Photos by Brian Avent (BA), Maureen Sinilaid (MS), Pat Smart (PS), Terry Carr (TC)
More photos at our DNCB Flickr site
Eleven DNCBers enjoyed a hazy Wednesday wandering the trails of Manning Park (MP) on our annual birding and wildflower outing. Check out the photo evidence of our sightings, magnificent vistas, and interesting people on our Flickr site at: www.flickr.com/groups/dncb, then click the magnifying glass icon in the “Photo Pool” row, and add 2017-30 to “DNCB Photos” in the Search box at the top of the page.
Also check out previous year’s outing reports and photos on our Delta Nats website at: https://dncb.wordpress.com/category/locations/manning-park/.
Four of us (Gerhard drove Terry, Richmond Brian and me) left the Ladner Bus Exchange at 6:30 am as the brilliant orange sun rose in the hazy, smoky sky. It was a long but smooth ride (2hrs & 20 minutes) to the MP Lodge parking lot where we met Denise (aka Uma), Tofino guests Robinson, Mary and their daughter and our “expert” Cedar, and Pat, Maureen & Manli.
The resident Columbian Ground Squirrels and Clark’s Nutcrackers welcomed us too as they gorged peanuts from our hands.
After mustering and introducing everyone, we started our drive up the mountain to the Lookout. We stopped for our first of several Grouse sightings, a mother Blue (Sooty) Grouse with three chicks crossing the road.
It was hazy at the Lookout too, but clearer than earlier days as we could see the snow on Mount Frosty and the MP Lodge below which apparently weren’t visible two days earlier. Feeding the Cascade Golden-mantled Ground Squirrels here was fun as Terry took the mandatory Group Photo.
We fed Gray Jays (a.k.a. Grey Jay, Canada Jay, or Whisky Jack) here too, as a Common Raven watched.
We continued up the dirt road to the parking lot at Blackwell Peak, blanked on Marmots and Picas on the way. We took a brief jaunt down the Heather Trail, looking for Mountain Bluebirds, then decided to take the Indian Paintbrush Trail.
It was a lot warmer than other year’s outings, but certainly not uncomfortable. It was quiet bird wise, but we had some neat sightings, including Chipping Sparrows, Juncos, Pine Siskins, a soaring Cooper’s Hawk and some brilliant butterflies.
We thought we didn’t see warblers, however, on examining photos of a flock of siskins, we found that they were Yellow-rumped Warblers. Some saw Townsend Warblers too. We had more grouse families on the trail too, including Spruce Grouse families, spotted by keen-eyed Cedar.
Maybe I’m becoming a curmudgeon as I age, but I didn’t think the Wildflowers were as plentiful and brilliant as they were in previous outings here. Check out the photos of Indian Paintbrush, Anemones and many other species whose names I have forgotten.
As always here, the vistas were stunning.
Approaching Noon, we gathered back at the peak’s parking lot, before descending to Lightning Lake for lunch. Before leaving the peak, some saw Mountain Chickadees and Northern Flickers. At Lightning Lake, I forgot to bring beer, but Mary’s fresh Watermelon along with peanut butter & crackers hit the spot. Steller’s Jays were around and the hordes of Ground Squirrels were very entertaining, especially for Cedar.
Quite hot now, I really felt like joining the paddle boarders in the lake, but didn’t. Instead we drove to a new-to-me Strawberry Trail. It was wooded and the tiny strawberries along the way were tasty. More Juncos, and lots of Woodpecker activity, but we didn’t find a Three-toed Woodpecker. Approaching 2:00 pm we were about to turn back when Brian spotted a Black Bear in the bushes. It stared at us photographing him; he had a brown back, almost like a Spirit Bear. This was a nice sighting to climax our outing.
Back at the vehicles, we said our good byes to the Forest family who were continuing on their BC camping holiday, and to Manli and the Sisters who were going to Beaver Lake before returning to Vancouver. The drive home was peaceful as I snoozed in the back seat, and the stop for Milkshakes at MacDonald’s in Hope was a real treat. We got to Ladner around 5:00 pm, spent, but feeling super after another awesome DNCB outing.
Next Wednesday, August 9, Terry and Roger will meet at and leave from Petra’s at 7:30 am on a local outing including to Reifel Bird Sanctuary.
Next week I will be holidaying on Hernando Island with my son and his family. As always, your comments are welcome, and let me know if these reports are annoying and you want off my e-mail list. Cheers: Tom
Tom Bearss, President, Delta Naturalists Society