DNCB Outing No. 2019-36 to Sidney Spit National Park

Twenty plus DNCBers enjoyed a spectacular outing to, from and on Sidney Island, the Gulf Islands National Park. We had some superb sightings, including rare species, on a gorgeous Wednesday in BC.  Check out the pictorial evidence on our DNCB Flickr site.

Fifteen DNCBers met on the 7:00 am “Free” ferry to Swartz Bay.  The crossing was smooth, Traditional Breakfast with Tea hit the spot, and we saw Gulls (California, Mew, Glaucous-winged), Cormorants (Double-crested, Pelagic and probably Brandt’s) and Pigeon Guillemots, and a couple of Harbour Porpoises.  The scenery was spectacular and everyone was smiling in the sun for the Group Photo at the ship’s bow.

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DNCB aboard Ferry to Sidney – photo by David Hoar

We caught the double decker bus to Sidney ($5 Pass for all day) and got to the Alpine Sidney Spit Ferry terminal at 9:15 am, fortunately well before the 10:00 am departure as it was fully booked (max 41 passengers allowed).  This return 25 minute trip to the Spit cost $16 for Seniors.  It was a beaut ride too, passing rafts of Alcids including Common Murres, Rhinoceros Auklets and Pigeon Guillemots.  Tony saw a Heermann’s Gull and some saw a Marbled Murrelet.

We met Bob Vergette and his Pender Island Naturalists at the Spit Ferry dock.  They had arrived earlier on Bob’s boat.  Following intro’s, we started our walk along the sandy north shore of the Spit.  Anne Nightingale and several Victoria Naturalists were there too, and we found the Target Bird, a Bar-tailed Godwit, about half-way to the spit’s end.  Everyone got good looks, and photos, of this Asian/Aussie vagrant.  We also saw a few Peeps mostly Western Sandpipers, Black-bellied Plovers and Black Oystercatchers, but blanked on the Baird’s Sandpipers.  A passing Merlin had earlier scared off many.

The Spit walk was glorious too, lots of neat Wildflowers, no Nighthawks seen in their nesting area, but on the walk back a Parasitic Jaeger posed and nicely circled for his photo op.  It was almost 12:30 pm when we got back to the dock picnic tables and had our lunches.  Fresh Plums from Margaretha’s and Tony’s backyard trees were the feature edible (No Beer).  White-crowned & Song Sparrows and Barn & Tree Swallows serenaded us.

After lunch we followed the forest trail past the remnants of the 1905 Sidney Brick & Tile Company (employed 70 people way back then) and saw lots of neat species, namely: Woodpeckers (Northern Flicker, Red-breasted Sapsuckers, Pileated), Yellow-rumped Warbler, Golden-crowned Kinglets, Chestnut-backed Chickadees, Willow Flycatcher, Red-breasted Nuthatches, Brown Creepers, plus other common species.  A Cooper’s Hawk excited our photog’s as it circled and flashed its colours in the clear blue sky.  David’s eBird list below indicates we saw 28 species on this Sidney Spit outing.

We got back to the Spit Ferry dock at 2:30 pm in time for the 3:00 pm trip back to Sidney.  Another beautiful ride pasts the Alcids.  We caught the bus back to Swartz Bay, and arrived at 3:50 pm, just in time to catch the 4:00 pm ferry back to Tsawwassen.  We searched in vain for Whales.  As always happens, the Crew advised that on this trip yesterday they saw both Orcas and Humpbacks, all breaching.  I was home by 6:00 pm, having “suffered” one of the most enjoyable DNCB outings ever.

The 20 plus participants were: Organizer Terry, Roger, Mike & PB Lorna, David & Noreen, Richmond Brian & Louise, “Plummers” Tony & Margaretha, VanCity Lidia, Ladner Bryan w/o Masae, Tsa Glen & Ladner Pam, Pender Island Bob, Derek & (I forget other’s names) w/o Jan who missed the Spit ferry, four Victoria Naturalists who joined us fleetingly, and me.

