DNCB Outing No. 2019-25 to Pitt Lake Wildlife Management Area

Twenty-three DNCBers enjoyed a long but fruitful day at the Pitt-Addington Marsh Wildlife Management Area in Coquitlam on Wednesday.  A very long walk, some interesting sightings in a magnificent setting, and a delicious lunch; check out the photo evidence on our Flickr site at DNCB Flickr site.

Eleven of us left Petra’s in three vehicles and had a very pleasant 1¼ hour drive through Delta, Surrey and Langley to the boat launch parking lot in this spectacular setting where Pitt Lake drains into the Pitt River.  The other 12 were all smiles when we arrived, albeit it was a bit cloudy and windy, but comfy.  Several newbies, so the introductory bonding exercise was organized chaos, as usual.  Liz advised that a Yellow-breasted Chat had been seen along the dyke path, so we proceeded to search for it.

This trail, for our first hour, was very productive.  We got great looks at several of our Target Birds, including Gray Catbirds, Yellow Warbler, Bullock’s Oriole, Willow Flycatcher, Swainson’s Thrush, Eastern Kingbirds, Turkey Vultures, Band-tailed Pigeons, Rufous Hummingbirds, and both Black and Vaux Swifts.  We also heard the Yellow-breasted Chat, but I think only Masae saw it flitting in the leaves in the tree tops.  It was extremely frustrating not to be able to see this bird, especially since a Bullock’s Oriole and Yellow Warbler seemed to appear in the very tree where the Chat was calling.

We got back to the parking lot about 9:45 am and Roger took the obligatory Group Photo.

Intrepid Birders at Pitt Lake.JPG
DNCB at Pitt Lake WMA – photo by Roger Meyer

Anne heard the American Redstarts near the toilets, but I couldn’t find them either.  We eventually started our walk around the marsh on the narrow trail through the trees and bushes.  We normally see warblers on this trail, but it was very over-grown, and windy, so not very productive.

Pitt Lake Blackberry Infested Trail.JPG
Grant Narrows Dyke Trail – photo by Roger Meyer

We saw Common Yellowthroats, Cedar Waxwings, Wood Ducks, and a hovering Osprey.  Some heard, or saw, Wilson’s Warblers, Warbling & Red-eyed Vireos, and Pacific-Slope Flycatcher but I missed these too.  David’s two eBird lists (below) indicate 41 species heard or seen today.  We saw Scat, but not the Black Bear that the Katzie First Nation’s resident caretaker had warned us about.

It was almost 11:00 am when we got to the Lookout.  Some chose to return by the same path, while others continued on the long circular route around the marsh to the river, and back to the parking lot.  There were a few Cliff Swallows nesting on the rock cliff where we always see them.  Lots of Tree Swallows in the nest boxes.  Along the river, there was at least one baby Osprey (perhaps two) in each of the THREE nests on the pylons.  The parents were occasionally tending the youngsters.  One Common Merganser was resting on the dock where we normally see them.  Visiting Torontonian Brian saw a Yellow-rumped Warbler along the road trail, near the second Lookout where the Cliff Swallow nests were vandalized (I heard possibly because the nests have some medicinal attraction).

It was almost 1:30 pm when we all gathered at the parking lot.  David said we walked 8 kilometres.  Several decided to head home while ten of us stopped at the Swan-e-set Golf Course just up the road for lunch.  This is a beautiful setting too, and my lunch Special of Tuna Melt Sandwich and Clam & Corn Chowder Soup was delicious, of course along with a pint of Sapporo Draught.  The drive home was smooth too; Pam and newbie Quebecois Lynne kept me awake with their babbling in the back seat.  We pulled in to Petra’s at 4:00 pm.  A long but awesome DNCB adventure.

The 23 were: Guru Anne, our Organizer Terry C, Roger & Mike B1, David & Noreen, Syd & newbie Lynne, Mike B2, PB Lorna, Bryan & Masae, newbie brother & sister Brian & Mavis, sisters Pat & Maureen & Manli, North Delta’s Jean G & Liz S, Boundary Bay Val, Ladner Pam, guest Dale, and me.

Next Wednesday, June 26, we will leave Petra’s at 7:30 am for Campbell Valley Regional Park, meeting at the 16th Avenue entrance parking lot around 8:15 am.

Don’t forget our annual DNS Garden Party on Saturday, June 22 (today) at Paul & Carol Rennie’s home in Richmond.

For more info on our outings, events and photos, see our website.  As always, your comments are welcome, and let me know if this weekly drivel annoys you and you want off my email list.  Cheers: Tom

Tom Bearss, President, Delta Naturalists Society (just returned from 2nd Car Boot Sale, late report result of two Dinner & Theatre evenings, Thursday golf, plus regular and irregular grandparenting duties).

Total 41 Species from both lists

Grant Narrows Dyke Walk (Number of Taxa: 24)
Jun. 19, 2019  8:44 am
17 Black Swift
2 Vaux’s Swift
2 Rufous Hummingbirds
1 Glaucous-winged Gull
2 Common Loon
1 Turkey Vulture
1 Bald Eagle
3 Willow Flycatcher
2 Eastern Kingbird
2 Northwestern Crow
1 Tree Swallow
2 Violet-green Swallow
1 Swainson’s Thrush
5 American Robin
4 Gray Catbird
8 Cedar Waxwing
2 Song Sparrow
3 Spotted Towhee
1 Bullock’s Oriole
1 Common Yellowthroat
1 Wilson’s Warbler
1 Yellow Warbler
1 Yellow-breasted Chat          –  HEARD Only
2 Band-tailed Pigeon

Grant Narrows Trail to Observation Tower (Number of Taxa: 29)
Jun. 19, 2019
 10:12 a.m.
15 Canada Goose — 6 young
8 Wood Duck
7 Mallard
1 Common Merganser
12 Band-tailed Pigeon
1 Rufous Hummingbird
1 hummingbird sp.
1 Great Blue Heron
9 Osprey – FR — 3 nests 2 feeding young one nest 2 young seen and 1 young seen in second nest.
1 Bald Eagle
5 Willow Flycatcher
4 Eastern Kingbird
1 Warbling Vireo
1 Steller’s Jay
1 Northwestern Crow 
6 Tree Swallow – FR
3 Cliff Swallow
1 Swainson’s Thrush
3 American Robin
3 White-crowned Sparrow
5 Song Sparrow
10 Red-winged Blackbird
6 Common Yellowthroat
2 American Redstart
2 Yellow Warbler
1 Pacific Slope Flycatcher HEARD Only
1 Red-eyed Vireo HEARD Only
1 Barn Swallow
1 Yellow-rumped Warbler


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, American Redstart, Bald Eagle, Band-tailed Pigeon, Bullock's Oriole, Cedar Waxwing, Cliff Swallow, Eastern Kingbird, Grant Narrows, Gray Catbird, Osprey, Pacific-slope Flycatcher, Pitt Lake, Red-eyed Vireo, Turkey Vulture, Vaux's Swift, Warbling Vireo, Willow Flycatcher, Wilson’s Warbler, Yellow Warbler, Yellow-breasted Chat, Yellow-rumped Warbler. Bookmark the permalink.

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