On Sunday, April 17, your Delta Nats set up their “hands-on” Display at Watershed Park for the 14th annual Delta Corporation Fish Release. It was a gorgeous day and hundreds of kids and adults enjoyed the event from 11:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Nats Display Coordinators, Terry & Marylile arrived at 11:00 a.m. along with Nats Volunteers Joyce M, Rob M and Elizabeth P to set up at the Old Pumphouse location in the park. Our Display is awesome, educational, informative, interesting and fun. Check out Terry’s and others’ (Jack’s soon) photos on our DNCB Picasa site.
I, along with my Nats “experts” Ladner Jack, and North Delta’s Jean G & Johnny Mac, lead the Nature Walk from Pinewood Elementary School to the Fish Release site. We were supposed to have 50 registrants, but we had lots more. We got a few e-mail addresses of participants, copied with this report.
Following my brief introduction about the park and the event, we entered the gate at 11:30 a.m. and followed the Gravity Bowl Trail to the Meadow. We looked and listened for birds, without much success. Some saw a Barred Owl earlier in the day, others saw Bald Eagles, Ravens, Pacific Wrens, American Robins and a Swainson’s Thrush, and common birds such as Song Sparrows, Spotted Towhees, House Finches, Black-capped Chickadees and Woodpeckers. We talked about these sightings, but didn’t actually see them. However, as typically occurs on these Watershed Park outings, the non-stop chattering kids run around having a ball with their new friends. And the parents chat among themselves about kids, food, shopping bargains, sports, family, occasionally glancing around to ensure their kids are okay. Occasionally some glanced upward to check for activity in the trees, inevitably in vain. Jack described some tree and plant species along the trail.
We got to the Meadow and assembled the masses at the “amphitheatre” for a Group Photo. Surprisingly, this was a very pleasant and obedient group, and organizing the photo was not the usual battle I normally experience of corralling wild horses into a pen. There was a measure of excitement when we heard a Robin singing. We continued our “birdless walk” down the hill to the Main Lower Trail. There were some neat Nurse Stumps along this trail of interest to a few, but no Trilliums seen.
Because of our swift pace, we got to the Fish Release site at 12:15 p.m. and the group lined up to get their pails of Chum Fry to release into the stream. Some wandered over to the OWL Display Booth to see a Merlin and Sawhet Owl just to ensure that they saw a live bird this day.
Although we didn’t see (m)any birds on the Nature Walk, I think most, kids and parents, enjoyed the leisurely walk to the event, in beautiful surroundings, and perhaps we installed a grain of environmental interest in some. Anyhow, I enjoyed it as did the three J-Nats (Jack, Jean & John). And my daughter Erica and granddaughter Juliette had a grand time releasing some of the 25,000 Fry, creating and painting a “fish hat”, playing with skulls and a Bear head in our booth, and generally just getting dirty in the mud. A super Sunday event. Cheers: Tom
Tom Bearss, President, Delta Naturalists Society