2017-18A Mother’s Day Tea with the Birds

Someone must have appeased the weather gods; Mother’s Day was a bit cool and windy, but the sun was shining, making it a very pleasant day for the annual Tea with the Birds.

Estimates varied but there were 80 to 100 visitors enjoying the displays and refreshments and 40 or more on the birding walk led by Tom Bearss.

Samantha Woods, Metro Vancouver Parks Interpreter, Drew Bondar and his colleague from Delta Farmland and Wildlife Trust and Catherine Jardine from Birds Studies Canada all had interesting displays related to the theme of Stopping Points: Helping Birds along the Way.  People were captivated by the Goshawk and Harris’s Hawk from Raptor Ranch.  Delta Naturalists Society display, manned by Terry Carr, Jim Kneesch, Chris McVittie, Anita DenDikken, Valerie Fuller and Valerie Whitlam was as educational and entertaining as always. Boundary Bay Park Association’s Volunteer Coordinator Justine Nelson was showcasing the new BBPA poster board and volunteer brochure she created.

Don Brodeur dropped by with his Model T which also got lots of attention.

Metro Vancouver staff, led by Jennifer Cote, were efficient, cheerful and helpful and BBPA volunteer JoAnne McAllister and new BBPA member Lauris Williams were a great help, particularly when it came to serving refreshments.

The only thing which could be improved in future is the visibility of a couple of the displays.  The two which were around the corner of the porch probably didn’t get their fair share of visitors.  If the weather permits, we could look at having more displays on the lawn.

See Jim Kneesch and Terry Carr’s photos at:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/146316303@N06/albums/with/72157680698160174

https://www.flickr.com/photos/terrancecarr/albums/72157680673708964

E. Perrin

Posted in *BBPA, *DNCB, Cammidge House, Mother's Day | Leave a comment

DNCB Outing No. 2017-18 to Queen Elizabeth Park, Vancouver

DNCB at Queen Elizabeth Park (RM)

More photos of this Outing are on our Flickr website at: www.flickr.com/groups/dncb, then click the magnifying glass icon in the “Photo Pool” row, and add 2017-18 to “flickr_search_dncb-photosDNCB Photos” in the Search box at the top of the page.

We had 19 participants (names at end) enjoying a, finally, rainless Wednesday morning at spectacular Queen Elizabeth Park in downtown Vancouver. The gardens were gorgeous and we saw some neat birds too. Check out the beaut photo evidence on our Flickr site at: www.flickr.com/groups/dncb, then click the magnifying glass icon in the “Photo Pool” row, and add 2017-18 to “DNCB Photos” in the Search box at the top of the page.

Eleven of us carpooled nicely from Petra’s in three vehicles at 7:30 am (Glen B chauffeuring Margaretha’s van, Roger Two, and D&N driving). The drive into the city was relatively smooth , for a change, through rush hour traffic, and we got to the Golf Course parking lot at the Park before 8:30 am. The masses were waiting there for us, underneath an active Bushtit nest watching the parents going in and out. We introduced the Newbies, annual visitor Lyle from Hamilton Ontario, Aussie Nance’s sister Vickie, returnee Richmond Bill, and the Vagabond Roger M (we never know where he is going or coming from). A nice lady took our Group Photo (without time-challenged sisters Pat & Maureen) outside the Golf Shop office; no Hummingbird feeders hanging there, although we did see several during the morning, both Anna’s and Rufous.

We started our walk among the trees around the golf course. There was lots of Warbler activity. We got good looks at Wilson’s and Yellow-rumped (mostly Audubon), but couldn’t identify Townsend’s, Nashville, MacGillivray’s, or Orange-crowned that were reported there this week. Several Nats got nice photos of a Black-throated Gray Warbler later and Dave Boyd saw a Tennessee Warbler near the Love Lock Structure. Lots of Warbling Vireos around too, but we couldn’t find the Cassin’s (or Hutton’s) Vireo. Three Olive-sided Flycatchers surprisingly posed on a high tree top. While watching the Flycatchers, an American Kestrel gave a fly-past. Vaux Swifts were high in the clouds.

