DNCB Outing No. 2020-03 to Iona Regional Park

Twenty-four keeners enjoyed a fairly productive Tuesday morning in Iona Regional Park and the adjacent sewage ponds.  We only recorded 26 species (see David’s eBird list below), but saw tonnes of birds, and you can check out the brilliant photo evidence, including the Blue Goose, on our DNCB Flickr site.

Two vehicles left Petra’s at 7:30 am and the traffic to and through the tunnel was horrendous.  Some arrived at the Iona washroom parking lot before 8:00 am, others not until 8:45 am.  Surprisingly, the sun was out and it was relatively mild as we walked to the beach to check out the flock of Snow Geese.

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DNCB at Iona – photo by Glen Bodie

While taking the obligatory Group Photo, another huge flock cruised in right in front of us, and then newbie Christine spotted the Blue Goose among the 2000 birds.  Another very dark bird seen may have been a juvenile Blue Goose.  No shorebirds were seen, other than the resident Killdeer, as the tide was very high.  A raft of Common Mergansers was there too, and Marion spotted a Canvasback with them.

We moved back to the front pond where a small mixed group of Ring-necked, Lesser Scaup and Bufflehead were diving.  To take advantage of the brilliant sun rising in the east (for photogs with sun behind), we decided to walk around the southwest side of the pond, then into the sewage lagoons.  Of course, as we got to the backside, the clouds covered the sun.  And not many little birds were seen, so we were blanked on any of the three wren species (Bewick’s, Marsh, Pacific) and regularly-seen sparrow species.  Several Short-eared Owls were seen a few days ago.

On entering the sewage lagoons, the northwest pond was full of waterfowl.  Lots of Northern Pintail, Northern Shoveler, Green-winged Teal, American Wigeon (we couldn’t find the Eurasian), Lesser Scaup (Greater too, but no Tufted seen), Gadwall, and Mallards.  Sharp-eyed Mel with Metro Vancouver Parks, spotted a Blue-winged Teal, but we weren’t able to find it again.  No raptors (Peregrine, Merlin) were seen either, other than the resident Bald Eagles.

We left the sewage ponds and walked through the woods to the river.  Got nice views of a Ruby-crowned Kinglet, and lots of Coyote scat.  Some saw a Northern Shrike.  The group being so large got spread out, so we straggled back to the parking lot in stages, the rain pushing some to walk faster.  It was just after 11:00 am when we aborted the outing, and some left for the Flying Beaver Restaurant in order to get breakfast before 11:30 am.

Thirteen of us gathered for breakfast or lunch at the Flying Beaver (see David’s photos).

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Lunch at the Flying Beaver – photo by David Hoar

I had Clam Chowder Soup, an exotic Garden Salad, and a tasty pint of Sapporo draught.  The veteran Jessica served us smiling, but Mike wasn’t happy with the 18% Gratuity charge.  Nonetheless, it was another super DNCB outing.

The 24 were: Organizer Terry, Guru Anne, MV’s Iona Park Manager Mel B, Richmond Brian & Louise, New West’s Jonathan & Lorraine, eBirder David & Noreen, Marion, Marti & Kirsten, Jim & Chris, Ladner Pam, North Delta Pat, White Rock Colin & Wazza, Mike B w/o Roger, Photog Glen B, Newbies Doug & Christine McG, Angela A, and me.

Next Tuesday, January 28, we’ll leave Petra’s at 7:30 am for Point Roberts, meeting others at Lighthouse Marine Park around 8:00 am.

For more info on this outing, other events, reports and photos, see our website.  As always, your comments are appreciated, and let me know if these boring missives annoy you and you want off my email list.  Cheers: Tom

Tom Bearss, President, Delta Naturalists Society

Iona Island (general)  21-Jan-2020
27 species (+1 other taxa)