Next Wednesday, September 4, is our annual Mt. Baker outing with leader Terry Carr.  Participants meet at the Peace Arch Park parking lot (behind the Duty-Free shop) at 7:30 am for car-pooling.

Also don’t forget our DNS monthly meeting on Tuesday, 3 September at 7:30 pm at Benediction Lutheran Church, 5575 – 6th Ave.  The guest speakers will be David & Diane Reesor, and they will speak about Nature in the Omo Valley & Highlands of Ethiopia.

For more info on this and other outings, reports and photos, see our website.  The report on this outing and the following Sept. 11 Birds on the Bay outing should also be on our website soon after these events.  I will be golfing and holidaying in Newfoundland from Sept. 3 to 14.

As always, your comments are encouraged, and please advise if this lengthy, weekly, verbal diarrhea compels you to request removal from my email list.  Cheers, and Happy Labour Day weekend: Tom.

Tom Bearss, President, Delta Naturalists Society


Sidney Spit (Gulf Islands National Park)
28-Aug-2019 10:20 AM – 2:34 PM
28 species (+3 other taxa)

Black Oystercatcher 3
Black-bellied Plover 2
Killdeer 2
Bar-tailed Godwit 1 Photos
Semipalmated Sandpiper 2
Western Sandpiper X 150 estimate
peep sp. 20
Parasitic Jaeger 1
Common Murre 2
Pigeon Guillemot 28
Rhinoceros Auklet 2
California Gull 60 Many seen
gull sp. X Hundred
cormorant sp. 15
Great Blue Heron 7
Cooper’s Hawk 1
Red-breasted Sapsucker 2
Pileated Woodpecker 1 Heard
Willow Flycatcher 2
Chestnut-backed Chickadee 8
Golden-crowned Kinglet 1
Red-breasted Nuthatch 6
Brown Creeper 3
American Robin 1
Cedar Waxwing 2
House Finch 1
Dark-eyed Junco 1
White-crowned Sparrow 3
Song Sparrow 1
Spotted Towhee 1
Yellow-rumped Warbler 4

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Posted in *DNCB, Bar-tailed Godwit, Black Oystercatcher, Black-bellied Plover, Brandt's Cormorant, Brown Creeper, California Gull, Common Murre, Cooper's Hawk, Harbour Porpoise, Heermann's Gull, Marbled Murrelet, Merlin, Mew Gull, Parasitic Jaeger, Pelagic Cormorant, Pigeon Guillemot, Pileated Woodpecker, Red-breasted Sapsucker, Rhinoceros Auklet, Sidney Spit National Park, Western Sandpiper, Willow Flycatcher, Yellow-rumped Warbler | Leave a comment

DNCB Outing No. 2019-35 to Boundary Bay Trail at 104th St.

Fourteen DNCBers braved the clouds then rain along the Boundary Bay Regional Park trail at 104th  Street.  Not a great morning for our photogs, but check out the photo evidence on our DNCB Flickr site.

Some left Petra’s at 7:30 am, others joined the outing at the Delta Airpark entrance to the BBRP trail at various times after 8:00 am.  It wasn’t raining and there were tonnes of Shorebirds feeding in the mud, albeit a bit far out for the photogs.  We got decent views through the scopes of Black-bellied Plovers and Peeps including Semipalmated Plovers, Western and Least Sandpipers.  Fortunately, our Guru Anne was with us to confirm the ID’s.  High tide was 10:00 am, but they were still far away; it was a low High Tide.  Lots of Great Blue Herons, a Common Loon, some ducks including Surf Scoters were also seen in the distant water.  California Gulls and lots of Swallows (mostly Barn, a few Tree) were flying around too.  Anne’s eBird list below shows 20 species seen.

