Only six hardy souls braved the elements on Tuesday on our outing to Terra Nova Park in Richmond. We saw a few birds and other neat stuff (e.g. Perigeal Raft); check out Pascale’s i-phone photos on our DNCB Picasa site.
It was pouring rain at Petra’s at 7:30 a.m. and only Mike B and visiting birder Janice M from Whitby, Ont. were there to join me. The traffic was heavy but the incessant chatter made the trip to Terra Nova less onerous and seemingly quicker than it actually was. We got to the dike trail parking lot about 8:15 a.m. and surprisingly, bundled-up Pascale & Alberto were waiting for us. Also there was Paul Levesque, a Founder of WildResearch (among their programs is the Bird Study and Banding at Iona) who was “working” and unable to join us and share his expertise. It was still raining, so no one used their good cameras; however, Pascale took some artsy photos, including a Selfie of the Fab Six (Richmond Donna joined us on the trail), our mandatory Group Photo.
There were two pair of Buffleheads in the river, along with one Common Loon, several Double-crested Cormorants and lots of Mallards and American Wigeon. A flock of Sanderling gave a fly-past. Our new best friend Janice had an awesome Scope which she even carried herself.
We picked out a Eurasian Wigeon in the raft and talented Pascale took an excellent photo through the scope with just her phone.
We saw large flocks of European Starlings and Rock Pigeons on the wires; you may interpret that if I mention these common invasive species, this report may not be too exciting. Stick and pitch.
We entered Terra Nova Park through the new Adventure Playground. In the first pond were some Mallards and a neat Pied-billed Grebe. Not much else in the reeds or the bushes. At the Community Gardens an Anna’s Hummingbird was trying vainly to get to a feeder, annoyingly guarded by Alberto. A flock of Bushtits flitted by and we saw Golden-crowned Kinglets too. Under the trees at the Administration House, we found some Owl Pellets which I opened in my hand to display the mole/vole bones. We couldn’t find an Owl in the conifers. We crossed the road to follow the trail past the home backyards. No active feeders at the houses, so we didn’t see any little birds other than Spotted Towhees and Song Sparrows. More Wigeons, including another Eurasian, Gadwall and Green-winged Teal in the field ponds. As we circled around past the Quilchena Golf Course, back toward the dike trail, some saw a Coyote in the field, beneath a Barn Owl box.
We crossed the dike trail through the bushes to the shore. The tide was very high completely covering the shore right up to the bushes. Three Red-breasted Mergansers, Bald Eagles and Northern Harriers cruised by, but the Snow Geese weren’t here. Obeying Richmond Donna’s instructions, we followed an inland trail back to the parking lot. The rain had stopped, it was less windy and frankly, quite mild now (around 10:30 a.m.). This was quite a productive trail. In one big pond, in addition to the above-mentioned waterfowl species, were Northern Shovelers, Hooded Mergansers, one lone Trumpeter Swan and a pair of Ring-necked Ducks. In the trees we saw Pine Siskins, House Finches, Golden-crowned Sparrows and lots of other common species (e.g. Northern flickers).
Back at the parking lot, a flock of Snow Geese (lots of juveniles) was camped in front of my vehicle, thrilling Whitby Janice. She got some excellent shots with her good camera. Two Horned Grebes were in the river. It was around 11:00 a.m. and we had had enough. Mike, Janice and I returned to Tsawwasen and dined again at the Rose & Crown Pub. A couple of Carlsberg pints deliciously washed down my Roast Beef Sandwich, Salad and shared Fries. Despite the initially inclement weather, it was a very enjoyable morning, with some beaut folk.
Next Tuesday, November 24, we have an “Away” outing to Harrison Mills and Cascade Falls Regional Park. We will leave Petra’s at 7:30 a.m. and plan to meet somewhere in Harrison Mills around 9:00 a.m. This will be my first outing to these places, so check our website for current information about where and when we expect to meet in Harrison Mills and then Cascade Falls. As always, your comments are welcome, and please advise if you want to be removed from my List to receive this drivel. Cheers: Tom
Tom Bearss, President, Delta Naturalists’ Society
NEW (Nov. 22) MEETING POINT at HARRISON MILLS
7:30 am leave Petra’s
9:15 – 9:30 meet at Kilby Park campground (west end of Kilby Road)