Twenty-eight DNCBers plus 10 Richmond Seniors (see participant list at end) enjoyed a beautiful Wednesday morning of birding in Iona Regional Park and the adjacent sewage lagoons. Check out the many beaut photos by Terry, Roger, Liz, Pascale & Alberto, Brian, Marion S, Richard H, Glen B and Pat on our DNCB Picasa site.
Nine of us car-pooled smoothly from Petra’s at 7:30 a.m. (note earlier time) and arrived, on time, at 8:15 a.m. at the Iona parking lot to meet the others. Swallows were all around us hawking insects as I introduced Newbies and gave my introductory comments to the massive group of inattentive listeners. Lots of Tree and Violet-greens, and some picked out a couple of Northern Rough-winged Swallows. Marsh Wrens were chattering in the marsh along the boardwalk but not much activity in the pond except a lone Pied-billed Grebe. We wandered to the second pond where Red-winged Blackbirds were staking out their territories; Yellow-headed Blackbirds have not yet arrived. A River Otter caught and ate a fish for our entertainment. Lots of little birds along the trail including Song and Golden-crowned Sparrows (one banded), Spotted Towhees and sparkling Rufous Hummingbirds. An Osprey was seen earlier, but not by me. We passed the Wild Research Mist Nets and banding shack but were blanked on seeing any warblers.
We entered the back gate to the sewage ponds and immediately spotted a Ruddy Duck. Alberto then took the mandatory Group Photo of the 27 before Richmond Brian and I returned to the parking lot to meet the Richmond Seniors group at 9:30 a.m. The DNCBers continued around the ponds and saw and photographed a beautiful Cinnamon Teal, Lesser Scaup, Northern Pintail, Northern Shoveler, American Coots, Green-winged Teal, Gadwall, American Wigeon, Mallards, plus some Shorebirds, Greater Yellowlegs and Long-billed Dowitchers. The group followed our regular route along the Fraser trail and back to the bay and washrooms. Other sightings included a family of Killdeer and some beautiful Wildflowers.
Meanwhile, Brian and I met the Richmond Group and duplicated the route taken earlier with the DNCBers. We saw many of the same species plus a lone female Common Goldeneye in the second pond. Not having time to enter the sewage ponds, we followed the back fence trail where Tree Swallows were hanging around most of the Nest Boxes. We were blanked on earlier-seen Wilson Snipe and Caspian Terns, but Kris heard a Common Yellowthroat. Juvenile Bald Eagles roosting above us impressed the rookies. A large flock of Lesser Snow Geese rising above the shore on the other side of the Fraser was impressive too. A dying Beaver lying beside the trail was a disturbing sight (Wildlife Rescue was advised). We got back to the washrooms around 11:30 a.m. and Angela “one” took the Richmond Group Photo before Kris drove them off in the bus. I think they all enjoyed the outing, learned a bit about Iona’s birds and beauty, plus had a ball with their morning chatfest.
Approaching noon, Brian and I joined several of the DNCBers for lunch at the Flying Beaver. While I was munching on a Beef Dip meal plus stealing others’ crabs, oysters, chips and salad, plus savouring a pint of Okanagan Springs 1516 lager, the “real” DNCBers were at Beach Grove Park photographing the new Great Horned Owl family. Iona is always a productive and exciting outing as it was again this day.
Next Wednesday, April 13, we will go on an “away” outing on the ferry to Bowen Island. We will meet at and car-pool from the Ladner Bus Exchange at 6:30 a.m. to catch the 9:00 a.m. ferry at Horseshoe Bay. Roger Meyer will lead us on the Island and we’ll take the 3:00 p.m. ferry back. For more info, reports, photos and outing info, check our website.
As always, your comments are encouraged, and please let me know if you want off the List to receive these irritating missives. Cheers: Tom
Tom Bearss, President, Delta Naturalists Society
The 28 DNCBers were: Richmond Brian A, White Rock Al & Alice, sleepyheads Roger & Mike, Roger Two, North Van’s Richard, Roy & Solveig, Pat S, Pauline & Jean, Rob & Marylile, Marion S & Kirsten W, Jim K, Guru Anne M, Gerhard, Margaretha & Hans, Alberto & Pascale, Glen B, Johnny Mac, Liz S, Terry C and me. The 10 Richmond Seniors were: Richmond’s Kris B, Lee M, Two Angela’s, Dorothy, Victor & Amy, Sharon, Sandra and one person I missed.