DNCB Outing No. 2014-26 to Campbell Valley Park

Watch for photos from DNCB Picasa to be added SOON

We had at least 24 DNCBers on our outing this morning to Campbell Valley Regional Park (CVRP) in Langley.  It was another gorgeous day for a walk in a beautiful diverse nature setting.  Hi-lites included: several Flycatcher species, Pileated Woodpecker, colourful Grosbeaks and Hummers and a tour of a Disney Movie set.  Check out the photo evidence on our DNCB Picasa link.

Thirteen of us set out from Petra’s at 7:30 a.m. in four vehicles (Rob & Marylile took Terry and Glen, Mike took Hans and Sheila, “returnee to the fold” Jimmy R took garbling Gerhard and his German Stork photos, and I had the youngsters, Julian, Jane and PB Lorna).  Smooth sailing along the SFPR, 99 and 8th Avenue to the CVRP entrance got us all there before the scheduled 8:15 a.m. meeting time.  Our gallant Leader, White Rock Al was there to meet us along with Langley Nats Anne G & Pauline, North Van’s Biker Paula & Ray (by car for a change), Ken & Anne A, Marion, Jean, Aussie Nance, and Richmond Bill.  That’s 24; they like their names in print.

Al gave a brief introduction and we started our walk past the Nature House to the washroom.  For some that was the most important sighting of the day.  The trails, several used by horses, were immaculately groomed, except for the occasional Coyote scat.  Ken took the Group Photo early on the walk since “group dispersal” normally occurs with so many participants.  Al pointed out some historical buildings (e.g. barn owl barn) and many of the interesting flowers, plants, trees and fungi (see photos).  As usual, his explanations fell on many selectively deaf ears.  Hopefully some of us can now identify the differences among Douglas Firs, Western Red Cedars, Sitka Spruce, Cottonwood, White Pine and Alder.  Some of the trees in this previously-logged farm property were well over 100 years old.  Since this is ostensibly a Bird Report, I should mention a few sightings.  Swainson’s Thrushes were calling everywhere and we saw a couple which were not Robins.  Everyone saw a Willow Flycatcher (one was an “almost” Eastern Kingbird) and some saw/heard the Pacific-slope Flycatcher and Western Wood-Pewee.  Pacific Wrens were calling and one posed.  Lots of Tree and Barn Swallows around, as well as some young Dark-eyed Juncos.  Cedar waxwings were quite common too.  Warbler species seen or heard were Common Yellowthroats, Wilson’s, Yellow and Orange-crowned.  A Turkey Vulture circled in the distance, near a similar-looking Bald Eagle.  No Soras were seen or heard from the bridge over the almost visible Little Campbell River (filled with reeds).  Most of us being “candy birders” enjoyed the beautiful Black-headed Grosbeaks on the Listening Bridge, feeding on our seeds.  Native Douglas Squirrels also enjoyed the food.  Rufous Hummingbirds were also entertaining.  Terry got a surprise photo of a Western Tanager.  Many “common sightings such as Song Sparrows and Spotted Towhees added to the mix.

At the historic Speedway, we met a Disney Movie Troupe that had converted the track area to a sports field setting for a TV movie entitled Off the Island.  There was a cast and crew of hundreds milling around and rehearsing for a “cheering scene”.  No big name Stars around, and we had no luck being recruited, so we carried on down the trail.  (Editor’s Note: A number of years ago, Delta Nats wrote a letter supporting the non-approval of this Race Track being renovated and re-opened.  Looks like the decision was favourable).

On the last leg of the walk, along the South Valley Trail, newbie Aussie Nance pointed out a pair of Downy Woodpeckers pecking loudly on a stump.  Then a few metres further up the hill, a brilliant Pileated Woodpecker posed nicely for us.  Fungi experts Glen and Pauline pointed out an interesting Coral Fungus.  Check out the photos of these and other beautiful wildflowers which I forget the names of.  Approaching Noon, we got back to the welcome washroom, having walked about 6 kms, according to Al.  It was not strenuous, but rather intellectually stimulating in a weird sort of way.  As the temp was approaching 28 degrees, we thanked WR Al as we sat in the shade under a tree near the parking lot, enjoying PB Lorna’s PB & Banana sandwich, Jane’s nuts, Marion’s crispy balls, Julian’s chocolate and no beer.  We had an unconfirmed Otto sighting.  As we were about to leave, a raptor (Merlin?) scared a bunch of Swallows into a frenzy.  Check out the similarity of this report with DNCB 2012-30 to CVP in July 2012.

Next Wednesday, July 9 is our San Juan Islands Boat Cruise outing.  The following Wednesday, July 16, we will meet at and leave from Petra’s at 7:30 a.m. for Pitt Polder/Lake Park, hopefully arriving at the parking lot entrance around 8:30 a.m.  As always, comments encouraged and please let me know if you want off my List to receive these stimulating sagas.  Cheers: Tom

Tom Bearss, President, Delta Naturalists’ Society

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About dncb

DNS: Delta Naturalists are a group of nature lovers whose aim is to foster interest in the natural history of the Fraser delta by sharing and enjoying nature and promoting environmental awareness and conservation. DNCB: Delta Nats Casual Birders is a group of Casual Birders who go Birding at different locations each week, usually within the Lower Mainland or in nearby Washington State.
This entry was posted in *DNCB, Bald Eagle, Campbell Valley, Douglas Squirrel, Pileated Woodpecker, Turkey Vulture, Western Tanager. Bookmark the permalink.

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