More photos by Terry Carr (TC), Jim Kneesch (JK), Tony Mitra (TM), Liz Stewart (LS), Ken Borrie (KB) to be added soon
Over 20 DNCBers (I lost count) spent another beautiful Wednesday morning in Surrey at the Semiahmoo Fish & Game Club’s Little Campbell River (LCR) Fish Hatchery and Park, then on to Elgin Heritage Park. Check out the photo evidence on our DNCB Picasa site.
Nine of us in three vehicles (Rob & Marylile with Jim & Hans; Tony with Terry; and me with the two ladies Kay & PB Lorna) left Petra’s around 7:30 a.m. and made good time driving to the 184th Street entrance to the Semiahmoo Club.
Our leader White Rock Al met us there along with Pauline, newbie “Tofino Groupies” Lois & Helen, Liz & daughter Laura (formerly Paula), early risers Kirsten & Roger, Johnny Mac, Richmond Bill, “work-sick” Deborah, and Ken without Anne. Garrulous Otto slept in and joined us later. Following intro’s, we wandered around the Hatchery grounds, admiring the empty tanks with disappointment. Al then led us on the path through the wooded area along the Little Campbell River (LCR). Along with Al’s almost interesting commentary (including on German history?), very informative signage on the flora and fauna in the Park was everywhere. Before the group dissipated into its usual unruly mass of mini conversation pools, we (Ken & Tony) took the Group Photo near the Wedding Arch. Around us were singing Black-headed Grosbeaks (BHG), Common Yellowthroats, Red-winged Blackbirds and Spotted Towhees.
Continuing on the educational walk we heard lots of singing, but didn’t see Swainson’s Thrushes, Western Wood Pewees or Pacific Slope Flycatchers. We finally saw a Pacific Wren gathering nesting material. Rufous Hummingbirds occasionally whizzed by as did small flocks of Cedar Waxwings. Some saw a pair of Western Tanagers and Yellow Warblers. The Camp Ground at the end of the Park was an interesting discovery. Heading back we saw a Spotted Sandpiper along the edge of the LCR and Terry saw a Hermit Thrush.
When we got back to the Hatchery building, Semiahmoo volunteer Penny was there and took us through the operations. There were about 9000 Coho Salmon Fry in each of seven tanks. These were hatched and raised there from eggs and some fry would be released in their annual Father’s Day event. On leaving the building we noticed a mother Tree Swallow peaking out of her nesting box. Lots of Barn Swallows around too, some nesting under the roof covering the Salmon Collection Tank on the LCR. We met volunteer Roy Thomson who showed us the barn where the Barn Owls had laid two eggs which were unattended and had not hatched in two months. Don’t know why. He also told us about the Barred and Great-horned Owls nesting in the Park and later sent us photos. We also saw Willow Flycatchers, Savannah and White-crowned Sparrows and more BHG’s around the barn.
Approaching 11:00 a.m., before heading home, we decided to check out Elgin Park on the Nikomekl River. No Shorebirds, but we saw lots of House Finches, some feeding young, and the resident Belted Kingfisher. We were blanked on the Rails in the marsh area. As we watched a Peregrine Falcon circling high in the sky near a Bald Eagle, some Vaux Swifts passed in our bins, hawking insects. Approaching 1:00 p.m., we shared thoughts of the grand morning on the leisurely drive back to Tsawwassen, until we passed the tree decimation on 72nd St. near the North Forty Park.
Next Wednesday, June 11 is our quarterly Birds on the Bay Outing in Boundary Bay Regional Park. We will meet at and leave from historic Cammidge House at 9:00 a.m. Don’t forget our Delta Nats monthly meeting this Monday evening, June 9 at 7:30 p.m. at Cammidge House. Several Members will be presenting photo evidence of their adventures wherever. As always, comments encouraged and let me know if you want off my Drivel List. Cheers: Tom (Saturday morning and I’m going to play hockey)
Tom Bearss, President, Delta Naturalists’ Society