Fifteen DNCBers spent another gorgeous Wednesday morning tramping around several parks in Ladner, namely Ladner Harbour Park, Earle Burnett Park and South Arm Marshes Wildlife Management Area (SAMWMA). Not a lot of birds seen, but there is beautiful photo evidence on our DNCB Picasa site.
Eight of us left Petra’s at 7:30 a.m., Roger F took PB Lorna, Glen and Terry, and Hans took Mike, and I had Garbling Gerhard in my Jeep Birdmobile. We got to Ladner Harbour Park well before 8:00 a.m. and chatted inanely while the others sporadically arrived; Liz, Marion, Lidia, Rob & Marylile, Otto, then sleepy-head Roger M. We walked to the north-eastern corner of the park where the trail ends (bridge removed several years ago). Saw a Cedar Waxwing and both Marsh Wrens and Common Yellowthroats were singing in the marsh. We returned to the park past a “retired” Bald Eagle’s nest to the Picnic Shed. Other old nests were still in the shelter, but no evidence of Bewick’s Wrens. Huge Spider webs in the ceiling made the shelter very eerie. Terry took the first Group Photo (13) here, without Roger and Otto.
We walked the trail and since bird activity was at a minimum, we got excited seeing piles of Coyote Scat. For the umpteenth outing, we heard Swainson’s Thrushes, but didn’t see one. The invasive Blackberries were close to being perfectly ripe and Gerhard and his followers gorged themselves. A small Plum Tree added another sweet taste to the menu. Their Breakfast took precedence so most ignored the Northern Flicker, Barn, Tree and Violet-green Swallows, Eurasian Collared-Doves and the several gorgeous flower species that Marion photographically captured. We got to the infamous Lookout that looks out onto nothing and Marion took another Group Photo (15) with the time-challenged Story Tellers Roger and Otto included.
On the walk back to the parking lot, we stopped at the historic Harbourmaster’s Building and wharf where a “wedge “ of Mute Swans was the attraction. We left the “cleaned-up” Ladner harbour and park and drove to Ferry Road and the Earle Burnett Park. We walked the short trail to the normally gated bridge to the homes across the slough, and almost-predictably Roger saw a non-existent Steller’s Jay (it was a dove). From the bridge we spied on back yard feeders with residents drinking coffee surrounded by House Sparrows and House Finches. Next stop was the slough trail toward Cove Links Golf Course. Here we marvelled at a singing Song Sparrow (birding was really slow). Mallards and not-real-pretty Wood Ducks were in the slough.A young lad fishing with his Dad caught a huge 2 inch Sunfish that had us all aghast.
We continued on to the entrance to the South Arm Marshes WMA. A Northern Harrier gave a fly-past. Near the entrance some DNCBers were excited at the sight of a Belted Kingfisher. The few DNCBers who are not deaf heard (some saw) Warbling Vireos and Western Wood-Pewees. We tried unsuccessfully to turn a Robin into a Black-headed Grosbeak. At the School Kids Party Site deep in the park, while Gerhard gathered beer cans, Marion got a nice photo of a Climbing Monkey (or was that Roger again?). While watching the acrobatic Roger, I wolfed down PB Lorna’s scrumptious Peanut Butter and Banana sandwich (what a saviour!). We went to the Lookout and got excited at seeing nothing there, again. At 11:30 a.m. we decided to abort this mission and go to the Pub.
The Rusty Anchor Pub, next to the SAMWHA, was very pleasant with Mikie B, Rob (who fixed our Nats Scope, with thanks) & Marylile, and the garrulous Otto and me. The draught beer and Chicken Gumbo Soup spiced up my day. Mikie was a bit “dishevelled” on the ride back to Tsawwassen with me in my son’s Jeep Birdmobile, but he claimed that this was another very enjoyable DNCB morning.
Next Wednesday, July 22, is our all-day outing to Manning Park and the Wildflowers. We will meet at and leave from the Ladner Bus Exchange at 6:30 a.m. We plan to meet up with the Langley and Chilliwack Naturalists at the Manning Park Lodge at 9:00 a.m. Check out our DNCB website at for more info on this and other DNCB outings, plus other informative and pictorial reports. As always, your comments are encouraged and let me know if you want off the List to receive my delirious rants. Cheers: Tom
Tom Bearss, President, Delta Naturalists’ Society