More photos at the DNCB Picasa site.
While their beloved leader was at home nursing the wound received the previous day as he languished on that cold steel table in the big house – rapid healing be upon him – twenty two of his faithful followers were enjoying a glorious, sunny day along the Little Campbell River. The eager participants began piling out of their vehicles in the surprisingly busy parking lot at 16th Avenue at around 8:15. After the customary hellos and my expected, habitual elucidatory babble about the outing location which, to my surprise, most paid attention to, we headed toward the eastern side of the Little River Loop in anticipation of finding many of the 174 avian species and 44 types of mammals on record for the area.
Immediately upon entering the forest, the calls and songs of several Wilson’s Warblers, Swainson’s Thrushes, a Towhee or two and both kinds of Chickadees were audible to most. However, because of the exuberant foliage along all the wooded trails in the park, it was difficult to spot and photograph the little buggers. That became a bit easier on the boardwalk across the wetland where Song Sparrows, Common Yellowthroats and a Willow Flycatcher were sighted. And Ken had no difficult squeezing everyone onto the bridge for the customary group snapshot. Fortunately, no one fell off into the almost dry rivulet – Roger was most in jeopardy – and the structure did not collapse due to the weight.
The leisurely walk on the path from there to the Listening Bridge took close to an hour, as we stopped often and tried to find, with increasing success, the sources of the chirps and twitters in the greenery. Several of the previously heard only species came into view; also seen and photographed were an Orange-crowned Warbler, a Golden-crowned Kinglet, a juvenile Red-breasted Sapsucker and a Cedar Waxwing. A Townsend’s Chipmunk and a number of Douglas Squirrels were munching on handouts along the route. On the bridge, both male and female Black-headed Grosbeaks, adult and juvenile Brown-headed Cowbirds, a Yellow Warbler and a Goldfinch posed for great snapshots.
While several participants headed south up the hill to check on the Red-eared Turtles and the Bullfrogs in the ponds at the park’s Nature House, the rest of us decided to stay on level ground and connected with the narrow Vine Maple Trail. Again several additional species such as Bewick’s and Pacific Wrens, Purple Finches, a Pacific-slope Flycatcher, a Wood Peewee as well as a Western Tanager were heard but none were sighted.
The outing ended back in the parking lot at 11:30. In spite of missing their esteemed doyen and the less than hoped for bird count – just 30 or so species were observed or heard only – everyone agreed that it was another worthwhile DNCB sortie. We enjoyed a great day with fine spring-like weather, good fellowship, and the trees, bushes and groundcover were in their finest green. Check out the photo evidence by Liz, Pat, Ken, Glen, Terry, Brian and Roger at the DNCB Picasa site.
Next week, Wed July 6, we go to Victoria; meet on the 8am ferry at Tsawwassen; return on the 6pm ferry; more info on DNCB outings page.