There was heavy rain in Tsawwassen at 730. The 4 people at Petra’s decided to cancel the outing today. See what happens when Tom is away!
However, even though the rest of us wimped out, Pat, Maureen and Manli went to Harrison. Here is Pat’s report.
Photos at our DNCB Flickr site.
The North Delta sky was dark and ominous as Maureen, Manli, and I set out on our journey to the confluence of the Harrison and Chehalis Rivers. The mountains lining the eastern Fraser Valley were silhouetted in gold by the dawning sun, giving us hope that the day would be less dreary than forecast.
The rain commenced as we raced along the Trans-Canada highway. Maureen and Manli glimpsed unidentified hawks crouched on fence posts. The rain slowed between Abbotsford and Chilliwack, where small formations of Trumpeter Swans flew overhead or foraged the farmer’s fields.
The clouds lifted, the rain stopped and the mountains were revealed, resplendent with a fresh coating of snow. We missed the exit to Mission, so crossed the Fraser River at Agassiz.
After a brief stop at Harrison Hot Springs, we carried on to Harrison Bay in Kilby Provincial Park. Maureen spotted a Pileated Woodpecker while Manli and I cruised the beach, spotting a few Glaucous-winged Gulls and distant Trumpeter Swans but no eagles.
The rain resumed and we strolled into the proprietor of the Kilby Bed and Breakfast who confirmed that 2 Pileated Woodpeckers were in the area. He receives many queries concerning birds currently in Kilby and routinely wanders the beach 4 times daily. A Yellow-billed Loon was recently sighted and has generated a lot of interest.
Before leaving Kilby, in torrential rain, we stopped to purchase hazelnuts from the Harrison Hammond House B&B farm. Flocks of Canada Geese and ducks were evident in the fields and on the farm’s pond.
It was 10:30 when we crossed the Harrison River. The rainfall was torrential and not ideal for Maureen’s mobility or photography, so we elected to forgo hiking and try some drive-by shooting before lunch. Excellent views of birds on the Chehalis River Flats are afforded from automobile pullouts along the Morris Valley Road. Dead salmon littered the banks of channels running through the estuary. A few eagles were in distant view on the flats and a few in the trees. Trumpeter Swans, Canada Geese, and Mallards floated by. We also drove through Tapadera Estates where several Bald Eagles were roosting in the trees.
We lunched at the Clubhouse Restaurant at Sandpiper Golf Course. Following lunch the rain was unrelenting and returning home alongside the Nicomen Slough, Bald Eagles were easily viewed but the traffic was heavy so we did not stop. We visited the Inch Creek Hatchery to view the salmon run and the sturgeon pond where Manli captured a selfie of an unknown bird.
We enjoyed the outing but missed the knowledge, scopes, and camaraderie of other members of the Delta Nats.
Next Tuesday, November 29 we will leave Petra’s at 7:30 to meet at White Rock Pier at 8 am while the parking is free. Then we will go to Blackie Spit.