Twelve intrepid birders set out in -6 degree weather, which warmed up to -1 before we left the dike. We were Mike B1, Richmond Brian, Glen B, Lasqueti Marti, Marion S., Pat, better-late-than-never Margaretha, Gabriele, Bryan and Masae, Roger 1, Rose-come-briefly, Terry. (One of them found out he wasn’t as cold blooded as he thought, and had to call his self-sacrificing wife to bring his warm winter jacket, which she did. He did however, offer me a list of insults that I could use on our absent leader Tom, which I politely declined).
Please check out the photos on our DNCB Flickr site.
The beginning of the dike offered up Eagles, many Double-crested Cormorants perched on the pilings, a Downy Woodpecker, a large flock of Northern Pintails, Trumpeter Swans and their young, a Red-breasted Merganser, a common Goldeneye, a Bufflehead, Dunlin flying in smaller flocks.
Advancing along the dike, we spotted many Bald Eagles out in the grass and flying over the marsh, which action caused large numbers of ducks to repeatedly fly up. Some of the Eagles may have had something out there as they constantly went up and down in the marsh, but we could not see clearly what was going on. We spotted Northern Flicker, many Song Sparrows and Towhees, a very large group of Trumpeter Swans (eventually approx 70+), and added Golden and White-crowned Sparrows as we travelled along the lower path a little closer to the water. We also saw Northern Harriers, an unidentified falcon, Peregrine Falcons, Red-winged Blackbirds, Starlings, Great Blue Herons, many gulls, and thousands of Dunlin travelling back and forth in several different flocks which merged and separated in a graceful dance.
We turned around at the farmhouse, and found the return trip a lot warmer with the sun on our backs. Approaching the final turn to the parking area, we spotted 7 Killdeer working their way along the shore, plus Green-winged Teal and American Wigeon. Just by the pilings, a unidentified falcon surprised us when it emerged from the swamp and disappeared into the forested area – although it was close, we drew a blank on identifying it. Next, an Eagle chasing a Harrier and vice versa, putting on a great show at a close distance.
The icing on the cake for two lucky birders was a Rough-legged Hawk that Terry and Mike spotted off 33A Ave on the return home.
All in all, it was a good chilly walk, with more raptors than we usually see.
Tuesday 12 February cancelled due to snow.
Tuesday 19 February, we will be travelling to Blaine, Washington (Drayton Harbor & Semiahmoo Spit); leave Petra’s at 7:30; meet on Marine Drive in Blaine at 8:15 (turn right at the traffic circle and park on the right after the railway tracks).