On a gorgeous Sunday, April 19, Delta Nats participated again in Delta Corp’s annual Fish Release at Watershed Park in North Delta. It was a very successful event with hundreds of kids, parents and grandparents participating. Terry, Marylile & Rob and their team of Roger, Joyce and Lorna set up our renovated “hands-on” Display at 11:00 a.m. at the Old Pump House area where the fish release takes place. Lots of other exhibitors there too including OWL and Delta Corp. You can see from Terry’s and Roger’s photos on our DNCB Picasa site that our Nats Display was awesome. Note Marylile’s new tablecloths, her refurbished Boundary Bay poster and colouring sheets, and Jim K’s more stable Info/Photo Panels. We also had some new “real” exhibits and info pamphlets. Our Display team (Terry, Marylile, Rob, Joyce & Lorna) did masterful jobs explaining, educating and entertaining the hordes of kids and adults that visited our booth.
Tom (me) along with Roger, Johnny Mac and Otto met at Pinewood Elementary School around 11:00 a.m. to lead a Birding/Nature Walk down the Park trails to the Fish Release site. At the 11:30 a.m. departure, the group of participants numbered somewhere between 30 and 40, and ranged in age from newborn to 75+, with kids 10 and under being the majority. I registered some (copied) and gave a brief introduction about the Walk and the Park. As we wandered down the trail toward the Meadow, the group developed massive breaks from front to back.
Although the Leader obviously lost control, there were a few birds singing that aroused interest in a few of the participants. We saw some flitting birds in the canopy of the second/third growth conifers. We identified Black-capped Chickadees, and suspect that there were Kinglets there too. A Brown Creeper gave a brief appearance “creeping” up a trunk. The unflappable and tremendously voluble Otto claimed hearing an Orange-crowned Warbler. Pine Siskins and common species like Song and White-crowned Sparrows, Spotted Towhees, American Robins and Dark-eyed Juncos were heard and occasionally seen. We blanked on Raptors/Hawks, Thrushes and even Woodpeckers, although the resident Pileated Woodpeckers were seen earlier in the morning. Roger also pointed out some of the interesting plant species in the park.
We got to the Meadow area and Roger took the Group Photo (of the half that was left) as we gazed out onto Boundary Bay. An immature Bald Eagle gliding by thrilled a few of us.
We continued on, noting the Woodpecker trees and the Nurse Stumps, some very “artistic”.
It was Noon so we didn’t expect to see many birds, and we didn’t. I suppose the most excitement was when we got to the end of the Walk at the OWL Exhibit, and participants finally got to see some birds, a Barred Owl and a Merlin.
Nonetheless, it was a very enjoyable Walk on a beautiful day in very pleasant surroundings. And the apple and hot chocolate at the finish line were tasty too.
Other Notes: The Girl Guides did a super job coordinating the Tree Planting, and the kids really enjoyed releasing the Fry into the stream.
And Angela did yeoman’s work repetitiously explaining and demonstrating the damage that people do to our landscape, while Erin wandered around looking, and being important. We closed down at 2:00 p.m. and the Team loaded Roger’s van for return of our Display material to our locker at Centennial Beach. I, and I think other Nats too, always feel good after events like this. It’s the fulfillment of actually realizing one of our DNS mandates “to promote nature education at public events”. Check out our website for more info and photos at. Cheers: Tom
Tom Bearss, President, Delta Naturalists’ Society