Twenty DNCBers enjoyed a gorgeous Tuesday morning wandering the trails of Burnaby Lake Park then on to the beaut vistas, and Pine Grosbeaks, on Burnaby Mountain. Check out Terry’s, Ladner Jack’s, Roger M’s, Pascale’s and Glen’s photo evidence on our DNCB Picasa site.
We car-pooled nicely from Petra’s at 8:00 a.m., (Chris McV had Glen B, Roger M had Ladner Jack, Rob & Marylile had Terry and Jim K, Mikie B had Hans and me). I don’t know what it is about Roger, but every time we go on Away Outings, he leads us on his “Shortcuts” that always take longer to reach our destination. No exception to Burnaby Lake Park, we drove up and down every hill in Burnaby before reaching the others at the Nature House in the Park. Very little holiday season traffic, so we got there before 9:00 a.m., and waiting for us were Lidia, North Van’s Richard, Stormcat Paula & Ray, Prince Rupert’s Roy & Gordon, Pascale & Alberto and our long-time absentee DNCBer, Jack H. DNCBers like their names in print, so that’s done now, for all 20.
Following introductions, we walked to the spit on the Lake where tonnes of waterfowl were in beautiful breeding plumage, and up-close-and-personal. Wood Ducks, Green-winged Teal, Lesser Scaup, Bufflehead, Hooded and Common Mergansers, Pied-billed Grebe, Gadwall, Long-billed Dowitchers, American Wigeon, Canada Geese and Mallards. We gathered relatively peacefully on the Lookout for Pascale to take the Group Photo as kayakers and “workers” paddled by. We left this magnificently productive spot to follow the newly-raised and renovated Park trail. Saw a Brown Creeper, Golden-crowned Kinglet, Pacific Wren and lots of the common stuff, Fox, Song and Golden-crowed Sparrows, House/Purple Finches, Dark-eyed Juncos, Spotted Towhees, Flickers and Downies, etc. We were blanked on the Red Crossbills (see Pascale’s photos of them on Picasa taken earlier this week, as well as the Hoary and Common Redpolls).
We reached the Cariboo Bridge and Salmon ladder/water gates where, after a long search, Marylile spotted the American Dipper. It performed nicely for us. The walk back through the woods was uneventful, birding replaced by continuous holiday chatting. Back at the Nature House, around 11:00 a.m., we decided to check out Burnaby Mountain. Only a ten minute drive up the mountain to SFU, and the flock of 19 Pine Grosbeaks were feeding and posing in the Cherry Trees behind the Horizons Restaurant, with a horde of photogs watching them. We got great views and photos of males, females and the “Russet” variant, plus threw a couple of snowballs, just because we could. It was clear and sunny and the view down the river over Vancouver and Richmond was spectacular.
Horizons was closed so thirteen of us (see Roger’s photo) decided to have lunch at the pub in Greystone Village, just down the hill. Once the welcoming party of screaming fire alarms and fire trucks left the scene, we enjoyed a delicious feed of Chicken Pot Pie & Chips washed down with two tallboys of Pabst Blue Ribbon (reminded me of my teenage days in Niagara Falls NY). Watched the Canadian Juniors win in a Shootout versus the Swiss. On the way home, some of us decided to stop at Queen Elizabeth Park, but were blanked on the Hoary and Common Redpolls seen there all last week. However, we were entertained by a group of guys playing Frisbee Golf, assisted with their accompanying bags of liquid nectar. Fun holiday times.
Next Tuesday, January 5, BOWEN ISLAND TRIP POSTPONED. Instead we will leave Petra’s at 8am for Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal and Alaksen Wildlife Area.
Also, the evening of Jan. 5 is our first 2016 Delta Nats meeting at the Benediction Lutheran Church in Tsawwassen (7:30 p.m.) with Professor David/Dov Lank presenting on his 30 year Study of Ruffs. Join us if you can. As always, comments welcome and let me know if you want off my List to receive these missives. Meanwhile, wishing each of you and your families a very happy and healthy 2016, full of love, luck and some good birding. Cheers: Tom
Tom Bearss, President, Delta Naturalists’ Society