See photos at our DNCB Flickr site
Fifteen DNCBers enjoyed another beautiful Summer Wednesday morning in Delta on a local outing to Reifel Bird Sanctuary. Check out the photo evidence on our DNCB Flickr site.
We car-pooled from Petra’s at 7:30 am to our first stop at the pull-off on the causeway to the Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal. The Black Oystercatchers were up-close-and personal while Greater Scaup and a couple of Common Loons were diving in the bay. Amongst a flock of Ring-billed Gulls on the spit was a lone Caspian Tern. A Bald Eagle was carrying nesting material to it’s nest on top of a light standard. We moved to our regular No Parking spot at the terminal where an Osprey was perched on a pylon, then flew out past the docked ferries. Lots of Cormorants on the breakwall, probably all three species, Double-crested, Pelagic and Brandt. A lone Pigeon Guillemot was diving here too.
We moved on to the Kingfisher Bridge at the entrance to TFN land. No Kingfisher seen, but the regular small birds were, Song & White-crowned Sparrows, Tree & Barn Swallows, and Eurasian Collared-Doves which we first thought were Mourning Doves. At the marsh at the other end of TFN land, we eventually distinguished families of Gadwall from Mallards in the pond. A flock of Peeps whizzed by, perhaps Western Sandpipers. We drove through the Ladner fields and over the bridge to Westham Island, arriving at Reifel about 9:30 am.
We met others and Ken took the traditional Group Photo (14 minus shy Maureen) in front of the Snow Goose sign.
A weird hybrid Shoveler-Muscovy Duck was in the office pond. Lots of House Sparrows and Brown-headed Cowbirds around. We even saw a House Sparrow feeding a young Cowbird. Along the trail there was not a lot of bird activity. At the “new” Purple Martin box we saw birds entering 3 boxes. We also saw a PUMA perched on top of one of the old boxes in the marsh. There were lots of Marsh Wrens buzzing and we saw a number of Common Yellowthroats and American Goldfinches to appease our craze for colour.
At the Lookout, we found the Shorebirds. A few small flocks of Long-billed Dowitchers and Greater Yellowlegs were feeding in the pond below. Among them Glen got a photo of a Semi-palmated Sandpiper. Our other Target birds were also feeding there, the resident Sandhill Crane pair and their Colt (the second colt had been killed by a Mink last week). Northern Harriers were soaring over the marsh, but we didn’t find the lone Trumpeter Swan. We followed the inland trail back to the entrance. Summer is not the best birding time at Reifel, but it’s always pleasant and our “Happy Place”. A Bushtit nest and a couple of Hummers kept us happy.
Approaching Noon, several (7) of us decided to go to Speed’s Pub in Ladner for lunch. My traditional Cod & Chips and 1516 Lager hit the spot. Got back to Tsawwassen around 1:30 pm, another awesome DNCB outing.
We 15 were: sisters Pat & Maureen, North Delta Liz, Richmond Brian, Ken & Anne, Mike B, PB Lorna, Marian P, Boundary Bay Valerie W, Jim K, Glen B, returnee New Yorkers Caroline & Chief Bill, and me.
Next Wednesday, July 25, we will leave Petra’s at 7:30 am for Iona Regional Park (note not Cheam). We should be at the park’s washroom parking lot at 8:15 am.
For more info, reports and photos check out our website. This late report is due to golf, entertaining visiting Aussie relies at Whistler and Boundary Bay Airshow, Canadians Baseball, grand-parent duties at water parks, etc.
As always, your comments are welcome and let me know if you want off my List to receive these long-winded tirades on boring bird outings. Cheers: Tom
Tom Bearss, President, Delta Naturalists Society