DNCB Outing No. 2016-27 to Victoria

Eight DNCBers (Marylile, Rob, Chris, Gerhard, Pat, Maureen, Lorna, Terry) met at Tsawwassen on the 8am ferry and enjoyed another gorgeous Wednesday in paradise, riding the ferry to Vancouver Island and double-decker bus to Victoria.  Mike met the bus and the group wandered through Beacon Hill Park and along the beach.  Check out photo evidence on our Picasa site at:

There were Glaucous-winged Gulls nesting on the outside of the Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal building.  Some nests had very large chicks.  Only gulls and cormorants were seen as the ferry departed.  The only other birds seen on the sailing were Pigeon Guillemots.

It was a sunny, smooth crossing.  The real highlight of the ferry trip was a pod of Orca Whales, including a calf, swimming quite close to the ferry.  The captain slowed down to give everyone a good look.

In Beacon Hill Park we saw three kinds of swallows (Tree, Violet-green, Barn), a nesting colony of Great Blue Herons, large Red-eared Slider Turtles, Mallards with ducklings, dragonflies, Peacocks, Towhees, hummingbirds, Red-breasted Nuthatches and many colourful flowers.

After walking up to the Lookout we had lunch at The Beacon Drive-In on the edge of the park.  It was very busy but the service was extremely fast – especially compared to the service on some recent outing lunches.

After lunch we went down to Fonyo Beach for a short walk along the water.  There were nice views, flowers and sunshine – but no birds.

Pat and Maureen drove to Clover Point were they saw a Black Oystercatcher, Yellowlegs and Western Sandpipers.
When we walked back to Beacon Hill Park along the path above the beach, we passed “Mile zero” of the Trans Canada Highway and the world’s fourth-tallest totem pole (38.8-metres – 127 feet).  It was erected in 1956 when it was the world’s tallest free standing story pole.  The plaque said it was dedicated to the “Indians who died in the First and Second World Wars”.  It was restored in 2011.

On the walk back through the park we spotted a sleeping Barred Owl sitting quite low in a tree.  It woke up, lowered its head, and peeked at us from under a branch.  When we walked around to the other side of the tree, it swivelled its head to watch us on that side.  It was very curious but did not seem spooked by us.

We returned on the 3:40 bus for the 5pm ferry.  Some of us wanted to partake of the buffet dinner which was not going to be on the 6pm ferry.  There was a River Otter swimming near the ferry in Swartz Bay.  On arriving back to Tsawwassen at 6:45 we saw that the gull chicks were out of the nests and begging for food.  One parent seemed to be feeding them a feather.

Although we missed our leader and we did not see many birds, we had a very enjoyable day.  The weather was perfect.  The killer whales and owl were real highlights.

 Next Wednesday will be a local outing to Alaksen and Reifel, leaving Petras at 7:30 am.  Reifel opens at 9 am.
Terry Carr

About dncb

DNS: Delta Naturalists are a group of nature lovers whose aim is to foster interest in the natural history of the Fraser delta by sharing and enjoying nature and promoting environmental awareness and conservation. DNCB: Delta Nats Casual Birders is a group of Casual Birders who go Birding at different locations each week, usually within the Lower Mainland or in nearby Washington State.
This entry was posted in Barred Owl, Beacon Hill Park, Black Oystercatcher, Orca, Pigeon Guillemot, River Otter, Victoria. Bookmark the permalink.

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