DNCB Outing No. 2019-27 to Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal, TFN Boardwalk, and Reifel Bird Sanctuary

Thirty-one folk participated in some or all of our Wednesday morning outing to the Tsawwassen Ferry terminal, then the Tsawwassen First Nations (TFN) boardwalk, then at Reifel Bird Sanctuary on Westham Island.  We saw lots of species (55) including some rarities, and also enjoyed some pleasant “bondings” with regulars and newbies, including with our MP Carla Qualtrough and Donna Burke.  Check out the photo evidence on our DNCB Flickr site.

After leaving Petra’s at 7:30 am, our first stop was the pull-off on the causeway to the Ferry terminal.  With our scopes we had good looks at the 14 plus Caspian Terns, Black Oystercatchers, a huge raft of Surf Scoters, Harlequin Ducks, and both Double-crested and Pelagic Cormorants.  Of course, Great Blue Herons were everywhere, mostly from their 200 nest site at Tsatsu Shores.

Around 8:30 am, we moved on to the TFN office building and the entrance to their “five star” Boardwalk over the marsh to the Great Blue Heron Way dike trail.  Here we met our Delta MP, Minister Carla Qualtrough and Special Assistant Donna Burke, who joined us for this stage of our outing.  Of course, it was a chatfest as we wandered along this Cadillac of boardwalks, but we did see Cedar Waxwings, Savannah Sparrows, Barn and Tree Swallows, and at the boardwalk end and trail beginning, in the mud in the bay/Salish Sea, we saw a small flock of Western Sandpiper early migrants.  Our Guru Anne picked out a few Least and Semi-palmated Sandpipers feeding among them too.  Differentiating the Peep species is difficult for us mortals, even though some were in breeding plumage.


DNCB with Delta MP, Minister Carla Qualtrough and Special Assistant Donna Burke – photo by Terry Carr

Approaching 10:00 am, back at the boardwalk entrance, Terry and Donna took Group Photos, and Carla gave us some encouraging words on her views of the second Delta Port and the Pipeline, before she and Donna left for a factory tour.  Of course, we briefed her too on the great and wonderful things your Delta Nats do in addition to our fun outings, such as the Delta Bird Strategy we introduced to and are now advising Delta staff on implementation, our active Barn Owl and Bird Box Program, our informative monthly meetings, etc.

Our convoy drive from TFN to Reifel was fairly uneventful.  There was a lot of algae and overgrown grass in and around the new TFN ponds at the end of Tsawwassen Drive, so we saw no ducks there.  More DNCBers were at the Reifel entrance when we arrived around 10:30 am.  Roger took the traditional Group Photo at the Reifel “sign”.


DNCB at Reofel – photo by Roger Meyer

Both Anna’s and Rufous Hummingbirds were at the entrance feeder.  We decided to take the outer trail walk; Marsh Wrens and Common Yellowthroats were singing all along the trail.  Finally Roger spotted four birds landing in the outer pond, and we had great looks at the Marbled Godwits.  Interestingly, one of the Blue-winged Teal was feeding near where they landed.  And nearby were several Yellowlegs (both Greater and Lesser), and Long-billed Dowitchers in their rusty-coloured plumage.  A sole Least Sandpiper was also there, along with the Green-winged Teal, Northern Shovelers and Northern Pintail.

More DNCBers joined us on the outer trail, as did the almost-tame resident Sandhill Cranes.  An Eastern Kingbird dropped by for his photo shoot too.  We saw lots of other species, too many of the 55 total to mention, which you can see on Anne’s eBird list below.

It was about 12:45 pm when we got back to the entrance and ten of us decided to go for lunch at our regular spot, Speed’s Pub in Ladner.  Arriving past 1:00 pm, it was less crowded, and my Fish & Chips Special plus two pints of Okanagan Springs 1516 lager was delicious and wolfed down quickly (I was starving).  It was another glorious DNCB outing.

