Photos from our DNCB Picasa site by Brian (BA), Pascale & Alberto (P&A), Glen (GB), Maureen (MS) & Pat (PS)
Early sunshine greeted the small group at Petra’s – Roger, Glen, Gerhard, Debbie and Marylile joined by newbie Hugh Macdonald. We set out at 8:10, Debbie and daughter Kathryn travelled with Hugh. Marylile and Mike joined Roger, Gerhard went with Glen. Slow traffic meant late (9:15) arrival at Second Beach. Pressure washing of the concession was halted so some could use the facilities. We joined several regulars, including Noreen, David, Richard, Brian, Nance, Lydia, Pascale, Alberto, Pat and Maureen. What beautiful sightings from the sea wall – Common Goldeneye, Barrow’s Goldeneye m&f, Surf Scoters m&f, Bufflehead, Pelagic Cormorant, American Wigeons, Horned Grebe and several gorgeous Harlequin Ducks.
The sunshine highlighted several standup paddleboarders out to sea.
As we turned back towards Lost Lagoon, a raucous murder of crows, at least 80, were frolicking in and around the pool. A Bald Eagle, several Canada Geese and a Double-crested Cormorant were overhead as we headed to the north side of the Lagoon at 9:45. Many commented on the swamp-like nature of the terrain. Debbie pointed out the 3 assorted squirrels dashing up to their cavities in a tall limbless evergreen, then heading down head first.
As we crossed the hump-back bridge, Nance spotted a Raven. Wood Ducks, a female Bufflehead, Mallards and a Great Blue Heron were seen.
Fences marked with Habitat Enhancement signs were somewhat baffling (more swamp). A very healthy-looking Raccoon begged from the enhanced side of the fence.
Back on the Eastbound path, Brian i.d.’d many LBJs, eventually sorted by others as Song Sparrows, Chickadees and Spotted Towhees. Keen eyes noted Kinglets, both Ruby-crowned and Golden. Many American Coots and American Wigeons cruised the shore. Roger confirmed the siting of a Pacific Wren, noting its stripy side and barred tail. The Raccoon followed us, digging for grubs in the wet soggy ground to the south.
Fox Sparrows and Song Sparrows posed in proximity.
Roger and ML fed the Chickadees, including many Chestnut-backed.
Across the lagoon Glen spotted the Mute Swans which we encountered closely on our return. As we continued east, the sun caught the brilliant green of an Anna’s Hummingbird. Others reported a Common Redpoll and a Varied Thrush.
Back at the lagoon, 2 pairs of Lesser Scaup, a male Common Merganser, Ring-necked Ducks, Canada Geese and a number of Coots dallied. 14 birders posed facing north for Roger to take the group photo. Nearby snowdrops on the south banks were captured by photogs.
Several of the group sped ahead while others lingered to hear Roger’s take on the variety of Western/ Glaucous-winged and a Thayer’s Gull milling about on the shore. Hybridization emerged as the guiding ID principle. Next we encountered members of the Ecological Society attaching chicken wire around bases of trees as beaver deterrents. Near the Nature House 3 male Ring-necks were in the distance, and a Bald Eagle circled overhead. Many Scaup were seen as we headed back west, noting the spring sign of skunk cabbage in the swamp. Where formerly otters had been seen, that area displayed a Pied-billed Grebe, m&f Common Mergansers and a Scaup. In the background were Wigeons, Coots, Scaups and Mallards. Near the northwest end the usual pair of Mute Swans swept by.
Back at Second Beach around noon, the remaining 4 of us headed for the Landing in Ladner after Mike raved about his favourite BaDaBing pizza. It was enjoyed by Mike and Roger but too spicy for your scribe.
As Roger delivered me home on River Rd., the 3 of them came down the dock to inspect Rob and ML’s float home. They endured the explanation of my swan feeding habit.
Next week, Feb.23, our outing is to Alasken and Reifel. Leaving Petra’s at 8 am, we will be at Alaksen around 8:30 am, then Reifel at 10 am.
Report by Marylile Martin (in the absence of Tom Bearss, returning soon from the frozen Far East)