DNCB “Birds on the Bay” Outing No. 2015-36 in Boundary Bay Regional Park

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BOTB group (TC photo)

Photos by Tony (TM), Terry (TC), Marion (MS), Jim (JK), Glen (GB) & Pascale & Alberto (P&A)

more photos at DNCB Picasa site

Almost 40 folk (Wow!) from all over the BC Lower Mainland participated in our Delta Naturalists’ quarterly “Birds on the Bay (BOTB)” outing in Boundary Bay Regional Park (BBRP) on Wednesday (this morning).  A few neat sightings, and it was another gorgeous sunny day in our Delta paradise.  Check out the photo evidence “soon” by our several talented photogs on our DNCB Picasa site.

We all met at historic Cammidge House (CH) at 9:00 a.m.  Following introductions, especially of the many “newbies”, we began our massive parade out the driveway toward the recently-planted native plant garden and Centennial Beach.  In the bushes along the roadway were our first of seemingly endless sightings of

Waxwings.  Bushtits and a Savannah Sparrow were also in these shrubs.

  At the “bubbling green” pond in the Park, only Mallards were swimming, but a lone White-crowned Sparrow posed briefly on a fence post.

White-crowned Sparrow (GB)

White-crowned Sparrow (GB)

  With the usual required cajoling, the eclectic group was assembled here for the mandatory Group Photo.  Terry took a “long shot”; the garrulous ILB Tony took a “ground shot” while the jovial interloper, Optimist’s Gord Goble, took “sideways shots”.

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BOTB Group (TM photo)

We strolled to the beach, and as is seemingly normal for our BOTB outings, the tide was way out and not favourable for Shorebird sightings (good planning?).  Anyhow, the view was magnificent, and a Brown-headed Cowbird that turned into a Brewer’s Blackbird aroused some excitement.

Brewer's Blackbird (TC)

Brewer’s Blackbird (TC)

No Sandpipers close to shore, and only Canada Geese, Glaucous-winged Gulls and Great Blue Herons seen on the mudflats.  We continued along the trail, searching the bushes for activity.  An Anna’s Hummingbird (Rufous have gone South) with its incandescent gorge was a bit of a stimulation along with a few not-very-colourful American Goldfinches.

We tried unsuccessfully to turn American Robins, Black-capped Chickadees and Spotted Towhees into exotic sightings.  At the Lookout we gathered annoyingly for another Group Photo, claiming it’s a DNCB “tradition”.

Back on the dike trail, we saw Northern Flickers, Barn Swallows and then, in the mud, some small “Peeps”, which our Guru Anne identified as Western Sandpipers (black legs) and Least Sandpipers (yellow legs).  A few Killdeer were also there.

As frustrated Leaders normally do, I asserted that all the neat Shorebirds, including Bar-tailed Godwits, Black-bellied and Golden Plovers, Red Knots, Sanderling, Yellowlegs, etc. were “on the other side of the Bay” at 96th and 104th Sts.  Not much at the PumpHouse either.  We missed the Caspian Terns that Terry saw earlier in the morning.  The Tree Swallows have gone South, but the invasive House Sparrows continue to hang around our Nats Nest Boxes.

House Sparrow (TC)

House Sparrow (TC)

On the inland trail back to CH, I did not see or even hear two common marsh-nesting birds, Common Yellowthroat and Marsh Wrens.  Others saw/heard Bewick’s Wrens and Yellow-rumped Warblers.  As for Sparrows, we saw Song, Savannah, White-crowned and Gareth saw a Golden-crowned.

Downy Woodpecker (P&A)

Downy Woodpecker (P&A)

A Downy Woodpecker was among another flock of waxwings and Jonathan and others saw a Merlin do a quick flypast.  We did see one Northern Harrier, but expected to see more of these local residents.  We listened in vain for Soras and Virginia Rails, but the din of constant chatter prevented any success.  And frankly, for us Casual Birders, the chatter is much more important than the impact on the occasional missed sighting.

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Some of us got back to CH at 11:20 a.m., ten minutes early, but the Delta Nats Ladies were waiting and smiling with their scrumptious array of home-made scones, cookies, squares, egg-salad sandwiches, etc.  Thanks again to Rochelle (& Don), Elizabeth, Jennifer, Sandra and Eleanor.  We/they cleaned up and closed CH by Noon; another super Birds on the Bay outing.

Next Wednesday, September 16,  Boundary Bay (96th St & 104th St) and Reifel.  Mount Baker trip postponed until September 23.  See Maps & Directions link for more info.  As always, your comments are encouraged and let me know if this senseless drivel aggravates you and you want off my List.  Cheers: Tom

Tom Bearss, President, Delta Naturalists’ Society

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About dncb

DNS: Delta Naturalists are a group of nature lovers whose aim is to foster interest in the natural history of the Fraser delta by sharing and enjoying nature and promoting environmental awareness and conservation. DNCB: Delta Nats Casual Birders is a group of Casual Birders who go Birding at different locations each week, usually within the Lower Mainland or in nearby Washington State.
This entry was posted in *DNCB, BBRP, Birds-on-the-Bay, Centennial Beach, Least Sandpiper, Merlin, Northern Harrier. Bookmark the permalink.

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