The 31 adults, some fleetingly, were: our Organizers Terry C & Roger M, Guru Anne, North Delta Jean, photog Ladner Jack Mac, photog sisters Pat & Maureen, newbie/oldie Rochelle F, Mike B & Mike B2, Johnny Mac, newbies Minister Carla Q & Donna B, Marion & Kirsten, Richmond newbies Catherine S & Christy W, Langley Bob, Mom & Daughter Debbi & Kathryn, Jonathan & Lorraine, former DFWT Director and Westham Island resident David B and his two children, Anita D-D & Joanne V-S, New Yorkers Chief Bill & Caroline, Ladner Pam, Margaretha S, PB Lorna, and me.

Next Wednesday, July 10, we’ll leave Petra’s at 7:30 am for Derby Reach Regional Park, meeting at the Edgewater Bar/Derby Reach Campground Parking Lot (off Allard Crescent) at 8:30 am.

For info on this and other outings, reports and photos, see our website.  As always, your comments are welcome, and let me know if these lengthy weekly tirades annoy you and you want off my email list.  Cheers: Tom

Tom Bearss, President, Delta Naturalists Society (P.S. The White Pelican was at Brunswick Point this morning, Friday).

eBird Checklists included in this summary:
(1): Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal Jetty
(2): 2292–2398 Tsawwassen Dr, Delta CA-BC (49.0376,-123.0980)
(3): Reifel Bird Sanctuary
Date: Jul 3, 2019  Number of Taxa: 55

X Canada Goose — (3)
7 Wood Duck — (3)
3 Blue-winged Teal — (3)
3 Northern Shoveler — (3)
3 American Wigeon — (3)
50 Mallard — (1),(3)
2 Northern Pintail — (3)
10 Green-winged Teal — (3)
15 Harlequin Duck — (1)
220 Surf Scoter — (1)
24 Rock Pigeon (Feral Pigeon) — (1),(3)
2 Eurasian Collared-Dove — (3)
1 Black Swift — (3)
1 Anna’s Hummingbird — (3)
5 Sandhill Crane — (3)
5 Black Oystercatcher — (1)
2 Killdeer — (2)
4 Marbled Godwit — (3)
11 Least Sandpiper — (2),(3)
80 Western Sandpiper — (2)
X Semipalmated/Western Sandpiper — (2)
6 Long-billed Dowitcher — (3)
6 Greater Yellowlegs — (2),(3)
1 Lesser Yellowlegs — (3)
5 Mew Gull — (1)
7 Glaucous-winged Gull — (1),(3)
17 Caspian Tern — (1)
X Pelagic Cormorant — (1)
1 Double-crested Cormorant — (1),(3)
22 Great Blue Heron — (1),(3)
1 Bald Eagle — (1)
2 Red-tailed Hawk — (3)
1 Eastern Kingbird — (3)
4 Northwestern Crow — (1),(3)
6 Purple Martin — (3)
25 Tree Swallow — (3)
7 Violet-green Swallow — (2),(3)
20 Barn Swallow — (1),(2),(3)
1 Cliff Swallow — (3)
9 Black-capped Chickadee — (2),(3)
12 Marsh Wren — (3)
1 Swainson’s Thrush — (3)
3 American Robin — (2),(3)
2 European Starling — (3)
3 Cedar Waxwing — (3)
3 House Finch — (2),(3)
7 American Goldfinch — (2),(3)
4 Savannah Sparrow — (2)
10 Song Sparrow — (2),(3)
3 Spotted Towhee — (3)
25 Red-winged Blackbird — (3)
10 Brown-headed Cowbird — (3)
10 Common Yellowthroat — (3)
2 Yellow Warbler — (3)
4 House Sparrow — (2),(3)

Posted in *DNCB, Black Oystercatcher, Blue-winged Teal, Caspian Tern, Cedar Waxwing, Eastern Kingbird, Harlequin Duck, Least Sandpiper, Long-billed Dowitcher, Marbled Godwit, Pelagic Cormorant, Reifel, Sandhill Crane, Semi-palmated Sandpiper, TFN Boardwalk, Tsawwassen Ferry Port, Western Sandpiper | Leave a comment

DNCB Outing No. 2019-26 to Campbell Valley Regional Park

Twenty-four folk enjoyed a glorious Wednesday morning wandering the trails of beautiful Campbell Valley Regional Park (CVRP) in Langley.  And we had lots of neat sightings, many up-close-and-personal as you can see in the photos on our DNCB Flickr site.