Snow Goose 145 One Blue Goose
Blue-winged Teal 1 Located with spotting scope in NW pond amongst Northern Pintails, Mallards and Green-winged teal
Northern Shoveler 18
Gadwall 6
American Wigeon 7
Mallard 53
Northern Pintail 500
Green-winged Teal 96
Canvasback 1
Ring-necked Duck 8
Greater/Lesser Scaup 22
Bufflehead 4
Common Merganser 22
Killdeer 1
Glaucous-winged Gull 7
Great Blue Heron 16
Bald Eagle 4
Northern Flicker 4
Northern Shrike 1
Northwestern Crow 11
Black-capped Chickadee 5
Ruby-crowned Kinglet 1
American Robin 1
Fox Sparrow 3
Golden-crowned Sparrow 4
Song Sparrow 11
Spotted Towhee 3
Red-winged Blackbird 6

Posted in *DNCB, Bald Eagle, Blue Goose, Blue-winged Teal, Canvasback, Iona, Northern Shrike, Ring-necked Duck, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Sewage Lagoons | Leave a comment

DNCB Outing No. 2020-02 to Alaksen & Reifel Bird Sanctuary

Ten hardy DNCBers braved the cold (-8C) on a “changed” outing to Alaksen National Wildlife Area (NWA) and our “Mecca” Reifel Bird Sanctuary.  We saw many neat species, 50 total according to David’s eBird list (see below), and our photogs got lots of beaut shots you can enjoy by clicking on our DNCB Flickr site.

Seven of us left Petra’s at 7:30 am and drove through Ladner to Alaksen NWA (Roger wimped out and stayed home drinking hot chocolate in his Hot Tub).  We/Organizer Terry changed the destination the night before because of the predicted snow and cold spell that hit Delta and the lower mainland.  Wet Coasters, especially Deltans, are not used to snow and cold at all.  Surprisingly, the roads were mostly plowed and the ride was smooth, with a couple of Red-tailed Hawks welcoming us at the Alaksen entrance.  We didn’t find the resident Barred Owls in the Cedar trees, but a Pacific Wren, Brown Creeper, and both Ruby- and Golden-crowned Kinglets were neat sightings.

In the open water (rare, as all the ponds later at Reifel were frozen) behind the new washrooms we got 20 species in 10 minutes.  A posing Merlin, Belted Kingfisher, and most regular waterfowl species (Common & Hooded Mergansers, Bufflehead, brilliant Wood Ducks, Green-winged Teal, Lesser Scaup, etc.) were some of the hi-lites.  Walking toward the circular trail and into the tractor barn, “someone” scared out two gorgeous Barn Owls.  We were unsuccessful trying to locate any Great Horned or Sawhet Owls this day, but did see a Bewick’s Wren and Varied Thrush.

Shortly after 9:00 am, we drove next door to Reifel, and met the other three (Colin, Stephanie & Angela).  Fifteen Sandhill Cranes were jostling on the frozen pond behind the entrance building.  Two Black-crowned Night-Herons were sleeping there too, along with about 20 Great Blue Herons that looked like frozen statues.

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The frozen few: DNCB at Reifel – photo by Noreen & Glen, edited by David

We took the mandatory Group Photo (Thanks David for the “photo-shopped composite” of Glen and Noreen’s photos) with the Ring-necked Ducks behind us, and surrounded by the voraciously feeding Chickadees (from seed on our hands and head).

We followed the south-east trail in search of the Goshawk and Black Phoebe.  It was quite cold, and we weren’t very vigilant in our unsuccessful search, but there were hundreds of entertaining little birds on the trails (helped by Reifel’s full feeders).  We have never seen so many Spotted Towhees and Fox Sparrows.  The ponds were frozen, but in the few bits of open water, we saw an American Coot.  Some almost saw a Peregrine Falcon.  The hi-lite at Reifel was the Swamp Sparrow by the Tower, interestingly the same place we had seen one last year (same bird?).

From the tower, there were over 40 Trumpeter Swans just at the waters edge past the marsh.  A swarm of Dunlin flew over them.  There were hundreds and hundreds of ducks in the strait (too far away to identify), and a large flock of Northern Shovelers and Northern Pintail in the marsh area.  Several large flocks of Snow Geese flew over in V’s, one landed in the field at the Reifel entrance which we saw up-close-and-personal on departure.

