See more photos at DNCB Picasa Site by Roger (RM), Brian (BA), Jim (JK), Marion (MS) & Glen (GB)
While their esteemed leader was freezing his tail feathers off in the Far East (a.k.a. Ontario) twenty one of his faithful disciples, including several who had recently joined the flock, were enjoying a glorious, sunny day at the beach. However, when the participants piled out of nine vehicles at the entrance to Blaine Marine Park, it was still cool and very foggy.
As well, some of those cars were held up for a considerable number of minutes at the BNSF rail crossing by a long freight train heading south. Because of the nebulous conditions only a few birds became visible in the bay from this location; they included Common Goldeneye, Bufflehead, Red-breasted Merganser, Surf Scoter and the expected species of dabbling ducks.
Because the tide was fairly high, the only shorebirds observed on the whole outing were Dunlin, Black Turnstone and Killdeer.
Our next stop was the wooden observation platform at the end of Marine Drive which, while accessible on foot, is now permanently closed to vehicular traffic. At that lookout, about a dozen additional species were tallied including White-winged Scoter, Red-necked and Horned Grebes, Lesser Scaup, Long-tailed Duck, Brant Geese, Common Loon – a Pacific Loon was observed in the mist but could not be photographed – as well as Pelagic and Double-crested Cormorants.
Roger took the obligatory group snapshot with the buildings and the water tower on the Spit in the background quickly emerging out of the fog. Lovely photos were also snapped of spider webs on the metal railings.
The convoy then proceeded through Blaine and along the perimeter of Drayton Harbor toward Semiahmoo Spit, adding a side trip to the residence with the impressive Blue Atlas Cedar on Dakota Creek, where the parking lot proved to be too small for the number of vehicles. A few LBJs, which included both House Finch morphs, were observed at the feeder, Harlequin Ducks staged a fly-by and a Kingfisher was perched on a large rock.
By the time the flotilla reached the museum at the entrance to the Spit, the weather had turned fabulous; the fog had dissipated, there was little wind, it had warmed up and views of the mountains in the background and of White Rock had become exceptional.
While the stop added land species such as Brown Creeper, Anna’s Humbug and Bewick’s Wren to our list,
a short stroll along the shore yielded only Common Merganser and the third type of Scoter in addition to many more of the waterfowl encountered previously.
On the way to our final stop, the observation platform at Tongue Point, we saw the ever present Harbour Seals lolling about on the floating pier, a Baldy roosting on one of the large implanted wildlife trees in the field, while a Merlin swooped by.
Because no other birds were encountered at that site and because it was already past noon, it was time for lunch in the Semiahmoo Resort. The meals were delicious and the view out onto the Bay and across to White Rock was magnificent. In spite of missing its beloved leader, the group enjoyed a great day with unusually fine spring weather, good sightings and wonderful photos taken. Check out the photo evidence by Brian (BA) Glen (GB) Jim (JK) Marion (MS) and Roger (RM) on our DNCB Picasa site.
Report by Al Schulze
Was Rose Abducted? We get back to the border crossing and the female officer asks if we have a silver car parked in the Duty Free lot. Apparently I (Roger) left the car door wide open (Rose and I went in Mike’s car) and they had been on the lookout for Rose (from the registration in the glove box) thinking she might have been abducted! From the look on Rose’s face she said, “You look like you don’t believe me?” Three voices in unison…”I/She BELIEVE/S YOU!!!” We held up the line for about ten minutes clearing things up!
Next outing, Tuesday February 16, will be to Stanley Park. Meet at Petra’s for an 8:00 am departure, or join us at the Second Beach Parking lot, just west of the pool, around 8:45 am.