Photos to be added soon!
Fourteen DNCBers enjoyed a brilliant hike/outing in Minnekhada Regional Park on Wednesday. Hi-lite sightings included Bears, several Woodpecker and Flycatcher species and a not-too-strenuous walk in a beautiful mountainous park. Check out the photo evidence on our DNCB Picasa link.
Two vehicles car-pooled eight of us from Petra’s at 7:30 a.m. Newbie Deborah and Johnny Mac went with Rob & Marylile, PB Lorna, Hans & I went with Roger. We took the SFPR and then another of Roger’s convoluted short-cuts over the Pattulo Bridge and all over New Westminster, arriving at the Park around 8:45 a.m. Traffic Cop Annie K directed us from Oliver Road to the Quarry parking lot because the Lodge entrance was closed for a private event. A pair of Mourning Doves was on the road, and then a Mother Black Bear and her two Cubs were foraging in the bushes beside the parking lot as we arrived. We met Marion & Marta, another Newbie Nancy, garrulous Otto, and Greg there. Greg had earlier seen 3 other Bears as well as a Deer; of course, mathematically-challenged Otto said he saw five bears.
Following intros and washroom break, we started our walk along the Lodge Trail to the Quarry Trail. It was a bit overcast but very comfortable and the birds were singing all around us. Four Band-tailed Pigeons were roosting above us as Black-headed Grosbeaks and Wilson’s Warblers sung beautifully. We heard Pacific Slope and Willow Flycatchers and the less common Olive-sided Flycatcher, which we eventually saw. One of a few Pileated Woodpeckers flew into the “buffet of stumps” for our viewing pleasure. We saw Northern Flickers and Downy Woodpeckers too, but the most entertaining sighting was a pair of Red-breasted Sapsuckers bringing food to young in a hole in one of the stumps (on Fern Trail).
Approaching the Lower Marsh, Common Yellowthroats were, what else but common. Tree and Barn Swallows were hawking insects above the algae-covered pond; some saw Violet-green Swallows too. We started the climb up Quarry Trail and got good looks at a Swainson’s Thrush, another lovely singer. Of course Robins and Spotted Towhees added to the symphony, as did the cawing Ravens. We all made it over this hill to the Log Trail and then to the isthmus between the two ponds. Here, with the usual cajoling ritual, Roger took the obligatory Group Photo.
We continued on to the Mid Marsh Trail, avoiding the Bear and Goose scat, which were both rampant on the path. Chivalrous Greg occasionally assisted some of us on another fairly onerous climb up to Low Knoll Lookout. Dark-eyed Junco families accompanied us on the climb. At the Lookout, Marion’s nutty mixture and PB Lorna’s egg sandwiches were a real treat as we relaxed and took more photos of the impressive vista over the pond below. We couldn’t find the singing Yellow Warbler or the Pine Siskins, but did see the “yank yank” Red-breasted Nuthatch. The Western Tanagers were not here either, but some saw them later along the Fern Trail toward the Lodge. There were lots of gorgeous Wildflowers around too; check out Marion’s photos.
We stopped at the Lookout near the Lodge where a flock of Cedar Waxwings was feeding on seeds/berries along the edge of the Lower Marsh pond. Then we proceeded around the Lower Marsh across a couple of bridges. A huge invasive Bull Frog watched as we passed. We saw young families of Mallards and Canada Geese, but no other duck species. Lots of runners passed us, some noisily with bells on. We got back to the vehicles around 1:00 p.m. and shared thoughts on the slightly arduous nature of the outing, but still very enjoyable. Some of us had Grand-parenting duties, so we went straight home rather than lunch in a nearby Pub. It was déjà vu all over again as Roger meandered for an hour on the 30 minute drive to Ladner as Hans snored peacefully in the back seat.
Next Wednesday, June 25, we will leave Petra’s at 7:30 a.m. on an outing to Queen Elizabeth Park. We will park above the tennis courts (click link to see map); hopefully by 8:15 a.m. Check out the DNCB website for the list of future destinations this Summer. As always, your comments are encouraged and please let me know if you want off the list to receive these weekly missives.
Tom Bearss, President, Delta Naturalists’ Society