We got back to the entrance around 11:30 am and all ten of us decided to go to Speed’s Pub in Ladner for lunch.  We had a very cozy lunch, my regular 2 piece Cod & Chips Special with a pint of Speed’s Lager hit the spot with the “colourful jeweled” Calli giving us excellent service.  We were back in Tsawwassen before 1:00 pm and I got back to my 1:30 pm Doctor appointment in Ladner early; all good, except that he again suggested that I cut back on my sugar and beer intake.  Another awesome DNCB adventure.

The 10 participants were: Guru Anne, Organizer Terry, Photogs/eBirder David & Noreen, White Rockers Colin & Stephanie, Rookie Angela A, Historian Mike B, Flickr Guru Glen and me.

Next Tuesday, January 21, we’ll leave Petra’s at 7:30 am for Iona Regional Park, meeting others at the washroom parking lot around 8:15 am.

For more details on this and other outings, reports and photos, see our website.  As always, your comments are encouraged, and let me know if you want off my Mailchimp email list to receive these long-winded, nauseating, less-than-interesting reports.  Cheers: Tom

Tom Bearss, President, Delta Naturalists Society (1:00 am and going to bed after a long day of shoveling snow, reviving a frozen Hummingbird, and thawing and re-filling feeders, even schools were closed this Snow Day in Delta)

eBird Lists by David Hoar:
Alaksen National Wildlife Area, 14-Jan-2020
28 species (+1 other taxa)
Canada Goose 27
Wood Duck 3
American Wigeon 4
Mallard 2
Green-winged Teal 2
Lesser Scaup 2
Bufflehead 3
Hooded Merganser 7
Common Merganser 7
duck sp. 16
Glaucous-winged Gull 5
Great Blue Heron 1
Bald Eagle 3
Red-tailed Hawk 1
Barn Owl 2
Belted Kingfisher 1
Northern Flicker 2
Merlin 1
Black-capped Chickadee 3
Golden-crowned Kinglet 3
Bewick’s Wren
Pacific Wren 1
European Starling 15
Varied Thrush 1
American Robin 2
Fox Sparrow 1
Dark-eyed Junco 15
Golden-crowned Sparrow 22
Song Sparrow 2
Spotted Towhee 4

Reifel Bird Sanctuary, 14-Jan-2020
35 species
Snow Goose 600
Trumpeter Swan 41
Wood Duck 1
Northern Shoveler 65
Gadwall 2
American Wigeon 9
Mallard 18
Northern Pintail 2
Green-winged Teal 4
Ring-necked Duck 2
Rock Pigeon (Feral Pigeon) 22
American Coot 1
Sandhill Crane 15
Dunlin X
Double-crested Cormorant 2
Great Blue Heron 25
Black-crowned Night-Heron 2
Northern Harrier 1
Bald Eagle 10
Downy Woodpecker 2
Northern Flicker 2
Peregrine Falcon 1
Black-capped Chickadee 28
Golden-crowned Kinglet 1
Ruby-crowned Kinglet 1
Brown Creeper 1
American Robin 6
House Sparrow 4
Fox Sparrow 7
Dark-eyed Junco 10
Golden-crowned Sparrow 16
Song Sparrow 9
Swamp Sparrow 1
Spotted Towhee 34
Red-winged Blackbird 14

TOTAL SPECIES 49

Posted in *DNCB, Alaksen NWA, Black-crowned Night-Heron, Brown Creeper, Dunlin, Golden-crowned Kinglet, Hooded Merganser, Merlin, Red-tailed Hawk, Reifel, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Sandhill Crane, Trumpeter Swan, Varied Thrush | Leave a comment

DNCB Outing No. 2020-01 to White Rock Pier & Blackie Spit Park

Seventeen brave souls spent a rainy, windy, Tuesday morning on the White Rock pier, then at Blackie Spit Park.  Despite the crappy weather there were tonnes of birds around and our photogs got some great shots which you can enjoy on our DNCB Flickr site.

Some car-pooled from Petra’s at 7:30 am and we all met at the entrance to the re-built White Rock pier around 8:15 am.  It was raining lightly, not real cold (actually approaching 10 degrees C), but the wind on the pier was horrendous.  The tide was high with no shoreline (therefore no shorebirds or dead Anchovies seen) but tonnes of birds, seals and sealions around, so the anchovies or other small fish and crabs must still be abundant.

