Eleven DNCBers spent a glorious Wednesday morning walking the trails of Cypress Mountain Park. Along with the spectacular vistas and exhilarating mountain walk to Bowen Lookout, we also had a few neat sightings of flora and birds. Check out the photo evidence on our website. We are “working on” a new DNCB Flickr website to replace our “lost” Picasa site. (see Maureen’s photos on FLICKR)
Five of us (chauffeur Glen, Roger, Mike, Margaretha and me) left Petra’s shortly after 7:30 a.m. and drove leisurely, but very comfortably in Margaretha’s van, through Vancouver and up Cypress Mountain. Morning traffic was heavy and it was almost 9:00 a.m. when we arrived at the Olympic parking lot. Pat & Maureen and Marion & Jean were patiently waiting. We cajoled a nice lady with a dog to take our Group Photo.
Only nine of us as time-challenged Pascale & Alberto met us on the trail an hour or so later. While taking the photo, a couple of Turkey Vultures and some Vaux’s Swifts swirled high above us. Tree Swallows flew lower for interesting comparison.
We took the Yew Lake trail, and were surprised to see more bird species than we normally see on this outing. Several Red-breasted Nuthatches followed us for a while. Lots of Steller’s Jays and a few Ravens.
Northern Flickers were accompanied by a couple of Red-breasted Sapsuckers.
Plus Dark-eyed Juncos, Finches and Bushtits. And near the Old Growth Loop, Roger and Marion pointed out some neat plants, including the carnivorous Sundew. It was pleasantly cooler walking among the trees and Yew Lake was so tranquil and picturesque. The 2 kilometre trail to Bowen Lookout was a bit strenuous, but arriving at the magnificent panoramic viewpoint over Howe Sound and the Sunshine Coast was well worth it. Approaching the lookout, I saw a gorgeous male Western Tanager who was joined by a pair of Evening Grosbeaks. No one else saw these, so you’ll have to take my word for it.
At the lookout, all of us were entertained feeding the Gray Jays.
While I was feeding peanuts to one in my hand, a Sharp-shinned Hawk whizzed by my ear and almost caught the Jay, but quickly turned and flew off. In hindsight, we had heard a “warning call” from the Jays just before the hawk’s arrival. Unfortunately, our Photogs were too busy feeding the Jays or too excited by the Hawk, so they got no photos.
A Band-tailed Pigeon posed and another Red-breasted Sapsucker showed up, as Roger was intrigued by some interesting cones that looked a lot like Saw-whet Owls.
An American Robin was the only sighting on the “chatfest” walk back down the trail. We stopped as six young Mothers with pack sacks of new babies embarrassingly raced up the hill past us. It was shortly past Noon when we got back to the parking lot, and the Cypress Creek Lodge Bar was open. I had one of the most delicious jugs of beer ever as we nine sat on the patio and exchanged stories of our weddings, most in the 60’s or early 70’s. I sat in the very back seat alone on the ride back to Tsawwassen, serenely sleeping so missed Roger & Mike’s continuing saga of their misspent youth even in North Van and the Islands. It was an awesome outing, and I got home at a reasonable 2:30 p.m., with a Timmy’s Ice Cap for Sandra.
Next Wednesday, August 24, we are changing our outing destination to Iona Regional Park. We’ll leave Petra’s at 7:30 a.m. and expect to be at the Iona washrooms before 8:15 a.m.
We had our Nats Display on Saturday evening at Starry Night on Deas Island Park (very successful), and on Sunday, Aug. 21 we will be participating in the Ladner Animal Expo in Memorial Park, 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Hope to see some of you there.
As always, your comments welcome, and let me know if you want to be removed from my e-mail list to receive these “delightful deliberations”. Cheers: Tom
Tom Bearss, President, Delta Naturalists Society