Check out the photo evidence on our DNCB Flickr site.
On a not too promising looking day six optimistic birders (David, Noreen, Mike 1, Jim, Chris and soon to be denigrated Roger) piled into our leader’s van and headed off to meet the others at our destination. However, the leader apparently assumed the meeting spot was other than the one posted on the previous blog, and apologizes profoundly to the ones who followed instructions, and thanks Brian for sorting things out. So, sorry group, and thanks for not beating me with your Sibleys!
To continue; at Derby Reach Park, the site of the Original Fort Langley, we were joined by Brian, Colin, Pat, and Roy. While waiting we had observed a lot of robins, a flock of Cedar Waxwings, several Steller’s Jays, a Hairy Woodpecker, Northern Flicker, one Mallard, and some Turkey Vultures soaring overhead. Three of the vultures landed on top of a cedar tree and posed for us. We circled around to get better position for the light, but the birds were still a fair distance away; however, I think our photographers will probably have some good shots!
Last year we had gone directly into the deep forest on the south side of the parking lot. This time we decided to walk east along the river on the “Fort-to-Fort” path. This proved to be very scenic with open grassy areas, lots of tasty apples and pears having fallen from an trees on what had once been a farm property, and great views along the river looking towards the south end of Brae Island!
After a short distance, the trail reached the main road and continued on the road side towards Fort Langley. We decided to cross the road and follow a trail through the woods circling around to the parking lot. The sun had come out, but the wind had increased so a walk in the woods was probably not the wisest decision to make. This was emphasized when the four of us at the tail end of the group heard a very loud crack as a very large branch came crashing to the ground less than 100 feet from where we were standing! We carried on… not the wisest move, but the other six were ahead of us, and we didn’t want to separate the group!
At the location of the falling branch we saw a number of Ruby-crowned Kinglets but, mixed in with them, David had the sighting of the day with a glimpse of a warbler with dark markings on the face. Watching for some time, David managed a few photos which showed the bird to be a Black-throated Gray Warbler (see the Flicker site photos)!
I don’t think anyone (like myself) could be blamed for mistaking it for a Townsend’s Warbler?
As far as birds were concerned, the forest walk was unrewarding. However, the area abounded with fall fungi as Noreen and David’s photos show. Incredible clusters of colourful mushrooms, bracket fungi on the trees and fallen trunks… the perfect environment and time of year!
At the parking lot, and because it was already 11 o’clock, we decided to forego the long forest walk we did last year and head, instead, to Brae Island.
Brae Island at this time of year was good for a brisk walk to the west end where we walked out on the sand spit end to look across to the point were we had taken the group photo at Derby Reach Park!
With a short stop by a park sign, we posed for the obligatory group photo without conspicuous-with-his-absence Tom!
Maybe, David could Photoshop him in later? I don’t recall seeing any birds, but David adds, “Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Black-capped Chickadee, + Sparrow Q? on the walk down, and 2 Stellers bickering loudly above the noise of the wind on return trail”. It was a nice workout, but probably should not be included at this time of year!
By the time we arrived back at the parking lot it was almost 1:00, and the Petra’s group headed for home as the rain started to fall. We were very lucky to have made it through the morning without getting wet, and look forward to our photographer’s postings! We missed Tom, and would ask that he forward some information about his birding experiences in Australia so we can add them as an attachment to our weekly blog!
Once again, I (embarrassed Roger) apologize for the mix-up at the meeting site and, if I get another chance, will read the instructions ahead of time.
Next week, Tuesday 9 October, we will visit Point Roberts. We leave Petra’s at 7:30 am, and meet at Lighthouse Marine Park at 7:45 am.