Close to the pier were Surf and White-winged Scoters (someone saw a Black Scoter), both Common and Red-breasted Mergansers, Bufflehead, Greater Scaup, a few Common Goldeneye, Horned Grebes and at least one Red-necked, Double-crested and Brandt’s Cormorants, and many Gulls, Harbour Seals and California Sealions.  A herd of about eight sealions huddled and diving in unison was impressive.

We marched against the wind to the end of the pier where a friendly walker took our Group Photo.

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DNCB at White Rock Pier – photo by David Hoar

Three Black Turnstones were wandering on the pier among the Pigeons.  Some picked out Bonaparte’s, Mew, and Ring-billed (possible Thayer’s Gull too) among the many Glaucous-winged Gulls.  The wind and waves restricted our view further out so we didn’t see any Alcids.  The walk back, with the required chatfest, was more comfortable with the wind, and “my new best friend” Colin carrying the Scope was a real blessing.

We left White Rock around 10:00 am for Blackie Spit.  Overcast, but not rainy or windy, wandering the spit and Rene Savenye park area was relatively pleasant.  And there to welcome us were the resident Long-billed Curlew and three Marbled Godwits.  And they were brilliant, posing on land and in flight.  Lots of Common Loons in the Bay and we picked out a Pacific Loon.  Surprisingly, there were very few waterfowl here, unlike the hundreds of wigeon, teal and pintails we normally see.  A couple of Greater Yellowlegs flew in to test our ID skills, but we were blanked on the other shorebird species; possibly missing because no shoreline to feed on with the high water.

In the grove of trees near the off-leash dog park, we saw most of the neat little birds, such as Anna’s Hummingbirds, both House and Purple Finches, American Goldfinches, Golden-crowned Sparrows, Northern Flickers, Spotted Towhees, Juncos, etc.  David logged 39 species on his eBird report (see below) of this morning’s outing – interestingly, no one saw a Starling.

Back at the parking lot approaching 11:30 am, we aborted the outing and nine of us decided to retire for lunch at the Ocean Park Pizza Pub on 16th Avenue.  A super decision as the lovely Ariana made us all feel comfortable, and my Welsh Meatloaf (House Specialty) with Mashed Potatoes and Green Beans, with two pints of Bavarian 1516 Lager really hit the spot.  I was home before 2:00 pm with plenty of time to prepare for the monthly Nats meeting where Jocelyn Demers screened his brilliant documentary film, The Future of Birds.  Our first 2020 DNCB outing was another gem.

Next Tuesday, January 14, we’ll leave Petra’s at 7:30 am for Burnaby Lake Park (Mandarin Duck?), meeting others at the Nature House parking lot around 8:30 am.

For more info on this outing, other events, reports and photos, check out our website.  As always, your comments are welcome, and let me know if this Mailchimp isn’t working, or you’re annoyed with receiving this weekly drivel and you want off my email list.  Happy New Year.  Cheers: Tom

Tom Bearss, President, Delta Naturalists Society

White Rock Pier, Jan 7, 2020
27 species
Canada Goose  6
Greater Scaup  2
Surf Scoter  65
White-winged Scoter  80
Black Scoter  2
Bufflehead  12
Common Goldeneye  18
Common Merganser  75
Red-breasted Merganser  75
Horned Grebe  4
Red-necked Grebe  2
Rock Pigeon (Feral Pigeon)  35
Black Turnstone  4
Bonaparte’s Gull  30
Mew Gull  3
Ring-billed Gull  8
Iceland Gull (Thayer’s)  X
Glaucous-winged Gull  135
Pacific Loon  1
Common Loon  2
Brandt’s Cormorant  8
Double-crested Cormorant  50
Bald Eagle  4
Northwestern Crow  11
House Sparrow  4
Song Sparrow  2
Spotted Towhee  1
Trumpeter Swan  ~2

