Sixteen DNCBers enjoyed another gorgeous Wednesday morning wandering the trails in Maplewood Flats Conservation Area in North Vancouver. We didn’t see a lot of birds, heard several (e.g. Gray Catbird), saw the nesting Osprey and Purple Martins, and really just enjoyed a nice walk in a beautiful area. Check out the photo evidence at: https://picasaweb.google.com/113357506005013094897.
Eight of us left Petra’s at 7:30 a.m. in two vehicles (super car-pooling). The drive was very slow with morning rush-hour traffic being very heavy, especially over the Knight Street bridge. Surprisingly, even with Roaming Roger driving, both cars arrived at the Maplewood Flats parking area (outside the Park because we were warned Environment Canada was giving Tickets for non-employees parking inside) at 9:00 a.m. The others, except time-challenged Pascale & Alberto, were waiting at the Miniature Replica Squatter Shacks on the Creek edge at the entrance. Also there to meet us, and open the washroom doors, was Patricia Banning-Lover, President of the WBT Wild Bird Trust of BC that voluntarily looks after this Conservation Area. Following introductions, Patricia gave us an interesting brief on her organization and what they have been doing, including building the new Corrigan Nature House. Then our Nature Godfather, Al Grass arrived along with his Consigliere Derek Killby as they were leading a Children’s Outing later this morning. Roger took the Group Photo in front of the Office building before we started our walk.
Derek told us of his Gray Catbird sighting so we walked rather quickly to where it was seen. On the way, we stopped at a few Lookouts onto the “flats” and Burrard Inlet and across to Burnaby Mountain and SFU where we were last Wednesday. Lots of Purple Martins buzzing around their 50+ nesting boxes on pylons. Tree, Violet-green and Barn Swallows also seen hawking insects over the mud (Tide was out). Pelagic Cormorants were diving but we saw no duck or shorebird species. We heard Pacific and Marsh Wrens, Wilson’s Warblers, Swainson’s Thrush, Pacific-slope Flycatcher but were not able to locate them. Similarly with the Catbird, we could not locate the bird calling. The White Rock All Stars, Al and Pauline, saw the Wilson’s Warbler and a Swainson’s Thrush. The rest of us (mostly blind and deaf it seems), settled on seeing Towhees, Robins, Chickadees and Song Sparrows. New families of Wood Ducks, Mallards and Canada Geese entertained a few.
A deer twitching his ears while hiding in the reeds was a bit different. I suppose the hi-lite was an Osprey catching a fish and taking it to his nest on a pylon where the female was sitting, we assume on eggs. A pair of Bald Eagles were perched on two other pylons. WR Al identified a lot of the trees, flowers and other plants which enthralled the Newbie Ladner Jack and visiting Hamiltonian Lyle. Others got turned on by Snails. I was excited when we got back to the cars and devoured PB Lorna’s peanut butter and banana sandwich.
As is our Tradition, we decided to stop for lunch at Michael Buble’s favourite seafood shop, the famous Crab Shop, just minutes away from Maplewood Flats on Dollarton Highway. As always, the fish & chips were delicious, “Star” photos on the wall were entertaining, but the bullet holes in the front window were a bit disconcerting. I snored on the ride home, uneventful but for Hans and PB Lorna’s gibberish about the “good old times” in the back seat. Meanwhile after lunch, Pascale & Alberto got some nice shots at Hastings Park, including the Green Heron. These and other beautiful photos taken by Marion on her outing to Merritt are also on our Picasa site.
Next Wednesday, June 3, is our outing to Cheam Lake Wetlands Regional Park in Chilliwack. We will meet at and leave from the Ladner Bus Exchange at 6:15 a.m. expecting to arrive at the Cheam Park parking lot around 8:00 a.m.
Don’t forget our Delta Nats monthly meeting on Tuesday, June 2 at 7:30 p.m. at the Benediction Lutheran Church in Tsawwassen. Doug Altshuler will give a Presentation on “How Birds Fly”. See you there.
As always, check out our DNCB Blog for more reports, info and photos and as always, your comments are encouraged and let me know if you want off my List to receive these annoying missives. Cheers: Tom
Tom Bearss, President, Delta Naturalists’ Society
PS: The Sixteen were: Roaming Roger M, Hans-Ulf S, PB Lorna C, Rob & Marylile M, Newbie Ladner Jack D, Hamiltonian Lyle J, White Rock Al S and his reduced harem of only Pauline O, Sisters Pat & Maureen S, Pascale & Alberto V, Aussie Nance F, Photog Marion S and Kirsten W and me.