DNCB Outing No. 2016-28 to Alaksen and Reifel

Twenty-two DNCBers (see names at end) enjoyed a very pleasant Wednesday morning outing to Alaksen National Wildlife Area (NWA) and then in our DNCB Mecca, Reifel Bird Sanctuary.  Although Summer birding in Delta is not as prolific as in Winter, we had a lot of neat sightings, many of which can be viewed on our DNCB Picasa site where 10 (wow-ten) DNCB Photogs have posted their beaut shots of the day.

Leaving Petra’s at 7:30 a.m., Roger led the group to Tsawwassen Ferry Causeway where I met them, in my son’s Jeep (my “Toy”) with our Ten Thousand Dollar Scope.  Several Black Oystercatchers on shore, but we didn’t see any young (but know they’re there).  Not a lot of birds in the Bay, but we saw clearly through the scope a Bufflehead, female Common Goldeneye and lots of Cormorants and Great Blue Herons.  The Tsatsu Shores GBH colony seems to have been quite successful this year.  The drive through the TFN land and the Ladner fields to Alaksen was uneventful, but still pretty.

Many DNCBers met us at the Alaksen parking lot.  Following introductions and registering in the Environment Canada Office, we checked in vain for the Barred Owls (and young) in the Cedar trees.  Lots of Common Yellowthroats singing behind the Reifel “mansion”, near the old booze storage cellar.  Vaux Swifts circled above us.  Fish were jumping in the slough too; nice to see since there was an apparent “die-off” last year.  We wandered around a few trails, trying to avoid the Canada Goose scat, and saw Cedar Waxwings, a Brown Creeper, later identified Yellow-rumped Warblers, Bushtits and other regular common stuff (blanked on Barn Owls).  A very active Paper Wasp Nest intrigued a few.  A young Wood Duck in the slough almost looked like a Pied-billed Grebe.

We left Alaksen around 9:30 a.m., as scheduled, to meet at Reifel where White Rock Al was waiting.  Reifel’s always affable Varri took our Group Photo at the entrance with both Maureen’s and Roger’s cameras.  Both Anna’s and Rufous Hummingbirds were feeding at the entrance feeder.  Too many Brown-headed Cowbirds and House Sparrows around.  Interesting that a Red-winged Blackbird was seen feeding a Cowbird.  We followed the west trail in search of the Great-horned Owls, also with young.  Blanked on GHO’s, but saw lots of Wood Ducks, Green-winged Teal and Greater Yellowlegs.  Sandhill Cranes were at the Tower; the local pair with their now large Colt were on an inland trail.  Most of the Barn and Tree Swallows have finished nesting but lots of them around.  We saw a couple of Purple Martins which, according to Reifel Manager Kathleen, nested successfully in an old marsh box, but no action in the new PM Condo.

At 11:00 a.m. I left for a Doctor’s appointment (all good) and the group continued on the outer trail to see the Long-billed Dowitchers and Greater Yellowlegs.  Lots of resident Marsh Wrens singing and brilliant American Goldfinches posed.  Check out some of the neat flower and plant sightings on our Picasa site too.  Eight DNCBers I’m told, including Rose, stopped for a delicious lunch at the Landing Pub in Ladner.  Sorry I missed it.

The DNCBers:  The ten Photogs were: Roger M (and Rose), Denise K (aka Uma), Ladner Jack McD, Richmond Brian A, sisters Pat S & Maureen S, Liz S, Glen B, Marion S and Chris McV.  Other participants included: Hans-Ulf, Margaretha, Jean G, Marylile (w/o Rob), Mike B, WR Al & Alice, Richard H, Barb M, Kirsten W and me.  That’s 22.

Next Wednesday, July 20, we are scheduled to go to Manning Park.  Neither I (walking prohibited) nor our “alternate” leaders (Roger M, Anne M, WR Al S, Terry C) are going, so if anyone goes to Manning Park, they are “on their own”.  I will go to Petra’s at 7:30 a.m. for coffee, and perhaps go somewhere local for a short outing.  The following Wednesday, July 27, the DNCB Destination is Burnaby Mountain/SFU.

As always your comments will be appreciated, check out our website for more info, reports and photos and, let me know if you want off my e-mail list to receive this drivel. Cheers: Tom

Tom Bearss, President, Delta Naturalists Society

View Roger’s Green Heron video from Hastings Park (July 14th)
– click on full screen icon full_screen_icon (bottom right)

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 *DNCB, Alaksen NWA, Brown Creeper, Purple Martin, Reifel, Sandhill Crane, Vaux's Swift, Yellow-rumped Warbler. Bookmark the permalink.

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