Blackie Spit (Incl. Dunsmuir Farm & Nicomekl estuary), Jan 7, 2020AM
26 species
Surf Scoter  4
White-winged Scoter  5
Bufflehead  2
Common Goldeneye  2
Red-breasted Merganser  3
Horned Grebe  2
Red-necked Grebe  2
Anna’s Hummingbird  7
Long-billed Curlew  1
Marbled Godwit  3
Greater Yellowlegs  1
Ring-billed Gull  2
Glaucous-winged Gull  6
Pacific Loon  1
Common Loon  18
Great Blue Heron  10
Bald Eagle  3
Northern Flicker  4
Northwestern Crow  32
Black-capped Chickadee  10
House Finch  3
Purple Finch  2
American Goldfinch  2
Dark-eyed Junco  10
Song Sparrow  2
Spotted Towhee  4

Total 39 Species for 2020-01

Posted in *DNCB, Bald Eagle, Black Scoter, Black Turnstone, Blackie Spit, Bonaparte's Gull, Brandt's Cormorant, California Sea Lion, Harbour Seal, Long-billed Curlew, Marbled Godwit, Mew Gull, Pacific Loon, Purple Finch, Red-breasted Merganser, Red-necked Grebe, Thayer's Gull, White Rock Pier | Leave a comment

DNCB Outing No. 2019-53 Ladner Christmas Bird Count

Several Delta Nats participated in the Ladner Christmas Bird Count on Saturday, December 21.  Each Christmas Bird Count is conducted on a single day between December 14 and January 5.  Counts are carried out within a 24-km diameter circle that stays the same from year to year.  The Ladner Christmas Bird Count includes Tsawwassen, Point Roberts and south Richmond.  Ladner and Victoria usually compete for the highest species total in Canada – usually over 140.

The Ladner count area is divided into 11 sub-areas. Not all areas reported at the post-count gathering at Reifel.  Without the missing areas and the feeder counts, the preliminary total was 128.

This is a report on Area I, which is Tsawwassen east of 56th St, from Highway 17 to the border, including Beach Grove, Centennial Beach and Boundary Bay. Our total was 70 species.  Some Delta Nats participated in some of the other sub-areas.

There are photos on our flickr site at https://www.flickr.com/search/?group_id=3027315%40N23&view_all=1&text=2019-53

We left Petra’s at 8 am and broke into two groups.  Roger, David, Noreen, Brian, Louise and Larry covered Centennial Beach and Boundary Bay. Terry, Alan, Syd, Debbi and Liz W covered Beach Grove.  It was overcast and windy but the rain held off.  There were not the usual large flocks of ducks, gulls and shorebirds in Boundary Bay.  But 1535 Brant Geese were counted.

Highlights were a Red-breasted Sapsucker and a White-throated Sparrow.

Red-breasted Sapsucker.  Photo by Terry Carr.
                          White-throated Sparrow.  Photo by Kathryn Milligan.

Our count included eleven raptors – Great Horned Owl, Barred Owl, Barn Owl, Short-eared Owl, Peregrine Falcon, Red-tailed Hawk, Northern Harrier, Merlin, Cooper’s Hawk, American Kestrel and 39 Bald Eagles.

Short -eared Owl.  Photo by David Hoar.

Cooper’s Hawk.  Photo by David Hoar.

Northern Harrier.  Photo by David Hoar.

American Kestrel.  Photo by David Hoar.

A flock of Canada Geese behind the South Delta Recreation Centre included Cackling Geese and Greater White-fronted Geese.

One small pond in Beach Grove Golf Course had Mallards, American Wigeon, Hooded Mergansers, a Gadwall, a Northern Shoveler, a Bufflehead and a Ring-necked Duck.

We also counted 1 Killdeer, 11 Yellowlegs, 144 Sanderling, 10 Anna’s Hummingbirds, 5 Downy Woodpeckers, 16 Flickers, 1 Steller’s Jay, 40 Black-capped Chickadess, 2 Chestnut-backed Chickadees, 12 Bushtits, 3 Red-breasted Nuthatches, 1 Brown Creeper, 3 Bewick’s Wrens, 1 Marsh Wren, 1 Golden-crowned Kinglet, 2 Ruby-crowned Kinglets, 23 Robins, 30 Starlings, 16 Towhees, 8 Fox Sparrows, 11 Song Sparrows, 5 White-crowned Sparrows, 40 Golden-crowned Sparrows, 38 Juncos, 10 Red-winged Blackbirds, 20 Brewer’s Blackbirds, 48 House Finches, 18 Goldfinches and 11 House Sparrows.

