Photos by Marion (MS), Jim (JK), Liz (LS), Terry (TC), Glen (GB), David M (DM) and Pascale & Alberto (P&A) at Picasa website
Twenty-two DNCBers enjoyed our last Tuesday morning of birding (Wednesdays next month) at Queen Elizabeth Park and the Bloedel Conservatory in Vancouver. Hi-lites included a Barred Owl, beautiful Spring blossoms and early flowers, about 50 new species on our tour of the Bloedel Conservatory, and a lovely lunch at Cravings. Check-out the very colourful photos on our DNCB Picasa site.
Nine of us car-pooled from Petra’s at 8:00 a.m. Rush hour traffic was a bit heavy, especially on Cambie St., but we got to the tennis court parking lot just after 8:45 a.m. The rest of the group were already studying the Ruby-crowned Kinglets and Pine Siskins in the conifers next to the parked vehicles.
Lots of evidence of Red-breasted Sapsuckers too, but we couldn’t locate any on our search of its normal hang-out trees. We did see Downy Woodpeckers and Northern Flickers.
We started our walk through the flower beds from the golf shop. No hummingbirds at the feeder (workers were there), but we saw several Anna’s during the morning, but no Rufous Hummingbirds.
After finally corralling everyone from their wanderings and “courtesy” breaks, Roger took the obligatory Group Photo by the golf shop.
We proceeded along the “lower trail” and Hutton’s Vireos along with Fox and Song Sparrows were in the bushes. Robins around too and a couple of Varied Thrush gave us some nice poses.
We saw several pairs of Bushtits making nests which thrilled Liz (and others). Pacific Wrens were buzzing too and some even saw and photographed one or two.
We saw more Kinglets and Mary heard Golden-crowned but no one was able to photograph them. Although we were early for most of the flowers, several species were in full bloom and the gardens were gorgeous.
It’s amazing what has been done to this former quarry. And the view from the hilltop of the city and mountains behind was exhilarating, despite it being a cloudy morning.
We searched the big trees at the bottom for the Barred Owl, in vain, but heard Brown Creepers. Most then just wandered the paths aimlessly, chatting predictably about their “amazing” sightings on other days. Meanwhile Keener Kirsten found the Barred Owl, so we traipsed down to see it.
Roger opened a few pellets below it and noted that this owl was feeding on rats, unlike our Delta owls that eat mostly smaller voles. We got back up to the top in front of the Bloedel Conservatory at about 11:30 a.m.
Although not planned, we decided to take advantage of the Group Rate and 14 of us toured the Conservatory. About 200 exotic birds live inside and you can see some beaut photos on our Picasa site, and in the slideshow below. The Bird Watcher’s Check List was very helpful in identifying these brilliant parrots, macaws, finches and other exotic species from Africa, Asia, Australia and South America. Mike even had a friendly chat with Kramer, the Moluccan Cockatoo.
We left the Park round 12:30 p.m. and nine of us went for lunch at Cravings Restaurant on 72nd Avenue near the Oak Street Bridge. I splurged on the chicken & fig linguine with the mandatory pint of lager. We got back to Petra’s shortly after 2:00 p.m.; another almost-fantastic DNCB outing.
Next Wednesday (not Tuesday), April 1, we will meet at and leave from Petra’s at 7:30 a.m. (not 8:00 a.m.) on an outing to Ladner Harbour and the South Arm Marsh Parks. Check out our DNCB website for reports, photos and info on future DNCB Outing Destinations and other Delta Nats stuff. As always, comments welcome and let me know if these meandering missives annoy you and you want off my list. Cheers: Tom
Tom Bearss, President, Delta Naturalists’ Society
P.S. Participants (21) were: Photogs Roger M, Terry C, Marion S, Liz S, Glen B , Alberto & Pascale, Jim K. Others included Guru Mary T, Rob & Marylile, David M, Richmond’s Bill and Donna, affable Otto, Mikie B, Patrick O G and garbling Gerhard, Keener Kirsten, Aussie Nance and me.
Next DNS Meeting: Tuesday April 7, speaker Larry Cowan on “A Peruvian Birding Adventure – Lima to the heart of the Amazon”, at Benediction Lutheran Church, Tsawwassen.