photos by Liz (LS), Terry (TC), Glen (GB), Pascale & Alberto (P&A), Rick (RW) at DNCB Picasa site
Twenty-four DNCBers enjoyed another beautiful Wednesday morning wandering around Colony Farm in Coquitlam. Hi-lites were: Lazuli Buntings, families of Pied-billed Grebes and Hooded Mergansers, and a tasty lunch at the Gillnetter Restaurant in PoCo.
Eight of us left Petra’s in 5 vehicles (very poor car-pooling) and had a smooth drive via the SFPR and Pattullo Bridge to Colony Farm, arriving at the Garden Plot parking lot just before 8:30 a.m. We met the rest of the group and introduced some Newbies, Owl’s Catherine, Pat & Maureen, returnees Rick & Marg and then Janet later with time-challenged Pascale & Alberto. We walked the path past the Psych Hospital in search of our target bird the Lazuli Bunting. We saw several beauties, posing and singing. Also saw Savannah, Song and Golden-crowned Sparrows, Common Yellowthroats and gorgeous iridescent Rufous Hummingbirds. Terry took the Group Photo on the path here (to get it over with early). Back at the parking lot, a male Downy Woodpecker was pecking loudly for our entertainment.
We then walked the trail past the expanded and renewed Kwikwetlem First Nation buildings watching the Tree and Violet-green Swallows hawking insects. We saw Barn and Northern Rough-winged Swallows later to make it a 4 Swallow morning. An interesting sighting for us Casual Birders was a “Tree” Swallow among a flock of Barn Swallows perched in a tree. They took off and a Barn was seen feeding the Tree Swallow in mid-flight. Obviously, the Tree Swallow was really a juvenile Barn; our ornithological lesson for the morning.
We crossed the bridge as Marsh Wrens and more Common Yellowthroats sang in the reeds. From the bridge we saw a flock of about six Cedar Waxwings land in a tree close by, then take off. A Northern Harrier was gliding over the grassland and a Bald Eagle flew past being harassed by a Cooper’s Hawk. Being all-round naturalists, we also saw and noted a dead vole, a dead garter snake and some gorgeous flowers. A Mother Hooded Merganser was herding her brood of seven along the slough beside us. Two Mallard ducklings were with them; don’t know whether they stayed or found their real mother. A pair of scintillating Cinnamon Teal were in this slough too.
We got to the Grebe Pond and Mom Pied-billed Grebe was there with her two chicks. It’s amazing the size of food bits that these chicks can wolf down from their mother’s beak. We did not see the Sora or Virginia Rails, but a Muskrat swam by and the Great Blue Heron was perched on the same Tree Swallow box where we saw him last year.
On the walk back we saw Gadwalls, Brown-headed Cowbirds, American Goldfinches, House Finches and a Red-tailed Hawk. Pascal, Alberto and the extremely garrulous Otto saw and photographed a Yellow Warbler and a Mourning Dove. We got back to the parking lot around Noon and decided to go for lunch at one of Mikie’s old haunts, the Gillnetter Pub & Restaurant in Port Coquitlam. Not unexpectedly, in true “Roger fashion”, Mike led us on a convoluted (i.e. lost) route to get there; the place was packed; we waited 20 minutes for seating. However, it was worth it; the 12 of us enjoyed the beer, Gillnetter Special Seafood sandwich and the usual inane conversation. Terry guided me back to Tsawwassen while Hans snored in the back seat. The more things change, the more they stay the same.
Next Wednesday, May 20 we will leave Petra’s at 7:30 on an outing to Burnaby Mountain led by renowned Pt. Pelee expert Roger (see his photos on our Picasa site) and then to see the Ruffs at SFU. We will meet at Horizons Restaurant, 100 Centennial Park Way, about 8:30. After birding around the restaurant area we will follow a trail to SFU. We will meet David Lank, an SFU biology professor who oversees one of the world’s largest ruff aviaries, housed at SFU’s Burnaby campus. He currently has 300 ruffs in his outdoor facility and breeds an additional 60 birds each year. We will then walk back to our cars and drive to the Burnaby Mountain Golf Course for more birding and lunch. For info on David Lank see https://www.sfu.ca/sfunews/stories/2014/ruff-courtship-a-matter-of-genes.html
Check out our DNCB Blog for other Reports and photos and, as always, comments encouraged and let me know if you want off the List to receive this drivel. Cheers: Tom
Tom Bearss, President, Delta Naturalists’ Society
PS: The 24 were: Photogs Terry, Liz & Alan, Pascale & Alberto with newbie Janet, Glen, returnee members Rick & Marg from Vancouver Island, Delta-ites Guru Anne, Rob & Marylile, Hans-Ulf, Mike B, Marian, newbie Owl’s Catherine, Johnny Mac, Otto, and Langley/White Rock DNCBers Pauline, Laurie K, White Rock Al, and Vancouver’s Pat & Maureen, and me. A bona fide eclectic group.