DNCB Outing No. 2019-52 to Surrey Lake Park & Mud Bay Park

Thirteen DNCBers lucked out again with the weather and had an enjoyable Tuesday outing walking the circular trails at both Surrey Lake Park then Mud Bay Park. We only registered 36 species on eBird as being seen, but most sightings were up-close-and-personal, as we like them. Check out the spectacular photo evidence on our Flickr site at: https://www.flickr.com/search/?group_id=3027315%40N23&text=2019-52&view_all=1.

Photo by David Hoar

Seven of us car-pooled from Petra’s at 7:30 am meeting others around 8:15 am in the parking lot at the entrance to Surrey Lake Park. It was raining on the drive, but it was dry during our two hour meander around the lake. Interestingly, it rained on the drive later to Mud Bay Park, but was also dry when we walked there too. I think DNCBers are “Chosen”.  As for sightings, Surrey Lake was full of several different waterfowl, including lots of beauties in plumage. A family of five Trumpeter Swans were surrounded by Common & Hooded Mergansers, Pied-billed Grebes (9), Bufflehead, Lesser Scaup & Ring-necked Ducks, Gadwall, Green-winged Teal, Northern Pintail, American Coots, American Wigeon and Mallards. Among the Canada Geese near shore were about 20 Cackling Geese; neat to see and photograph the two species together. A Belted Kingfisher cruised by as we were enjoying this viewing, then several Double-crested Cormorants joined the scene.

As we continued our walk on the circular trail (first time for me), Colin spotted a Cooper’s Hawk, then Gareth “almost” identified a perched Red-tailed Hawk. Of course, Northern Harriers and Bald Eagles were around too to supplement our raptor sightings. Going through the usual charade, I was able to interrupt the Chatfest to assemble the group for the mandatory Photo, taken by a passing dog-walker. There weren’t a lot of little birds in the trees along the trail; we saw the common stuff, but nothing unusual or memorable. Very fresh Beaver chawing was notable.

Back at the parking lot at 10:30 am, we decided to stop at Mud Bay Park on the way back to Tsawwassen. The rain ceased for this pleasant hour-long walk too. New species seen here included Purple and House Finches, and a close-up passing Peregrine Falcon, and both White- and Golden-crowned Sparrows. The rafts of ducks were mostly far out in the Bay. A swarm of thousands of Dunlin weaving far away, we think near the Mansion at 104th, was a neat sighting. Back at the entrance parking lot at 11:30 am, seven of us decided to go for lunch at the SkyHawk restaurant at Boundary Bay Airport.

I was a bit chilly, so chose a Coffee with the Hot Beef & Mashed Potatoes Special. It was humungous (see photo), but cheap and filling, and our server Maria was very nice. Despite not having a beer, it was another awesome DNCB outing, our last official one in 2019. On the way home, Terry and I saw an American Kestrel and a flock of about 20 Trumpeter Swans feeding in a Ladner field.

The 13 participants were: Organizer Terry, “Semi” Guru Roger, Local Guru Gareth, young Lovebirds, eBirders, Photogs and basically “Doing Everything” David & Noreen, Ladner’s “not really that Shy” Pam, “Early Retiree” Johnny Mac, West Van’s Newbie enthusiastic Lori, South Surrey “Spotters” Colin & Wazza, always happy, nibbly-provider Margaretha, North Delta’s Reliable Jean, and me.

Our next DNCB outing is on Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2020; we’ll meet at and leave from Petra’s at 7:30 am for White Rock and Blackie Spit Park, meeting others on the pier around 8:15 am. Meanwhile, over the holiday break, several DNCBers will be participating in Christmas Bird Counts, in Ladner on Saturday, December 21, and White Rock/Surrey on December 28. A reminder too that our first 2020 Delta Nats monthly meeting is Tuesday, January 7, with Jocelyn Demers screening his second documentary film “The Future of Birds”. For more information on our outings, meetings and events, plus reports and photos, see our website at: www.dncb.wordpress.com. As always, your comments are encouraged, and let me know if these weekly missives are boring, annoying or simply uninteresting, and you want off my email list, newly using MailChimp. Note too my new email address is: tombearss1@gmail.com. Lastly, I wish each of you and your family a very Merry Christmas and a happy and healthy 2020, with the occasional neat bird sighting or adventure. Cheers: Tom

Tom Bearss, President, Delta Naturalists Society

David’s eBird List

Surrey Lake Park
21 species
Cackling Goose  6
Canada Goose  45
Trumpeter Swan  5
Gadwall  5
Mallard  26
Northern Pintail  2
Green-winged Teal  12
Ring-necked Duck  6
Greater Scaup  12
Bufflehead  6
Hooded Merganser  2
Common Merganser  9
Pied-billed Grebe  4
American Coot  1
Double-crested Cormorant  4
Great Blue Heron  3
Cooper’s Hawk  1
Belted Kingfisher  1
Black-capped Chickadee  6
European Starling  3
Song Sparrow  1

Mud Bay Park
17 species
American Wigeon  2
Mallard  9
Northern Pintail  4
Dunlin  X     Thousands offshore murmuration
Northern Harrier  1
Bald Eagle  2
Red-tailed Hawk  1
Northern Flicker  2
Peregrine Falcon  1
Northwestern Crow  7
Ruby-crowned Kinglet  1
American Robin  2
House Finch  6
Purple Finch  2
White-crowned Sparrow  3
Golden-crowned Sparrow  7
Song Sparrow  4

Total for the day is 33

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, Cackling Geese, Mud Bay Park, Surrey Lake. Bookmark the permalink.

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