DNCB – Small Group Birding

As the COVID response measures have limited our ability to have large group outings, a few small informal groups have formed within the DNCB community.  More small groups may be coming.

These small groups typically have no more than 6 people, and they meet at a prearranged place without carpooling and they keep suitable distancing during the outing.

It’s still too soon for larger groups to start acting like we did in the “old days” before COVID, but the birds aren’t waiting for us to come back.

The last official DNCB Outing was on 10 March 2020 (2020-10 to Iona Regional Park)
Here is a summary of some individual and small group outings since then. We will continue to add to this list.

    • 16-Sep-2020 to Boundary Bay Dike at 104th, 3 people, meeting around 2, had a nice juvenile Semi-palmated Plover, along with Pectorals, Killdeer, Greater Yellowlegs, Dowitchers, Least, and Pipits.
    • 16-Sep-2020 to Reifel, 5 people. We saw a Peregrine Falcon near the beginning and again near the end. There was a Great Horned Owl at owl corner and Harriers were cruising the marsh. Most of last week’s shorebirds had gone but we did see Dowitchers and one Yellowlegs. A very entertaining Orange-crowned Warbler hopped around in the open for great extended viewing. A Lincoln’s Sparrow stopped long enough for a photo. (Flickr)
    • 10-Sep-2020 to Deas Island, 9 people. We saw a few Warblers (Yellow-rumped, Yellow, Orange-crpwned), Great Blue Heron, Black-capped Chickadees, Sparrows (Song and White-crowned), Common Raven, Spotted Towhee and at one point watched two very small birds that resembled each other, except that one never stopped moving whereas the other one stopped and posed. The former was a Ruby-crowned Kinglet, the latter a Hutton’s Vireo. Bewick’s Wrens called back and forth and preened in the sun. We also heard Northern Flicker, and at least one bird we couldn’t identify. It was a beautiful day, and we enjoyed a distanced picnic in the park. (Flickr) (eBird)
    • 08-Sep-2020 to Boundary Bay Dike at 104th, 7 people. The high tide was a low high tide and most of the birds were far away. One small flock of Pectoral Sandpipers was fairly close but a Cooper’s Hawk soon sent them farther out. There were at least 4 warblers (Yellow, Yellow-rumped, Yellowthroat, Orange-crowned), Hutton’s Vireo, American Pipits and Horned Larks. (Flickr)
    • 08-Sep-2020 to Boundary Bay Dike at 104th, 6 people. We started from the airpark lot and walked toward the mansion expecting the tide to be in fairly close, but it was way out, and the birds with it. Sightings on the way to or from the pilings were sparrows (Lincoln’s, Song, White-crowned, and Savannah), finches (Goldfinch, House Finch), warblers (Yellow-rump, Orange-crowned). There were other birders out enjoying good sized flocks of American Pipits and Horned Larks which were moving around in and out of the harvested potato fields.  Also seen from the dike, were 2 Golden Plovers, Killdeer, Northern Harrier, Peregrine Falcon, Great  Blue Heron, many gulls, distant ducks, and shorebirds in flocks flying or resting, and Pectoral Sandpipers up close. Eventually the 8 and 9 o’clock group merged, and we discovered it was easy to space ourselves out on the dike.