We wandered along the trail toward the Mansion.  Little birds were flitting in the bushes including White-crowned Sparrows, both House Finches and American Goldfinches.  Interestingly, on examining Terry’s and Chris’s photos, a Willow Flycatcher was there too.  We were blanked on warblers, but the farm machinery and trucks, some loaded with potatoes, parading by us offered some excitement.  Terry took a long-distance Group Photo once our time-challenged Germanics, Margaretha and Gabriele, arrived.

We usually get many more sightings on this outing such as American Pipits, Peregrine Falcons and warblers, but frankly, I think the inclement weather made us lackadaisical birders.  Indeed, shortly after 10:30 am, it started to spit rain, so we decided to abort the outing and head back to the vehicles.  Most of us went for a late breakfast at the nearby Skyhawk Restaurant in Boundary Bay Airport.  My Poached Eggs on Toast with three cups of Coffee (no Beer) were delicious.  I was home by Noon, gaining a few points with Sandra.  It was a very enjoyable morning, despite the weather.

The fourteen were: our Organizer Terry with Mike B & PB Lorna, Guru Anne M, South Surrey Colin & Stephanie, Richmond Brian, Ladner Pam, North Delta Johnny Mac, Tsawwassen’s Chris McV & Roger K2, our Germanics Margaretha & Gabriele, and me.

Next Wednesday, August 28, we will meet on the 7:00 am ferry to Swartz Bay for our outing to Sidney Spit, returning on the 5:00 pm ferry.

For more info on this outing, and other events, reports and photos, check out our website.

Also, this Saturday, August 24, we will have our Delta Nats Display at the Wings Over Iona event, 11:00 am to 1:30 pm, at Iona Regional Park.  And on Monday, August 26, at Delta’s City Hall, Anne Murray (and I) will be giving a presentation to Delta’s Mayor and Council on Delta’s Birds and Biodiversity Conservation Strategy: Next Steps.  You’re welcome to attend all these events!

As always, your comments are welcome, and let me know if this weekly drivel bothers you and you want off my email list.  Cheers: Tom

Tom Bearss, President, Delta Naturalists Society

eBird list from Anne Murray will be posted here soon!

Posted in *DNCB, 104 Street, Black-bellied Plover, Boundary Bay, California Gull, Least Sandpiper, Semipalmated Plover, Western Sandpiper, Willow Flycatcher | Leave a comment

DNCB Outing No. 2019-34 to Maplewood Flats Conservation Area

Seventeen DNCBers enjoyed a warm, sunny Wednesday morning wandering the trails of Maplewood Flats Conservation Area in North Vancouver.  We saw some neat species, met some neat folk, and had an enjoyable pub lunch. Check out the photo evidence on our DNCB Flickr site (more coming).

Ten of us car-pooled nicely in two vehicles from Petra’s at 7:30 am.  I was in Roger’s “shortcut” van and we drove the “quick” way through downtown Vancouver to avoid the morning rush hour highway traffic.  We arrived at the Maplewood Flats Nature Hut at 8:40 am, predictably 15 minutes after everyone else.  We all bonded for several minutes before Noreen took the Group Photo in front of the Feeder area.

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DNCB at Maplewood Flats – photo by Noreen Rudd

Lots of finch, sparrow (including a Fox Sparrow) and woodpecker activity at the feeders.  While identifying the American Goldfinches a warbler slipped into view, and it was a gorgeous male Townsend’s Warbler, probably my Bird of the Day.

We took the trail to the mudflats where the Purple Martin boxes on the pylons were full of activity.  The tide was way out but we also saw Mew and Glaucous-winged Gulls in the distance, and a flock of Common Mergansers.  Both Pelagic and Double-crested Cormorants were diving.  The Osprey nest was empty, but Marylile said that the single young Osprey had successfully fledged.  A Spotted Sandpiper was bobbing along the shore and some saw other smaller sandpipers (Peeps?) and Black Oystercatchers.  Common Ravens and a Red-tailed Hawk gave us fly-pasts.

