DNCB Outing No. 2017-39 to Derby Reach and Brae Island Parks

RM_DNCB_group_tip_of_island

Tip of the Island (photo by Roger Meyer)

More photos at our DNCB Flickr site

Twenty-five DNCBers enjoyed a gorgeous Tuesday morning wandering in two Langley Regional Parks, Derby Reach and Brae Island.  We saw lots of new and neat stuff in a beautiful setting along the Fraser River; 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 2017-39 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, car-pooling nicely in three vehicles, and via the new SFPR highway got to the Derby Reach “heritage” Park parking lot at 8:35 am.  The cast of thousands met us with smiles, including our Leader, Gareth Pugh, and his Langley Field Naturalist colleagues, local Guru Anne Gosse, Tom W, Ralph B and his wife and visiting Mom from Alberta.  We chatted for a bit while Mary T watched the Kinglets in the surrounding trees, then “Cruisin’ Returnee” David H and our ILB Tony took the Group Photo (only 22 w/o time-challenged Margaretha, Gabriele and Abbotsford Laurie K).  Gareth outlined our itinerary for the day before we began our stroll along the manicured Houston Trail through the woods toward the Lookout over the Langley Bog.

Despite the inevitable Chatfest, we managed to hear and/or see a few birds including: both Chestnut-backed and Black-backed Chickadees, House and Purple Finches, Bewick’s and Pacific Wrens, Red-breasted Nuthatches, Dark-eyed Juncos, and our first small flock of Yellow-rumped Warblers.  At a clearing where one of the “three” Fort Langley’s was located in the early 1800’s, a Sharp-shinned Hawk gave a fly-past (seen again later at the Lookout).  Some of us took a side trail to look at the Beaver’s dam and saw some neat Mushrooms and heard a Varied Thrush.

At the Lookout over the bog, some saw a Red-tailed Hawk.  We took more people photos here because several of the vain among us love to see themselves on our Flickr site.  The coup de grace here was seeing the resident pair of Sandhill Cranes give a flypast.  Anne G reported that the pair had one Colt which they hope survived.  We got back to the parking lot around 10:00 am and drove in a huge convoy to Brae Island Regional Park (BIRP) on McMillan Island.  It’s difficult to organize and corral 25 folk in a convoy of about 15 vehicles, but it worked out well, despite the annoying highway construction delays.

Standing around the washrooms at the BIRP entrance, another flock of Warblers entertained us.  We finally saw a Myrtle (white-throated) Yellow-rumped among the mostly Audubon’s (yellow-throated).  Marion and Kirsten saw an Orange-crowned too.  I think we got both Ruby- and Golden-crowned Kinglets as well.  As we walked along the Tavistock Point Trail, the Fraser was flat and calm at low tide.  No exciting waterfowl around, only Mallards and Canada Geese, but some got excited when our Lunch spot across the water, the Fort Pub, was pointed out.

We followed a circular trail on this island through beautiful forest, occasional seeing the Fraser on both sides from side path lookouts.  Other new sightings here included a Brown Creeper, four Woodpecker species, both Hairy and Downy, Northern Flickers and a neat “red-headed” Red-breasted Sapsucker, Common Raven and other common stuff.  The vistas across the river of the Coquitlam Mountains and the Golden Ear peaks were magnificent under the clear blue skies.

At Tavistock Point, while luring at the elegantly landscaped mansion across the river with its float plane and yacht, a Beaver glided by in front of us for its photo op.  Then Roger persuaded us all to walk out onto the mud for another Group Photo under the regrettably still-unused Purple Martin Houses.

We got back to the parking lot at 12:45 pm, to more warblers, and celebrated an awesome morning before about 17 of us drove across the bridge to the Fort Pub for lunch.  Some sat outside on the patio in the sun while most of us were inside, but the food, service and comradery was superb.  My “special” Pot Pie, Salad and two pints of Kokanee (the cheapest beer) were delicious, of course with some of Mikey’s chips for added flavour.  It was a relaxing drive back to Ladner, listening to the dulcet tones of another edition of the Roger & Mike Historic Duet.  We’re so lucky to be DNCBers.

We twenty-five were: Langley Leader Gareth Pugh, Guru Anne Gosse, Species-recorder Tom W, Yachtie Ralph B and his wife & Albertan Mom (Wanda and I forget), Roger Two, Jim K & Mary, T, Marion & Kirsten, Margaretha & Gabriele, our ILB (Indian Land Baron)Tony M, North Van Richard H, Richmond Brian A, returnee Cruisers David & Noreen & photog Glen B, North Delta’s Johnny Mac, Abbotsford “Biker” Laurie K, Roger, Mike, Terry C and me.

Next Tuesday, October 10, we will leave Petra’s at 7:30 am for a walk along Boundary Bay dike, meeting at 8:00 am at the 104th Street Heritage Airport parking lot.

For more info on this and other outings, and reports and photos, check out our website.

We had a super AGM last night (Tuesday), elected a terrific Executive, and enjoyed a very interesting and informative presentation by our friend Ken Hall on his passion about Water and its impact on the desert area from the Okanagan south to the Mexican border.

As always, your comments are encouraged, and should this weekly drivel annoy you, let me know and I’ll remove you from my email list.  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, Beaver, Brae Island Park, Brown Creeper, Derby Reach, Houston Trail, McMillan Island, Orange-crowned Warbler, Purple Finch, Red-breasted Sapsucker, Red-tailed Hawk, Sandhill Crane, Sharp-shinned Hawk, Tavistock Point Trail, Yellow-rumped Warbler. Bookmark the permalink.

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