more photos at our DNCB Flickr site
Fourteen DNCBers enjoyed a weird but magical Tuesday morning of birding at Queen Elizabeth Park in Vancouver. Check out the spectacular photo evidence on our Flickr site: www.flickr.com/groups/dncb, then click the magnifying glass icon in the “Photo Pool” row, and add 2017-08 to “DNCB Photos” in the Search box at the top of the page.
Two vehicles with 6 folk (Mike with Terry, Syd and Margaretha, and me with Roger) car-pooled from Petra’s at 7:30 am, and it was horrendous. The tunnel was okay in the HOV lane, but the rest of the drive to and over the Oak St. bridge and through town was bumper-to-bumper. It took 1 ¼ hours and we got to the QE Park parking lot at 9:50 am. The others, including our newly appointed Expert & Leader Jeremiah Kennedy, were patiently waiting as beautiful white snowflakes fell upon us from a surprisingly clear blue sky (explanation: moving clouds). It really was a magical setting. Roger took the Group Photo by the empty Golf Course office, with no Hummingbird Feeder present. Check out the Christmassy photos on Flickr.
The other seven in addition to the aforementioned 7 were: Roy & Solveig, Ken & Anne, Richmond Brian, Bird Box Peter and Aussie Nance.
We started our walk through the Park and it was uncharacteristically very silent of birds, but we probably wouldn’t have heard them anyway over the normal DNCB chatter. We did see the occasional Anna’s Hummingbird, and the usual Chickadees, Fox (Sooty) and Song Sparrows.
Small flocks of Pine Siskins flitted in the tops of conifers, feeding on the pine cones. We heard the now-distinctive call of Varied Thrushes and some got nice shots of them.
Near the Love Lock Structures, we got excited watching a pair of Red-breasted Nuthatches going in and out of a freshly made hole in a dead tree trunk.
Ken spotted a Brown Creeper climbing up another tree trunk, but interestingly, this bird turned out to be an Anna’s Hummingbird weirdly flitting up and down the trunk.
We continued on through the “owl trees”. We were blanked on seeing the resident Barred Owls, but did dissect a couple of pellets, one containing a squirrel skull. The pond was mostly frozen and there were only a few Mallards, American Wigeon, Canada Geese and Gulls present.
Golden-crowned kinglets were in the trees, and Jeremiah phished a couple of Hutton’s Vireos. Birds were so few, we got excited when three Starlings flew over. Although we counted only 23 species seen, the outing was particularly interesting as Jeremiah explained many of the plant species as well as both the history and future of the park. And it was so nice to get real ID’s of birds rather than the normal “guesses” from Roger.
We got back to the parking lot just after 11:00 am. Before going for lunch, we checked out the four Northern Flickers in the trees on the other side of the gardens.
We met Ken & Anne again as they had left our group earlier to get warm in the Conservatory, and see a lot more than 23 species of beautiful tropical birds.
We thanked Jeremiah, then ten of us went for lunch in the Locus Pub on Main Street (The Main on Main was closed and wouldn’t let us in before Noon). Peter had Arctic Char, and I had the breakfast special of poached eggs, bacon, beans, fruit cup, toast, and of course, a pitcher of 1516 Beer. Everyone was very pleased with their choices, the service and the price, so we’ll do this joint again. The drive home, with Roger providing more interesting history of downtown Vancouver, was smooth and quick via the Knight Street bridge. Another awesome DNCB outing.
Next Wednesday (not Tuesday), March 8, is our quarterly Birds on the Bay outing in Boundary Bay Regional Park, meeting at and leaving from Cammidge House at 9:00 am, and finishing there at 11:30 am with goodies made by the Delta Nats Ladies.
Also, don’t forget our DNS monthly meeting on Tuesday evening, March 7, with Anne Murray presenting on Wild, Hot and Birdy Australia.
Check out our DNS website for more info, reports and photos. As always, comments encouraged and please let me know if you want off my e-mail List to receive these too lengthy and boring missives. Cheers: Tom
Tom Bearss, President, Delta Naturalists Society