Some car-pooled from Petra’s at 7:30 am and we all met at the 16th Avenue entrance to the Park at 8:15 am.  Following the usual welcoming “tongue wag”, especially of the three Metro Vancouver Park Interpreters, David and Ladner Jack Mac took our obligatory Group Photo in front of the CVRP sign.

2019-26 Campbell ValleyGroup_NR

DNCB at Campbell Valley RP – photo by Noreen Rudd

Then our huge convoy took off along the Little River Loop Trail, a gorgeous forest walk on manicured trails.  There were a lot diverse and new personalities on this outing, so the chatfest was rampant; nonetheless our sightings were magnificent.  Hi-lites included: many Black-headed Grosbeaks, Yellow and Common Yellowthroat Warblers, Rufous Hummingbirds, singing Swainson’s Thrush, Willow & Pacific-Slope Flycatchers, Brown Creepers, Cedar Waxwings, Chestnut-backed Chickadees, a domestic hybrid Duck, and a banded Turkey Vulture with a telemetry pack.  Whispering Bridge was especially good for close-ups of many species including a pair of Steller’s Jays and Yellow Warblers feeding young.  Roger Two enjoyed feeding the Black-capped Chickadees from his hand.  And later Pat, and I, had similar thrills when a Red-breasted Nuthatch landed on our hands.

We stopped at the bridge over the pond where the old Nature Hut used to be located and tried to identify the bugs, butterflies and Bullfrogs.  We admired White Rock Al’s bench, fondly recalling some of his tales on the many outings he led here.  A Downy Woodpecker drummed on a dead tree trunk nearby.

We decided to visit the new Nature House at the Red Barn.  It was open with several Volunteers tending the very informative displays, and parents and young children arriving to participate in a Kids Craft Workshop.  Barn Owls were in the barn attic tending three owlets.  We followed the South Valley Trail back to the parking lot.  We saw too many invasive eastern Gray Squirrels, but fortunately there were many of the native Douglas Squirrels, and Chipmunks too.  A Bushtit nest with adults feeding young inside was exciting.  According to David’s eBird list below, we had 26 bird species on this CVRP outing.

Now noon at the parking lot, seventeen of us decided to go for lunch just around the corner on 200th Street at the Artful Dodger Pub.  A super decision; everyone enjoyed the food, comfy décor, Kathy’s efficient service, and very decent prices.  My full order of Liver & Onions (wow) along with two pints (Coors Light then the House Pilsner) was simply ecstatic.  And I was home around 2:00 pm in time to assist Sandra in grandparenting of two, Juliette (6) and Thomas (2). Another awesome DNCB outing.

The 24 were: Roger & Mike B with newbie Anita DD & PB Lorna, David & Noreen with Organizer Terry, Guru Anne with Mike B2 & Roger K2, North Delta’s Pat S, Liz S & Johnny Mac, Torontonian Brian R, Metro Vancouver Park’s Vanessa plus two Interpreters (I forget their names), returnee New Yorkers Chief Bill & Caroline, Ladner Jack Mac, Ladner Pam, returnees Jonathan & Lorraine, and me.

Next Wednesday, July 3, is a local outing to Tsawwassen Ferry terminal, TFN Boardwalk, then Reifel Bird Sanctuary.  We’ll leave Petra’s at 7:30 am, be at the TFN Boardwalk at 9:00 am, then go to Reifel for the rest of the morning.

For more info on our outings, reports and photos, visit our website.  As always, your comments are encouraged, and let me know if you want off my email list to receive these weekly “gems”.  Enjoy Canada’s Birthday, & Cheers: Tom

Tom Bearss, President, Delta Naturalists Society

Campbell Valley Park, Little River Loop, Metro Vancouver
26 species (+1 other taxa)

Wood Duck 1
Mallard 8
Rufous Hummingbird 4
gull sp. 3
Turkey Vulture 2 One with wing tag “CC” photographed by Pat Smart
Downy Woodpecker 2
Northern Flicker 1
Willow Flycatcher 3
Pacific-slope Flycatcher 2
Steller’s Jay 4
Northwestern Crow 2
Barn Swallow 4
Black-capped Chickadee 10 One pair with 2 young
Chestnut-backed Chickadee 3
Bushtit 2
Red-breasted Nuthatch 2
Brown Creeper 2
Swainson’s Thrush 9
American Robin 10
Dark-eyed Junco 7
White-crowned Sparrow 1
Song Sparrow 13
Spotted Towhee 7
Common Yellowthroat 4
Yellow Warbler 8 One adult feeding newly fledged young
Western Tanager 1 Heard and seen by one
Black-headed Grosbeak 12

