Photos by Terry (TC), Glen (GB), Marion (MS), David (DM), Alberto (P&A), Ken (KB) at DNCB Picasa site
Another large, eclectic group of 28 DNCBers enjoyed a gorgeous April Fool’s Day outing in Delta at three/four Ladner Parks. Hi-lites included, many nesting birds, early Warbler sightings, Kinglets everywhere, and a very pleasant lunch at the Rusty Anchor Pub. Check out the array of splendid photos of birds, flowers, vistas and people by Marion S, Dave M, Terry C, Roger M, Ken B, Glen B and Alberto and Pascale on our DNCB Picasa site.
Thirteen car-pooled from Petra’s at 7:30 a.m. (note earlier time) and after driving through the Ladner farm fields, we met most of the others at Ladner Harbour Park parking lot at 8:00 a.m. It was sunny and warm and the birds were singing in the surrounding trees. We saw the first of many Ruby- and Golden-crowned Kinglets here.
Lots of common birds too; House Finches, Dark-eyed Juncos, Song and Golden-crowned Sparrows. We heard a Ring-necked Pheasant too. To get the Group Photo burden off my mind, Roger took a shot of 20 plus of us near the picnic shelter. It’s a nightmare corralling obstreperous birders for a photo (I love big words, even when I don’t know what they mean).
The large group was a bit unwieldy, so we wandered along the not-too-muddy paths in scattered groups, avoiding off-leash dog walkers as much as we could. Both Anna’s and Rufous Hummingbirds were seen, occasionally flashing their brilliant gorges.
Bushtits were fascinating as they fabricated their hanging nests, seemingly unaware of us nosy birders.
Varied Thrushes occasionally made an appearance. A pair of Bald Eagles was breaking and collecting sticks for a nest, which we think may have been started, and perhaps used by Red-tailed Hawks we saw there last year.
Two Mourning Doves caught our attention. We don’t see many Mourning Doves anymore as the Eurasian-collared Dove has taken over. We saw Mourning Doves at Ladner Harbour Park last year as well, and it is one of the few places in Delta where this once-common species is still seen.
We wandered on a narrower path through trees and bushes to the marsh and shore of the south arm of the Fraser River. The tide was out and the water was like glass. Marsh Wrens were building nests in the bull rushes.
Duck species in the river included Common Mergansers, Green-winged Teal, Gadwall, Greater Scaup, Northern Pintail, Northern Shoveler, American Wigeon and Mallards; several Greater Yellowlegs too. Lots of Woodpeckers around, mostly Downy and Northern Flicker.
At the end of the Park trail, at the “Ludicrous Lookout”, Ken took another Group Photo of all 28 of us. On the walk back to the parking lot, we heard Pacific Wrens singing and then Ken & Anne found a nesting pair in the roof of the picnic shelter. Fantastic sighting, but we didn’t bother them for long.
Next stop, with contumacious Roger (look it up) leading from the rear, was the Cove Links Slough Trail (my name for it) off Ferry Road, where both Harris’s and White-throated Sparrows have been reported. On entering the trail we were thrilled as Yellow-rumped Warblers were easily seen low in the trees. Lots more Kinglets and several Brown Creepers around too; a pair of Creepers was building a nest in a hole in the trunk of a tree.
This happened to be near another American Robin pair nesting.
We saw our third Wren species here when a Bewick’s Wren appeared.
In the slough, a female Hooded Merganser seemed to follow us as we strolled down the path. A couple of pairs of beautiful Wood Ducks were also in the slough; hope they nest in the boxes on shore and don’t get raided by Racoons as happened last year. While enjoying the sun and view on the walking bridge over the slough, we spotted a Cooper’s Hawk posing for us on a stump; neat sighting.
Anne M and Roger eventually saw the White-throated Sparrow, but not the Harris’s Sparrow.
Approaching 11:00 a.m. we moved on to the third Ladner park, South Arm Marshes Wildlife Management Area, just a bit further down Ferry Road. We walked the trail to the Lookout and saw several of the same species as earlier. We heard a Common Yellowthroat Warbler but couldn’t find it. The view and warm sun at the Lookout were both dazzling; however the Eagles and Red-tailed Hawks circling above us and our grumbling stomachs told us it was time to leave. Ten of us went down the road to the Rusty Anchor Pub where my Clam Chowder soup, Beef Dip and two pints of draught beer hit the spot. Others went to Reifel (4th Ladner park); check out Marion’s photos on our Picasa site. We got back to Tsawwassen around 2:00 p.m. without using a drop of gasoline in Anne’s new electric Volt. Another awesome DNCB outing.
Next Wednesday, April 8, we will meet at and leave from Petra’s at 7:30 a.m. for Brydon Lagoon and Hi-Knoll Park in Langley. For those joining us there we expect to be at the parking lot by Brydon Lagoon (on 53 Ave between 198 St & 199 St) about 8:15 a.m.
Don’t forget our Delta Nats monthly meeting on Tuesday, April 7 at 7:30 p.m. at the Benediction Lutheran Church in Tsawwassen. Larry Cowan will be giving a pictorial Presentation on “A Peruvian Birding Adventure – Lima to the heart of the Amazon”.
As always, your comments are encouraged and please let me know if you want off my list to receive these long-winded, annoying missives. Cheers: Tom
Tom Bearss, President, Delta Naturalists’ Society
P.S. Because the DNCB participants love their name in print, the 28 were (without my Descriptors): Jean G, Marion S, Mike B, Marian P, Roger K, Fern F, Anne M, Alberto & Pascale, Terry C, Liz S, Pauline O, Donna T, David M, Otto S, Kirsten W, Kathy E, Al S, Hans-Ulf S, Gerhard L, Bryan & Janet, Ken & Anne, John Mac, Glen B, Roger M and me.