The next DNCB Outing will be Tuesday, January 7 to White Rock and Blackie Spit, leaving Petra’s at 7:30 am and meeting at White Rock Pier at 8 am. There is free parking until 10 am.

Don’t forget our DNS Monthly Meeting on Tues. January 5, 7:30 at Benediction Lutheran Church, featuring guest Speaker Jocelyn Demers presenting his film “The Future of Birds“.

For more information on our outings, meetings and events, plus reports and photos, see our website at https://dncb.wordpress.com

Terry Carr

Posted in *DNCB, American Kestrel, Bald Eagle, Barn Owl, Barred Owl, BBRP, Beach Grove, Boundary Bay, Brown Creeper, Cackling Geese, CBC Ladner, Centennial Beach, Golden-crowned Kinglet, Great Horned Owl, Greater White-fronted Geese, Hooded Merganser, Merlin, Northern Harrier, Peregrine Falcon, Red-breasted Sapsucker, Red-tailed Hawk, Ring-necked Duck, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Sanderling, Short-eared Owl, White-fronted Goose, White-throated Sparrow | Leave a comment

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
Posted in *DNCB, Cackling Geese, Mud Bay Park, Surrey Lake | Leave a comment

DNCB Birds on the Bay Outing No. 2019-51 in Boundary Bay Regional Park

These photos by Jim Kneesch

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Nearly 30 participants braved the elements this morning on our quarterly Birds on the Bay outing in Boundary Bay Regional Park.  David’s eBird list recorded 32 species seen.  Check out the photo evidence on our Flickr site at our DNCB Flickr site. (more to come).

It was pouring rain when I drove to Cammidge House prior to the 9:00 am start of our outing.  Surprisingly, there were already 20 DNCBers huddled on the veranda and inside the house.  We had a bit of a chatfest, introduced a few Newbies, and Jim took the first of several Group shots on the front steps.  Then, as if on cue, it stopped raining, and didn’t rain again until the afternoon.

After spotting the resident Red-tailed Hawk and a Fox Sparrow, we started our walk down the road toward the beach.  Several Bald Eagles were perched in the trees and Northern Harriers cruised by us all morning.  A large mixed flock of Brewer’s and Red-winged Blackbirds, with some European Starlings, were grazing on the grass field before the pond.  Lots of Mallards, American Wigeon and a couple of Northern Shovelers were in the pond. Terry took another group photo here with some late-arriving newbies.

The tide was high at the beach, and a nice flock of Sanderling, with one lone Dunlin, was crowded into a small area of mud beach.  Great for viewing and photogs.  Further out were rafts of Red-breasted Mergansers, Surf and White-winged Scoters, best seen through the scope.  Interestingly, it was cloudy over Tsawwassen, but the whole of Mt. Baker, including the summit, was clearly visible across the Bay.  The vistas here often seem to be spectacular.

Our walk continued along the newly-fenced trail.  It was quiet, not unusual for December, but we did see lots of Golden-crowned and Song Sparrows, House and American Goldfinches, Northern Flickers, Spotted Towhees, and other common species.  We stopped for a few group photos at Nat Ursula Easterbrook’s memorial bench.  Further along, a Merlin or Sharp-shinned Hawk sighting turned out to be a juvenile Red-tailed Hawk.  A Barn Owl pellet resting on top of one of our Nest Boxes was kind of a neat sighting.

Closer to the construction at the Pump House, there were thousands of waterfowl in the Bay.  We searched in vain for a Common Teal among the Green-winged and a Eurasian Wigeon among the American.  Lots of Brant Geese and Northern Pintail among the rafts.  We blanked on other shorebirds normally seen here.

