Photos by Terry (TC), Glen (GB), Liz (LS), Marion (MS), Roger (RM), Pascale (PC) at DNCB Picasa site
We had a group of 17 today with warm weather and a sprinkling of rain at the end. We were joined by newcomers Janet, Pat, and Maureen. On the way to the lodge I (Kathy) stopped at a no parking zone to check out some Chickadees, Orange-crowned Warblers and Common Yellow-throat. Wayne drove by and escorted me safely to the parking lot. We were joined by Pascale (early riser) and Janet, Liz and Alan, Kirsten and Marion S., Terry, Gerhard, Hans, Roger, Glen, Mike, Pat, Maureen and Otto.
At the parking lot we were assaulted by loud Pacific Wrens, a Common Raven, and a sound we would all become very very familiar with. Yes! Our first Pacific-slope Flycatcher. A pair of Wood Ducks were seen high up in the trees. A Red-breasted Sapsucker was on a snag before we got to the lake. There were some disappointed faces from those who had stayed behind and searched fruitlessly for the flycatchers.
We wandered to the lake to look at the Canada Geese and their cute goslings. Careful counting of same ended up with accounting errors until a second set of goslings were discovered and counting resumed. An American Robin flew past us and in the distance Ring-necked Ducks, Bufflehead, Wood Ducks, Mallards, and Tree Swallows were sighted. A small group including Pascale and Otto stood on a precipitous perch and searched for Sandhill Cranes. Bernie, a Parks employee gave us a bit of history on the lodge. It was built in 1934 by Eric Hamber (a former Lieutenant Governor) and was a private residence until 1976. The pond was trout filled and more recently bass. There is a rumour that a copy of the lodge was built by a Mrs. Wallace in Whistler. Bernie kindly took the group photo. We missed ya Tom.
We carried on down the west side path. It was beautiful, with reflections of trees in the small ponds. The Pacific-sloped Flycatchers continued to elude us. Glen tried for a shot but didn’t have the right filters. A Juvie Bald Eagle soared past us. A Red-tailed Hawk was seen by some. Red-winged Blackbirds were a bit scarce. We met other birdwatchers and walkers throughout the trail. Marion, Kirsten, and a few others searched for some warblers (Yellow-rumped). We heard or saw all three wrens. We saw a Mourning Dove or three.
Some enthusiastic birders charged towards the long way around. A Grouse or two were booming. We saw two more Red-breasted Sapsuckers. We noticed we had lost a bit of the group, after a quick phone call, we came back the trail and rejoined the main group. To our disappointment, we’d missed out on seeing a PS flycatcher.
Roger insisted to me that he had nothing to do with the group splitting up. I’m not sure how many others he told this to, so I thought I’d share. Oops, forgot to mention the Fox Sparrow and possible nest. We dodged two sinkholes on the causeway and saw an older group of goslings.
It was a bit of a slog up the Low Knoll trail. A few heard some hooting. Marion later identified the hooter as a Northern Pygmy-Owl (after listening to it on Dendroica). Two Varied Thrushes were admired. Two ladies passed us and later pointed out another Sapsucker. Many great photos of it should be posted to our Picasa site. A Bewick’s Wren posed momentarily on a stump and a Spotted Towhee was here and there. The outlook had a tremendous view and a Sandhill Crane briefly obscured it. A few LBJs were spotted here and there. Gerhard, Mike and I were collapsed on a picnic bench when the tardy ones pointed out a Pileated Woodpecker over our heads. Drat, missed it. Roger photographed a Bushtit nest just before we completed our loop.
Thanks to all who identified themselves and the birds.
Looking forward to next week Wednesday, May 5 to the Serpentine Fen in Surrey. We will leave Petra’s at 7:30 and meet about 8:00 at the parking lot on 44th Ave just west of King George Blvd (behind Art Knapps). For the directionally challenged, there is a map on our website http://goo.gl/OSvslD.