We walked the inland trails and I missed seeing the Western Tanagers and the Yellow Warblers because the Blackberries were in perfect bloom and were a delicious breakfast.  Fresh Bear scat on the trail showed that a Black Bear was also recently enjoying these blackberries.  We regularly saw LBJ (little bird) activity in the tops of the trees but had difficulty with species identification.  Interestingly, while looking at Bushtits and Chickadees, Tony showed me a photo and it was a Black-throated Gray Warbler, another of our Target birds.  David’s eBird list below indicates 30 species seen today.

When we got back to the new Nature Pavilion at 11:30 am, the Wild Bird Trust of BC just finished their meeting and we met President Irwin Oostindie, Conservation Area Manager Ernie Kennedy, and our good friend Vice President Jude Grass.  We got to tour the building and the gallery of beautiful Nature Paintings.  Then it was lunch time at the nearby Maplewood Taphouse.  Nine of us endured a bit of a wait as Chris was the sole server, but it was worth the wait as everyone enjoyed their lunch, especially me and my Beef Stroganoff with two sleeves of Deep Cove Lager, on special and extremely reasonably priced (i.e. cheap).

Roger got us back to Tsawwassen around 2:30 pm; I snoozed most of the way to the drone of ILB Tony’s incessant rambling drivel.  It was another awesome DNCB outing.

The seventeen were: Roger drove our Organizer Terry, Ladner Pam, ILB (Indian Land Baron) Tony M, Margaretha S and me, David & Noreen took Anita DD and our Flickr guru Glen. VanCity Lidia, Kirsten W, Ladner Bryan & Masae, North Van’s Richard, “welcome back” Marylile, and “drop-in” Debbi H, all met us at the park entrance.

Next Wednesday, August 21, we’ll leave Petra’s at 7:30 am for the Heritage AirPark at 104th St to walk the Boundary Bay dike trail.  Others can meet us at the AirPark around 8:00 am.

Delta Nats will also have our Display at two events on Sunday, August 18; the Garlic Fest & Raptor Show at Terra Nova Park in Richmond, and the Ladner Animal Expo at Memorial Park, both events go from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm.  Join us at one or both.

Check out more info on our outings and events, plus other reports and photos on 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 (overly keen with this prompt report on this morning’s outing)

North Vancouver–Maplewood Conservation Area,
Aug 14, 2019 8:45 AM – 11:38 AM
3.42 kilometer(s)
30 species (+5 other taxa)

Canada Goose  9
Mallard  5
Common Merganser  55
duck sp.  4
Anna’s Hummingbird  1
hummingbird sp.  1
peep sp.  5
Spotted Sandpiper  3
Mew Gull  12
Glaucous-winged Gull  2
gull sp.  X
Double-crested Cormorant  9
cormorant sp.  9
Great Blue Heron  3
Bald Eagle  1
Red-tailed Hawk  1
Downy Woodpecker  6
Northern Flicker  1     Heard
Red-eyed Vireo  1
Northwestern Crow  16
Common Raven  3
Black-capped Chickadee  17
Purple Martin  X     About 100
Bushtit  11
Brown Creeper  1
American Robin  1
Cedar Waxwing  1
House Finch  1
American Goldfinch  6
Spotted Towhee  4
Yellow Warbler  1
Black-throated Gray Warbler  2
Townsend’s Warbler  1
Western Tanager  2
Black-headed Grosbeak  1     Heard

Posted in *DNCB, Black Oystercatcher, Black-throated Grey Warbler, Maplewood Flats, Mew Gull, Pelagic Cormorant, Purple Martin, Red-tailed Hawk, Spotted Sandpiper, Townsend's Warbler, Western Tanager, Yellow Warbler | Leave a comment

DNCB Outing No. 2019-33 to Burnaby Lake

On Wednesday morning, twenty-one DNCBers enjoyed a glorious and productive walk around Burnaby Lake Regional Park.  Check out the beaut photos of the birds (some rare), animals, flowers and people on our DNCB Flickr site.

