A cast of “thousands” participated in our away outing to Colony Farm Regional Park (CF) in Coquitlam on Wednesday. The decent weather and prospect of some neat sightings brought out over 30 DNCBers (see List at end). We really lucked out with some beaut sightings. Check out the photo evidence on our Flickr site at: www.flickr.com/groups/dncb, then click the magnifying glass icon in the “Photo Pool” row, and add 2017-19 to “DNCB Photos” in the Search box at the top of the page.
Ten of us car-pooled beautifully in two vehicles from Petra’s at 7:30 am. Terry chauffeured five of us in Margaretha’s van and Chris took three with him. Although new Highway 17 was a breeze, the Patullo Bridge and driving through New Westminster was a nightmare, horrendous traffic and very slow (not to mention Terry’s “shortcut”). We got to the Community Garden “make shift” parking lot behind the Psycho Institute (construction/paving at regular parking lot) at 8:45 am, where Roger and the edgy masses had already begun the search for Lazuli Buntings, our target bird. We all amalgamated and started our huge queue of chatterboxes along the lower Garden Trail. Lots of Warblers around; we saw many Wilson’s, a few Yellow, Yellow-rumped, and Common Yellowthroats (lots of yellow, eh). Warbling Vireos too. Tonnes of Swallows hawking insects, including Tree, Violet-green, Barn and we even identified several Northern Rough-winged. A Crow eating a snake and a male Northern Harrier capturing a mole were entertaining sightings.
A pair of Otters also entertained us in the Coquitlam River. We saw some neat ducks too including gorgeous pairs of Common Mergansers, Hooded Mergansers, Gadwall, and both Wood Ducks and Mallards with ducklings. Most of us gathered on the Millennium Bridge where Roger took a Group Photo. We ran into cycling Colony Farm Guru David Schutz who said the Yellow-headed Blackbird he saw last week was here today in a different form, a Redwing behind a yellow flower. While chatting with David, our Hamiltonian visitor Lyle spotted, and photographed, a Lazuli Bunting. He and a couple of others saw the bird but we were not able to re-locate it, or another one, all morning. Sad, but at least we know they’re there. We were blanked on Western Tanagers, but CF’s David saw a pair of Black-headed Grosbeaks.
Walking the Pumphouse Trail toward the Grebe Pond, we got good looks, and photos, of more Warblers and Sparrows, including Savannah and Song Sparrows. A Red-tailed Hawk circled above, and we may have seen a Peregrine Falcon on a hydro tower. Several Bald Eagles around. At the Grebe Pond, some of us saw one Pied-billed Grebe, but didn’t see the mate or their nest. No Rails seen or heard either, but the Swallows were entertaining, and here is where we got good looks at a pair of Yellow Warblers. My three hockey buddies, Lyle, Tim and Dave, who crashed our outing, got bored after losing sight of the playful Otters and left us here
On the walk back, we got good looks at a number of Flycatchers, other than the Bunting. We saw an Olive-sided Flycatcher, a Western Wood-Pewee, and an Eastern Kingbird (see photos). Number One Colony Farm Guru (self-proclaimed) Larry C joined us here and led us to the Village Green Trail in search of Lazuli’s. No luck, and we were even rebuffed at the Work Shed by an overly-protective MV Parks staff from continuing our search beyond the shed. A singing Purple Finch, along with House Finches and American Goldfinches, a beaut female Belted Kingfisher, along with some low-flying Vaux Swifts, closed out our very successful and enjoyable CF outing.
Ten of us went for lunch at the famous and very busy Gillnetter Pub in Port Coquitlam. My Daily Special of a huge Prawn Pasta with Garlic Toast, along with two 1516 Lagers was worth the wait. The ride back to Tsawwassen was a satisfying snoozer, interestingly followed by another afternoon snooze.
Next Wednesday, May 24, Roger will lead an outing to “his” Burnaby Lake Park. I will be at our son’s Wedding in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. Leaving Petra’s at 7:30 am, the group should meet at the Burnaby Lake Park parking lot by the Nature House at the end of Piper Ave around 8:30 am. For more outing info and directions, and other reports and photos, go to our website at: www.dncb.wordpress.com. As always, your comments are encouraged, and let me know if these mindless missives annoy you and you want off my e-mail List. Cheers: Tom
Tom Bearss, President, Delta Naturalists Society
We 31 were: Roger M, Terry C, Glen B, Hamilton Lyle J, Margaretha, David & Noreen, Jonathan & Lorraine, Pat & Maureen, Chris & Jim, Johnny Mac, Prince Rupert’s Roy, Solveig & “long lost” Gordon, Alan & Liz, Valerie W, Richmond Brian, Aussie Nance, Adventurist Marylile, White Rock Al, local Gurus Larry C, David S and David ?, Hockey Players Lyle F, Tim W & Dave N, and me.