.Red-tailed  Hawk 2 Ladner Marsh April 2, 2014  We also followed one of several pairs of Bushtits seen today as they continuously brought moss, twigs, bark to fabricate their hanging nest.  A couple of Mourning Doves caught our attention; we don’t see them often any more as the recently-introduced Eurasian Collared-Doves seem to have taken over.  Northern Flickers seemed to be everywhere in the Park; one pair amused us with what looked like a pre-mating behaviour as they danced together on tree branches.  Then a Crow danced in another tree, meowing like a cat, and waved his/her wings.  It’s the time of year when birds display some weird and wonderful antics.

A Misplaced Viewing Tower...a view of nothing?

A Misplaced Viewing Tower…a view of nothing?

At the strangely-placed Lookout near the off-leash dog park, Roger took the obligatory Group Photo.  On the trail back to the parking lot, a pair of Green-winged Teal landed in the slough near the path and then a pair of Brown Creepers was entertaining as they crawled up and around a tree trunk.  Mike got his thrill of the day as a local House Cat massaged his neck while he enjoyed a “catter” at a picnic table.  Leaving LHP I searched in vain for the Ring-necked Pheasant that others had seen earlier near the Park entrance.

Next stop was Brigantine Park on Ferry Road where the Ladner Marsh Creek crosses the road.  Not much here except for some newly-arrived Tree Swallows and a Downy Woodpecker.  So we moved further along Ferry Road to the next crossing of the Ladner Marsh Creek, and followed the path along it to Cove Links Golf Course.  Surprisingly, there was lots of neat stuff in the creek, including a pair of gorgeous Wood Ducks, four pair of beaut Ring-necked Ducks, a female and juvenile Hooded Merganser, American Coot, American Wigeon pair, Gadwall pair, a Double-crested Cormorant and of course Mallards.  One backyard bird feeder at a home along the trail was particularly active.  Feeding there, we saw a Varied Thrush, American Goldfinches, House Finches, Spotted Towhees and four Sparrow species (Song, Fox, White- and Golden-crowned).  A Cooper’s Hawk gave a brief appearance and a Racoon was sleeping in a tree as we wandered back along the trail to our parked vehicles.

Next stop down the road was the South Arm Marsh Park. On entering we noticed all the dilapidated Nesting Boxes, some riddled with bullet holes.  A male Wood Duck posed in a tree for us.  Three Vancouver photogs hidden in the bushes with their massive scopes, were shooting Bushtits building a nest.  Déjà vu for us.  They gave us directions to an Anna’s Hummingbird nest which we finally found and watched the Mom arrive and sit on the eggs.  Approaching 12:30 p.m., after destroying PB Lorna’s PB & Banana sandwich, we decided to call it a day.  About 15 to 20 Bald Eagles were circling in the sky (kettling) above us as we began the leisurely drive back to Tsawwassen. Another grand DNCB outing.

Next Wednesday, April 9, we will leave Petra’s at 7:30 a.m. for Colony Farm (CF) Park.  We expect to be at the CF parking lot around 8:30 a.m.  I apologize for the lack of humour in this report, but it’s nearly 1:00 a.m. on Sunday morning and I’m tired after a long day of playing hockey, power washing my patio and partying after the Canucks rare win.  As always, your comments welcome and let me know if you want off my Drivel List.  Cheers: Tom

Tom Bearss, President, Delta Naturalists’ Society


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.
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