DNCB Outing No. 2017-22 to Pitt Lake

Photos by Brian Avent (BA), Chris McVittie (CMcV), Glen Bodie (GB), Maureen Sinilaid, Pat Smart (PS) & Marty Allen (MA)


Pitt Polder scene by Chris McVittie

More photos at our DNCB Flickr site

Thirteen DNCBers enjoyed a beautiful morning walking the circuit at the spectacular Pitt Polder-Addington Marsh Park at Grant Narrows (aka Pitt Lake).  We have visited this Park annually since 2010 to enjoy the extraordinary vistas and occasional unusual (for us) bird sightings; check out the previous reports at Pitt Lake Reports.

Also enjoy some super photos on our Flickr site at: www.flickr.com/groups/dncb, then click the magnifying glass icon in the “Photo Pool” row, and add 2017-22 to “flickr_search_dncb-photosDNCB Photos” in the Search box at the top of the page.

Six of us left Petra’s at 7:30 am in Anne and Roger’s vehicles and had a leisurely but long drive on highway 17, across the Golden Ears Bridge to the Park. We stopped just before the meeting place at the boat launch because we spotted a Gray Catbird.

This was one of our Target Birds and it sang and posed beautifully.  We met the others around 8:50 am, and Jim took the Group Photo with the spectacular lake and mountains behind us.


DNCB at Pitt Lake – photo by Jim Kneesch

We started our walk along the trail, beginning with the Barn Swallows nesting in the shed by the toilets.

Lots of birds singing along the trail.  We heard Swainson’s Thrush, Bullock’s Orioles, Black-headed Grosbeaks, Warbling and Red-eyed Vireos, Yellow Warblers, Common Yellowthroats, and a number of us even got glimpses, and photos, of these species.

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Other neat sightings included Eastern Kingbirds, Willow Flycatchers (maybe Western Wood-Pewee too), Band-tailed Pigeons, Rufous Hummingbirds, and Cedar Waxwings followed us all along the trail.  More Gray Catbirds and lots of Swallows including Tree and Violet-Green, and Brown-headed Cowbirds.

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My brilliant sighting was a Wilson’s Snipe that flew into my binocular view as I was looking at a Bald Eagle on a snag.  We saw other common stuff (Sparrows, Goldfinches, Towhees, Redwings), but did not find an American Redstart.  Lots of Wood Ducks and a few Gadwall in the sloughs near the Beaver lodge, and tonnes of Canada Goslings.

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We got to the Lookout approaching 11:00 am and, after a bit of a break, most of us decided to continue around the marsh on the longer trail back to the boat launch.  Richmond Brian finally got a good shot of a Common Yellowthroat.  We hope our Newbie “Pseudo Hockey Playing” Marty got his camera adjustments organized as we look forward to seeing his Flickr postings.  Unfortunately, he was like a seasoned DNCB veteran when a Blue-winged Teal flew by.  He was busy chatting with Pat and missed the shot.

The always-fascinating Cliff Swallow colony on the rock cliff was active with parents entering their nests with bugs for young.

There seemed to be more Carp in the marsh and sloughs than we normally see, but the two guys we saw fishing for Large Mouth Bass in their tiny kayaks seemed to be having a ball.


Carp (PS)

The two Osprey nests on posts in the Lake had both parents hanging around them.  I couldn’t tell whether there were small young in the nests, or they were just turning eggs.

A Western Tanager landed in a tree within 10′ of the dike while some members were observing the Osprey.

My legs were like rubber when we got back to the parking lot, approaching 1:00 pm.  Some decided to continue along the Catbird Slough Trail; one Newbie went for a swim; others decided to abort the outing and go home; six of us chose to go to nearby Swan-e-Set Golf Course for lunch and a beer.  We were forced to eat inside this gorgeous clubhouse setting as a few hundred Sikhs in costume had invaded the place to celebrate an Indian Wedding.  Thankfully, my Beef Dip, Salad (with Roger’s chips), and pint of Sapporo draught hit the spot.  Hopefully Manli’s photo evidence is posted.  I snoozed through Roger’s murmurings on the ride home, getting back to Tsawwassen close to 4:00 pm.  Another glorious DNCB outing!

The thirteen were: Marion S, Roger, Richmond Brian, Anne M, Glen B, White Rock Al, newbie Marty A (my Noon Hockey line mate), Chris M, Jim K, sisters Pat & Maureen and Manli, and me.

Next Wednesday, June 14, is our quarterly Birds on the Bay outing at Boundary Bay Regional Park.  We will meet at and leave from historic Cammidge House at 9:00 am.

Don’t forget the BioBlitz at Centennial Beach on Sunday, June 11, from 2:30 to 4:00 pm.  Join me, and other experts, on this David Suzuki Foundation event.

As always, your comments are encouraged, and let me know if you want off my e-mail list to receive these verbose ramblings.  Cheers: Tom

Tom Bearss, President, Delta Naturalists Society


About dncb

DNS: Delta Naturalists are a group of nature lovers whose aim is to foster interest in the natural history of the Fraser delta by sharing and enjoying nature and promoting environmental awareness and conservation. DNCB: Delta Nats Casual Birders is a group of Casual Birders who go Birding at different locations each week, usually within the Lower Mainland or in nearby Washington State.
This entry was posted in *DNCB, Bald Eagle, Band-tailed Pigeon, Blue-winged Teal, Bullock's Oriole, Cedar Waxwing, Cliff Swallow, Eastern Kingbird, Gray Catbird, Osprey, Pitt Lake, Pitt-Addington Marsh WMA, Red-eyed Vireo, Swainson's Thrush, Warbling Vireo, Western Tanager, Willow Flycatcher, Wilson's Snipe, Yellow Warbler. Bookmark the permalink.

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