On a surprisingly beautiful sunny Wednesday morning, 30 participants, some visiting from Korea, Spain and North Vancouver, participated in our quarterly Birds on the Bay outing in Boundary Bay Regional Park. Check out the photo evidence on our DNCB Picasa site. You will also see photos of the installation of our Delta Nats “Tesla (formerly Cadillac) Barn Owl Box” on Thursday morning at Kings Links Golf Course.
Following introductory remarks, shortly after 9:00 a.m. we left historic Cammidge House on our walk down the Park entrance road toward Centennial Beach. A couple of juvenile Bald Eagles were perched in the parking lot trees. In the renovated pond surrounded by relatively newly-planted indigenous plant species were lots of Mallards and American Wigeon, in beaut breeding plumage. We couldn’t find any Eurasian Wigeon. We walked to the beach and set up our two Scopes over the high King Tide. There were rafts of Scoters (mostly Surf), Red-breasted Mergansers, a few Bufflehead, Horned Grebe, Scaup species, a Common Loon in the distance. The main attraction here was a small flock (~6) of Sanderling feeding on the shore right in front of us. We had a very diverse group this morning, aged 3 to 80’s. Several commented on the beautiful view across the Bay to the USA, White Rock, Mount Baker, and even the Pattullo Bridge impressed some.
We continued our walk along the path toward the Lookout. Not a lot of bird sightings in the shrubs, but lots of chatter among new found friends. We saw several Sparrow species (Song, Golden-crowned, Fox), the brilliant red shaft of a Northern Flicker, Red-winged Blackbirds, European Starlings in varying plumages, Spotted Towhees, and a nice pair of Purple Finches eating Hawthorn berries. Northern Harriers cruising around us were impressive, one landing very close pleasing our photogs. Great Blue Herons are always photogs’ treats. At the Lookout, following the normal herding exercise, Roger took the obligatory Group Photo (hopefully available soon Roger?). Continuing along toward the PumpHouse, a flock of Brant Geese were lounging on the edge of the Bay; I was unable to detect any leg bands. A flock of Sanderling acrobatically circled above the Brant, sparkling in the sun. Another small flock of Shorebirds (~about 8 birds) arrived among the Brant and we (Guru Anne) later identified them from photos as Long-billed Dowitchers.
At the PumpHouse, several Greater Yellowlegs were close to us, surrounded by flocks of Glaucous-winged, Mew and probably Thayer’s Gulls. Lots of Canada Geese in the sheltered area closer to the homes. A few Gadwall were in the PumpHouse pond and Roger saw a Hooded Merganser in the adjoining slough. Not much new stuff seen on the walk back via the inland trail. Some saw a Marsh Wren. Obviously many participants were aware of the prowess of our Delta Nats Ladies, so they raced back to Cammidge House to devour their notorious home-made delights. As usual, the Leader lost control. But he was not disappointed. When he arrived back at Cammidge House, alone at the designated 11:30 a.m. time, the horde of obviously very casual birders and professional diners, were already eating, but there were still lots of egg-salad sandwiches, scones, breads, cakes and cookies of all kinds (ginger, raisin) left. These delicious delectables were graciously created and donated by our Delta Nats Jennifer, Eleanor, Jean, Elizabeth, Rochelle, Nance and Sandra. Approaching Noon, the group dispersed into the warm sun, smiling with full bellies after another very enjoyable Birds on the Bay outing.
Next Tuesday, December 15, our outing will be to Blaine/Semiahmoo, USA. We’ll leave Petra’s at 8:00 a.m., car-pool at 8:30 a.m. at Peace Arch Park parking lot (behind the Duty-Free shop), and meet again around 8:45 a.m. at our regular meeting spot at the entrance to Blaine Marine Park. Check out our website for directions, and other interesting reports, photos and other stuff. As always, your comments are encouraged, and let me know if this weekly tirade annoys you and you want off my List. Cheers: Tom
Tom Bearss, President, Delta Naturalists’ Society
BOTB Participants included: Guru Anne & granddaughter Emma, Roger M, Mike B, Hans-Ulf, Terry C, Don & Rochelle, Elizabeth P, Dave M, Chris McV, Ladner Jack M, newly-joined Nat Glen B, Korean visitor Cecilia, newbie Barbara, Jim K, Patrick & Joanne, biker Margaretha, Aussie Nance, North Van’s newbie Rick H, Ray & Paula, Gord and Roy H, visiting Spanish student and bone fide birder Sergio, Nats Gourmets Jennifer, Eleanor & Jean and me (30).