DNCB Outing No. 2015-8 to Point Roberts, USA

Photos by Terry Carr (TC), Glen Bodie (GB), Tony Mitra (TM) & Marion Shikaze (MS)

More than 20 birders (actually 23, duly named at report end) joined our DNCB group on a beautiful February Tuesday morning at a number of Parks in Pt. Roberts, USA.  We had tonnes of neat species, many up-close-and-personal.  Check out the photo evidence on our Picasa site and Tony’s site.  Some neat “nose hair” photos included in Tony and Marion’s collages (see slide show at the end of this Report).

TM_DNCB_group_20150224-DSC03595

DNCB at Lighthouse Marine Park (TM)

Thirteen of us left Petra’s at 8:00 a.m., car-pooling smoothly through the Border.  We met most of the others as scheduled at 8:30 a.m. at the Lighthouse Marine Park parking lot.  The tide was high and water calm; lots of neat sightings here including: the resident flock of Black Turnstones, Double-crested and Pelagic Cormorants and perhaps a few Brandt’s, Common Goldeneye, Red-breasted Merganser, Horned and Red-necked Grebes, Common (but no Pacific or Red-throated) Loons, Bufflehead, Surf and White-winged (but no Black) Scoters, a raft of Brant in the distance.

A family of five Trumpeter Swans (2 adults, 3 juvenile) swimming in front of us then flying over were an elegant sighting.

Tony took the Group Photo (20 folk) here to “get it over with early”.  Then we walked toward Lighthouse Point watching several Harbour Porpoises going “up and down” not far off shore.

Harbour Porpoises (TC)

Harbour Porpoises (TC)

Harbour Seals were also foraging along the way.

At the Point, Anne and Roger spotted Common Murres, Pigeon Guillemot, Rhinoceros Auklet and Marbled Murrelets in the scope.  Here we saw the first of several Harlequin Ducks in beautiful breeding plumage.

About 6 Sanderling were foraging in the stones along the water’s edge.  Some saw a few Dunlin too.

Sanderlings (GB)

Sanderlings (GB)

Time-challenged Dave M and newbies Pascale and Alberto joined us here making 23.  A large V of Snow Geese heading south toward Skagit Valley was a neat sight above us.

We walked back to our vehicles via the inland trail.  Not as active with “little birds” as usual: the Parks staff have done a lot of “cleaning up” by removing many shrubs.  Of note, we saw a few Northern Flickers, House Finches and a Killdeer plus other common “regulars”, including Robins that look like Varied Thrushes.

We left Lighthouse Park for the Marina, stopping at the pond along the way to see the American Wigeon and Hooded Mergansers.  Three Red-tailed Hawks were perched at various spots as we approached the Marina turn, off APA Way.  At the Marina, we stopped abruptly to photograph a Western Meadowlark perched on a brush pile.

In the water were a flock of Greater Scaup and a female Common Merganser. Bald Eagles posing on signs gave some of our photogs a rush.

A flock of 11 Black Oystercatchers and 42 Harlequins were up-close-and-personal at the Marina entrance until an incoming yacht scared them away.

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Terry got nice shots of a Pacific Wren on the logs.

Not much seen on the drive to the Lily Point Parking lot, except for some funny looking midget Donkeys.  From the Lookout, down the cliff to the water, we saw lots of waterfowl, but too far away to get good looks, even with the scopes.  We could ID Scoters, Scaup, Loons, Harlequins and Oystercatchers on shore, and that’s about it.  The Black Scoters and Murrelets, if there, were not close in.  We walked the forest trail to the other lookout.  An Anna’s Hummingbird whizzed by and we heard Kinglets and Pacific Wrens.

The second Lookout gave beautiful vistas across to the Gulf and San Juan Islands and White Rock but no new bird sightings.  We trudged back to the parking lot, noting the freshly budding plants and different flora at this Park (I can’t remember what the different plants and trees are).

Now Noon, the outing ended and some of us decided to have lunch at Mario’s in Tsawwassen.  Two reasons: no decent restaurants were open in Pt. Roberts and PB Lorna’s absence meant no sandwiches provided.  Cod & Chips were just okay, but German beer was delicious.  A nice end to another super DNCB outing.

We 23 were: Guru Anne, Marylile & Rob, Mikie B, Roger 2, Photogs Glen, Marion, Tony, Terry, Richmond newbies Alberto & Pascale, and Richmond Bill, Pt Bob’s Paul and newbie Pat H, Sheila, Fern, Pauline with newbie Siegy, Dave M, Scopers Jean and Roger M, sophomore Kathy E and me.

After lunch, some (Roger, Marion, Tony, Terry, Kathy and me) went to the Ladner Trail off Ferry Road to see the White-throated Sparrow.  It posed nicely as did a Pacific Wren, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Eurasian Wigeon and six Ring-necked Ducks in the slough.

Next Tuesday, March 3, our DNCB outing will be to UBC and include a tour of the Beaty Biodiversity Museum at 10:15 a.m.   Numbers are restricted so please notify Terry Carr if you want to participate.  Some of us will meet at and leave from Petra’s at 8:00 a.m.  Information on the outing, including fees and parking suggestions, can be found on the DNS Upcoming Events page.

Also next Tuesday evening, March 3 is our first Delta Nats monthly meeting at our new larger venue, the Benediction Lutheran Church on 56th St. in Tsawwassen.  Dudley Booth will be giving a Presentation entitled “Journey to the Stars”.

Also, this Friday, February 27, we are meeting at 9:30 a.m. at the 12th Street entrance to BBRP to “Clean & Close” our 35 Delta Nats Bird Boxes in the Park, readying them for the newly-arriving Tree Swallows.  Join us at these events if interested.  As always, comments encouraged, and let me know if you want off my List to receive this drivel.  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, *Special Birds, Black Oystercatcher, Black Turnstone, Brandt's Cormorant, Common Murre, Harbour Porpoise, Harbour Seal, Harlequin Duck, Marbled Murrelet, Pelagic Cormorant, Pigeon Guillemot, Red-breasted Merganser, Red-tailed Hawk, Rhinoceros Auklet, Western Meadowlark. Bookmark the permalink.

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