A big crowd (around 25, most listed below) joined me on another beautiful Wednesday morning at Colony Farm Regional Park (CFRP) in Coquitlam. We saw lots of neat species, up-close-and-personal, and you can see the spectacular photo evidence on our DNCB Flickr site at: our DNCB Flickr site (just click on this).
Ten of us car-pooled from Petra’s and drove smoothly via Highway 17, through Surrey, across the Port Mann Bridge to Coquitlam and CFRP, arriving in less than an hour. We met the hordes at the Community Garden parking lot, including my hockey friend Fireman Darrin and his three new birding colleagues (with their Fire Truck), as well as the CFRP Bird Guru, Larry Cowan, and his protégé Richard. David took the obligatory Group Photo of 23 including these six (see on our Flickr site).
Wandering among the gardens, we saw lots of Tree, Barn and a few Violet-green Swallows; then we began our walk toward the Metro Vancouver work shed in search of a Lazuli Bunting.
Along the trail we saw Savannah Sparrows, Common Yellowthroats, and some saw Rough-winged Swallows. Finally, at the yellow gate, just like Guru Larry had advised, we saw our Target Bird, the gorgeous Lazuli Bunting singing loudly at the top of a tree. By now, renowned BC birders, Peter Candido and Jonathan Mwenifumbo, had joined us and they helped us find Willow Flycatchers and Eastern Kingbirds, plus an Olive-sided Flycatcher that turned into a Western Wood-Pewee. It was a super sighting start to our outing, and it wasn’t over by any means.
We followed the Garden Trail along the Coquitlam River. More Willow Flycatcher sightings, along with the regular Sparrow and Finch species (including brilliant American Goldfinches for the Candy Birders), plus both Rufous and Anna’s Hummingbirds, and a Yellow Warbler. Several duck families (i.e. babies) in the river including Hooded Mergansers, Wood Ducks and Mallards, excited many of us too. A Peregrine Falcon gave a flypast and Red-tailed Hawk circled above with a couple of Bald Eagles.
At the Millennium Bridge, while looking at a Mourning Dove, eight Band-tailed Pigeons alighted at the top of a tree. Then, shortly thereafter, the Green Heron landed and posed in the same tree, arousing even more excitement. Then a singing Black-headed Grosbeak posed in another nearby tree. Cedar Waxwings and Brown-headed Cowbirds in neighbouring trees were practically ignored.
We continued on to the Pumphouse Trail, getting more good looks at Eastern Kingbirds, but were blanked on the Western Kingbird. At the Grebe Pond, we didn’t see a Pied-billed Grebe which normally nest there, nor did we see a Sora or Virginia Rail. A few nest boxes were occupied with Tree Swallows, but the boxes did not seem as successful as other years we have visited here. We heard a Warbling Vireo, but I didn’t see it. It was nearing 11:30 am when we headed back to the parking lot, the return walk being more like a chat room of elated birders, interrupted by a few flower and butterfly sightings, and the Green Heron again.
Several of us had “domestic responsibilities”, so we didn’t go en masse to a restaurant. It was smooth sailing for Chris, Jim, PB Lorna and me back to Tsawwassen, where we three guys enjoyed Lovely Leila’s service at the Rose & Crown Pub. As always, the Roast Beef Sandwich & Salad Special was delicious, along with two pints of Canadian. And granddaughter Juliette was awesome at her Gymnastics class. Another amazing DNCB outing.
We 25 were: Roger M, Mike B, our Guru Anne M, photogs Glen B, David & Noreen, Richmond Brian, Pat S and Chris McV, PB Lorna (Thanks for the delish sandwich), Johnny Mac, Manli S, Marion S, Jean G, Kirsten W, Van City Lidia J, late-comers Peter C and Jonathan M, my hockey-playing Firefighter friend Darin and his three colleagues (I forget their names), local Guru Larry C & Richard, and me.
Next Wednesday, June 13, is our quarterly Birds on the Bay outing in Boundary Bay Regional Park. We will meet at and leave from historic Cammidge House (CH) at 9:00 am, returning to CH at 11:30 am for home-made goodies provided by Delta Nats Ladies.
Our first of seven bi-monthly Car Boot Sales is tomorrow morning (Saturday, June 9) at Centennial Beach.
For more info, reports and photos, visit our website. As always, your comments are encouraged, and let me know if this weekly drivel annoys you and you want off my email List. Cheers: Tom
Tom Bearss, President, Delta Naturalists Society