DNCB Outing No. 2017-37 to White Rock Pier, Blackie Spit and Elgin Park

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photos by Brian Avent (BA), Chris McVittie (CMcV), Glen Bodie (GB), Maureen Sinilaid (MS), Pat Smart (PS), Roger Meyer (RM) & Terry Carr (TC) at our DNCB Flickr site

A large crowd of nearly 30 birders joined us at very stages of our Wednesday outing to White Rock Pier, Blackie Spit and then Elgin Park for the American Avocet.  It was a very birdy morning and you can see some beautiful 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 2017-37 to “flickr_search_dncb-photosDNCB Photos” in the Search box at the top of the page.

Ten of us left Petra’s at 7:30 am and got to the free morning parking at the White Rock Pier just after 8:00 am.  The group expanded quickly as we walked out the pier, as the high tide was receding.  Killdeer on shore and lots of Surf Scoters, Common Loons (maybe Red-throated too), Horned and Red-necked Grebes around, with a few Western Grebes too.

I think there was a Pied-billed Grebe there too.  The Belted Kingfisher posed on a mast, and a few American Pipits flitted in the rocks among the Pigeons, and one lone Band-tailed Pigeon (possibly injured as the “Feed Lady” said it was covered with lice as it crawled over her feet).

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Terry and Maureen took Group photos here, without some time-challenged and those who joined us later at Blackie Spit.  We saw other stuff here, Harbour Seals, Crabs, Cormorants, etc. but I forget what waterfowl (Scaup, Wigeons, Mallards, Teal, Shovelers).  A flock of unidentified Shorebirds whizzed by.

We drove to Blackie Spit around 9:30 am, stopping once to unsuccessfully look for Black Scoters.  I didn’t even see a White-winged Scoter, although I’m sure some were there.  The Long-billed Curlew and Marbled Godwit (Target birds here) were posing on shore at the Blackie Spit entrance when we arrived.

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In sporadic groups, we wandered out to the Spit, entertained by Savannah Sparrows and more Pipits; we missed the Western Meadowlark.  Lots of Ring-billed Gulls around, fly-past Caspian Terns, and there were a few Shorebirds (Peeps) on distant “islands”.

We left the spit in search of Roger’s Scrub Jays, not to be found. We saw some Northern Flickers, Northern Harriers, then a Merlin posed on top of a tree.  A flock of about six Greater Yellowlegs flew in for us in Rene Savenye Park.  I think we saw a Peregrine circling too and it was later harassed by the Merlin.  Song and White-crowned Sparrows around, and we did see a couple of Yellow-rumped Warblers.  We had some difficulty identifying a few Gadwall in a stream.  Roger took a Group Photo here, including several participants not in the White Rock Pier photo.

We left Blackie Spit at 11:30 am for an unscheduled stop at Elgin Park as a couple of birders (I forget their names) told us an American Avocet was there.  We found the Avocet, with a Greater Yellowlegs, right where they said, on the Nicomekl River.

Elated with the joys of birding, we retired to the Town Hall Pub for lunch.


We had a great time as usual, and it’s always so nice to see you guys again.  Rick & Marg Wooley

The “Hard Corps” at lunch of White Rock Al, Mike B, Terry C, Lidia and me were joined by our Vancouver Island Nats, Rick & Marg.  The Beef Dip and Beer Special was delicious and cheap, and the conversation almost-stimulating.  We got back to Tsawwassen around 2:00 pm, and home by 2:30, not too late to join Sandra and our Daycare Grandkids, Juliette and Quinn.  Another super DNCB outing.

The 28 participants included: Liz S, Lidia J, Guru Anne M, Anne A (w/o Ken), Richmond Brian A, White Rock Al, Chris McV (see Flickr site for some neat plant/flora photos), other Photogs Glen B, Terry C, Denise (aka Uma) K, Roger M, Mike B, Richmond’s Donna & Angela, sisters Maureen & Pat, Pauline O’T & Jean G, Langley’s Ralph B & Joanne R, Johnny Mac, more lovely Germans Gabriele S & Margaretha S, surprise visit by Coquitlam friends “expert” Larry C & Kathy (?), our Island friends and former DNCBers Rick & Marg and me.

Next Wednesday September 27, we will leave the Ladner Bus Exchange at 6:30 am for an “away” outing to the Squamish Estuary.  We will meet a few Squamish Birders at the Howe Sound Brew Pub at 37801 Cleveland Ave in Squamish around 8:00 am and, following our outing, should leave Squamish about 1:00 pm to return home, to avoid the often horrendous Vancouver traffic.

Note from Pat Smart: From Howe Sound Brew Pub we travel 1km (see map https://goo.gl/maps/sooGDYnAy3P2) to the gates of Squamish Terminals,
37500 3 Ave, Squamish, BC V8B0B1, and explore the Cattermole Slough area.
Later we travel to the Chelem trail on the Spit (see map https://goo.gl/maps/HQ7xuw7V5oH2)
Chelem Trail:  1.1 km loop off Spit Road (also called the Marsh Trail).  Chelem is the Squamish language word for eel grass.

Note that the following week, Tuesday October 3, DNCB Outings change to TUESDAYS.

Check out our website for more info on this outing, and other reports and photos.  Also, as always, comments encouraged, and let me know if you want off my list to receive these annoying reports.  Cheers: Tom

Tom Bearss, President, Delta Naturalists Society

Reason for late drafting of this report is that I was in Vernon from Thursday morning to late last night (Sunday) at the BC Nature FGM and Conference, an awesome weekend in a beautiful area.


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, American Avocet, American Pipit, Band-tailed Pigeon, Blackie Spit, Caspian Tern, Elgin Heritage Park, Harbour Seal, Long-billed Curlew, Marbled Godwit, Merlin, Mew Gull, Northern Harrier, Pelagic Cormorant, Peregrine Falcon, Pied-billed Grebe, Red-necked Grebe, White Rock Pier, Yellow-rumped Warbler. Bookmark the permalink.

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