DNCB Outing No. 2017-26 to Surrey Bend and Tynehead Regional Parks

More photos at our DNCB Flickr site

Eighteen DNCBers (names at end) enjoyed a gorgeous Wednesday morning at Surrey Bend (SBRP) and Tynehead Regional Parks (TRP).  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 2017-26 to “flickr_search_dncb-photosDNCB Photos” in the Search box at the top of the page.  Additional photos can be seen on Roger’s and Tony’s sites at: https://www.flickr.com/photos/145329204@N06/albums/72157685914102795 and https://www.flickr.com/photos/tonu/albums/72157683158542863 respectively.

Eight of us left Petra’s at 7:30 am in 3 vehicles (only “average” car-pooling).  Very pleasant drive on Highway 17, arriving at 8:20 am at the SBRP parking lot (little traffic as kids are out of school).  The smiling mob met and welcomed us, along with a singing Black-headed Grosbeak.  We introduced the Newbies, White Rock-Surrey Naturalists President Liz W and visiting German student Jan A, and welcomed back our gregarious Indian Land Baron (ILB), Tony M.  Following convoluted discussion on facing or not facing the sun, we decided to follow the river trail through the woods.

Roger and the ILB took our mandatory Group Photo by the SBRP info sign.  Nice looks at a Willow Flycatcher and we eventually saw one of the many singing Swainson’s Thrushes.  The SBRP is a relatively new and well-maintained park among differing habitats with easily traversed trails, even with off-shoots to lookouts along the mighty Fraser River.  Tree and Barn Swallows were hawking insects above the river and the log booms, and Barnston Island on the other side looked very peaceful.  It was comfy and cool walking among the huge Cottonwood and Fir trees, with lots of birds singing, but we couldn’t find many of them.  We saw a Brown Creeper, Cedar Waxwings, Anna’s Hummingbirds, and others heard both Warbling and Red-eyed Vireos, Pacific Wrens, Pacific-slope Flycatchers, Western Wood-Pewee.  The young-eyed Nature Trust girls saw a Yellow Warbler, and Pat got an Orange-crowned Warbler.

As we were leaving the forested area, entering the open marsh Pacific Trail, Chris spotted the tail and bill of a Willow Flycatcher.  We all spent 15 minutes trying to locate his sighting, only to conclude that the “leaf” body of a bird does not count as a sighting.  Nice goin’, Chris.

We trudged back on the Pacific Trail, in the scorching sun to the pleasant sounds of singing Common Yellowthroats and Marsh Wrens, eventually getting some good views of the masked warbler, impressing our visitor Jan.  Some saw a Savannah Sparrow, and the resident Ospreys were entertaining in flight across the marsh over the Fraser.  A Garter Snake gave a brief appearance too.  Lots of colourful flowers, plants and bushes were identified by several “experts” among us, but I’ve forgotten their names (the plants, not the experts).  The Oregon Plum berries were as sweet as I have ever tasted them, and Roger was pleased with differentiating the wild Oats from the 4-row Barley.  Back at the picnic shelter around 10:30 am, after stealing some of Sammy’s carrots and tomatoes, we decided to drive to Tynehead RP.

The Tynehead Hatchery was closed, so we decided to walk the Birch Grove Hatchery Trail.  An idyllic stroll it was, as we followed and often crossed the Serpentine River (actually more like a stream here).  Some fed the Chickadees, mostly Black-capped, and we saw, or heard, many of the same species as at SBRP.  We heard a Western Tanager, and of course Roger saw it.  The Coho Fry were kind of neat to see, seemingly following their shadows on the rocky river bed, as we watched from the bridge above.

It was about 12:30 pm when we got back to the TRP parking lot where some (9) of us decided to go to the Baselines Pub on 166 St. in Surrey for lunch.  Unfortunately, following an Age Check, Chris, Glen and our young visiting newbie Jan had to leave.  Lunch conversation about archaic BC drinking laws prevailed, while I splurged on a delicious Surf & Turf meal of steak, prawns, mashed potatoes and string beans, plus of course two sleeves of Canadian, all for under 30 bucks, including tip.  Predictably, the ride back to Tsawwassen was very mellow, with Gerhard and I snoring in the back seat as Roger and Mike continued their reminisces of their misspent youth as we passed several of their earlier haunts along the way.  Back in Tsawwassen at 2:30 pm, it was another delightful DNCB outing.

We 18 were: Roger drove Mike B, Gerhard and me, Chris drove the Newbie Jan (another German), our returnee ILB Tony (Indian Land Baron) drove Glen B. We met others at Surrey Bend: Anne & Ken, Johnny Mac, White Rock Al & WRSN Prez Liz W, Langley Tom W. Three Nature Trust ladies, Sammy, Brittany & Terita, met us on the Trail, and Pat S, after waiting an hour for us at Tynehead, showed up for a few minutes at SB.

Next Wednesday, July 11, is our annual “Away” outing to Bowen Island, leaving Petra’s at 7:30 am.  We will park and join others at the Horseshoe Bay Terminal and take the 10:05 am ferry to Bowen as foot passengers.  We’ll have lunch somewhere on Bowen (pub?), and take an afternoon ferry back, probably 3:00 pm.

For more outing info, and earlier reports and photos (including last week’s by WR Al to Campbell Valley Park), check out our website.  Apologies for the tardiness with this late reporting; I have been busy golfing and grand-parenting.  As always, your comments are encouraged, and let me know if you want off my List to receive these long-winded and boring tirades.  Cheers: Tom

Tom Bearss, President, Delta Naturalists Society

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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, Brown Creeper, Orange-crowned Warbler, Pacific-slope Flycatcher, Red-eyed Vireo, Surrey Bend, Swainson's Thrush, Tynehead Park, Warbling Vireo, Western Tanager, Western Wood-Pewee, Willow Flycatcher, Yellow Warbler. Bookmark the permalink.

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