DNCB Outing No. 2014-50 Birds on the Bay

Birders on the Bay

Birders on the Bay (photo by Roger) (click on photo to see large version)

See full set of photos by Terry Carr (TC), Liz Stewart (LS) & Glen Bodie (GB) on our DNCB Picasa site
More pictures from the above photographers will be added to the Report below, soon!

DNCBers: I’m Baaaaack!  On a typical mild but overcast Winter Wednesday morning in Delta, about 20 DNCBers enjoyed our quarterly Birds on the Bay (BOTB) outing in Boundary Bay Regional Park (BBRP).  Hi-lites included a Merlin flyby, Cinnamon Teal, some almost-interesting conversation and some scrumptious home-made scones and cookies in Cammidge House at the end of the Walk.  Check out the photo evidence from Terry, Liz, Glen, Roger and others on our DNCB Picasa site.

Following intros, we began our 2 ½ hour amble in BBRP from historic Cammidge House at 9:00 a.m.  The 20 participants like their names in print so here they are: our BOTB organizers Don & Rochelle, Guru Anne M, scope-less Roger, photogs Terry, Glen, time-challenged Liz & Marion, almost-employed Greg, Rob & Marylile, newbies Fern and Erin, White Rock Al and his harem of Alice & Leona, Gareth, Delta Nats Ladies Eleanor and Jennifer and me.

Anna’s Hummingbirds and House Finches were seen around CH as we left down the driveway toward the Centennial Beach.  In the nicely re-vitalized pond in the Park were several Mallards, American Wigeon and one lone female Common Goldeneye.  Beady-eyed Brewers Blackbirds were among the Starlings and Red-winged Blackbirds in the surrounding reeds and newly-planted native plant species.

We crossed the beach to the shoreline where it was low tide, but the water was up high and common duck species were close to shore.  Although mostly well-cleared by Metro Vancouver, lots of evidence of last week’s flooding into the park.  A small flock of Sanderlings flew in nicely for a photo op.  Diving ducks and Grebes were probably out further, but we didn’t see any.  We walked back along the trail where Purple Finches were feeding on the hawthorn berries.  Other common stuff there too; Spotted Towhees, Robins, Chickadees and Sparrow species Golden-crowned, Fox and Song (I didn’t see any White-crowned Sparrows today), plus several photogenic Great Blue Herons.  Squealing Northern Flickers are always a treat.  Roger took the obligatory Group Photo at the Lookout Tower.  The resident Red-tailed Hawk was in a tree where he/she is often seen and several resident Northern Harriers also cruised by.  Some saw a flock of American Pipits and heard Virginia Rails.

Wandering further along the shore trail toward the PumpHouse, Green-winged Teal, Northern Pintails and Canada Geese were most common along the sea side.  A pair of Gadwall was aroused in the slough-side near our Delta Nats Bird Boxes (nicely cleaned for the Winter by Terry, Roger and other Nats).  Brant Guru and fellow Nat Richard Swanston was at the PumpHouse Lookout examining the 500 or so Brant Geese (some banded) currently hanging around BBRP.  An adult Bald Eagle had just flown by scaring away a Eurasian Wigeon on the shore.  Interestingly, a couple of groups of 3 Brant were circling erratically over the flock.  Richard thought this was a sort of pairing-up procedure where they were selecting mates.  The only Shorebirds seen here through Leona’s scope were three huddling Dunlin.

We continued on the trail back toward CH.  Among some Mallards in the slough was one female Bufflehead.  A nice Downy Woodpecker was pecking into a dead tree while Dark-eyed Juncos flitted above.  Some heard and saw a Marsh Wren, and perhaps a Bewick’s Wren.  As we looked across the field at our Barn Owl Box (leaning on its pole?), a Merlin (Taiga race) took off from a nearby tree, then gave a nice flyby in front of us.  Meanwhile, a beaut male Cinnamon Teal was spotted among the wigeon and teal feeding in the swampy area just off the trail.

It was 11:30 a.m. so this was a fitting finale sighting to our walk as we got back to CH only a few minutes late to be met by the smiling Delta Nats Ladies, including Don, and the delicious array of Jennifer’s scones, Eleanor’s ginger cookies, Sandra’s traditional egg salad sandwiches,

Sandra's Sandwiches (RM)

Sandra’s Sandwiches (RM)

Rochelle’s fruits, cheeses, crackers and Marion’s scandalous chocolates.  It was an awesome morning and, although I already miss the always warm and sunny weather of Western Australia, I was very happy to be back in the fold.

Guarding the food from Tom (RM)

Guarding the food from Tom (RM)

Don’t forget the Ladner Christmas Bird Count (CBC) this Sunday, Dec. 21 and the White Rock-Surrey CBC on Sunday, Dec. 28.

Following discussions with some DNCBers, we will change the regular outing date to Tuesday mornings, beginning at 8:00 a.m. from Petra’s in the Winter.  However, the next one will be on Monday December 29 – a “local outing”.  I will be at Petra’s Kafe for departure at 8:00 a.m., destination “somewhere around the Bay”.  Check out some super outing reports and photos while I was holidaying in OZ on our DNCB Blog.

As always, let me know if you want off my list to receive this rubbish.  Wishing you and your families a Merry Christmas, and a happy and healthy 2015, with the occasional neat bird sighting.  Cheers: Tom

Tom Bearss, President, Delta Naturalists’ Society

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, American Pipit, Bald Eagle, Birds-on-the-Bay, Boundary Bay, Cammidge House, Centennial Beach, Cinnamon Teal, Eurasian Wigeon, Merlin, Red-tailed Hawk, Virginia Rail. Bookmark the permalink.

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