Photos by Bill (BD), Bryan (BK), Jim (JK), Jonathan (JM), Ken (KB), Marion (MS), Roger (RM) & Terry (TC)
Twenty-two birders (wow) enjoyed another gorgeous and productive Wednesday morning at Colony Farm Regional Park in Coquitlam. Hi-lites included: both Sora and Virginia Rails, several Mountain Bluebirds and lots of other warblers and waterfowl in breeding plumage. Check out the photo evidence on our DNCB Picasa link.
Three vehicles with ten folk left Petra’s at 7:30 a.m. to take the new SFPR highway toward the Pattullo Bridge to Colony Farm. The drive was awesome until we got to the Bridge where there was a car turned on its side (see Jim’s & Terry’s photos) and fire trucks, ambulances and police arriving from both directions.
Rob, Marylile and Jim made it past the scene, while Roger’s and my vehicles were caught. We eventually made a U turn to take the new Port Mann Bridge with Magellan Meyer leading. We toured several No Exit neighbourhoods in Surrey before finally sneaking up on the entrance to the new Bridge. When we finally reached the Colony Farm parking lot (~8:50 a.m.), the masses were waiting, but not surprised on learning what happened on hearing the tale of another of “Roger’s Shortcuts”.
Following intros, we followed the Garden Trail to the Pumphouse Trail. Lots of little birds in the bushes along the slough, shining for us in the brilliant sun: Yellow-rumped Warblers (Audubon), Ruby-crowned Kinglets (Bryan got a shot of a weird bearded RCK), Tree Swallows (perhaps a Violet-Green Swallow over the Community Gardens), Golden- and White- crowned, Song and Fox Sparrows, both Rufous and Anna’s Hummingbirds, nesting Chickadees, Bushtits, Spotted Towhees and American Robins.
Beautiful pairs of Hooded and Common Mergansers, Bufflehead, Wood Ducks and Ring-necked Ducks were in the slough and the Coquitlam River.
We gathered at the Bridge over the river for Ken to take the mandatory Group Photo, as Marsh Wrens sang all around us. The pair of Canada Geese was nesting in the same tree trunk where we saw them last year.
We walked to the end of the Pumphouse Trail to the “Grebe Pond”. Pied-billed Grebes, hopefully preparing to nest, were there, as well as American Coots, Gadwall and Mallards.
Tree Swallows were hanging around their boxes and several Common Yellowthroats were singing. We knew that both Sora and Virginia Rails nested there in previous years, but we rarely see them. Today we were very fortunate as both species were feeding in the reeds very close to the path and our photogs got lots of good close-ups.
The birds did not seem to be bothered by the screams, shouts and endless chatter of us non-professional casual birders. On the walk back, along the Wilson Farm Dyke Trail, the Red-tailed Hawk was on his roost on the hydro tower. An American Kestrel perched on a bush was fending off a couple of Northern Flickers. A bit further along, we finally found our target birds, the Mountain Bluebirds. I counted six, and they occasionally perched on reeds for beaut viewing.
Both Mourning and Eurasian-Collared Doves were seen at this end of the trail too. We may also have seen a Northern Shrike.
We got back to the parking lot around Noon, so before leaving the Farm, and following PB Lorna’s egg sandwich and Kay and Terry’s cookies which went down very easily, some of us decided to stop at and walk the Mundy Creek Trail. Brilliant American Goldfinches and House Finches were along this trail as were White-crowned Sparrows which we had not seen earlier. We could not find the recently-seen Say’s Phoebe. We left the Park and drove, leisurely, but directly and quickly, back to Tsawwassen over the Port Mann Bridge and SFPR highway. Another awesome DNCB morning.
Next Wednesday, April 16, we will leave Petra’s at 7:30 a.m. for Iona Regional Park and Sewage Lagoons. I expect to be at the washroom parking lot around 8:15 a.m.
Don’t forget tonight’s Delta Nats meeting at 7:30 p.m. at Cammidge House. Bernie Fandrich will be giving an illustrated Presentation on his adventures on the Thompson River.
I have had a busy but enjoyable week with hockey, golf and grand-parenting, so this report is very tardy, not very funny, and probably incomplete, so comments welcome and let me know if you want off the List to receive this drivel. Cheers: Tom
Tom Bearss, President, Delta Naturalists’ Society (currently on Grand-Parent Day Care Duty)