Some left Petra’s at 7:30 am and, following Roger’s infamous, circuitous “short cut” through Burnaby, we all met at the park’s Nature House at 8:35 am.  The surrounding beautiful blooming flower garden, bees, Tree Frog, and both Anna’s and Rufous Hummingbirds at the feeder, were all exciting entertainment as Jim took the Group Photo.

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DNCB at Burnaby Lake Nature House – photo by Jim Kneesch

We started our walk toward the Piper Spit lookout and immediately found the famous male Mandarin Duck posing on a branch with some plumage-changing Wood Ducks.  This probable escapee that’s been there for almost two years was not in breeding plumage, but easily recognizable.  Also there, among the Canada Geese, was a sole White-fronted Goose, and a white domestic goose.  Further along, about 20 Long-billed Dowitchers were feeding among the woodies and mallards.

At the Lookout, the main attraction was the Burnaby Lake “Zamboni”, with four operators, clearing a path through the expanding Lily pads for the kayakers and canoers.  A Merlin gave a neat fly-past, scaring a couple of Rock Pigeons.  Then we began our walk, first around the Piper Mill loop trail, then along the Brunette Headwaters trail to the Cariboo Dam.  Although David only recorded 30 species on eBird as seen today (see list below), we had some good up-close-and-personal sightings including: Willow Flycatchers, Chestnut-backed Chickadees, Belted Kingfisher (f), Song Sparrow feeding a Brown-headed Cowbird, Brown Creepers, Bewick’s Wren (David also saw a Marsh Wren), and Bushtits.  Lots of woodpecker activity, and we heard the Pileated, but I didn’t see it nor a Red-bellied Sapsucker.  We were blanked too on the resident American Dippers that we usually see in the fish ladder at the dam.

We got back to the Nature House around 11:30 am, right on time to go for lunch at the Burnaby Golf Club.  Ten of us enjoyed this beaut setting and my Steak and Chips (I splurged) with a special Steamworks craft Lager was delicious.  Others enjoyed their meals too, but it was almost two hours long with the other retirement and large family parties also being served.  At 2:30 pm, Roger dropped me off at the Ladner Gymnastics Centre in time to watch Juliette finishing her Summer Master Class session.  Another awesome DNCB Day.

The 21 were: Roger drove Mike B, Terry, PB Lorna and me, David & Noreen had Ladner Pam & Anita, Jim K had Chris and Glen, local experts Marion, sisters Pat & Maureen met us there as did Richmond Brian, VanCity Lidia, Langley Bob, Ladner’s Bryan & Masae, and Alberto & Pascale showed up for a few fleeting moments.

Next Wednesday, August 12, we will leave Petra’s at 7:30 am for Maplewood Flats in North Vancouver, meeting others at the Nature Hut at 2645 Dollarton Hwy about 8:30 am (note change).

For more info on our outings, reports, photos and other Delta Nats info, see our website.  As always, your comments are encouraged, 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

eBird List by Davis Hoar
Burnaby Lake–Piper Spit, Metro Vancouver, British Columbia, CA
Aug 7, 2019 8:23 AM – 11:43 AM
Protocol: Traveling 5.39 kilometer(s)
30 species

Greater White-fronted Goose  1     Known. Photo
Canada Goose  42
Wood Duck  14
Mandarin Duck  1     Known resident. Photo
Mallard  19
Common Merganser  1
Rock Pigeon (Feral Pigeon)  6
Anna’s Hummingbird  4
Rufous Hummingbird  1
Long-billed Dowitcher  19
Great Blue Heron  1
Belted Kingfisher  1
Downy Woodpecker  1
Pileated Woodpecker  1     Heard by several but not seen
Merlin  1
Willow Flycatcher  8
Hutton’s Vireo  1     Heard
Black-capped Chickadee  13
Chestnut-backed Chickadee  4
Bushtit  8
Brown Creeper  5
Marsh Wren  1
Bewick’s Wren  4
Cedar Waxwing  1
House Finch  1
White-crowned Sparrow  4
Song Sparrow  3
Spotted Towhee  7
Red-winged Blackbird  1
Brown-headed Cowbird  1

Posted in *DNCB, Burnaby Lake, Long-billed Dowitcher, Mandarin Duck, Merlin, Pileated Woodpecker, Tree Frog, White-fronted Goose, Willow Flycatcher | Leave a comment

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.