We continued circling the park walking around the restaurant; everyone was bubbling over about how beautiful were all the different gardens. Longtime Gardener Ned said they were 9 days late blooming this year, but we picked a perfect day as everything seemed to be in full bloom and in spectacular colour. Nat David was particularly good at identifying many of the trees, especially those with name plaques (e.g. Handkerchief Tree). In the “bowl” we saw the nesting Anna’s Hummingbirds, feeding two relatively large babies in the nest. At the Love Lock Structure, the nesting Red-breasted Nuthatches were around, but only fleetingly. Roger pointed out the Cooper’s Hawk nest, and some could see activity in it, but I gave up after staring at it from all sides for 20 minutes. They were either very deep in the nest, or I need glasses.

In the pond, a pair of Mallards was shepherding about 7 ducklings. Nearby, while looking at Warbling Vireos and Hummers, a Western Tanager popped into Liz’s view. Then there were at least 8 Tanagers flitting in the tall Cedars, for brilliant views and photos. So there was a lot of excitement this morning for our Photogs with not only the beautiful bird sightings, but also the dazzling flowers, the spectacular views of the city and mountains, and of course, the casual shots of DNCBers, if you can catch them when they’re not chatting.

Around 11:30 am, we returned to the vehicles and 13 of us decided to have lunch at the Locus Restaurant on Main Street.  A great decision as the meals, breaky or lunch, were delish, and cheap, which we really like. Of course, the Jug of 1516 Beer went very well with my Elk (yes Elk) Sandwich, Home-made Veggie Soup and Salad. Another awesome, and dry, DNCB outing. We 19 were: our Phantom/Vagabond Leader Roger M,  Terry C, Chris M, Jim K, David & Noreen, Aussie Nance and Vickie, Richmond Brian A, North Delta Liz, sisters Maureen & Pat, our new Social member Valerie, Roger Two, Hamilton Lyle, Margaretha, Richmond Bill, Chauffeur Glen B and me.

Next Wednesday, May 17, we will leave Petra’s at 7:30 am for Colony Farm (Lazuli Buntings?). We plan to meet at the CF Community Garden parking lot around 8:30 am, depending on traffic. Don’t forget Mother’s Day this Sunday, 12:30 to 2:30 pm, with our annual International Migratory Bird Day event at Cammidge House, with Tea, Displays, and a Bird/Nature Walk in Boundary Bay Regional Park. For more info on these and other Nats events, and to see reports on earlier DNCB outings, including two gems on our last two outings to Deer Lake in Burnaby and Tennant Lake in Washington, by Marion S and White Rock Al respectively, check out our website at: www.dncb.wordpress.com.   And, as always, let me know if these laborious and verbose ramblings are too annoying and you want off my List. Cheers: Tom

Tom Bearss, President, Delta Naturalists Society

Posted in *DNCB, Black-throated Grey Warbler, Olive-sided Flycatcher, Queen Elizabeth Park, Warbling Vireo, Western Tanager, Wilson’s Warbler, Yellow-rumped Warbler | Leave a comment

DNCB Outing No. 2017-17 to Tennant Lake, Washington

DNCB at Tennant Lake (DH)

More photos of this Outing are on our Flickr website at: www.flickr.com/groups/dncb, then click the magnifying glass icon in the “Photo Pool” row, and add 2017-17 to “flickr_search_dncb-photosDNCB Photos” in the Search box at the top of the page.

Ten weather-wary DNC Birding Brigadiers gathered with umbrellas in hand on a wet and nebulous morning at the Blaine Harbor parking lot for a second outing to Tennant Lake near Ferndale WA. After a quick check along the boat docks which netted only Horned and Red-necked Grebes, the first group portrait was snapped and then the convoy of vehicles headed south down the rain drenched Interstate 5. While eight of the participants arrived at the destination within 20 minutes, two drivers did not follow directions, took wrong turns and promptly got lost; one visited Terrell Lake and the other got to explore Ferndale. However in the end, the original group made up of Tom, Noreen, David, Chris, Mike, Terry, Roger M, Roger Two, Ladner Jack and WR Al got back together and was greeted by Sisters Maureen and Pat who had been waiting patiently at the Tennant Lake parking lot.

