Sixteen DNCBers enjoyed a clear, rainy, then clear again Wednesday morning at Tennant Lake Park in Ferndale, and then at the Whatcom Museum (new Audubon exhibit) in Bellingham. There are some beaut photos of our sightings at the park and museum, and of the participants, on our Flickr site at: https://www.flickr.com/search/?group_id=3027315%40N23&text=2018-19&view_all=1.
Several left Petra’s at 7:00 am, and all 16 of us met at the Blaine Marina at 8:15 am. The Border was smooth for non-Nexus, but a big line-up for the Nexus holders. We toured the Marina looking unsuccessfully for Eared Grebes. The Glaucous-winged Gull colony was nesting in full force on the breakwall, and two big “seized” fishing boats (one Canadian) were interesting sightings. Following directional discussions, we car-pooled the “20 minute” drive to Tennant Lake. Unfortunately, I was with Roy & Solveig “Magellan”, and we took a “Roger Shortcut” and got to the park in 40 minutes. No harm though, because the pouring rain stopped as we arrived to the join the patiently-waiting others. David took the obligatory Group Photo by the Park sign.
The park gardens were beautiful and I chatted with two of the volunteer gardeners who recognized us from last year’s outing. Some of us climbed the tower to enjoy the view over the lake, gardens and heritage building, which interestingly contained informative display material but, according to the gardener, is only open for visitors once a year. So we began our walk along the trail and then on the long circular boardwalk through the swamp. A gorgeous walk when it wasn’t raining. Our bird sightings included lots of Warblers (Yellow, Yellow-rumped, Common Yellowthroat) and we heard other warblers but couldn’t ID the calls/songs. Singing and calling Marsh Wrens, Red-winged Blackbirds, Sparrows (Song, White-crowned, etc.) made warbler identification difficult for us “casual birders”. Plus it was raining and often social chatter took precedence over birding. We were blanked on Rails and Cinnamon Teal.
A pair of Ring-necked Ducks and a brilliant male Wood Duck were neat to see roaming among the dense cover of lily pads on the lake. The yellow Water Lilies were brilliant. Lots of Tree Swallows around, and a few Double-crested Cormorants. A female “Downy” Woodpecker was interesting, because on examining the photos later, it was a Hairy Woodpecker. Similarly, on examining a photo of a female Red-winged Blackbird, it turned out to be a female Yellow-headed Blackbird. That’s why I love to have photogs on our outings to confirm our/my misidentifications. We finished our walk around 10:30 am and it was raining heavily now. So we decided to abort the outing and go for an early lunch at the Chihuahua Mexican Restaurant in Ferndale.
A good decision; my Mexican Salad with Guacamole & Beef was delicious, washed down with a very tasty pint of Modelo Negra draught beer (suggested by “Magellan” Roy, and followed with a second pint of Bud Light).
All thirteen of us (see Roger’s photo) at lunch enjoyed their individual Mexican Luncheon Specials, at reasonable prices served by a very friendly Edgar. We finished lunch just before Noon so had time to go to the Whatcom Museum in Bellingham before returning home. Our main attraction was the Museum’s impressive collection of 500 mounted birds on the third floor of the historic City Hall, built in 1892. Some also found the historical exhibits (e.g. maritime, First Nations, etc.) on other floors interesting too. The sun came out again as Roger dropped me at my Range Rover at the Blaine Marina, and I was home by 2:00 pm, in time to keep Sandra happy and watch granddaughter Juliette excel at her gymnastic class. Not a lot of exceptional “live” bird sightings, but nonetheless a very enjoyable outing.
We 16 were: Roger drove Mike B, Boundary Bay Valerie, PB Lorna & Terry C, Roger Two drove Ladner Jack, David & Noreen, Pat drove sister Maureen and “welcome back” Manli, Van City Lidia drove alone, and Explorers Burnaby Roy & Solveig “Magellan” took me.
Next Wednesday, May 16, we will leave Petra’s at 7:30 am for Pt. Roberts, meeting at Lighthouse Marine Park parking lot before 8:00 am. For more info on our outings, and reports and photos, check our website.
Don’t forget our Mothers Day/International Migratory Bird Day event at Cammidge House on Saturday, May 12, 12:30 to 2:30 pm.
As always, your comments welcome, and let me know if this annoying drivel upsets you and you want off my email list. Cheers: Tom
Tom Bearss, President, Delta Naturalists Society (now 1:00 am on Friday and I will be at BC Nature’s AGM at UBC Botanical Gardens for Early Morning Birding at 6:00 am: Crazy!!!)