Photos by Roger (RM), Terry (TC), Glen (GB), Jonathan (JM), Pascale & Alberto (P&A), Eric (EL) & Liz (LS) at DNCB Picasa site
Twenty-three DNCBers enjoyed another glorious and very warm Wednesday morning on an “away” outing to Pitt-Addington Marsh Wildlife Management Area, aka Pitt Lake, Pitt Polder, Grant Narrows, north of Coquitlam. Lots of beaut sightings; hi-lites included: Eastern Kingbirds, Western Tanagers, Bullock’s Orioles, Cliff Swallows, River Otters and a Bear Cub. You can see the photo evidence (by Roger, Pascale & Alberto, Liz, Terry, Jonathan, Glen & Eric) on our DNCB Picasa site.
Nine of us left Petra’s at 7:30 a.m. in three cars. We followed the SFPR, some took the Golden Ears Bridge, others chose a longer convoluted way. It was almost 9:00 a.m. when we met Roger and the other DNCBers at the Catbird Slough. We joined them on the path around the slough and were thrilled to see several Eastern Kingbirds, Common Yellowthroats and brilliant Yellow Warblers, Cedar Waxwings and American Goldfinches. Some saw Gray Catbirds there, but late arrivers missed them. One brilliant DNCBer saw a couple of Western Tanagers which the inexperienced DNCBers missed. We drove on to the Grant Narrows parking lot, where we were scheduled to meet around 8:30 a.m. It was now 9:45 a.m. so Roger took the obligatory Group Photo (20). Sisters Pat and Maureen were not in the photo as they arrived at 8:00 a.m. and got tired of waiting for us so were wandering on their own.
Following introductions, we started our walk along the forest trail around the marsh. Earlier Roger saw and photographed the Bullock’s Orioles and Band-tailed Pigeons. Most of us never saw these two destination species today, nor could we find the American Redstart even though it was singing very close to us; very frustrating. But the hour walk to the Lookout was beautiful. We did see another Gray Catbird, Downy and Hairy Woodpeckers, Northern Flicker, Wood Ducks, Gadwall, Marsh Wrens and Mute Swans. Willow Flycatchers were “fitz-bewing” and we got good looks at a couple. Lots of photogenic Great Blue Herons and Bald Eagles around too, and large Beaver mounds. At the Lookout we heard (and some saw) a Swainson’s Thrush.
Approaching 11:00 a.m. some chose to return via the same forest trail while others decided to continue along the longer and more open trail back to the parking lot. Along this longer trail we saw lots of neat stuff. A calling Virginia Rail caught our attention in the reeds close to the trail. Four River Otters were playfully swimming in the adjacent slough. We saw some different Swallows, then found the rock face where a colony of Cliff Swallows was nesting and hawking insects for feeding young in their mud homes. Then we spotted the Western Tanager, Liz’s Lifer, and got some good shots as it posed on a branch across the slough. Several dried up Bullfrog bodies were lying on the path. When we got to the Pitt River, an Osprey was sitting on its nest on a pylon. We saw three active Osprey nests (assume sitting on eggs). White-crowned Sparrows were flitting along the shore (but no MacGillivray’ Warblers as seen last year) and four Common Mergansers were resting on a log in the river/lake. An unusual leucistic Canada Goose seemed to be paired with a normal goose with several young parading behind them. A Vaux Swift flew by above us (Roger saw a Black Swift), and some saw a Turkey Vulture too.
Back at the parking lot, we met the group again who were watching a Black Bear Cub, awake and watching us from its perch high in a tree. We avoided going into the bushes surrounding the tree, fearing that the Mother may be close by. Approaching 1:00 p.m., we decided to call it a day and ten of us went for lunch down the road to the Swan-e-set Golf Club. In a majestic setting on the patio of the castle-like clubhouse, I scoffed a 1516 beer, clam chowder soup and a delicious sandwich while a squadron of four Harvard look-alikes (aircraft) soared in various flight formations around and over us. As if this wasn’t enough entertainment, White Rock Al and Rob surprised us with their knowledge of historic British and German royalty. Their jockeying back and forth with tidbits of interesting but useless info regarding Queen Vickie’s 10 kids was fascinating to some and boring to most. A Black-headed Grosbeak was singing in the bushes by the first Tee Box. Hans drove me home in quick, direct, and very comfortable fashion, via the Golden Ears Bridge and SFPR. Another awesome DNCB outing to a magnificent wildlife area.
Next Wednesday, June 24, we will leave Petra’s at 7:30 a.m. for Campbell Valley Park. We will meet our Leader White Rock Al at the 16th Street entrance to the Park (note that this is different from where we have met in the past). Don’t forget the Father’s Day Pancake Breakfast at Centennial Beach on Sunday, June 21. Your Delta Nats Display will be part of the entertainment there. Check out our website for more info, reports, photos, directions, etc. As always, comments encouraged, and let me know if you want off the List to receive this gibberish. Cheers: Tom
Tom Bearss, President, Delta Naturalists’ Society
The 23 were: Roger M, Roger K, Terry, WR Al, Pat & Maureen, Rob & Marylile, Pascale & Alberto, Otto, Marion, Kirsten, Laurie, Hans, Glen, young Eric (welcome back), Richmond Bill, Jonathan (without Lorraine), Liz, Gareth, Jim K and me.