The weather had improved to the point where umbrellas and rain gear could be discarded.

While some individuals stopped to touch, smell and enjoy the beauty of the more than 200 different plants in the fragrance garden, others scrambled up the 15 metres to the top of the observation tower to view the lake and a couple observed several Yellow-rumped Warblers flittering about in an adjacent bush below. Then it was off on the path through the wetlands where Marsh Wrens were rattling, Red-winged Blackbirds were squeaking and Goldfinches and Yellowthroats were singing. Arriving on the observation platform of the elevated boardwalk, the troop espied a partly submerged Great Big Heron attempting to spear aquatic morsels. A number of Coots, Wood Ducks and Buffleheads were paddling in the lake covered with Water Lilies while Tree and Violet-green Swallows were catching insects over the water.

Observed from the narrow boardwalk loop, which meanders for about a kilometre just centimetres above the water through swamp and marsh habitats along the edge of the lake, were a Yellow Warbler, a male Rufous Hummer, a Pileated and then a Downy Woodpecker. A Baldy was perched on the very top of a wildlife tree guarding its massive nest in a Poplar, and a Purple Finch was photographed shouting at the top of its lungs. However, the highlight of the day had to be a Cinnamon Teal pair seen on the way back to the starting point at the Interpretive Center.

A ramble along the Hovander Homestead Trail, which borders and then crosses a slough, netted the expected four species of sparrows. At two locations, water flowing across the path forced everyone to walk the plank with limited success – there were a number of splashes. At the Heritage Farm, domestic geese, bunnies, chickens and sheep were about, and Cowbirds were busy beside their grazing four-legged namesakes in a grassy meadow. Some in our group managed to reach the Nooksack River to report that is was flowing too fast for any waterfowl.

After marching a distance of about 3.5 km at the two venues, all twelve participants thought that lunch at the Chihuahua Restaurant in nearby Ferndale was in order. Although only 30 or so avian species were observed and photographed and a couple of others were heard only, everyone had to agree that it was another great DNCB expedition. After all, the weather had improved from cool and soggy to almost good, the trees, bushes and wetland- and water plants were metamorphosing into their finest colours, the scenery was lovely and the Mexican food tasted awesome.

Report by Al Schulze

Next Wednesday, May 10, our outing will be to Queen Elizabeth Park in Vancouver. We meet at and leave from Petra’s at 7:30 am and expect to be at the QE park parking lot by the Golf Course around 8:15 – 8:30 am, depending upon traffic.

Posted in Tennant Lake | Leave a comment

DNCB Outing No. 2017-16 to Deer Lake, Burnaby

DNCB at Deer Lake (DH)

More photos at our DNCB Flickr site

Most of the photos of this Outing are on our Flickr website at: www.flickr.com/groups/dncb, then click the magnifying glass icon in the “Photo Pool” row, and add 2017-16 to “flickr_search_dncb-photosDNCB Photos” in the Search box at the top of the page.

24 people met at the Royal Oak parking lot to explore Deer Lake on a nice day—no rain and sun eventually appearing.  A pair of Wood Ducks entertained the early birds while we waited for the rest of the group to arrive.

During our time, we saw or heard many commonly found birds, American Robin, Song Sparrow, Black-capped Chickadee, Spotted Towhee, Crow, Northern Flicker, which I will not mention again.

On the first leg of the walk, we found Yellow-rumped Warblers, Audubon sub-species, Orange-crowned Warblers, Ruby-crowned Kinglets, Pine Siskins (an identification challenge solved by Kirsten), 6 Cowbirds (thanks Brian), and eventually a small flycatcher, which again presented an ID challenge.  After much debate and switching back and forth, we consulted our guru Anne Murray, who thought it was likely a Pacific-slope Flycatcher (vs Hammond’s) based on pictures of the bill size, but she said that the only way to be certain with Flycatchers is to hear them.  We heard Common Yellowthroat and Black-throated Gray Warblers in this section but were unable to see them.

