More photos at our DNCB Flickr site
For a record 29 of 31 days in March, it rained, including on our Tuesday outing to UBC Botanical Garden. Very few birds, but some gorgeous flowers seen by surprisingly, eleven dedicated DNCBers. Check out the few photos on our Flickr site at: www.flickr.com/groups/dncb, then click the magnifying glass icon in the “Photo Pool” row, and add 2017-12 to “DNCB Photos” in the Search box at the top of the page.
It was raining at 7:30 am when eight of us left Petra’s at 7:40 am, car-pooling effectively in two vehicles (Gerhard took Valerie, Glen and our Leader Debbi; Mike had Anne M, Jack M and me). The traffic was horrendous; we finally arrived at the Marine Drive Garden entrance at 9:00 am, where Aussie Nance and Bird Box Pete were waiting. Peter’s nephew (a Garden employee) took the Group Photo (only 10 as Margaretha arrived later), then Debbi led us in and down the well-groomed path.
We walked for at least 20 minutes, admiring the informative new Signage, the magnificent Magnolias, and a few of the 80 species in the Garden of gorgeous Rhododendrons (400 total species), but we didn’t see or even hear one bird. Mind you, it was still pouring rain, and as usual, the continuous chatter of eleven DNCBers precludes hearing anything else.
From Debbi: Over 500 species of rhododendron from Asia are at UBC Botanical garden… 200+ at VanDusen Garden. Amazing colours blooming March to June. Plant genetic diversity is protected, research education is important – all living things rely on plants! They provide oxygen food shelter medicine and intrinsic value – and of course birdlife!
We saw a Robin at the entrance, and later we saw Juncos, Anna’s Hummingbirds, Sparrow species, Gulls, Crows, Starlings, Mallards – why do I even mention these? Only because this is supposedly a “Bird report”. The Garden grounds were meticulously manicured, although some trails were muddy with all the rain. Debbi was super explaining the Garden operations, including Friends of the Garden (FOGs), as well as many of the different plant species and showing us the Owl Tree (of course, no Barred Owl around this day). She pointed out the interesting flora species as we went through the several different gardens, namely; Asian, Alpine, Rainforest, Carolinian, Food, Physics (aka medicinal), and lastly the Garry Oak Meadow and Woodland Garden. We did the circle loop, but did not take the Greenheart Tree Walk (closed until April 1). I was particularly disappointed that the Melliodendron was not yet in bloom (Just kidding Debbi, I simply wanted to use a new big word). Despite the rain and no birds, it was a fascinating tour. A hi-lite was seeing more birds on Debbi’s umbrella than in the Garden.
We arrived back at the entrance Shop around 10:45 am and decided we had had enough.
Another Group Photo inside, then all eleven of us went to Bean Brothers Café on 41st Ave. to dry out and have breakfast. I splurged on French Toast with Bacon, and coffee. It was delicious, despite no beer. But the bonding among like-minded folk was awesome. For a more informative report on last March 2016 DNCB outing to the UBC Botanical Garden, click on this link.
Next Wednesday (not Tuesday), April 5, our outing destination is Iona Regional Park. We leave Petra’s at 7:30 am and expect to meet at the Iona “washroom” parking lot around 8:15 am.
Don’t forget our DNS monthly meeting on Tuesday, April 4 at 7:30 pm, at the Tsawwassen Benediction Lutheran Church. Emma Langson will be presenting on Plastics: Devil in the Deep Blue Sea.
Check out our website for more info, reports and photos. As always, your comments are encouraged, and let me know if you want off my e-mail list to receive these inane reports. Cheers: Tom
Tom Bearss, President, Delta Naturalists Society