Posted in *DNCB, Barn Owl, Brown Creeper, Campbell Valley, Cedar Waxwing, Douglas Squirrel, Pacific-slope Flycatcher, Swainson's Thrush, Townsend’s Chipmunk, Turkey Vulture, Willow Flycatcher, Yellow Warbler | Leave a comment

DNCB Outing No. 2019-25 to Pitt Lake Wildlife Management Area

Twenty-three DNCBers enjoyed a long but fruitful day at the Pitt-Addington Marsh Wildlife Management Area in Coquitlam on Wednesday.  A very long walk, some interesting sightings in a magnificent setting, and a delicious lunch; check out the photo evidence on our Flickr site at DNCB Flickr site.

Eleven of us left Petra’s in three vehicles and had a very pleasant 1¼ hour drive through Delta, Surrey and Langley to the boat launch parking lot in this spectacular setting where Pitt Lake drains into the Pitt River.  The other 12 were all smiles when we arrived, albeit it was a bit cloudy and windy, but comfy.  Several newbies, so the introductory bonding exercise was organized chaos, as usual.  Liz advised that a Yellow-breasted Chat had been seen along the dyke path, so we proceeded to search for it.

This trail, for our first hour, was very productive.  We got great looks at several of our Target Birds, including Gray Catbirds, Yellow Warbler, Bullock’s Oriole, Willow Flycatcher, Swainson’s Thrush, Eastern Kingbirds, Turkey Vultures, Band-tailed Pigeons, Rufous Hummingbirds, and both Black and Vaux Swifts.  We also heard the Yellow-breasted Chat, but I think only Masae saw it flitting in the leaves in the tree tops.  It was extremely frustrating not to be able to see this bird, especially since a Bullock’s Oriole and Yellow Warbler seemed to appear in the very tree where the Chat was calling.

We got back to the parking lot about 9:45 am and Roger took the obligatory Group Photo.

Intrepid Birders at Pitt Lake.JPG
DNCB at Pitt Lake WMA – photo by Roger Meyer

Anne heard the American Redstarts near the toilets, but I couldn’t find them either.  We eventually started our walk around the marsh on the narrow trail through the trees and bushes.  We normally see warblers on this trail, but it was very over-grown, and windy, so not very productive.

Pitt Lake Blackberry Infested Trail.JPG
Grant Narrows Dyke Trail – photo by Roger Meyer

We saw Common Yellowthroats, Cedar Waxwings, Wood Ducks, and a hovering Osprey.  Some heard, or saw, Wilson’s Warblers, Warbling & Red-eyed Vireos, and Pacific-Slope Flycatcher but I missed these too.  David’s two eBird lists (below) indicate 41 species heard or seen today.  We saw Scat, but not the Black Bear that the Katzie First Nation’s resident caretaker had warned us about.

It was almost 11:00 am when we got to the Lookout.  Some chose to return by the same path, while others continued on the long circular route around the marsh to the river, and back to the parking lot.  There were a few Cliff Swallows nesting on the rock cliff where we always see them.  Lots of Tree Swallows in the nest boxes.  Along the river, there was at least one baby Osprey (perhaps two) in each of the THREE nests on the pylons.  The parents were occasionally tending the youngsters.  One Common Merganser was resting on the dock where we normally see them.  Visiting Torontonian Brian saw a Yellow-rumped Warbler along the road trail, near the second Lookout where the Cliff Swallow nests were vandalized (I heard possibly because the nests have some medicinal attraction).

It was almost 1:30 pm when we all gathered at the parking lot.  David said we walked 8 kilometres.  Several decided to head home while ten of us stopped at the Swan-e-set Golf Course just up the road for lunch.  This is a beautiful setting too, and my lunch Special of Tuna Melt Sandwich and Clam & Corn Chowder Soup was delicious, of course along with a pint of Sapporo Draught.  The drive home was smooth too; Pam and newbie Quebecois Lynne kept me awake with their babbling in the back seat.  We pulled in to Petra’s at 4:00 pm.  A long but awesome DNCB adventure.

