DNCB Outing No. 2020-06 to Serpentine Fen and Surrey Lake

Nineteen DCNBers had an enjoyable and productive outing to four Surrey Parks on Tuesday.  It was a dry day with high overcast.  The stops included Serpentine Fen, Surrey Lake and two new stops recommended by Ken and Anne A. – Goldstone Park Elementary School and Cloverdale Youth Park.  Debbi’s ebird lists for the four stops showed that we saw a total of 48 species (see below).  A highlight was a female Redhead at Cloverdale Youth Park.

You can enjoy the photo evidence on our DNCB flickr site.

The first stop was Serpentine Fen on King George Blvd.  We saw many waterfowl species there, including Common Goldeneye, American & Eurasian Wigeon, Northern Shovelers, Mallards, Northern Pintail, Green-winged Teal, Scaup, Hooded & Common Mergansers, Bufflehead, Canada Geese and Cackling Geese.  There was evidence of fresh beaver activity and Pat and Glen took photos of a beaver.  Marion  and Glen took photos of a seal eating a very large salmon.  A Peregrine Falcon posed on a radio tower and Northern Harriers cruised by.  Debbi saw a Wilson’s Snipe fly up.  We were entertained by crows dive bombing a juvenile Bald Eagle while Jim tried to take the group photo.


DNCB at Serpentine Fen – photo by Jim Kneesch (not in photo!)

The next stop was a small pond beside Goldstone Park Elementary School on 146th St at 64th Ave.  This is actually part of Sullivan Heights Park.  Ken and Anne said that it has been a reliable spot to see Ring-necked Ducks up close and personal.  And as predicted, 7 Ring-necked Ducks were there.  A Greater Scaup, without the ringed bill and with his green head, was hanging out with them.  The pond also contained Mallards, Bufflehead, Gadwall, a Hooded Merganser and an American Coot.  A Song Sparrow sitting on the cattails pretended to be a wren.

Our third stop was Surrey Lake Park.  As we left the parking area we were greeted by a Varied Thrush.  As usual this small lake contained a variety of water birds.  There were Green-winged Teal, Mallards, Wigeon, Bufflehead, Hooded and Common Mergansers, Scaup, Ring-necked Ducks, Northern Pintail, Gadwall, Coots and Pied-billed Grebes.  We were blanked on Canvasbacks and Ruddy Ducks that are often seen here.  After hearing a Belted Kingfisher we finally saw him land on a Wood Duck box at the far end of the lake.  As we headed back to the parking lot a Red-tailed Hawk flew over and Steller’s Jays made a noisy appearance.

Our fourth stop was at a small pond behind Cloverdale Youth Park where a female Redhead has been seen for a few weeks.  She appeared on cue along with Hooded Mergansers, Gadwall, Wigeon and Mallards.  These small city ponds are important winter habitat for ducks.  Two Belted Kingfishers were flying around and a Wilson’s Snipe appeared briefly.

Ten of us stopped for a very tasty lunch at Big Ridge Brew Pub at 152 St and Highway 10. However trying to find a place to park there was an adventure.

The 19 were Ken, Anne A, Roger M, Mike, Debbi, Bryan D, Pat, Jack, Margaretha, Gabriele, Jonathan, Lorraine, Johnny Mac, Pam, Glen, Marion, Jim, newcomer Langley Todd and me (Terry). Tom should be back from his Ontario adventure on Thursday.

Next Tuesday, February 18, the outing will be to Blaine, USA.  We will leave Petra’s at 7:30, cross the border at Peace Arch and meet at Blaine Marine Park on Marine Drive at 8:15.  Drayton Harbor and Semiahmoo Spit are favorite birding hot spots.

Report by Terry Carr (Tom is in Ontario)

Serpentine Fen, Feb 11, 2020, 8:10 AM – 11:00 AM
40 species (+1 other taxa)
Cackling Goose  45
Canada Goose  300
Northern Shoveler  14
Eurasian Wigeon  1
American Wigeon  150
Mallard  150
Northern Pintail  500
Green-winged Teal  21
Greater Scaup  18
Bufflehead  3
Common Goldeneye  26
Hooded Merganser  4
Common Merganser  2
Rock Pigeon (Feral Pigeon)  16
American Coot  1
Wilson’s Snipe  1     flew up from cattail marshes & over hwy.
Ring-billed Gull  5
Glaucous-winged Gull  3
Double-crested Cormorant  1
Great Blue Heron  3
Northern Harrier  2
Bald Eagle  7
Red-tailed Hawk  1
Barn Owl  2     seen by Roger, Jim, Mike & myself
Peregrine Falcon  1     perched on radio tower
Steller’s Jay  1
Northwestern Crow  2
Black-capped Chickadee  4
Bushtit  2
Golden-crowned Kinglet  1
Marsh Wren  3
Bewick’s Wren  1
European Starling  14
American Robin  5
Fox Sparrow  1
Dark-eyed Junco  12
Dark-eyed Junco (Slate-colored/cismontanus)  1    seen by moi in blackberries, at start of trail – all black, grey & white
Golden-crowned Sparrow  4
Song Sparrow  4
Spotted Towhee  3
Red-winged Blackbird  2     probably more – heard, not seen
Sullivan Heights Park, Feb 11, 2020, 11:30 AM – 11:42 AM
13 species
Gadwall  1
Mallard  4     2 on pond, 2 in stream/deciduous grove
Ring-necked Duck  7
Greater Scaup  1     sun shining on its green head!
Bufflehead  1
Hooded Merganser  1
Anna’s Hummingbird  1
Glaucous-winged Gull  1
Bald Eagle  1
Northwestern Crow  12
Black-capped Chickadee  2
Song Sparrow  3
Spotted Towhee  1
Cloverdale Youth Park,  Feb 11, 2020 12:30 PM – 12:50 PM
14 species
Canada Goose  2
Gadwall  1
American Wigeon  2
Mallard  4
Redhead  1     continuing female, seen by many, photos by Delta Nats Bird group
Hooded Merganser  2
Rock Pigeon (Feral Pigeon)  5
Anna’s Hummingbird  1
Wilson’s Snipe  1
Glaucous-winged Gull  2
Belted Kingfisher  2
Northwestern Crow  7
European Starling  8
Red-winged Blackbird  1


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, Beaver, Belted Kingfisher, Cackling Geese, Cloverdale Youth Park, Eurasian Wigeon, Goldstone pond, Hooded Merganser, Northern Harrier, Peregrine Falcon, Pied-billed Grebe, Red-tailed Hawk, Redhead, Ring-necked Duck, Serpentine Fen, Surrey Lake, Wilson's Snipe. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s