DNCB Outing No. 2017-45 to Stanley Park

Delta Nats braving the rain

Braving the rain at Stanley Park – photo by Jack MacDonald

More photos at our DNCB Flickr site

It was a miserable, rainy and cold Tuesday morning; nine hard core DNCBers sort of enjoyed a shortened, and relatively productive outing, to Stanley Park in Vancouver.  Check out Jack’s, Brian’s and Terry’s beaut photos, despite the rain, on our Flickr site at: www.flickr.com/groups/dncb, then click the magnifying glass icon in the “Photo Pool” row, and add 2017-45 to “flickr_search_dncb-photosDNCB Photos” in the Search box at the top of the page.

The nine were: Mike drove Roger Two, and Terry, Richmond Brian and Aussie Nance came alone, Marion & Marti parked by Lost Lagoon, Ladner Jack drove me.

We left Petra’s, or Ladner, at 7:30 am and the traffic in the rain was horrendous, as expected.  Fortunately for the HOV lane and the decent conversation (with Jack’s son Jeff), the drive into and through Vancouver to the Swimming Pool in Stanley Park was relatively calm and serene.  When Jack and I arrived at 8:45 am, the others were waiting, all bundled up in the rain.  Following the usually conversation about retiring to the Pub immediately, we begrudgingly paid the 7 bucks to park, and walked past the multitude of Movie Set vehicles to the sea wall (I forgot to enquire what movie or other production was being made).

There were large rafts of Barrow’s Goldeneyes close to shore in beautiful plumage. Scanning through them, we picked out several Buffleheads and Harlequin Ducks (beauties too).  Lots of American Wigeon and Mallards there too and both Double-crested and Pelagic Cormorants flying by.  We walked along the sea wall path toward Siwash Rock, but turned around after about half an hour before reaching the rock.  Interestingly, almost all the runners who passed us were female; don’t guys run there, or was the weather too bad for them?

We saw a few Common Goldeneye among the Barrow’s, and some males were tilting their heads back in their ritual mating manoeuvre.  Several Surf Scoters were there two, and two Western Grebes cruised by, escorted by a Horned Grebe.  I think I saw a couple of Red-necked Grebes in the distance too.  A passing Bald Eagle raised all the ducks just as we were looking at a Red-throated Loon (Bird of the Day) very close to shore.  So the photogs finally retrieved their cameras from the car and Jack took the mandatory Group Photo before we left the sea wall trail and crossed the road toward Lost Lagoon.

Not many little birds seen or heard in the rain; Song and Fox Sparrows, Towhees, Chickadees, Juncos, and Marion had a Pacific Wren and Ruby-crowned Kinglet.  At the bridge near the Lagoon, we spotted a Pied-billed Grebe.  It dove, and while searching for it, a River Otter sprung up right where the Grebe dove.  We (or some DNCB weirdos) thought the Otter had eaten the Grebe.  The Grebe arose later and we got good photos of it posing.

Among the shrubbery around the Lagoon, 5 pair of gorgeous Wood Ducks were cavorting as an American Coot watched.  We walked a bit further and saw some Hooded Mergansers in the distance with a couple of Common Mergansers diving with them.  Another raft in the distance we thought might be Ring-necked Ducks (Tufted Duck?), but were more Wood Ducks as confirmed later by Brian, Marti and Marion who completed the walk around the Lagoon.  The rest of us, except for Aussie Nance who bailed earlier to walk her dog, returned to the parking lot to ponder the future.  It was 10:45 am; we each claimed we weren’t wet or cold because we were all “dressed appropriately”, but Thank God the decision was to go for an early lunch.

Six guys drove to the Milltown Bar & Grill in Richmond (situated in the middle of the Fraser River with access only via Vancouver), and it was a glorious decision.  The pub was cozy and warm, Diamond’s service was excellent, my Fish & Chips and 1516 Okanagan Springs lager was delish, and we solved all the problems in the world.  That’s what DNCBers do.  The ride home was smooth too, arriving at 12:30 pm, earlier than usual.  All’s well that ends well.

Next Tuesday, November 21, we will leave Petra’s at 7:30 am for Iona Regional Park.  Meet at parking lot near washrooms 8:15 am.

For more info, reports and photos, check out our website.  As always, your comments are encouraged, and let me know if this drizzling drivel annoys you and you want off my e-mail list.  Cheers: Tom

Tom Bearss, President, Delta Naturalists Society (going to my Wednesday Noon Hockey, in the sunshine)

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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 Bald Eagle, Barrow's Goldeneye, Harlequin Duck, Hooded Merganser, Lost Lagoon, Pelagic Cormorant, Pied-billed Grebe, Red-necked Grebe, Red-throated Loon, River Otter, Siwash Rock, Stanley Park. Bookmark the permalink.

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