Twenty-four folk spent a cool (10˚ C) but comfortable Tuesday morning wandering around Vancouver’s “jewel”, Stanley Park. Lots of neat bird, and animal, sightings; check out the photo evidence by Denise (aka Uma), Pat, Terry, Glen and Marion on our DNCB Picasa site.
Three carloads left Petra’s at 7:30 a.m. and the morning traffic was horrendous, not so much going through the tunnel, but on Oak and Granville Streets. We got to Second Beach around 8:45 a.m. and the masses were waiting, including Stormcat’s newbie friends Roy and Gordon. We gathered at the point by the swimming pool and Terry took the annoying but obligatory Group Photo (21). It was a bit overcast but no rain, and the tide was receding. Lots of Barrow’s and a few Common Goldeneye around, some seemingly thinking about doing their weird, back-breaking mating ritual. One Horned and a few Red-necked Grebes were there too. We walked along the path toward 3rd Beach. We saw the regular stuff, American Wigeon, Double-crested and Pelagic Cormorants, Surf Scoters, Buffleheads (one diving in the swimming pool), Common Mergansers, a flock of Black Oystercatchers, and the gorgeous Harlequin Ducks. Most waterfowl were already in brilliant breeding plumage which thrilled us Candy Birders. We heard and some saw a flock of Red Crossbills, and a large flock of Pine Siskins posed, swarmed, and entertained us on the beach. The path was littered with broken clam shells, dropped there by the crafty Northwestern Crows and Glaucous-winged Gulls.
We didn’t make it to the “folk artwork” in the concrete and stone strip that separates walkers from bikers that begins where the asphalt path goes up to the Third Beach concession. Aussie Nance was getting cold, so we turned back to the Lost Lagoon Trail. Just as we crossed the road to the Lagoon trail, three huge River Otters approached us in the reeds, then scampered back to the creek. The photogs were thrilled to follow these animals as they wound their way along the creek, catching and eating fish. We met Maureen and Pat on the bridge and they had seen FIVE Otters. From the bridge, Anne saw a Hermit Thrush, while the rest of us saw the regular four Sparrow species (Song, Fox, White- and Golden-crowned), Chestnut-backed Chickadees (coming to our hands for food), Towhees, Juncos and one Anna’s Hummingbird. As we walked around the Lagoon, Golden-crowned Kinglets and some singing and posing Bushtits appeared in the shoreline shrubs.
In the Lagoon were gorgeous Wood Ducks, and almost-as-gorgeous Hooded Mergansers. American Coots, Northern Shovelers, the resident Mute Swans, a Pied-billed Grebe, and a lone female Ring-necked Duck caught our attention too. Our Spanish visitor Sergio was impressed by the Beaver evidence of chewed tree stumps. Then he, and others were thrilled by a bunch of playful Racoons that sort of followed us, I think expecting handouts. Meanwhile Marion finally saw a normally-common Northern Flicker and a Chestnut-backed Chickadee. We got back to the vehicles at 2nd Beach and met Langley’s Lost Laurie whose bus connections apparently were faulty. Approaching noon, we decided to end the outing and not go to Beaver Lake. Mike, Anne and I dined at Tsawwassen’s Rose & Crown where the daily special of a sort of egg and other stuff sandwich, plus a pint of Coors Lite, hit the spot. Another beaut DNCB outing.
Next Tuesday, November 17, we will leave Petra’s at 7:30 a.m. for Terra Nova Park in Richmond. We expect to meet at the back/dike parking lot around 8:00 a.m. As always, comments welcome, and let me know if you want off my List to receive these meandering missives. Hope you “remembered” today. Cheers: Tom
Tom Bearss, President, Delta Naturalists’ Society
Check out Tom’s Report on DNS Barn Owl Box “Tour” at King’s Links, November 12, 2015