    • 01-Sep-2020 to Brydon Lagoon & Hi Knoll Park, 5 people, Barred Owl, Green Heron. When we arrived at Brydon Lagoon we were told that the Green Heron usually appeared very early and that we were probably too late. So we were not surprised when we did not see it  as we walked along the lagoon. There were very few birds on the path through Hi Knoll Park. In the forest on the other side of the power line we saw a Barred Owl fly by. We walked back to where it disappeared – and there it was posing on a branch. It posed on 2 more branches before we left it. Other birds seen on the way back were Cedar Waxwings, Bushtits, Hermit Thrush, Olive-sided Flycatcher, Flickers, Chickadees, Wood Duck and Pied-billed Grebe. We looked for the Green Heron again as we walked back along the lagoon. It was nearly noon and we had given up on seeing it when we noticed it sitting on a branch back at the very beginning of the lagoon loop. Almost immediately it flew to the other side of the lagoon. Some walked back around the lagoon and found it posing on a log close to shore at the other end of the lagoon. (Flickr)
    • 01-Sep-2020 to Campbell Valley Regional Park, 5 people went to Campbell Valley, 16th St parking lot, and walked as directed, in one direction. There were not many birds singing, but the tame and hungry chickadees, both Chestnut-backed in abundance and Black-capped, made up for the lack of other sightings. We were stopped in our tracks by Gabriele who watched a Barred Owl land beside us. He was co-operative until he eventually flew deeper into the woods. Another grouping of mixed chickadees included at least two Nuthatches, all of which were happy receiving nuts from us. Along the way, were Song Sparrows, Spotted Towhees, and many Dark-eyed Juncos, along with Douglas Squirrels and Townsend’s chipmunks. We heard a strange call several times, and were stumped until Lidia got home, and in the process of labelling the chipmunk, discovered that the noise we were hearing is an autumn “wood-knocking” call the chipmunks produce. Most of the warblers have left, but we saw Bushtits, and heard Goldfinches, Pacific-slope Flycatchers, Brown Creeper, Golden-crowned Kinglets, Swainson’s Thrush. We tried to spot something that had a warbler-like call, but were unable to find it high up in the trees. A small flock of Mallard ducks preened by the last bridge—one of them was a hybrid of some sort. It was a slow and lovely walk in the woods.
    • 31-Aug-2020 to Centennial Beach for seashore brochure photos, 7 people, crabs, clams, shrimp, sand lance, anemone.  (Flickr)
    • 30-Aug-2020 to Reifel, 1 person, Long-billed Dowitchers, Kingfisher, Harrier, Yellow-rumped Warbler (Flickr)
    • 28-Aug-2020 to White Rock Pier, 2 people, 6 Black Turnstones
    • 28-Aug-2020 to Reifel, 2 people, 43 species including Pied-billed Grebe, Long-billed Dowitcher, Red-necked Phalarope, Peregrine Falcon, Warbling Vireo, Yellow-rumped Warbler. (Flickr) (eBird)
    • 27-Aug-2020 to Blackie Spit, 2 people, Shorebirds
    • 25-Aug-2020 to Godwin Farm Biodiversity Preserve, 4 people, started of with a Barred Owl roosting, then at least one family of Red-breasted Nuthatches who were busy with pine cones, and were joined by Black-capped and Chestnut-backed Chickadees. While watching at least one hawk in the sky, a Peregrine showed up to chase a Cooper’s Hawk, a Northern Harrier up high, a juvenile Bald Eagle, and a Red-tailed Hawk at first being pursued by a flock of Crows. Bewick’s Wrens called from more than one location. Saw Northern Flickers and heard Pileated and Downy Woodpeckers. Our sightings included American Robins, Song Sparrows, Goldfinches (mostly heard), Dark-eyed Junco, Brown Creeper (heard), Steller’s Jay, Anna’s Hummingbird. A lovely small park, tons (an understatement) of Sequoia trees and orchards, Stink Currants in a patch by the park kiosk – a new plant for most of us. No dogs or washroom, but it is close to Tynehead Park.
    • 25-Aug-2020 to Blackie Spit, 7 people, Yellowlegs, Purple Martins, Herons, Hummers, Cooper’s Hawk (Flickr)
    • 23-Aug-2020 to Brunswick Point, 2 people, 2 Sandhill Cranes, 2 Trumpeter Swans
