DNCB Outing No. 2019-32 to Blackie Spit and Elgin Heritage Park

See photos at our DNCB Flickr site

Twenty-nine folk (yes 29) enjoyed another glorious Wednesday morning in South Surrey at Blackie Spit and Elgin Heritage Parks.  Check out the beaut photo evidence of the birds, flora and participants on our DNCB Flickr site.

Some from Petra’s, others from wherever in the lower mainland, we all met shortly after 8:00 am at the parking lot entrance to Blackie Spit Park.  Interestingly, our Target Bird, the annual resident Long-billed Curlew, was nonchalantly feeding in the muddy beach right in front of us.  After focussing on the LBC, David took the obligatory Group Photo, interrupting the chatfest among the several worldly DNCBers returned from Europe, Saskatchewan, Ontario, Quebec, Arizona, etc.

DNCB 2019-32 Blackie Spit group_edited.jpeg

DNCB at Blackie Spit (minus photographer David Hoar & 4 latecomers)

We walked past the Ring-billed Gulls on the path to the spit.  A flock of Peeps flew by, possibly Dunlin and/or Western Sandpipers.  Harbour Seal pups were calling to their Mom in the shallow bay; the tide was very low.  Several Savannah Sparrows posed on Tansy blooms.  Young 4 year old William was fascinated with the Crows, but he soon got bored with our old folk lethargic birding, so Grandma Stephanie took him to the more fascinating shells and stones in the mud.  Both Barn and Tree Swallows were hawking insects, but not much other activity, so the rest of us also left the spit for the Savenye Trail.

Lots of young Purple Martins around, and there was activity in most of their nestboxes on the pylons.  We also saw Anna’s and perhaps Rufous Hummingbirds, and finches, both House and American Goldfinches.  Yellowlegs (20+) were feeding intermittently along the Nicomekl River, and we were able to distinguish Lessers among the mostly Greater.  A couple of Black-headed Grosbeaks showed up among the Cedar Waxwings near an active Paper Wasp nest.  And we saw warblers in the trees but were only able to identify an Orange-crowned Warbler and Golden-crowned Kinglet.  David’s eBird count (see below) was 31 species at Blackie Spit this morning.  I don’t mention most of the common regular species sightings in these reports.

We left Blackie Spit about 10:45 am in a convoy for Elgin Heritage Park along the Nicomekl.  This was another nice walk with more LBJ sightings (little brown jobs) and lots of “birder bonding”.  We were blanked on Godwit sightings, but immature Robins that were almost Varied Thrushes aroused a bit of excitement.  A cruising Red-tailed Hawk was our only raptor, other than the Bald Eagles.

Now just past 11:30 am, about a dozen of us decided to lunch at our nearby “regular” Town Hall Pub on King George Boulevard.  My Cottage Pie with two sleeves of the House Lager, along with Sabine’s and Roger Two’s chips, hit the spot.  In the few seconds she wasn’t talking, Debbi kindly took the Luncheon Group photo.  I got home in time to hunt for bugs with grandson Thomas, pick up granddaughters at camp and daycare respectively, then Pho dinner at Tsawwassen Commons with our visiting Ottawa friend Monica and both kids and all four grandkids.  It was another awesome DNCB outing, and evening.

The 29 were (They love their names in print): Organizer Terry C, PB Lorna & Mike B, time-challenged Margaretha, Gabrielle & Roger (from his sick bed), Pat S, Glen B, our Bird Box Team of Chris McV, Jim K, Roger Two & Ladner Jack Mac, sophomore newbie Sabine, locals Ken & Anne, Colin & Stephanie with grandson William, Warren (aka Wazza) & Lynne, Pat S, Ladner Pam, e Birders David & Noreen & Richmond Brian, Debbi & Kathryn, Johnny Mac, VanCity Lidia, Marion S and me.

Next Wednesday, August 7, we will leave Petra’s at 7:30 am for Burnaby Lake Park, meeting at the Nature House around 8:15 am.

For more info on outings, reports 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

1.  Blackie Spit (Incl. Dunsmuir Farm & Nicomekl estuary)
Jul 31, 2019 8:14 AM – 10:54 AM
30 species (+1 other taxa)

Canada Goose 2
Mallard 52
Rock Pigeon (Feral Pigeon) 2
Anna’s Hummingbird 7
Long-billed Curlew 1
peep sp. 50
Greater Yellowlegs 15
Lesser Yellowlegs 2
Ring-billed Gull 60
Glaucous-winged Gull 1
Great Blue Heron 1
Bald Eagle 1
Red-tailed Hawk 1
Northern Flicker 3
Northwestern Crow 8
Purple Martin 18
Tree Swallow X
Barn Swallow X
Black-capped Chickadee 6
Golden-crowned Kinglet 1
American Robin 2
European Starling 3
Cedar Waxwing 4
House Finch 21
American Goldfinch 6
White-crowned Sparrow 1 Immature
Savannah Sparrow 4
Spotted Towhee 2
Red-winged Blackbird 3
Orange-crowned Warbler 1
Black-headed Grosbeak 1

2.  Elgin Heritage Park
Jul 31, 2019 11:14 AM – 11:57 AM
6 species

Northern Flicker 1
Black-capped Chickadee 5
Varied Thrush 1
American Robin 5
Cedar Waxwing 3
House Finch 9

Total species: 31 for both locations

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, Bald Eagle, Blackie Spit, Cedar Waxwing, Elgin Heritage Park, Harbour Seal, Long-billed Curlew, Orange-crowned Warbler, Purple Martin, Red-tailed Hawk. Bookmark the permalink.

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