Photos by Glen Bodie (GB), Jonathan Mwenifumbo (JM), Ken Borrie (KB), Liz Stewart (LS)
Eighteen DNCBers had another super Wednesday morning of birding at Lighthouse Marine Park and then Lily Point Marine Park in Point Roberts, USA. Hi-lites included some neat seabirds and mammals, lots of Hummingbirds including a Calliope and some almost stimulating conversation with some newbies. Check out the photo evidence on our DNCB Picasa site.
Our four-car convoy left Petra’s at 7:30 a.m.: Rob & Marylile took Glen; Roger took Mike, Hans & Kay; Liz was with her daughter Laura, and Jonathan & Sheila rode with me. The Border was smooth and we got to Lighthouse Park at the pre-determined time of 8:00 a.m.
Ken & Anne along with newbie Steve the Con were waiting; PR Paul & Newbie Lowell arrived shortly later, and time-challenged Mary-Pat about 9:00 a.m. – that’s 18 accounted for. As for birding, the Bay was quiet at first with only a few Pelagic & Double-crested Cormorants flying by and Bald Eagles entertaining us on the pylons.
Then we spotted a raft of Pacific Loons (~1000) in the distance coming closer. A Steller’s Sea Lion swam by, showing his Number 8484 stamped on his back as he broke the surface. The resident Belted Kingfisher dropped by on a pylon to check us out as did a couple of Killdeer.
We also saw a Harbour Seal as we wandered along to the point where a couple of Sanderling surprised us landing on the rocks in front. A Caspian Tern cruised by above us and lots of Surf Scoters gave fly-pasts too.
We wandered a bit further down the shoreline and, before the dysfunctional group dissipated, Ken took the obligatory Group Photo (without time-challenged M-P). We took the inland trail back to the parking lot, in various groups. Most saw Brown-headed Cowbirds, both Rufous and Anna’s Hummingbirds, a posing and singing Bewick’s Wren, Savannah Sparrows and lots of Finches, House and American Goldfinches.
The stragglers Roger & Ken said they saw a Merlin and someone else said they saw a Parasitic Jaeger. Tree and Barn Swallows were hawking insects above and a Eurasian Collared-Dove was on a telephone line, but we couldn’t find any Warblers.
Newbie Steve the Con slithered into the wilderness as we drove south from this park to our “regular” beach path between two cottages. Here we saw some late migrating Brant Geese, uncharacteristically on shore, and six Black Oystercatchers.
Next stop at the marina, we scoped a few Harlequin Ducks. Roger spotted a Flycatcher that turned out to be a White-crowned Sparrow. The resident Red-tailed Hawk was on top of one of his regular tree roosts.
We continued on to Lily Point Park where local expert PR Paul shared some riveting historical information at several Lookouts.
A singing Black-headed Grosbeak awakened several of Paul’s parishioners. Although the views from the Lookouts were stunning, only sailboats and no birds were seen in the Bay. It was also very pleasant walking the narrow paths through the woods; several gorgeous flowers. Kay spotted a small Hummingbird which we think was a rare-to-us Calliope, passing through to the BC interior (see Glen’s photo). A singing-in-the-open Pacific Wren was also unusually accommodating. We got back to the parking lot around Noon; some went to Brewster’s for lunch while others just bought some cheap gas and returned to Tsawwassen. A very fine morning.
Next Wednesday, May 28 is an “away” outing to Cheam Lake Park, leaving the Ladner Bus Exchange at 6:15 a.m. We plan to be at the Cheam Lake Park entrance at 7:45 a.m. More outing details are on the Upcoming DNS Events page.
Don’t forget to register for the Bird Studies Canada Shorebird Training Workshop at Cammidge House on Saturday, May 31. As always, comments encouraged and let me know if you want off the List to receive this long-winded drivel. Cheers: Tom
Tom Bearss, President, Delta Naturalists’ Society