    • 18-Aug-2020 to Iona, 4 people, it was sunny but quite windy. Birds were scarce with Cedar Waxwings and swallows (a LOT) being the most abundant. Spotted and identified a Kestrel hunting and eating dragonflies in the inner ponds. Only one pond had water and very few ducks. By the logs that obstruct the path close to the parking lot, we saw a juvenile Yellow-rumped Warbler chasing bugs in a pine, and a very photogenic flycatcher, probably a Willow. A few sparrows, Song, Savannah, Towhee, Chickadees, an eagle and a couple of herons rounded out the meagre selection.
    • 18-Aug-2020 to Godwin Farm Biodiversity Preserve and Tynehead, New trail, 7 people, planned to start at Surrey Lake but parking lot and trails were closed for maintenance so drove to Godwin Farm Biodiversity Park. Spent a pleasant hour walking a loop through a redwood forest, past a small pond, beside fields and an orchard. Didn’t hear or see many birds. Next went to Tynehead Park and walked a longer loop along the Serpentine River. A cool walk in the forest but didn’t hear or see many birds. (Flickr)
    • 13-Aug-2020 to Elgin Park, 8 people, Bushtits (Flickr)
    • 10-Aug-2020 to Brunswick Point, 2 people, Merlin, Bushtits, Bullock’s Oriole (Flickr) (eBird)
    • 04-Aug-2020 to Blackie Spit, 2 people, 12 Greater Yellowlegs
    • 04-Aug-2020 to Colebrook Park, 4 people, New trail, Pileated Woodpecker and others (Flickr)
    • 04-Aug-2020 to Panorama Ridge, 6 people, New trail, Willow Flycatchers and others (Flickr)
    • 02-Aug-2020 to Huston Rd, Tilbury, 2 people, Pacific Slope Flycatcher (Flickr) (eBird)
    • 28-Jul-2020 to Terra Nova, 6 people, Usual suspects, very few birds on a hot day (Flickr)
    • 26-Jul-2020 to Huston Rd, Tilbury, New trail, 2 people, Bullock’s Oriole and Pacific Slope Flycatcher (Flickr)
    • 24-Jul-2020 to Reifel, 2 people, It’s open again but nothing unusual (Flickr)
    • 21-Jul-2020 to Iona, 3 people, Killdeer, very few birds, dragonflies (Flickr)
    • 14-Jul-2020 to Colony Farm, 3 people, Lazuli Bunting and nesting Eastern Kingbirds (Flickr)
    • 09-May-2020 to Iona, 2 people, Usual suspects (Flickr)
    • 07-May-2020 to QE Park, 1 person, Chipping Sparrow, Warbling Vireo (Flickr)
    • 01-May-2020 to Boundary Bay, 2 people, Cinnamon Teal + usual suspects (Flickr)
    • 17-Apr-2020 to Beach Grove, 1 person, Great Horned Owls (Flickr)
    • 09-Apr-2020 to Beach Grove Park, 1 person, Hummingbird Nest (Flickr)
    • 08-Apr-2020 to Boundary Bay Dike, 1 person, Warblers and Harriers (Flickr)
    • 31-Mar-2020 to Brunswick Point, Usual suspects (Flickr)
    • 18-Mar-2020 to Boundary Bay, 1 person, Mountain Bluebird and the usual suspects (Flickr)

New Trails

  • Huston Road, Tilbury Islandpark here then walk along the Fraser, going West from the parking lot till you find the road out into the river – this is Fisherman’s Bar – and you can go further West along the river till the trail dead ends.
  • Panorama Ridgepark here – officially this is all part of the Delta-South Surrey Regional Greenway and it can be accessed from several places. From this parking spot head East along the trail. West would take you back in to Watershed Park. There are some trail markers and maps along the way and many choices for how to proceed. Can head down to Colebrook Road then back up and and over to Joe Brown Park and up the ridge to New McLellan Road.
  • Colebrook Parkpark here – this park has an interesting half hour loop through thick forest, an open area and a wetland.
  • Godwin Farm Biodiversity Preservepark here – wonderful trees, small pond, decent trails, only 30-60 minutes.

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.
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