DNCB Outing No. 2019-18 to Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal and Reifel Bird Sanctuary

Sixteen DNCBers enjoyed a “local” outing on Wednesday to the Tsawwassen Ferry  terminal, then the ponds on TFN land, then Reifel Bird Sanctuary.  We had over 50 species seen (see Anne’s eBird list below); check out the photo evidence on our DNCB Flickr site.

It was another gorgeous Delta morning when most left Petra’s at 7:30 am, and eleven of us met at Beach Grove Park to check out the Great Horned Owl family.  We only found the Dad.  Mom and two owlets were also seen a few days ago.  A third owlet was taken to OWL a couple of weeks ago when it left the nest too early.  It will be released soon back in Beach Grove Park.  Wilson’s Warblers were heard here, mostly by our DNCB prodigy Kathryn.

We carried on to the ferry terminal causeway.  At the pull-out Jim took the first Group Photo (11)


DNCB at Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal – photo by Jim Kneesch

as we looked at Black Oystercatchers, Brant Geese, Surf Scoters, Common Loons and lots of Great Blue Herons from the nearby Heronry at Tsatsu Shores.  We were blanked on the White Pelican seen a few days earlier.

We moved on to the new “pond park” on the TFN land which was nicely filled with waterfowl.  We saw Gadwall, Bufflehead, Lesser Scaup, Green-winged Teal, Northern Shovelers, Northern Pintail, Jim spotted a Common Goldeneye, plus Mallards, American Wigeon and Canada Geese.  Marsh Wrens were everywhere, and lots of Sparrows too (Savannah, Golden- & White-crowned, Song, perhaps a Lincoln’s).  We continued on through the Ladner fields to Westham Island and Reifel.

We got to Reifel around 9:15 am and met the others, and a welcoming Black-headed Grosbeak at the entrance.  A dazzling male Yellow-rumped (Audubon’s) Warbler was in the same tree.  A lone Greater Yellowlegs was in the pond beneath the trees where the Black-crowned Night Herons normally roost.  As we started our walk among the hordes of ducks on the path, it was evident that this should be a good year for Wood Duck nesting.  There were lots of magnificent pairs around.  Unfortunately, there were also lots of House Sparrows and Brown-headed Cowbirds around too.  Interestingly, a White-fronted Goose was there too.  A “visitor” took our second Group Photo (16) at the customary Snow Goose sign.


DNCB at Reifel – photo by Jim Kneesch

We walked the outside trail for a change.  We were blanked on American Bitterns but did see Long-billed Dowitchers and a lone Spotted Sandpiper, with spots and tail bobbing. In the strait we could see hundreds of Peeps, but too far away to identify species, probably Least Sandpipers and others.  For raptors, we saw Northern Harriers and Red-tailed Hawks, and were surprised by a Sharp-shinned Hawk later near the entrance.  Barn Swallows were nesting in the sheds along the outer path and it was nice to see the Purple Martins at their condo lodge.  The resident male Sandhill Crane was sitting on egg(s) at their same nest (Canada Goose vacated the nest last weekend).  The female was on guard duty nearby.  We also saw last year’s juvenile at the entrance with two other young birds.

Approaching 11:45 am, we decided to go for lunch at our regular Ladner spot, Speed’s Pub.  I missed lunch as I spent an hour back at the causeway then TFN lands looking for my lost Hearing Aid Blue Tooth.  I was frantic, until arriving home around 4:00 pm, I found it on the counter where I left it in the morning.  Getting old sucks sometime.  I heard from Jim that the lunch, and beer, were delicious.  I had a Root Beer and Burger at A&W at 1:30 pm before doing a number of “chores” for daughter Erica.  Nonetheless, it was another awesome DNCB outing.

The sixteen were: photogs Jim K, Chris McV, Ladner Jack Mac, Glen B, sister Pat, and hopefully returnees Jonathan & Lorraine, loquacious Debbi H and her daughter “DNCB Prodigy” Kathryn, our Guru and eBirder Anne M, Mike B2, Roger K2, PB Lorna, Gerhard, relative newbie Pam M, and me.

On MONDAY, May 13, we will have an extra DNCB outing to Victoria, meeting on the 7:00 am ferry to Swartz Bay.

Then on Wednesday, May 15, our DNCB destination is Jackman Wetlands, Aldergrove. Leave Petra’s at 7:30; meet at 272nd Street and 10th avenue across from the Transfer Station at 8:30.

Also, this Saturday, May 11, Terry Carr will have our Nats Display at the Heritage Fair at the Harris Barn in Ladner.  Nat Geof Hacker will also have his interesting local heritage display there too.

For more info on these outings, and other info, reports and photos, see our website.  As always, your comments are welcome, and if these long-winded missives bore you, let me know and I’ll take you off my email list.  Cheers: Tom

Tom Bearss, President, Delta Naturalists Society (exhausted, but enjoying the record early Summer heat wave)

Anne’s eBird list: Reifel Bird Sanctuary, May 8, 2019, 9:10 AM
Delta Naturalists Casual Birding group
Number of Taxa: 52

1 Greater White-fronted Goose
40 Canada Goose
23 Wood Duck
16 Northern Shoveler
17 Gadwall
4 American Wigeon
40 Mallard
6 Northern Pintail
4 Green-winged Teal
2 Lesser Scaup
4 Common Merganser
4 Rock Pigeon (Feral Pigeon)
1 Eurasian Collared-Dove
1 Anna’s Hummingbird
5 Sandhill Crane — Pair at nest; male sitting, female on bank
5 Western Sandpiper
500 peep sp. — Flyovers
9 Long-billed Dowitcher
1 Spotted Sandpiper
9 Greater Yellowlegs
7 Glaucous-winged Gull
2 Western x Glaucous-winged Gull (hybrid)
X gull sp.
4 Great Blue Heron
1 Sharp-shinned Hawk
6 Bald Eagle
1 Red-tailed Hawk
1 Downy Woodpecker
2 Northern Flicker
9 Northwestern Crow
12 Purple Martin
X Tree Swallow — Very common. Using nestboxes
X Barn Swallow
8 Black-capped Chickadee
1 Brown Creeper — At a nest box
10 Marsh Wren — Most at nests
2 American Robin
X European Starling
2 House Finch
2 American Goldfinch
X White-crowned Sparrow
10 Golden-crowned Sparrow
2 Savannah Sparrow
X Song Sparrow
7 Spotted Towhee
15 Red-winged Blackbird
18 Brown-headed Cowbird
10 Common Yellowthroat — heard singing on territory throughout
4 Yellow-rumped Warbler (Audubon’s)
1 Wilson’s Warbler
1 Black-headed Grosbeak
10 House Sparrow

About dncb

DNS: Delta Naturalists are a group of nature lovers whose aim is to foster interest in the natural history of the Fraser delta by sharing and enjoying nature and promoting environmental awareness and conservation. DNCB: Delta Nats Casual Birders is a group of Casual Birders who go Birding at different locations each week, usually within the Lower Mainland or in nearby Washington State.
This entry was posted in *DNCB, Beach Grove, Black Oystercatcher, Great Horned Owl, Least Sandpiper, Lincoln’s Sparrow, Long-billed Dowitcher, Northern Harrier, Purple Martin, Red-tailed Hawk, Reifel, Sandhill Crane, Sharp-shinned Hawk, Spotted Sandpiper, TFN, Tsawwassen Ferry Port, White-fronted Goose, Wilson’s Warbler, Yellow-rumped Warbler. Bookmark the permalink.

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