The next section which we passed by twice, included the lake, which held Double-crested Cormorants, Ring-necked Ducks, Gadwall, Mallards, Wood Ducks, Goldeneye, and American Wigeon.  We also saw 3 Wood Ducks up very high in a tree, which was an unusual sighting.  A large turtle siting on a log on first pass of this section, became 4 turtles on the way back, all Red Sliders, and all doing very well in this lake.

As we entered a wooded section, someone spotted a very large bird landing in the conifers there, so we spent some time searching for a Barred Owl that had been seen close to there a day previous.  No luck, but we did produce a female Downy Woodpecker, a Huttons’s Vireo, Brown Creeper, Bushtits and some heard a Bewick’s Wren and Golden-crowned Kinglets.

On to the Burnaby Great Blue Heronry, which is busy with numerous nesting herons, some with hatched young and some without. Others of the group were distracted by a pair of mating raccoons up high on a branch.  A Pacific Wren provided enthusiastic background music for the raccoons.

We made our way back to the west end of the lake, passing a beautiful male Ring-necked Pheasant, who was happily feeding and remarkably unbothered by the many photographers who were taking its picture.  I did not know that male pheasants in breeding plumage have “horns”.   Two Canada Geese foraged in the field across from him.

Along the west end of the lake, a male Anna’s Hummingbird sat in his usual perch in a tree that has been occupied by a Hummer for years. Several swallows, mostly Tree Swallows, were hawking insects along the lake edge, but Tom had seen a Violet-green Swallow earlier.  A work crew with loud hedge trimmers likely scared off other birds that locate in that area, but after they left, we found Savannah Sparrows singing and flitting from tree to tree as we made our way westward. The walk was quiet with the occasional Orange-crowned Warbler and Song Sparrow heard.

Heading northward, we spotted a Red-tailed Hawk sitting high in a snag.  The Barn Owl boxes were noted, but no owls seen.  At least two Common Yellowthroat Warblers were heard in this area.  As we turned westward, Tom found several American Goldfinches.  We heard another Black-throated Gray Warbler, and some gave chase until they managed to spot it.

As it was close to noon, we called it a day, and part of the group went to a local eatery, where they satisfied their hunger and thirst.

DNCB at lunch (GB)

Report by Marion Shikaze

Next Wednesday, May 3 meet at Petra’s at 7:30, or carpool at 8 am from the border parking lot at the border (behind the Duty Free); first, Blaine Marina (8:15 am) for a quick look (eared grebes in breeding plumage?), then 20 minutes on the freeway to Tennant Lake.  Lunch at Mexican Restaurant in Ferndale.

Also, don’t forget our DNS monthly Meeting on May 3 at , guest speakers David Hoar & Noreen Rudd, with a presentation on Birding in Costa Rica at Benediction Lutheran Church.

Posted in *DNCB, Black-throated Grey Warbler, Deer Lake, Hutton's Vireo, Orange-crowned Warbler, Pacific-slope Flycatcher, Ring-necked Duck, Ring-necked Pheasant, Yellow-rumped Warbler | Leave a comment

DNCB Outing No. 2017-15 to Ladner Parks

DH_DNCB_group1.jpg

DNCB at Ladner Harbour (DH)

Photos by Terry Carr (TC), Glen Bodie (GB), Brian Avent (BA), Chris McVittie (CMcV), David Hoar (DH) & Roger Meyer (RM).
More photos at our DNCB Flickr site

Thirteen DNCBers enjoyed a surprisingly almost-rainfree and birdy Wednesday morning wandering through a few parks in Ladner.  Enjoy the close-up-and-personal photos on our Flickr website at: www.flickr.com/groups/dncb, then click the magnifying glass icon in the “Photo Pool” row, and add 2017-15 to “flickr_search_dncb-photosDNCB Photos” in the Search box at the top of the page.

