Twenty-three DNCBers spent our weekly Tuesday morning outing at Boundary Bay (104th St.), Elgin Heritage Park, Blackie Spit (BS), and then toured Sunnyside Acres Urban Forest Park with Dr. Roy Strang. It was a chilly but rain-free morning with a few neat sightings and an interesting and informative Walk in the Woods with Roy. Check out lots of photo evidence on our DNCB Picasa site and Tony’s (aka ILB) “Nose Hair” shots on his site.
We car-pooled from Petra’s at 8:00 a.m. (new time) first stopping at Delta AirPark on the Boundary Bay dike at 104th St. It was windy and cold, not much here, so decided to check out Elgin Park before going to Sunnyside Acres for our scheduled meeting with Roy Strang at 10:00 a.m. Meanwhile, vagabond Glen stopped at 96th St. and got some good photos of lots of Dunlin, Black-bellied Plovers, Northern Pintail and a Red-tailed Hawk. Many of the other 23 DNCBers met us at Elgin Park, at the historic Stewart Farm. We walked around the farm house and marina; sightings included: Common Loon, Common Goldeneye, Belted Kingfisher, Northern Flickers and Downy Woodpecker, Golden-crowned and Fox Sparrows, Bald Eagles. This spot was too boring for Roger, so we decided to move on to Blackie Spit.
Two flocks welcomed us on the grass at the entrance to Blackie Spit, one of Ring-billed Gulls and the other of American Wigeon. Interestingly, we saw more Eurasian Wigeon at BS today than ever before (>30). Along the Nicomekl River shore of the Spit were tonnes of waterfowl including; Northern Pintail, Green-winged Teal, Gadwall, Mallards, Common Loons, Horned Grebes, Double-crested Cormorants. Walking toward the Spit’s end, our DNCB “keeners” scared off the three resident Marbled Godwits and Long-billed Curlew which flew to the Savenye Park area. Tony saw the Least Sandpiper with a couple of Sanderling on the Bay side shore. A flock of several thousand Dunlin huddled together, with a couple of Black-bellied Plovers, at the end of the Spit caught everyone’s attention. Our photogs got some arty shots, some even in their acrobatic and synchronized, swarming flights.
Approaching 9:45 a.m. we left BS in a long vehicle convoy for the Sunnyside Acres Urban Forest Park where Dee Walmsley and Dr. Roy Strang were waiting. Following introductions and the obligatory Group Photo taken by Dee, Pascal and the ILB, we began our tour of the Park led by Roy. We didn’t see a lot of birds, Pacific Wrens, Golden-crowned Kinglets, Downy Woodpeckers and other common stuff, but we learned a lot from our almost-nonagenarian leader. Roy was a founder of this urban forest, one of the first in Canada, established in 1988. He pointed out the tree species at different levels and how this forest was created thousands of years ago, logged in the 1890’s, and saved by Roy and his friends in the 1980’s. The signage and trails were very user-friendly, and well-used. We ran into lots of dog walkers, some of which, to Roy’s consternation, were off-leash. White Rock Al led a splinter group of ladies (why not?) to a lower pond in the Park where they saw waterfowl including some Hooded Mergansers. We got back to the Wally Ross parking lot approaching Noon, thanked the illustrious Roy, and ended another stimulating DNCB outing.
Next Wednesday (note not Tuesday), December 9, we will have our quarterly Birds on the Bay outing in Boundary Bay Regional Park, leaving Cammidge House at 9:00 a.m. For more info, reports and photos, check out our website, and, as always, your comments are welcome and let me know if you want off my List to receive this weekly drivel. Cheers: Tom
Tom Bearss, President, Delta Naturalists’ Society