The 23 were: Guru Anne, our Organizer Terry C, Roger & Mike B1, David & Noreen, Syd & newbie Lynne, Mike B2, PB Lorna, Bryan & Masae, newbie brother & sister Brian & Mavis, sisters Pat & Maureen & Manli, North Delta’s Jean G & Liz S, Boundary Bay Val, Ladner Pam, guest Dale, and me.

Next Wednesday, June 26, we will leave Petra’s at 7:30 am for Campbell Valley Regional Park, meeting at the 16th Avenue entrance parking lot around 8:15 am.

Don’t forget our annual DNS Garden Party on Saturday, June 22 (today) at Paul & Carol Rennie’s home in Richmond.

For more info on our outings, events 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 (just returned from 2nd Car Boot Sale, late report result of two Dinner & Theatre evenings, Thursday golf, plus regular and irregular grandparenting duties).

Total 41 Species from both lists

Grant Narrows Dyke Walk (Number of Taxa: 24)
Jun. 19, 2019  8:44 am
17 Black Swift
2 Vaux’s Swift
2 Rufous Hummingbirds
1 Glaucous-winged Gull
2 Common Loon
1 Turkey Vulture
1 Bald Eagle
3 Willow Flycatcher
2 Eastern Kingbird
2 Northwestern Crow
1 Tree Swallow
2 Violet-green Swallow
1 Swainson’s Thrush
5 American Robin
4 Gray Catbird
8 Cedar Waxwing
2 Song Sparrow
3 Spotted Towhee
1 Bullock’s Oriole
1 Common Yellowthroat
1 Wilson’s Warbler
1 Yellow Warbler
1 Yellow-breasted Chat          –  HEARD Only
2 Band-tailed Pigeon

Grant Narrows Trail to Observation Tower (Number of Taxa: 29)
Jun. 19, 2019
 10:12 a.m.
15 Canada Goose — 6 young
8 Wood Duck
7 Mallard
1 Common Merganser
12 Band-tailed Pigeon
1 Rufous Hummingbird
1 hummingbird sp.
1 Great Blue Heron
9 Osprey – FR — 3 nests 2 feeding young one nest 2 young seen and 1 young seen in second nest.
1 Bald Eagle
5 Willow Flycatcher
4 Eastern Kingbird
1 Warbling Vireo
1 Steller’s Jay
1 Northwestern Crow 
6 Tree Swallow – FR
3 Cliff Swallow
1 Swainson’s Thrush
3 American Robin
3 White-crowned Sparrow
5 Song Sparrow
10 Red-winged Blackbird
6 Common Yellowthroat
2 American Redstart
2 Yellow Warbler
1 Pacific Slope Flycatcher HEARD Only
1 Red-eyed Vireo HEARD Only
1 Barn Swallow
1 Yellow-rumped Warbler


Posted in *DNCB, American Redstart, Bald Eagle, Band-tailed Pigeon, Bullock's Oriole, Cedar Waxwing, Cliff Swallow, Eastern Kingbird, Grant Narrows, Gray Catbird, Osprey, Pacific-slope Flycatcher, Pitt Lake, Red-eyed Vireo, Turkey Vulture, Vaux's Swift, Warbling Vireo, Willow Flycatcher, Wilson’s Warbler, Yellow Warbler, Yellow-breasted Chat, Yellow-rumped Warbler | Leave a comment

DNCB “Birds on the Bay” Outing No. 2019-24 in Boundary Bay Regional Park

32 folk participated in our quarterly Birds on the Bay outing on Wednesday morning in Boundary Bay Regional Park.  Not a lot of sightings but a beautiful walk in a gorgeous park with a lot of neat folk.  Check out the photo evidence of birds, flowers, vistas and people on our DNCB Flickr site.

We met at and started our walk at historic Cammidge House at 9:00 am.  Following the regular welcome and introduction of Newbies, Jim took the first of several Group Photos on the steps.