Six guys met at Petra’s at 7:30 am and car-pooled to our first destination Ladner Harbour Park.  Roger Two drove Terry C, David H and Mike B, and Chris came with me in the Jeep.  We arrived at the Park parking lot around 8:00 am where Roger M, Johnny Mac, sisters Pat & Maureen, Glen B and Richmond Brian were waiting and enjoying the Warblers singing in the trees (Time-challenged Margaretha came fashionably later to make the 13).

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Photo by Roger Meyer

Roger took the Group Photo of us surrounding the Playground Slide, with the resident Pussy.  Many Yellow-rumped Warblers (mostly Audubon’s in this park) were flitting about and we got good looks as the leaves have not yet fully developed.

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We also may have heard other species, Yellow, Wilson’s, Orange-crowned and Common Yellowthroats, but couldn’t actually spot any.  Kinglets were there too and we recognized Ruby-crowned.

DH_RUKI

Ruby-crowned Kinglet (DH)

Lots of Bushtits around, some nesting and others collecting nest material. It was kind of a “nest day” for us as we not only saw a nice hanging Bushtit nest, but also a Northern Flicker expanding its nest cavity and an American Robin sitting on a nest under the picnic shelter.

We followed the Swenson trail, avoiding the many dog walkers, and were surprised by several Brown Creepers “creeping” up various tree trunks, some also collecting nesting material.

There was at least one Golden crowned Kinglet in the area of the creepers.  Lots of Wrens singing too, both Pacific and Marsh.  We walked out to the shoreline at a few spots and found the one Greater Yellowlegs.  At the water’s edge were Green-winged Teal, a couple of Buffleheads and American Wigeon and Mallards.  A flock of about 20 Dunlin gave a nice fly-past.  A few Hummers around, probably both Anna’s and Rufous.

Downy Woodpeckers posed too.  The park paths were easily traversed and the marsh area was packed down and dry (low tide) so we could access and get good views of the river that we normally don’t get towards the Summer.  It’s a gorgeous area; Pat pointed out the “Lions” behind Cypress Mountain in the distance.

Continuing on to the infamous non-Lookout behind the off-leash dog park, more warblers, and lots of Swallows hawking insects.

BA_BASW_fly

Barn Swallow (BA)

We saw Tree, Violet-green and finally a few Barn Swallows.  Probably other species too.  Roger One snuck off on us and scared up the Wilson’s Snipe.  David saw the Snipe, but it was a fly-by view twice.  By the time the rest of us found Roger, the Snipe was long gone.

But we did get great looks and photos of two Lincoln’s Sparrows in a marsh bush.  We clearly saw several Sparrow species this day, Song, Fox, Golden- and White-crowned as well.  And brilliant Finches too, both House and American Goldfinches.

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Before leaving Ladner Harbour Park, we wandered over to the adjacent provincial Wildlife Management Area but couldn’t see any development of the new bridge and boardwalk that is apparently planned for this area.

Next stop was the park on Ferry Road where the stream crosses from the marsh, it may be called Earle Burnett Park.  Anyhow, we went to the little bridge where Mike “jimmied” the gate so we could get through to view the many Wood Ducks in the creek.

This has been a good nesting area for Wood Ducks, however residents have told me that they are not successful because of predation from Racoons and Otters.  We moved on to the next park, and followed the trail along the slough through the condos to Cove Links Golf Course.  Lots of Warblers here too, interestingly more Myrtle than Audubon’s Yellow-rumped.  Roger regaled us here with his infamous historic feat of getting a “House Birdie” on the 4th hole of the Cove Links course; his errant tee shot bounced off a house roof onto the green.

It started to sprinkle (why not?  It always rains on DNCB days) as we wandered back to Ferry Road.  It was about 11:30 am and by “almost-democratic vote”, we decided to abort a visit to South Arm Marsh Wildlife Park and go directly to Speed’s Pub in Ladner for lunch.