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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

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 | Leave a comment

DNCB Outing No. 2019-31 to Iona Regional Park

Photos by Glen Bodie (GB), David Hoar (DH), Noreen Rudd (NR), Roger Meyer (RM), Terry Carr (TC), Sabine Decamp (SD)

Seventeen DNCBers enjoyed another glorious Wednesday morning outing at Iona Regional Park.  We saw some neat stuff, as attested by the many beaut photos, some even by Newbies, on our DNCB Flickr site.  The people and plant photos are brilliant too.

Six of us left Petra’s at 7:30 am (Terry & I in my son’s Jeep “toy”), and met the others at the Iona parking lot around 8:00 am.  Metro Vancouver’s Melanie Blendel welcomed and briefed us on what’s happening at the park, and some of the neat species that had bred there this Spring (e.g. Common Nighthawks, at least 5 pair of Yellow-headed Blackbirds, Spotted Sandpipers, etc.)  She also confirmed, that, although work was still in progress, the gate to the sewage ponds was not padlocked (thankfully).

Although the tide was way out, we decided to check out the beach before entering the park trails.  Good decision.  Two brilliant Long-billed Dowitchers were feeding close to shore.  And hundreds of Peeps, mostly Western Sandpipers, were flitting and feeding nearby.  Roger and others were able to photograph a Least and Pectoral Sandpiper (yellow legs) among them.  We heard Spotted Sandpipers, and Killdeer were accommodating too.

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Lots of Gulls, mostly Ring-billed, and Great Blue Herons around too.

2019-31_Iona Gang_noreen

DNCB at Iona Regional Park – photo by Noreen Rudd

Following Noreen’s obligatory Group Photo back at the parking lot, we took the inland trail between the ponds.  Lots of Swallows (mostly Barn and Tree, some on second clutches), Finches (House and American Goldfinches)

and Sparrows (Song, White-crowned) in the bushes among the tasty Blackberries (my breakfast dessert).  We saw several Warblers and our photogs were even able to capture stunning shots of Common Yellowthroats, Yellow, Yellow-rumped and Orange-crowned.

Orange-crowned_j_TC

Orange-crowned Warbler juv. (TC)

Not many ducks on the ponds; someone saw a Hooded Merganser.  David reported 36 species seen on his eBird List (see below) for this Iona outing.

We entered the back gate to the sewage ponds and there wasn’t a lot of activity here either.  I couldn’t even find a Gadwall among the Mallards.  We did see two Spotted Sandpipers.  My Bird of the Day was an American Kestrel that flew, and hovered, above us (nice shots on Flickr).

A lone young bird was in the Bald Eagle’s nest, watch closely by the parents.  Lots of Marsh Wrens buzzing.

We exited the sewage ponds and followed the Fraser River trail.  Purple Martins were hawking insects above us, and some were feeding late clutches in their pylon nest boxes.  Melanie said it’s been a super year for the PUMA colony here.

Martin_DH.jpg

Purple Maretin (DH)

The Barn Owl box apparently had three young too.  Nearby we saw the Willow Flycatchers in the same tree we have seen them on previous Iona outings.  River Otters were evident too with their scat on the trail, as were Coyotes.  It’s always kind of neat too to watch the tug boats working the log booms along the river here.

It was 11:30 am when we got back to the parking lot; perfect time to head to the Flying Beaver for lunch.  Eight of us had the best seats in the place on the patio over the river, and my Red Truck lager made the venue even better.  The Beef Dip sandwich was average, but I didn’t mind; the conversation was almost stimulating.  We left there shortly after 1:00 pm and I was able to stop at COSTCO on the way home and spend the usual 300 bucks for a jug of milk.  It was another awesome DNCB outing.