We followed the inland trail back.  The trailers saw a Bewick’s Wren and a Cooper’s Hawk.  Meanwhile, some others got back to Cammidge House before 11:30 am and got a head start on the scrumptious home-made goodies supplied by our Delta Nats Ladies (Rochelle, Elizabeth, Jennifer, Margaretha & Sandra).  I even had a cup-of-soup with the scones, cookies, cakes, cheeses, fruits and other delectables which hit the spot, after lugging the scope all morning.

The 28 I can remember are: Gurus Anne & Roger (a temporary promotion), Organizer Terry & Mike B, Flickr/Photog Guru Glen, eBirder David H (w/o Noreen), Jonathan & Lorraine, Colombia-returnees Colin & Stephanie (email please), Warren (aka Wazza) & Lynne, Boundary Bay Val, Limping Santa Mike B2, Johnny Mac, Langley Bob Mc, directionally-challenged Abbottsford’s Laurie K, Newbies (although not first-timers) Ju Dee & Hsien (aka Sid), Ginger & I forget, Kiwi Nick (need your email), South Surrey Beatrice, our Delta Nats Ladies Rochelle, Elizabeth, Jennifer & Margaretha, and me.

It was another awesome Birds on the Bay outing.  We climaxed it with an American Kestrel sighting on a wire on exiting the park.  See the brilliant photos.  I got home in time to watch granddaughter Juliette excel at her Wednesday afternoon Gymnastics class.

Next Tuesday, December 17, we will car-pool from Petra’s at 7:30 am for Surrey Lake Park.

See our website for more info on this outing, and other reports, photos and Delta Nats info.  As always, your comments are encouraged, and let me know if these far-too-long, weekly, diatribes are so irritating that you want off my email list.  Cheers: Tom

Tom Bearss, President, Delta Naturalists Society

David’s eBird List
Boundary Bay Regional Park, Metro Vancouver, British Columbia, CA
32 species (+1 other taxa)
Brant 350
Northern Shoveler 3
American Wigeon 135
Mallard 278
Northern Pintail 250
Green-winged Teal 250
Surf Scoter 100
White-winged Scoter 10
Red-breasted Merganser 24
duck sp. X Thousands offshore
Sanderling 136
Dunlin 1
Glaucous-winged Gull 7
Great Blue Heron 1
Northern Harrier 2
Cooper’s Hawk 1
Bald Eagle 7
Red-tailed Hawk 1
Northern Flicker 3
American Kestrel 1
Northwestern Crow 10
Bewick’s Wren 2
European Starling 50
American Robin 5
House Finch 8
American Goldfinch 3
Fox Sparrow 1
Dark-eyed Junco 4
Golden-crowned Sparrow 22
Song Sparrow 2
Spotted Towhee 5
Red-winged Blackbird 8
Brewer’s Blackbird 22

Posted in *DNCB, Bald Eagle, Birds-on-the-Bay, Boundary Bay, Cooper's Hawk, Dunlin, Red-tailed Hawk | Leave a comment

DNCB Outing Report 2019-50 to Terra Nova Park, Richmond

Lucky thirteen DNCBers enjoyed a dry, productive and enjoyable Tuesday morning of birding at Terra Nova Park in Richmond.  David recorded 37 species seen (see his eBird list below.)  Check out the brilliant photo evidence on our DNCB Flickr site.

Some car-pooled from Petra’s at 7:30 am and we all met at the dyke trail parking lot entrance to the Park.  The weather forecast was for rain which accounted for only 13 brave souls showing up.  It was a very manageable number and occasionally the chatfests were almost interesting.

2019-50_DNCB TerraNova

DNCB at Terra Nova Park – photo by Noreen Rudd

We heard a Marsh Wren in the reeds, the first of three Wren species; we got great looks at both Pacific and Bewick’s Wrens later.  As we looked across the Fraser at the airport, American Wigeons, Green-winged Teal, Gadwall, Mallards, and Double-crested Cormorants were the only species lounging along the shoreline.