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DNCB at Speed’s (DH)

Good decision, as twelve of us (including Jim K, a Drop-in from the Probus Candidates meeting) bonded nicely and had tasty dishes at very reasonable prices.  I had Speed’s Club Sandwich with a Veggy Soup, of course with a couple of delectable pints of Okanagan 1516 Beer, on Special which I always appreciate.  It was another very pleasant DNCB outing, and I got home in time to rest before entertaining the grandkids while their parents took Dance Lessons.

Next Wednesday, April 26, we will have a special outing to Burnaby’s Deer Lake Park where Nat Marion Shikaze will lead our adventure.  We will leave Petra’s at 7:30 am and meet Marion at the Royal Oak Road parking lot at 8:15 am. Note: accessible only heading north off Royal Oak, on right.

Check out our website for more outing info, and reports and photos.

Sunday, April 23; the Bird Walk and Fish Release at North Delta’s Watershed Park, 11:30 am to 2:00 pm, and the Birds in Focus Photography Workshop at Cammidge House, 9:00 am to 1:00 pm.

As always, your comments are appreciated, and please tell me if these weekly missives are annoying and you want off my e-mail List.  Cheers: Tom (finally enjoying a gorgeous sunny Friday)

Tom Bearss, President, Delta Naturalists Society

Posted in *DNCB, Brown Creeper, Dunlin, Ladner Harbour Park, Ladner S.Arm Marsh, Lincoln’s Sparrow, Orange-crowned Warbler, Wilson's Snipe, Wilson’s Warbler, Yellow Warbler | Leave a comment

DNCB Outing No. 2017-14 to Brydon Lagoon, Hi-Knoll Park and Surrey Lake Park

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More photos at our DNCB Flickr site

For the umpteenth outing in a row, it poured rain, but 13 hardy DNCBers saw a lot of neat stuff on Wednesday at Brydon Lagoon and Hi-Knoll Park, then drove to Surrey Lake Park before lunch.  Check out the brilliant photos of flowers, folk and fowl on our Flickr site at: www.flickr.com/groups/dncb, then click the magnifying glass icon in the “Photo Pool” row, and add 2017-14 to “flickr_search_dncb-photosDNCB Photos” in the Search box at the top of the page.

Six of us left Petra’s at 7:30 am, carpooling nicely in two vehicles, David H took Valerie and Glen, Mike drove Terry and me.  We made good time and got to the Brydon Lagoon parking lot (near the Langley-Surrey border) at 8:15 am.  Sisters Pat & Maureen, Richmond Brian and Johnny Mac were waiting.  Our “Leaders” Ken & Anne and Rambling Roger made their guest appearances while we were on the trail.  While Glen (with his new camera) took the first of a few Group photos at the parking lot, we saw a couple of Green-winged Teal in the adjacent pond, and Glen heard a Common Yellowthroat.  We walked to the Lagoon and there was lots of neat stuff in it, in stunning breeding plumage, including; a pair of Common Goldeneye, both Common and Hooded Mergansers, Pied-billed Grebes, Gadwall, American Wigeon and Mallards.  Swallows were hawking insects over the water; we recognized Tree and Violet-green, Brian saw a Barn, but we weren’t good enough to identify Northern Rough-winged or other species.  Someone tried to shrink a Great Blue Heron into the oft-seen Green Heron, albeit unsuccessfully.

Yellow-rumped Warblers (Audubon’s with yellow throat) excited us as they flitted in the bushes, posing occasionally for good shots.  Three Sparrow species there too, Song, White- and Golden-crowned.  Neither Rufous nor Anna’s Hummingbirds were as common as usual there.  Of course, Rambling Roger (dressed like a Canary) saw the only Common Yellowthroat.  We trudged through the marsh mud, and crossed the Nicomekl River bridge to Hi-Knoll Park.  Here we saw our Destination Species, both White and even rarer Pink Fawn Lilies.  These wildflowers are apparently only found here and Vancouver Island.  Interestingly, Valerie advised that the name Fawn Lily is from the texture of their leaves which resemble a Fawn Deer.  Check out the photos.  We also saw lots of other beautiful flowers and blossoms, including Trilliums, Red Currant and Indian Plum blossoms, Skunk cabbage and Roger’s Lunch, Stinging Nettle.

