Check out the photo evidence on our DNCB Flickr site.
A large group of keen Delta Nats birders gathered on a frosty morning in the Terra Nova parking lot. Despite the chilly morning, it was beautifully sunny, perfect for finding birds, and good for the photographers among us. Their great photos are much appreciated.
I arrived a bit late only to see the group disappearing into the woods. Birders tend to dawdle now and then so I was soon able to catch up with them. They had a list of birds for the blog that had already been spotted – Northern Pintails, Mallards, and American Wigeon. Also found was a number of Horned Grebe, Red-breasted Merganser, Eurasian Wigeon, Green-winged Teal and Bufflehead.
As we walked on the path Into the trees several sparrow species were observed – Song, Fox (Sooty) and Golden-crowned. The trees here were quite alive with birds such as American Goldfinch, Dark-eyed Junco (Oregon), Black-capped Chickadees and Spotted Towhees. Also flying about were several Downy Woodpeckers that were first heard and then located in the higher parts of the trees.
Brian Avent, our leader then took us along a path into parts of the park that most of us (make that me) had never been on before. It proved to be very good habitat with water on one side and trees on the other. In this general area were even more good sightings: Northern Flicker, Pacific Wren, Golden-crowned and Ruby-crowned Kinglets as well as our usual regulars, House Finch and quite a number of American Robins.
Several Bald Eagles, both adults and juveniles, were seen throughout the park perched high in the trees. A number of other raptors were spotted, many at a distance, partly obscured and somewhat tricky to identify. A short discussion followed over two of these hawks, and the eventual identification for both was that they were Red-tailed Hawks. Since Brian had located a Northern Goshawk in this location the previous day, we had hoped to find it again. This prompted the particularly careful scrutiny of any hawk perched in a tree, no matter how far away. The Merlin and the two Northern Harrier were more closely seen and so easily identified.
A particular delight for the group was the sudden flight into the sun of a beautiful pale Barn Owl. In those few seconds David, Terry and Brian managed to snap several good photos of the owl, which for many was the bird of the day.
We also walked along the edge of the marsh where hundreds of Dunlin could be seen feeding along the shore. Also seen was a Marsh Wren, Great Blue Heron and Double-crested Cormorant. Several times during the morning flocks of Snow Geese were heard honking and observed as they flew overhead.
By the time we arrived back at the parking lot, we had seen a few other species that are often found here: Northwestern Crows and Rock Pigeons. A number of the group stayed a bit longer and were rewarded with finding several Hooded Mergansers and the elusive Wilson’s Snipe. Certainly not a species that can be easily found. It would prove to be a second bird of the day for those who had stayed later.
Our group this morning included: Johnny Mac, Marion, Marti, Lidia, Roger 1, Roger 2, Terry, Gabriele, Mike 1, Marguerite, Noreen, David, Glen, Mike 2, Jack, Pat, Maureen, Brian our excellent leader, and me (Jean).
Quite a good day out birding as usual and as always interesting and fun. A thank you goes out to Brian for leading the trip.
Report by Jean Gartner
Next week, on Wednesday 12 December, is our quarterly Birds on the Bay outing. We will meet at and leave historic Cammidge House at 9:00 am on our 2 ½ hour walk in Boundary Bay Regional Park, returning to CH at 11:30 am for the famous Delta Nats Ladies’ Goodies (see Rochelle’s poster below). With any luck, we will have our leader Tom Bearss back from his adventures (walkabout?) in Australia!