More photos at our DNCB Flickr site
On another beautiful Wednesday morning, 15 DNCBers enjoyed an exciting birding outing at several spots in Point Roberts, USA. Check out the photo evidence of our sightings, some uncommon like Heermann’s Gulls, “electronic” Caspian Terns and a Marbled Murrelet, and the beautiful people and scenery on our Flickr site at: www.flickr.com/groups/dncb, then click the magnifying glass icon in the “Photo Pool” row, and add 2017-32 to “DNCB Photos” in the Search box at the top of the page.
Eight of us left Petra’s at 7:30 am, car-pooling nicely in 3 vehicles, crossing the Border smoothly, and meeting at Lighthouse Park parking lot before 8:00 am. The other seven were waiting here, except time-challenged Liz who joined us shortly later. The new dock at the boat ramp looked much stronger and more secure than the previous edition. The water was a bit choppy and not much bird life here except flyby Pelagic and Double-crested Cormorants. A Belted Kingfisher posed on a telephone wire. Following the “bonding chats” we started our walk toward the “lighthouse point”. A lounging bird cruising close to shore surprisingly, after some discussion, turned out to be a Marbled Murrelet. Then we saw Common Murres and Pigeon Guillemots near a Gull feeding frenzy. Both Harbour Porpoises and Harbour Seals were seen in the vicinity too.
Finally reaching the Point, a trio of Black Turnstones were very difficult to spot as they blended so well in the stones, only about 20 feet in front of us. Terry took the Group Photo from the beach after photographing the turnstones. Then we started examining the flock of Gulls on shore in front of us. This was a very interesting experience. First we noted that they were mostly California Gulls, not the common Glaucous-winged Gulls. Then we identified a smaller Bonaparte’s Gull among them. Then we noticed two Caspian Terns in the flock, one of which we noted later from the photos was banded and had a “wire” attached to it (We later advised Oregon State University which is leading a Caspian Tern Satellite Tagging Project. They sent us tracking info on this Tern and other info on their project). Then we picked out a Ring-billed Gull in the flock. Then we noticed two darker birds, which we first thought were immatures, but were orange-billed Heermann’s Gulls. I felt very proud of our Casual Group going through this ornithological exercise and really discovering the fun of birding.
We continued south along the trail, marvelling again at the Marbled Murrelet, seeing some not-so-pretty Harlequin Ducks and a Killdeer. Glen and others saw White-crowned Sparrows and Rufous Hummingbirds in the bushes. We returned to the parking lot via the inland trail. It was quiet bird wise, but busy with lots of campers. We saw other common stuff too, but I forget what. We got back to the parking lot and decided to move on further down the beach toward the marina.
We drove to the walkway between cottages to the beach (where we regularly stop). The mixed Gull flock had moved down so we saw it again, but nothing new. So we drove to the Marina. The tide was extremely low everywhere. The most exciting thing was a Cooper’s Hawk that flew by – only a few people saw it, no pictures. There were a couple of Black Oystercatchers, another Kingfisher was seen, and the Blackberries were tasty.
We left the Marina and drove up the hill to Lily Point Park and parked by the washrooms. A Brown Creeper flitted among the trees as we walked to the Lookout. As usual, the view from the Lookout across the Bay to White Rock, Mt. Baker and the Olympic mountains was spectacular. We used our three scopes here (Thanks Jean, Brian & Roger) to spot some Scoters, Common Loons and Harlequin Ducks in the bay below. Rather than walk the “quiet” trails of the Park, we decided to check out Maple Beach down the hill near the Border. It was quiet, too, except for a flock of 8 Caspian Terns resting on a sandbar not far out, a GBH, crows and a Ring-billed Gull. It was approaching 11:30 am, so we decided to abort the outing and return to Canada for lunch.
Six of us (Chris, Jack, Mike, Viv, Richmond Brian & me) enjoyed Shelley’s and Leila’s attention at the Rose & Crown Pub. My Lunch Special of spicy Vege Soup and Roast Beef Sandwich, of course with a pint of Canadian, hit the spot. I picked up the Onion Soup mix at Thrifty’s next door, as instructed by Sandra for her Shepherd’s Pie, and surprisingly was home before 1:30 pm. Another successful and enjoyable DNCB outing.
We 15 were: Roger M, Terry C, Mike B, Chris McV, Ladner Jack Mac, Richmond Brian A, North Delta’s Jean G and Liz S, SLB Vivian B (w/o Syd), Photog Glen B, Jim K, White Rock Al S, sisters Pat S & Maureen S, and me.
Next Wednesday, August 23, we will leave Petra’s at 7:30 am for the Boundary Bay dike path, meeting others at the Delta Heritage AirPark at 104th St. at about 8:00 am. Should be lots of shorebirds, including Godwit species seen there now.
Don’t forget Starry Night event this Saturday night, August 19, 7:00 to 10:00 pm, at Deas Island Park. We will have our Delta Nats Display there.
Also, anyone wanting to see my Diary of Hernando Island last week, let me know. As always, for earlier reports, photos and club info, check out our website, and let me know if you want off my list to receive these annoying missives. Cheers: Tom
Tom Bearss, President, Delta Naturalists Society