It continued to rain, uncomfortably for a number of us who had inappropriate footwear.  We saw both Black-capped and Chestnut-backed Chickadees through our foggy bins.  We heard Pacific Wrens and a Pileated Woodpecker, saw Northern Flickers, but couldn’t find the Barred Owl.  We raced back to the parking lot, almost losing Valerie.  We passed Annabelle’s home on the Lagoon where only Red-winged Blackbirds were at her feeder with Eurasian Collared-Doves watching.

Not yet 11:00 am, we decided to add a visit to Surrey Lake Park before lunch.  Under Terry’s guidance, driving through Surrey subdivisions, we did the 10 minute drive in 30 minutes.  The Lake was quite productive for our 10 minute visit with a Belted Kingfisher, Lesser Scaup, Bufflehead, Pied-billed Grebes, American Coots, Northern Shovelers, an active Bald Eagles nest and other common stuff.

Nine of us stopped at the Big Ridge Brew Pub at 152nd and Highway 10 just before Noon.  For some, especially the soaked ones, the lunch stop was the hi-lite of the outing.  It was Asian Special Day and my Sweet & Sour Pork along with a pint of their flagship 152 Lager was perfect, and cheap too.  Despite the inclement weather, we were all very happy to have spent an almost-enjoyable morning together.

Next Wednesday, April 19, we will leave Petra’s at 7:30 am for Ladner Harbour Park, where we should be at 8:00 am.  We’ll visit other parks in Ladner, too.

Our Outing Destination List is changing, so for more up-to-date info check the 2017 DNCB Outings list on our website.

Also, our annual Birds in Focus Presentation evening is this Saturday, April 15 at 6:30 pm at the Tsawwassen Arts Centre.  Join us for the art & photography exhibit, plus Visual Presentations by three renowned wildlife photographers.

As always, your comments welcomed, and let me know if this drivel annoys you and you want off my List.  Cheers and Happy Easter: Tom

Tom Bearss, President, Delta Naturalists Society

Posted in *DNCB, Bald Eagle, Brydon Lagoon, Hi-Knoll Park, Hooded Merganser, Pied-billed Grebe, Pileated Woodpecker, Pink Fawn Lily, Surrey Lake, Trillium, White Fawn Lily, Yellow-rumped Warbler | Leave a comment

DNCB Outing No. 2017-13 to Iona Regional Park

More photos at our DNCB Flickr site

Twelve crazy birders braved the rain, again for the 5th consecutive outing, on a surprisingly very successful outing to Iona Regional Park.  Check out the photo evidence of Wednesday’s outing on our Flickr site at: www.flickr.com/groups/dncb, then click the magnifying glass icon in the “Photo Pool” row, and add 2017-13 to “flickr_search_dncb-photosDNCB Photos” in the Search box at the top of the page.

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DNCB at Iona RP (photo by Terry Carr)

Five of us (Anne, Terry, Mike, Moira and me) car-pooled at 7:30 am from Petra’s in two vehicles (bonus: one was electric) again in the pouring rain.  As usual on rainy days, traffic was very slow and we got to the Iona Park parking lot around 8:30 am.  Aussie Nance and her sister Newbie Vickie, Richmond’s Brian A, Marion and our fashion guru Roger were waiting patiently.  Sisters Pat and Maureen were late arrivals.

The excitement came early as Marion found the female Mountain Bluebird behind the washrooms.  It flitted from post to post to log, posing nicely for our photogs.  The tide was out but we could see the rafts of Northern Shovelers and American Wigeon.  A flock of Dunlin gave a flyby over the water.  We got the Bluebird, but didn’t see the other Target bird, Says Phoebe, seen earlier in the week.