DNCB at Cammidge House – photo by Jim Kneesch

It was already very warm (over 25 degrees, no complaints) as we wandered along the road toward the pond and the beach.  A Bewick’s Wren and Cedar Waxwing were the excitement in the road trees.  The pond had only Mallards, with ducklings, and a pair of Gadwall.  (Note: Anne reported that two Blue-winged Teal are in the pond today, Friday).  And the tide was way out, so we saw no ducks, only herons, eagles and gulls on the horizon.

Despite the few sightings, the chatfest among the masses was rampant.  Among our sightings along the trail to the Lookout (another Group Photo)


DNCB at Centennial Beach – photo by Jim Kneesch

and then the Pumphouse were: singing Savannah Sparrows, flitting Hummingbirds (probably both Rufous and Anna’s), Willow Flycatcher (some saw), Spotted Towhees (interesting to Easterners), fleeting looks at Common Yellowthroats, Brown-headed Cowbirds, six Killdeer (our only Shorebirds seen today), Brewer’s and Red-winged Blackbirds, Northern Flickers and other common sparrow and finch species.  David (with help from Anne & Glen) counted 29 species for our DNCB eBird list (see below).

Cavorting and nesting Northern Harriers on the return inland trail aroused a few of us.  Several of our Bird Boxes were active with Tree Swallows feeding young inside.  Unfortunately, House Sparrows were also active in a few others.  Delta Nat Bird Box Team member, Mike B2, informed us that owlets were currently being raised in our Barn Owl Box along the inland trail.  And our photogs got neat shots of some Wildflowers and Sand Wasps.

We all straggled back to Cammidge House by 11:30 am where the Delta Nats Ladies, Rochelle, Jennifer, Elizabeth and Margaretha had their array of home-made goodies laid out for the insatiable group.  And Legendary, and healthy, DNCBer Hans-Ulf Schellhase was there to join us too.


Lunch at Cammidge House – photo by Jim Kneesch

I wonder whether the large size of our Birds on the Bay participants is for the outing or for the delicious delectables at the finale.  In addition to the scones, cookies, cakes, etc. provided by the above four ladies, I must mention Sandra’s famous Egg Salad Sandwiches.  Another awesome BOTB outing, finished by Noon, in time for me to join son Scott and granddaughter Juliette for their Holly Elementary School outing and picnic back at the Beach.

The 31 who participated in all or part of the outing were: David & Noreen, Bryan & Masae, Chris & Marlene, Marion & Marti, Roger, Anne, Glen, Mike B2, Margaretha, Margaret P, Gerhard, Jim K, Jack Mac, Johnny Mac, Elizabeth, Rochelle, Jennifer, Pat S, Pam M, five newbies Andrew & Ray (Bikers), Shirley W, Julie D & Chris T, Biker Kathryn, returning Tony M, Hans S, and me.

Next Wednesday, June 19, we’ll leave Petra’s at 7:30 am for Pitt Lake, meeting around 8:30 am at the Pitt Polder boat launch parking lot.

And don’t forget our annual Father’s Day Pancake Breakfast this Sunday June 16 at Centennial Beach, 9:00 am to Noon.

For more info on our outings, events, reports and photos, visit our website.  As always, your comments are encouraged and let me know if you want off my email list to receive these weekly irritating missives.  Cheers: Tom

Tom Bearss, President, Delta Naturalists Society

Boundary Bay Regional Park
Jun. 12, 2019  Number of Taxa: 29

2 Gadwall
34 Mallard
1 Eurasian Collared-Dove
4 Rufous Hummingbird
4 hummingbird sp.
4 Killdeer
X Glaucous-winged Gull
8 gull sp. — Tide was very low so waters edge distant
25 Great Blue Heron
4 Northern Harrier
6 Bald Eagle
3 Northern Flicker
1 Willow Flycatcher
14 Northwestern Crow
10 Tree Swallow
2 Barn Swallow
2 Black-capped Chickadee
2 Bewick’s Wren
4 American Robin
41 European Starling
2 Cedar Waxwing
3 House Finch
7 Savannah Sparrow
4 Spotted Towhee
9 Red-winged Blackbird
7 Brown-headed Cowbird
5 Brewer’s Blackbird
2 Common Yellowthroat
8 House Sparrow



Posted in *DNCB, Birds-on-the-Bay, Cedar Waxwing, Centennial Beach, Northern Harrier, Willow Flycatcher | Leave a comment

DNCB Outing No. 2019-23 to Colony Farm Regional Park

Note:  Delta Nat Roger Meyer wrote most of this superb report!

