Report A: Iona Regional Park
Only four of us, Roger, Mike, Chris and I, went to Iona Regional Park last Wednesday while several others (Kirsten, Marion & Jean, plus Pat & Maureen, Manli & Liz) spent the day at Manning Park. Check out the photo evidence on our DNCB Picasa site. Kirsten’s Manning Park report will follow (below).
The four of us left Petra’s shortly after 7:30 a.m. and had a leisurely but smooth ride with Roger to Iona. We decided to park by the Sewage Lagoons and enter the front gate. Not a lot of waterfowl in the lagoons, other than Mallards. A flock of Peeps entertained us for the longest time. They were mostly Least Sandpipers (yellow legs) with a few Semi-palmated Sandpipers (black legs). Although these birds were very close to us, even at our feet, identification was difficult, even amusing. Roger identified the same bird four different times as four different species. We think we saw Western and Spotted Sandpipers too. We did get one Pectoral Sandpiper in the northwest pond, near the white hybrid Mallard. Both Lesser and Greater Yellowlegs were there too. And we did see a few different ducks, Green-winged Teal, Northern Pintail, Northern Shoveler, Gadwall and American Wigeon.
Through the back gate we entered Iona RP and wandered the cleared trail along the fence toward the River. Only Common Yellowthroat Warblers seen or heard. The Purple Martin Colony seemed very successful in the nest boxes on the pylons in the Fraser. Lots of young seen plus adults entering the boxes with food. Tree and Barn Swallows around too. We were blanked on our Destination bird, Yellow-headed Blackbird. We saw a Pied-billed Grebe and other regular small birds (e.g. Finches, Sparrows) and Woodpeckers, but nothing exotic. On the walk back through the sewage ponds, Roger flushed a Merlin.
Still relatively early (11:00 am), we decided to go to Reifel in search of the White-faced Ibis. This bird was long-gone, and not at Alaksen either. Roger took our Group Photo at Alaksen entitled The Boys of Summer. Chris liked this casual shot.
We may have seen other stuff here, but I forget. Anyhow, we got back to Tsawwssaen around 12:30 pm and Chris, Mike and I went to the Rose & Crown for lunch (Roger had domestic duties). We all had the delicious Shrimp Sandwich served by the lovely Leila, and of course a pint of lager (I forget what kind, but I have rarely, almost never, had a bad one). Although this report isn’t very exciting, it truly was a very enjoyable outing.
Next Wednesday, July 27, Roger will lead us around Burnaby Mountain and other neat spots in the area. We will leave Petra’s at 7:30 a.m. and expect to be at the Horizons Restaurant parking lot on the mountain around 8:30 a.m. to start our adventures.
Apologies for the late report however I have been busy with doctors (all good), golfing, grand parenting, Car Boot Sale, Air Show, and blowing my pension at COSTCO. As always, comments welcome, check out our website, and let me know if you don’t want to receive these annoying missives. Cheers: Tom
Report B: Manning Park – Kirsten’s group
Three DNCB’ers, Marion, Jean and Kirsten, carpooled from Aldergrove to Manning Park and enjoyed walking in beautiful sunny weather. Others who arrived at Manning were. Unfortunately, the two groups were unaware of each other, and never met!
We (M, J & K) began at the Lodge, where the Clark’s Nutcrackers gobbled up the peanuts & almonds that we scattered. We continued to Strawberry Flats, where the first highlight was seeing a female Spruce Grouse (Franklin’s Group) standing still on a log beside the trail; we soon counted 5 very cute babies feeding on the ground near her. A family with 3 youngsters came along, and they were very cooperative in standing quietly and observing with us as the mama Grouse slowly led her family across the path right in front of us. What a thrill for everyone!
Other birds seen and/or heard along this stretch included Clark’s Nutcracker, Raven, Crow, Yellow-Rumped Warbler (Audubon), American Three-Toed Woodpecker (only heard), Chipping Sparrow, Junco, and Spotted Towhee. There were also lots of butterflies, dragonflies and other fancy bugs to catch our attention, plus beautiful wildflowers galore. Check out Marion’s great photos on DNCB’s Picasa site!
Next we drove to Spruce Bay Beach and ate our lunches at the Amphitheatre. We heard a Hermit Thrush, watched a Juvenile Swainson’s Thrush being fed, and enjoyed the antics of a Chipmunk scurrying around us to grab Marion’s sunflower seeds. We continued our walk down the pretty trail to Rainbow Bridge over the outflow of Lightning Lake, enjoying the fragrant Bog Orchids at a damp spot. Other birds seen included a female Barrow’s Goldeneye, Song Sparrow, Black-Capped Chickadee, and Red-breasted Nuthatch heard by some.
Our final walk was at Beaver Pond, where the Tree Swallows and Barn Swallows were hawking insects and American Goldfinches were chattering. Other than a few Mallards loafing on a log, there was little else to be seen.
Back at the Lodge, we fed the Clark’s Nutcrackers again, this time seeing a Juvenile being fed by its parent. Numerous Columbian Ground Squirrels also enjoyed the nuts, when they were able to grab them before the Jays swooped in to snatch them. The other critter seen was a Douglas Squirrel. Lots of Rufous Hummingbirds. (all females & juveniles) were busy at the feeders around the lodge.
We had an early dinner at the lodge restaurant before heading home, well-satisfied with our many sightings including 21 bird species.
According to the photo evidence by Pat & Maureen at DNCB’s Picasa site, the “other” group saw Mule Deer, Yellow-pine chipmunk, Gray Jay …
Report C: Manning Park – Pat’s group
Maureen, Manli, and I had a slow start to the day and arrived at the lodge too late to meet up other ‘Nats’. Later, we met Liz at the base of Blackwall peak, picnicked at the alpine meadows (no beer for Tom!), and travelled on to the Beaver pond. Later, Liz may have ventured further to the east gate. I was looking forward to her pictures as she reported seeing a number of interesting birds. Unfortunately, we didn’t cross paths with Kirsten, Jean and Marion.