We started our walk between the ponds toward the back of the park and the Sewage ponds.  Tonnes of Swallows hawking insects; we identified Tree and Violet-green, but couldn’t find any Barn, Cliff or Northern Rough-winged, but I’m guessing a few were there. Marsh Wrens were buzzing in the marshes, lots of Red-wing Blackbirds, but no Yellow-headed seen, yet.  We heard a Virginia Rail, and Brian saw a couple the day before.  Two pair, one of Ring-necked Ducks and another of Buffleheads, were cuddling in the north pond, but we didn’t see the normally present Pied-billed Grebes.  The Beaver’s lodge looked active, indeed they used a fresh Bird Nest Box (Peter’s?) and post as roof support.  Anna’s Hummingbirds were diving, and a gorgeous Rufous Hummingbird posed on post, flashing his iridescent gorge.  Lots of Warblers in the bushes too; mostly Yellow-rumped, but some saw an early arrived Orange-crowned.  No Common Yellowthroats seen or heard this morning.

After entering the back gate to the Sewage Lagoons, Roger took another Group Photo including late arrivers not in Terry’s shot taken at the start.

It’s Wet…so what! (photo by Roger Meyer) click on photo for large version

The ponds were loaded with waterfowl in beautiful breeding plumage.  Lesser Scaup (and, I think, some Greater too), Ring-necked Ducks, Northern Shovelers, Northern Pintail, Gadwall, a Green-winged Teal, American Wigeon and Mallards, American Coots too.  We had a lesson in Shorebird identification as a couple of Yellowlegs flew overhead, but following close examination the up-close-and-personal Dowitchers in the pond were Short-billed rather than Long-billed (although bill length is not a determining characteristic).  In the east pond, we found a Ruddy Duck among the Scaup; nice sighting.  One DNCB Dreamer spotted a Blue-winged Teal.  We missed the Cackling Goose among the Canada Geese in the work yard.  Killdeer were buzzing us, and Killdeer Custodian Mike found the nest and four eggs in the middle of the inner trail.  Hope they survive, but somehow I doubt it.  Last year we watched a Mink circling the Killdeer nest on another path.

While examining the Killdeer nest a Peregrine Falcon (possibly a Merlin) flew at us then veered away.  Lots of Bald Eagles around and some saw a Red-tailed Hawk.  I missed the Caspian Terns fly-by too.  Back in the Iona park the trees became alive with Kinglets.  It was exciting as I saw the colourful crowns of both Ruby-crowned and Golden-crowned.  We were blanked on Wilson’s Snipe, but saw brilliant American Goldfinches, Song and Golden-crowned Sparrows, and of course the other common stuff, Flickers, Towhees, a Crow on a nest, etc.  A few V’s of Snow Geese flew overhead, and we saw the flock of a few hundred landed on the north side of the Fraser.  Couldn’t find any Trumpeter Swans.

Back at the parking lot at about 11:15 am, after watching Brian feeding his pet Redwing in his hand, we decided to retire to the Flying Beaver for lunch.  Great decision.  Eight of us dried off and bonded, seated on the patio over the river, watching the sea planes and Cormorants.  Some had Kraft Dinner (I can’t believe it, my culinary specialty), and I had Fish and Chips with a delightful Sapporo Draught Beer. Another awesome DNCB outing.

Next Wednesday, April 12, we will leave Petra’s at 7:30 am for Brydon Lagoon & Hi Knoll Park on the Langley/Surrey border.  We expect to meet our Leaders and park Wildflower experts at 8:30 am at the Brydon Lagoon parking lot.  For more info, reports and photos, visit our website.

As always, comments welcome, and let me know if these reports are annoying and you want off my e-mail List.  Cheers: Tom

Tom Bearss, President, Delta Naturalists Society

Posted in *DNCB, Bald Eagle, Caspian Tern, Dunlin, Iona, Mountain Bluebird, Orange-crowned Warbler, Peregrine Falcon, Red-tailed Hawk, Ring-necked Duck, Ruddy Duck, Sewage Lagoons, Virginia Rail, Yellow-rumped Warbler | Leave a comment