Seventeen DNCBers gathered at Minnekhada Regional Park in Coquitlam on Wednesday for a beautiful walk and climb in the woods. Lots of interesting sightings including bears, baby birds; check out the photos and video evidence on our DNCB Picasa site.
Eleven of us car-pooled nicely in three vehicles from Ladner and Petra’s at 7:30 a.m. We were slightly behind schedule (back road shortcuts again), arriving at the Minnekhada Lodge parking lot at 8:40 a.m. The others were entertained while waiting for us as the pair of Sandhill Cranes with their two colts were wandering among the trees around the beautifully landscaped lodge. We all got good looks throughout the day of this family as well as at least two other pair which may not have had young.
|From Minnekhada (Glen)|
Following introductions, Roger took the Group Photo before we wandered down the entrance road to the Lookout over the Lower Marsh. Lots of birds singing, including Swainson’s and Varied Thrushes, Wilson’s Warblers, Yellow Warblers, Flycatchers (Glen got a shot of a Pacific Slope Flycatcher) plus the common regulars.
From the Lookout, a Common Yellowthroat was carrying food, but we couldn’t find his nest. Lots of young families in the Marsh including Wood Ducks, Mallards and Canada Geese. We started our leisurely walk around the lake, disrobing as the sun’s heat warmed us up. A few noisy Bullfrogs were photo targets for some. When we got to the heavier climbing path, some decided to remain around the flatter ground. The climbing path was not too bad as it was dry and not slippery and covered with wet leaves as it sometimes has been. We heard and even saw several singing Pacific Wrens. Lots of evidence (holes in trunks) of Red-breasted Sapsuckers, but we didn’t see any. Some saw a pair of Pileated Woodpeckers, Northern Flickers and Downy Woodpeckers. Along the trail between the Upper and Lower Marshes, we saw some Ring-necked Ducks, Bufflehead, Northern Shovelers and Scaup; not sure whether any of these species nest here. Interestingly, Maureen took a photo of us here from the other side of the Marsh, then later got a shot of a Black Bear crossing the same way.
We continued along the Mid-Marsh Trail to the Low Knoll Lookout. Although the view was magnificent, we were blanked on Western Tanagers and Orioles which we have seen from here in the past. The nesting Dark-eyed Juncos were entertaining as was a beautiful Tiger Lily. We followed the Fern Trail back to the Lodge, and had a lot of neat sightings along the way. Roger got an amazing video of a Black Bear on the path.
|From Minnekhada Lodge Bear Encounter by Roger|
Mary found a weird looking deceased Shrew Mole.
Lots of Snails and Slugs on the trail too. We ran into the wandering Sandhill Crane family again, and I saw a very colourful Black-headed Grosbeak. Some other beautiful Wildflowers there too (check photos).
Our spread-out group got back to the Lodge around Noon and we shared stories of our sightings. Everyone wanted to go to the Gillnetter Pub for lunch, but some had to return home to domestic responsibilities. I’m told the lunch was awesome with Rufous Hummers entertaining. I slept soundly on the ride home while Glen & Chris discussed the usual inane world issues. Another grand DNCB outing.
Check out reports and photos of earlier outings (by others since I have been busy at BC Nature AGM in Comox Valley) on our website. Your comments are encouraged, and let me know if these missives annoy you and you want off my List. Cheers: Tom
Tom Bearss, President, Delta Naturalists Society