With a partially overcast day and rain showers predicted the undaunted DNCB birders set out in three vehicles from Petras and arrived at Colony Farm Regional Park (CFRP) far before the 8:30 meeting time.  There we met up with the rest of the group making a total of 21.  We had many beaut sightings, including most of our Target Birds such as Lazuli Buntings, Willow Flycatchers, Eastern Kingbirds and Band-tailed Pigeons.  Check out some magnificent photo evidence on our DNCB Flickr site, and David’s eBird list below.

As usual on our CFRP outings, we set off on the south side of the park parallel to the Forensic Institute with our first target bird in mind and, sure enough, quickly sighted a Lazuli Bunting singing at the top of a tree.  The bird changed locations several times giving us lots of photo opportunities.  Also seen in the same area were numerous Common Yellowthroats, and a few Song and White-crowned Sparrows.  Most of the swallows seen were Tree Swallows.

Moving back to the parking lot, passing through the work area, we paused beside the Bat residence so Jim could take our group photo.

DNCB Group 2019 06 05_JK

DNCB at Colony Farm – photo by Jim Kneesch

Continuing through the community gardens, we proceeded along the west trail beside the slough.  A few more Common Yellowthroats were seen, and, as we approached the bridge over the Coquitlam River, we started to see flocks of Band-tailed Pigeons.  Along the dyke we had our first Willow Flycatcher, some Cedar Waxwings, a Black-headed Grosbeak.  Flying along the river with its fluttering flight pattern we saw a single Spotted Sandpiper.  Some were skeptical of our id (let’s call him Tom).  Reaching the branch in the trail, we were rewarded with a closeup view of our first Eastern Kingbird of the year.

Heading east along the right branch to the ponds, we had little to add to our list, and never did see the Western Kingbirds that had been reported to be there.  The transmission tower directly north of us had a Red-tailed Hawk on top, and it stayed there for the duration of our walk.  More Waxwings and Common Yellowthroats were seen, and one member, let’s call him Tom again, reported a possible House Wren. However this was not verified by any of the others.  At the ponds we were disappointed in not seeing either rail species, nor the nesting Pied-billed Grebes, but did have a family of Wood Ducks, and a Muskrat.

Backtracking to the the point where the trails diverge, we again had good looks at the Kingbird.  A good part of the group had headed back leaving a small, more dedicated, group who found an Eastern Kingbird nest in a walnut tree with mother sitting on egg, or eggs.  Also seen by this group were several Vaux’s Swifts flying overhead.  The Swifts were joined by Tree Swallows so it was easy to distinguish the two species by wing beat patterns and body shape.

Heading back, the last group were lucky enough to see an American Bittern flying low over the ground, and were able to follow its flight for a considerable distance.  Also, along the slough, we spent some time trying to get photos of a Northern Rough-winged Swallow that was waiting for us to leave so she could get to here concealed nest location.  We should mention that we heard Ring-necked Pheasants calling, one a ways north, and the other, possibly replying, to the south of us.  Neither was seen.  A Northern Harrier was also seen by this lagging group.  The only other raptors we saw were numerous Bald Eagles flying about.

We gathered back at the Community Gardens parking lot at 11:45 am, and several decided to go to the Gillnetter Pub for lunch.  Roger noticed I was exhausted, (too many meetings, golf and grandparenting), so he took pity on me and we drove back to Tsawwassen without joining the others for lunch (I heard it was good, but no exciting descriptions).  I had a Tuna Sandwich and milk at home before granddaughter Juliette’s Gymnastics class, and after a “crisis” meeting at the Passport Office in Richmond to sign 2 month old Callum’s application.  Another awesome DNCB day.

The twenty-one were: Photogs Glen B, Chris McV, David & Noreen, Ladner Jack Mac, Jim K, sisters Pat & Maureen, Roger M, North Van Richard, Marion, Bryan & Masae, Warren (Wazza) & Lynne, Langley Bob, Gerhard, Pam, PB Lorna, Johnny Mac, and me.

