More photos at our DNCB Flickr site
Twenty-three DNCBers, mostly Newbies, had a wonderful Wednesday morning at the beach and wandering through Boundary Bay Regional Park. This was our quarterly Birds on the Bay (BOTB) outing. It was a bit cool and overcast, but we saw some neat stuff as evidenced in the photos on our Flickr site at: www.flickr.com/groups/dncb, then click the magnifying glass icon in the “Photo Pool” row, and add 2017-23 to “DNCB Photos” in the Search box at the top of the page.
We all met at historic Cammidge House at 9:00 am and went through the introduction of the many Newbies (about 10 in all including Randy & Wendy, Anita, Art, Pam and later Farshad), and the return of Grandma Anne and Emma. Sammy with the Nature Trust brought two interns, Terita and Brittany who very helpful carrying our Scope on the walk. It’s so refreshing when we have younger folk on our outings who can actually see and hear the birds. A Rufous Hummingbird and some House Finches were flitting in the trees around the parking lot as Terry took a long shot Group Photo.
We wandered down the road toward the park and beach, and the chat fest was in full force as the Newbies fit into the system very smoothly. Bald Eagle flypasts got occasional mention. In the pond by the Native Plant Garden were several motley Mallards and a pair of Gadwall.
Roger took another Group Photo with the time-challenged sisters Pat & Maureen, Marian and Margaretha included.
On entering Centennial Beach, 10 Great Blue Herons were parked on the shore as the tide was high. No Shorebirds seen here today, nor diving ducks (They have migrated back to their nesting colonies in the Arctic or interior). It was overcast and we couldn’t see Mt. Baker, but it was still a gorgeous vista.
Our walk on the trail was bird-quiet, but otherwise noisy. We saw the common regulars; Towhees, Sparrows, Finches, Chickadees. Seeing a few Savannah Sparrows was a bit exciting, then a Marsh Wren sang and posed on a bulrush, thrilling a number of us. A male Northern Harrier gave a nice glide-past. We heard lots of Common Yellowthroats, and finally everyone got good looks at this masked warbler. Lots of Barn and Tree Swallows hawking insects, but we didn’t see any other species (e.g. Violet-green, Cliff). Several of our Delta Nats Bird Boxes were actively visited by Tree Swallows, but unfortunately, we saw invasive House Sparrows at a couple of them too.
Because most birds are nesting now, we saw few Woodpeckers, only one Northern Flicker. Brilliant American Goldfinches are always a treat to see, as are the reddish male House Finches. Several Killdeer, our only shorebird sighting, were foraging in the mud flats.
Roger and Anne pointed out many of the beautiful Wildflowers in the park; as always, I have forgotten the names. Perhaps the most interesting sighting was a Willow Flycatcher, posing and “fitz-bewing” on a dead tree.
On the inland trail back to Cammidge House, we stopped at a huge Western Thatching Ant mound (see Roger’s video). The red and black worker ants are all females, but we saw some reproductive forms, winged males and females among them. A mother White-crowned Sparrow feeding a couple of young birds on the trail was pretty cool too. Because Cammidge House was closed for painting, when we got back, approaching Noon, the group basically dispersed. Only Margaretha brought a lunch, and Don & Rochelle bought Fish & Chips, so we four had a lovely lunch under the Picnic Shelter. No beer, but my “sponged” meal of an historic Peanut Butter & Banana Sandwich, muffin, grapes, fish & chips and coconut water was completely unexpected, but delicious. Another awesome BOTB outing.
Next Wednesday, June 21, we will meet at and leave from Petra’s at 7:30 am for Maplewood Flats in North Vancouver. We hope to be at the Conservation Area entrance around 8:30 to 8:45 am.
Also, join us this Sunday, June 18 for entertainment and a Pancake Breakfast at the annual Father’s Day in the Park at Boundary Bay Regional Park.
Saturday, June 24 is the annual DNS Garden Party at Chris & Marlene McVittie’s home. Starts at 5 pm – more details in the June 2017 Newsletter (last page).
For more info and photos on our outings and events, check out our website. As always, your comments are encouraged, and let me know if you want off my e-mail list to receive this weekly dribble. Cheers: Tom
Tom Bearss, President, Delta Naturalists Society