Terra Nova Park has changed since my last visit with lots of play structures for kids, trails nicely groomed, and interesting and informative signage.  From the stream bridge we found an American Coot and a Eurasian Wigeon (on closer examination was actually a hybrid American-Eurasian bird).  Lots of little birds flitting around; we got the regular four Sparrows (Song, Fox, Golden- and White-crowned), three Finches (House, Purple and a large flock (15+) of American Goldfinches), both Ruby- and Golden-crowned Kinglets, and a Brown Creeper.  I saw four Pine Siskins, and the Downy Woodpeckers and Northern Flickers are always neat to see.

Walking through the Community Gardens, Anna’s Hummingbirds were playing, and we saw the first of several hawk/raptor species, a Cooper’s Hawk.  Later we saw Red-tailed Hawks, Northern Harriers, a Short-eared Owl, of course several Bald Eagles, and Marti saw a Peregrine Falcon.  It was cool and overcast, but no rain, and quite comfortable as we walked along the shore path as well as the circuit trail passed Quilchena Golf Course and the homes.  A huge flock of Snow Geese (3000+) floating near shore aroused the usual gasps.  We found several Barn Owl pellets but didn’t see any BO’s.  I’ve been told that the nest boxes in Terra Nova are very successfully used by breeding pairs.

Passing the new potential Wildflower Garden and the Bee Kiosk, we got back to the vehicles around 11:30 am.  Perfect timing for us to get to O’Hare’s Pub on Steveston Highway by Noon.  Nine of us had a super lunch; my Classic Burger with a pint of their House Lager hit the spot.  I drove Terry to my mechanic’s shop to pick up my Range Rover with new front brake pads (I was pleased it only cost $380), and we got Terry home in Tsawwassen by 1:30 pm.  Another awesome DNCB outing, followed in the evening by a sensational Nats Christmas meeting and presentation by David & Noreen on their Southern Africa Adventures.

The 13 were: our “leader” Richmond Brian, Organizer Terry, David & Noreen, Glen B, both Roger M & Roger K, Mike B, Johnny Mac, the three “girls” Marion, Marti & Jean, and me.

Next Wednesday, December 11 (not Tuesday), is our quarterly Birds on the Bay outing in Boundary Bay Regional Park.  We meet at and leave from historic Cammidge House at 9:00 am on a 2 ½ hour amble through the park, returning to Cammidge House at 11:30 am, and home-made goodies provided by our Delta Nats Ladies.

For more info on this outing, and other reports, events and photos, see our website.  As always, your comments are welcome, and let me know if this weekly verbal diarrhea gives you grief and you want off my email list.  Cheers: Tom

Tom Bearss, President, Delta Naturalists Society

Richmond–Terra Nova 3-Dec-2019
37 species (+1 other taxa)
Snow Goose X Thousands on distant shore
Gadwall 1
American Wigeon 135
Eurasian x American Wigeon (hybrid) 1 Greenish extending behind the eye on bird in lower left of photo.  Not typical Eurasian Wigeon
Mallard 16
Green-winged Teal 4
Rock Pigeon (Feral Pigeon) 30
Anna’s Hummingbird 2
American Coot 1
Glaucous-winged Gull 3
Double-crested Cormorant 2
Great Blue Heron 5
Northern Harrier 2
Cooper’s Hawk 1
Bald Eagle 2
Red-tailed Hawk 1
Short-eared Owl 1
Downy Woodpecker 1
Northern Flicker 3
Peregrine Falcon 1
Northwestern Crow 30
Black-capped Chickadee 13
Golden-crowned Kinglet 1
Ruby-crowned Kinglet 2
Brown Creeper 1
Pacific Wren 2
Bewick’s Wren 1
European Starling 7
American Robin 11
House Finch 20
Purple Finch 1
Pine Siskin 4
American Goldfinch 14
Fox Sparrow 2
Dark-eyed Junco 8
Golden-crowned Sparrow 12
Song Sparrow 11
Spotted Towhee 9

Posted in *DNCB, Bald Eagle, Brown Creeper, Cooper's Hawk, Eurasian Wigeon, Golden-crowned Kinglet, Northern Harrier, Peregrine Falcon, Purple Finch, Red-tailed Hawk, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Short-eared Owl, Terra Nova | Leave a comment