Photos by Terry Carr (TC) and Marion Shikaze (MS) to be added soon!
On an overcast, but dry, Wednesday morning, nine DNCBers left the Ladner Bus Exchange at 6:15 a.m. on an outing to Cheam Lake Wetlands Regional Park in Chilliwack. It’s a beautiful park; we saw a few neat birds and enjoyed a super brunch at the Chilliwack Airport “I Fly for Pie” Restaurant, but it “pissed down rain” all morning. Check out the photo evidence on our DNCB Picasa site.
In two vehicles (Anne with Terry, Lorna & Pauline, Mike with Roger, Hans, time-challenged Kay and me), we took the new SFPR to Highway 1 and made great time arriving at the Cheam Lake parking lot around 8:30 a.m. On arrival, it was pouring rain as it often is in the Fraser River valley, so most of us donned rain gear before starting our walk along the two kilometres of trails. At the first stream outlet from the Lake, a flock of Northern Rough-winged Swallows was hawking insects back and forth in front of us. A couple of Violet-green Swallows were with them. As we crossed the “floating bridge”, Hans spotted a Spotted Sandpiper on a log. A number of birds were flying about in the surrounding trees and though foggy binoculars I think we saw Bullock’s Orioles and perhaps Western Tanagers. A Belted Kingfisher flew past a few times as we tried to identify Warblers flitting about in the trees. Roger and Terry took the Group Photo at the Lookout over the Lake which I know in better weather conditions would be a beautiful and productive spot. Kay likes Dragonflies, so Terry took a neat shot of one in nymph-stage on a stem near the path. Recently returned PB Lorna also spotted a rare “Reed Bird” which the rest of us spent an inordinate amount of time trying unsuccessfully to find and identify. Never mind, welcome back Lorna, the PB & Banana sandwich was delicious.
We returned to the parking lot before taking the second trail around the end of the Lake. Only seven folk did the second section while two poorly-prepared wimps stayed in the warm dry vehicle and solved the world’s problems over the next hour or so. The group of seven returned around 10:30 a.m. having seen Yellow and Wilson’s Warblers, Western Wood-pewee, Vaux’s and Black Swifts, Cedar Waxwings and other stuff. While chatting in the parking lot with Gordon, the Fraser Valley Parks staff, a Yellow-rumped Warbler flitted in the tree above us.
Still raining, we decided we had had enough so Terry made a reservation at the Chilliwack Airport Restaurant. Our timing was brilliant, arriving before 11:30 a.m. and the noon crowd. Some had breakfast specials, others lunch specials. The umpteen varieties of pies for dessert, or to take home to “deserted” partners, was a real bonus. I learned that Rhubarb & Raspberry pie goes well with beer. The ride home was eventful as Roger & Mike shared childhood stories of their misspent youth together, while Kay, Hans and I took turns snoring in the back seat. Interestingly, when we arrived back in Delta around 2:00 p.m., it was sunny with no evidence of rain all day.
A 10th DNCBer, Marion, almost joined our outing, but aborted early. She filed this report:
“Hi, all – I made it to Hwy 1 and Brunette where they were announcing on the radio that the rain was falling heavily east of Abbotsford, and that the Fraser Valley would get most of it, so I turned at Brunette, and ended up at Colony Farm where I happily spent 8 hours, mostly cloudy, but the sun eventually came out as I was heading back to the parking lot. I have never been birding at 7 am before, and was surprised at the activity, altho’ I have certainly heard that. I posted a goodly selection of the pictures I took today on the DNCB site – highlights were the several Lazuli Buntings, Swainson’s Thrushes, Black-headed Grosbeaks, Eastern Kingbirds and Willow Flycatchers and of course the 6 week old Pied-billed Grebe chicks, three of which appeared out of nowhere (from under their mum’s wings I assume). Heard, but not seen, was a Hutton’s Vireo. Marion”
Next Wednesday, June 4, we will leave Petra’s at 7:30 a.m. on an outing to the Semiahmoo Fish Hatchery and adjacent woods trail along the Little Campbell River. Our Leader White Rock Al Schulze will meet us there around 8:15 a.m. Check out directions on our Blog, soon. June 11 is our quarterly Birds on the Bay outing in Boundary Bay Regional Park, and June 18 our tentative destination is Minnekhada Regional Park. As always, comments appreciated and let me know if you want off this List. Cheers: Tom
Tom Bearss, President, Delta Naturalists’ Society