Nineteen DNCBers enjoyed another gorgeous Wednesday morning birding at some new and old spots in Point Roberts, USA. Check out the photo evidence of the place, the people, and some amazing birds and flowers on our Flickr site.
We (9) gathered at Petra’s, car-pooling prudently (3 vehicles) at 7:30 am and very smoothly across the Border. First stop was Kiniski’s Reef Tavern. Pacific Loons were everywhere this morning, and one in breeding plumage was close to shore. A huge Sealion (Steller?) cruised by, appearing to almost gobble it down, for an exciting sighting. A female Belted Kingfisher posed on a pylon, also exciting PB Lorna.
We moved on to our regular meeting spot at Lighthouse Marine Park where the nineteen of us assembled for David’s Group Photo. Meanwhile, the scopes were very useful in seeing and identifying the Scoter, Cormorant and Loon species in the distance. We saw one or two Common Loons, but interestingly there were hundreds of Pacific Loons in the Strait. The Scoters were mostly Surf, but some saw both White-winged and Black. The Cormorants seemed to be mostly Pelagic, but we saw both Double-crested and the elusive Brandt’s, occasionally even flying together. Pigeon Guillemots, Harlequin Ducks and California Gulls were in close too, and some saw Rhinoceros Auklets and perhaps a Common Murre. We were blanked on Caspian Terns and Jaegers, seen earlier this week.
We met Tsawwassen Birder Ken Klimco at the Lighthouse Point and he told us about earlier sightings here, including the Terns, Jaeger, Murres, Eastern Kingbird, as well as other spots in Pt. Roberts to see Great Horned Owls, Bullock’s Orioles and House Wrens. He was very helpful. As we walked along the trail, a flock of Sanderling whizzed by, and Roger saw a Black Turnstone. We couldn’t find House Wrens on the inland trail, but did see the regular Sparrow species (mostly White-crowned), lots of Barn and Tree Swallows (Ken had a Cliff Swallow earlier), and both Anna’s and Rufous Hummingbirds. Brown-headed Cowbirds were hanging around singing Common Yellowthroats, probably preparing to predate their nest (i.e. lay their eggs in it). A nice silver male Northern Harrier cruised by a few times.
Near the parking lot, we saw the Great Horned Owl family, Mom and two young, roosting in the Cottonwood Trees. We tried not to bother them, but a flock of Crows wasn’t as understanding as they continually harassed them. Fortunately Mom was a good protector, for now. We left Lighthouse Park to the PR Marina. We were hoping to see Grebes, Scaup, Bufflehead and Mergansers among the boats, but apparently they have all gone to their breeding grounds. Even the washrooms were locked, so this was a very unsuccessful stop. Our convoy of about 8 vehicles (poor car-pooling too) moved on to the south side of the Marina.
More Scoters and Pacific Loons here, along with a mature Bald Eagle and an Osprey-like juvenile Baldy. A Northern Flicker posed on a pylon while a Savannah Sparrow perched on a bush for us. We convoyed from here to the Seabright housing development near Lily Point Park. After aimlessly wandering the newly-constructed roads, we finally reached a Visitor parking area. Friendly PR resident and expert gardener George Wright met us and gave us some interesting history of this area of the Point where most of us had not been. We walked a trail along the top of the cliff in front of the new homes. It was a magnificent view of the beach below, the Strait, and across to the Gulf Islands. More Loons, Scoters, Sea-lion, Seals seen below, along with lots of Swallows, Hummers, Sparrows and Finches up top, including a brilliant American Goldfinch. We walked among the trees, unable to find the Bullock’s Orioles. However, we did find the pair of House Wrens who were very accommodating, one even feeding the other. Other interesting sightings on this trail included: Orange-crowned Warbler, Eurasian Collared-Dove (I tried unsuccessfully for Mourning Doves), Brown-headed Cowbirds, Brewer’s Blackbirds and a Bewick’s Wren. A pair of Killdeer appeared to be protecting a nesting spot somewhere in the undeveloped house lots. In the Model Home, George played a Charleston dance song on a 78 RPM record on an antique pump-handle record machine. It was a fitting end to a glorious DNCB outing as we danced to our vehicles and took off to the again, very smooth Border (although there was a huge queue of vehicles entering the US for the cheap gas).
It was about 12:30 pm when 8 of us gathered in the Rose & Crown Pub where lovely Leila served us their delicious luncheon Specials. My Beef on a Bun (no mayo) with Salad (Balsamic Vinegar) hit the spot and met my new Diabetes directives, if you don’t count the two pints of Canadian. We finished in time for me to pick up Sandra’s “required” Tim Horton’s Iced Cap and Sour Cream Glazed Donut, and be on time for granddaughter Juliette’s 2:00 pm Gymnastics class in Ladner.
The nineteen were: Roaming Roger M, Mike B, Mike B2, Guru Anne, our Organizer Terry, PB Lorna, Roy & Solveig, David & Noreen, Jean G, world traveler Kirsten W, VanCity Lydia, South Surrey Julie, Sisters Pat & Maureen, Liz S, photog Glen, and me.
Next Wednesday, May 23, we will leave Petra’s at 7:30 am for Minnekhada Regional Park, planning to meet at the Lodge parking lot around 8:30 am.
Check our website (wwwdotdncbdotwordpressdotcom) for more outing info and other reports and photos. As always, your comments are welcome, and let me know if this rambling, incoherent verbiage annoys you and you want off my email list. Cheers: Tom (quickest report ever)
Tom Bearss, President, Delta Naturalists Society