The seventeen were: Roger M, David & Noreen, Colin & Stephanie, Marion & Kirsten, Glen B, our Organizer Terry, Johnny Mac, Newbies Beatrice Mac & Sabine, Ladner Pam, sophomore Richmond’s Doc Christy, Jonathan w/o Lorraine, and me.

Next Wednesday, July 31, we’ll leave Petra’s at 7:30 am for Blackie Spit, meeting at the park parking lot around 8:00 am.

For info on our outings, plus reports and photos of previous outings (e.g. San Juan Islands cruise), I urge you to check out our website.  As always, your comments are invited, and let me know if my weekly verbiage annoys you and you want off my email list.  Cheers: Tom

Tom Bearss, President Delta Naturalists Society  

eBird list by David Hoar

Canada Goose  86
Mallard  21
Hooded Merganser  1
Killdeer  5
Least Sandpiper  X
Pectoral Sandpiper  1
Western Sandpiper  X     Thousands
Long-billed Dowitcher  2
Spotted Sandpiper  2
Ring-billed Gull  5     Many more gulls on outer banks beyond scope id
Glaucous-winged Gull  X
Great Blue Heron  23
Northern Harrier  1
Bald Eagle  5     One good sized young
Northern Flicker  1
American Kestrel  1
Willow Flycatcher  3
Northwestern Crow  32
Purple Martin  12
Tree Swallow  X     Lots
Barn Swallow  X     Lots
Black-capped Chickadee  5
Swainson’s Thrush  1
American Robin  3
European Starling  20
Cedar Waxwing  6
House Finch  6
American Goldfinch  5
White-crowned Sparrow  22
Song Sparrow  3
Spotted Towhee  7
Red-winged Blackbird  5
Orange-crowned Warbler  2
Common Yellowthroat  5
Yellow Warbler  2
Yellow-rumped Warbler  1

Posted in *DNCB, American Kestrel, Bald Eagle, Hooded Merganser, Iona, Least Sandpiper, Long-billed Dowitcher, Orange-crowned Warbler, Pectoral Sandpiper, Purple Martin, Sewage Lagoons, Spotted Sandpiper, Western Sandpiper, Willow Flycatcher, Yellow Warbler, Yellow-headed Blackbird, Yellow-rumped Warbler | Leave a comment

DNCB Outing No. 2019-30 to Point Roberts, WA

Terry, Roger, Mike & Tom didn’t stick around at Petra’s, as it was pouring with rain.  Glen says, “I got up at 6am and it was pouring just north of the border, so I didn’t bother even thinking about heading to Petra’s or Pt Bob.”  It was assumed that it was “a rain & wind cancellation”.

Later, Bryan Debou sent Tom a report of the birds seen by himself and three brave ladies.

This is Bryan’s “one-time-only, inadequate and reluctant, trip report”:
There’s no group photo as there was hardly a group (ended up with Lorna, Margarita, Gabriel & myself) and no photographer.

Here is a very sloppy spotting count (call it un-Avant-ful.. plus my binos started to fog so I gave up on them):

Lighthouse Park:
25 Cormorants (dunno which) plus
20 Gulls (dunno which) on an offshore baitball
4 Thrushes of some kind (likely Robins)
6 Crows
2 Spotted Towhees
4 Kildeer
2 Harriers
(4 Rabbits & a Sea lion)

Marina Beach:
1 Kildeer
1 Redtail Hawk

Lily Pt North Lookout:
7 Bald Eagles

Maple Beach:
64 Great Blue Herons (really)
5 Bald Eagles
5 yellow birds (probably Goldfinches)

Lunchwise, everyone left (Lorna hitched a ride with Margarita) and I had a tasty foil-wrapped breakfast burrito from the Shell station.


Next week, Wednesday July 24, is at Iona Regional Park.  Carpool from Petra’s at 7:30 am; others can meet this group at the washrooms parking lot around 8:30 am.

Posted in *DNCB | Leave a comment