More photos at our DNCB Flickr site
Eighteen DNCBers spent a cold but dry Tuesday morning at Terra Nova Park in Richmond. It was a particularly successful outing with several rare and photogenic sightings (e.g. Red Crossbills, Rough-legged Hawk, etc.). 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 2017-44 to “DNCB Photos” in the Search box at the top of the page.
Some car-pooled at 7:30 am from Petra’s and we all met at the River Road “washroom entrance” to the Park around 8:10 am. There were tonnes of Cormorants , mostly Double-crested, in the River, but what caught our attention was two pair of entertaining Hooded Mergansers. The males would swoop around the females, raising and lowering their white hoods. Large V’s of thousands of Snow Geese flew over us, heading to feeding areas in Richmond and Delta.
Following introductions of newbies and returning old-timers, Richmond Brian led us on our walk into the newly renovated, child-activity park. Little birds were around (Juncos, House Finches, Sparrows – Fox, Golden-crowned, Song, Towhees, Chickadees but no Mountain, etc.) but only Anne saw a Warbler, Yellow-rumped. David took the mandatory Photo of the Awesome Group at a bench near the pond. Then the Sightings began!
Two Peregrine Falcons flew right above us, harassing a pair of adult Bald Eagles in a tree. A Red-tailed Hawk harassed a juvenile Baldie. Then at the Community Gardens a Northern Shrike posed for us. Purple Finches were neat too. Then several Varied Thrush flew and landed in bushes around us for their photo ops. Then a Cooper’s Hawk (or a Sharp-shinned Hawk, I think we saw both hawk species today, but they are difficult to distinguish for me) posed for us before flying off and scaring five small birds from a Pine Tree. We followed the little birds, that Janet and Anne had recognized from their calls. They were Red Crossbills, and we all got super looks and photos, even feeding upside down on pine cones. A perched Red-tailed Hawk and several Northern Harriers gliding over the marsh were almost boring after these spectacular sightings.
We continued our walk inland past the mansions toward the golf course. Some saw a Pacific Wren, but no Kinglets that we expected to see. Glen pointed out the brilliant red Fly Amanita mushrooms. We got to the dike trail where more, or the same, Red Crossbills flew by. Also, a small flock of Pine Siskins flew the other way down the trail. We walked through the line of shrubs to the edge of the marsh and the river. Ducks, mostly American, Wigeon, Northern Pintail and Mallards in the marsh, and Glen’s photogenic Great Blue Herons. The weather was warming up a bit when Aussie Nance took a panoramic photo of us on the path along the shore.
We followed an inland trail beside the dike trail back to the parking lot. Lots of Northern Flickers, and a Downy Woodpecker seen. Then Newbie Wayne spotted a Rough-legged Hawk just arriving from the Arctic as it circled and characteristically hovered above us. We got back to the parking lot before 11:00 am, and although very early, decided that the day’s sightings were so exhausting (and some of us were freezing, or inappropriately dressed) that we would retire to the Flying Beaver for an early lunch.
On the drive out along River Road, hundreds of Snow Geese had landed and were feeding on the grass and in people’s lawns. Photogs, including us, stopped among them, and the birds were undisturbed. Ten of us at the Flying Beaver warmed up nicely, and ordered breakfast before 11:30 am. My Beaver Hash Special of Cheesy Poached Eggs on a Chorizo Sausage concoction of some sort was weird, for me, but delicious. Of course, washed down with a pint of Sapporo Draught helped. We left the Beaver before Noon having enjoyed another fantastic DNCB outing, and Sandra was pleased with my earlier arrival home, with her customary Timmy’s Iced Cap and Sour Cream Glazed Donut.
We eighteen were: Richmond Brian (today’s leader), Roger & Mike, Guru Anne (whose presentation last night on Seabird Colonies in England, Iceland & Peru was brilliant), returnees Bryan & Janet, Langley Ralph and his educated friend Newbie Wayne, Aussie Nance, our BO Box Team of Jim, Chris & Jack, North Delta’s Johnny Mac, David & Noreen, Glen B, Terry C and me.
Next Tuesday, November 14, we will leave Petra’s at 7:30 am for an outing in Stanley Park. We plan to meet at our regular spot, the Swimming Pool Parking lot around 8:30 am.
Check out our website for more outing info, reports and photos. As always, your comments are encouraged, and let me know if you want off my List to receive these less-than-dynamic missives. Cheers: Tom
Tom Bearss, President, Delta Naturalists Society