Next Wednesday, June 12, is our quarterly Birds on the Bay outing.  We will meet at Cammidge House (CH) at 9:00 am for our 2 ½ hour amble in Boundary Bay Regional Park, followed by post-outing goodies prepared by the Delta Nats Ladies at CH at 11:30 am.

For more outing info, reports and photos, visit our website.  As always, your comments are encouraged, and let me know if these weekly missives annoy you and you want off my email list.  Cheers: Tom

Tom Bearss, President, Delta Naturalists Society

Colony Farm, Coquitlam, British Columbia,
33 species (+1 other taxa)

Canada Goose 2
Wood Duck 22
Gadwall 1
Mallard 9 8 ducklings
Ring-necked Pheasant 2 Heard only
Band-tailed Pigeon 10
Eurasian Collared-Dove 1
Vaux’s Swift 4
Rufous Hummingbird 1
hummingbird sp. 2
Spotted Sandpiper 1
Northern Harrier 2
Bald Eagle 4
Red-tailed Hawk 1
Downy Woodpecker 1
Northern Flicker 2
Willow Flycatcher 8 Heard only
Eastern Kingbird 2
Northwestern Crow 7
Northern Rough-winged Swallow 2
Tree Swallow 6
Barn Swallow 4
Swainson’s Thrush 1 Heard only
American Robin 2
Cedar Waxwing 20
Purple Finch 2
American Goldfinch 7
White-crowned Sparrow 3
Song Sparrow 6
Red-winged Blackbird 14
Brown-headed Cowbird 4
Common Yellowthroat 8
Black-headed Grosbeak 2 NBM
Lazuli Bunting 2


Posted in *DNCB, American Bittern, Bald Eagle, Band-tailed Pigeon, Cedar Waxwing, Colony Farm, Eastern Kingbird, House Wren, Lazuli Bunting, Muskrat, Northern Harrier, Northern Rough-winged Swallow, Red-tailed Hawk, Ring-necked Pheasant, Spotted Sandpiper, Vaux's Swift, Willow Flycatcher | Leave a comment

DNCB Outing No. 2019-22 to Semiahmoo Fish & Game Club, Surrey

Thirty-one DNCBers (yes 31) spent another beautiful Wednesday morning touring the Little Campbell Hatchery and adjacent amazingly-signed park trails at the Semiahmoo Fish & Game Club (SFGC) in Surrey. We had lots of neat sightings and they’re posted on our “repaired” DNCB Flickr site

Thirty-one DNCBers (yes 31) spent another beautiful Wednesday morning touring the Little Campbell Hatchery and adjacent amazingly-signed park trails at the Semiahmoo Fish & Game Club (SFGC) in Surrey.  We had lots of neat sightings and they’re posted on our “repaired” DNCB Flickr site.

Eight set out at 7:30 am from Petra’s in two vehicles while I followed alone (delayed to take baby car seat home for grandparent duties).  Fortunately our SFGC “head honcho” Roy Thomson was there to guide the masses through the capture pen and upgraded Hatchery (see their website at https://www.sfgc.ca/).  This club of conservation-minded volunteers was incorporated in 1957 and since then has built and owns this property and the first class facilities.  Roger took the Group Photo in front of the Hatchery sign as we have done for past SFGC outings.


DNCB at SFGC (minus Pat & Maureen, Gareth & photographer Roger Meyer)

Although Roy’s interesting and informative explanations of the facilities, fish and birds was the hi-lite, we had so many neat sightings.  We saw nesting Red-breasted Sapsuckers and Downy Woodpeckers in trunk holes, fornicating Tree Swallows, baby White-tailed Deer (days, perhaps hours old). 

We saw colourful species including both Rufous and Anna’s Hummingbirds, Black-headed Grosbeaks, Western Tanager, and several Warbler species, Common Yellowthroat and heard (some saw) Yellow, Orange-crowned, Black-throated Gray.  We had Flycatcher species too, Pacific-Slope, Willow and Western Wood-Pewee, and Wrens, Bewick’s, Pacific, and Kathryn & Debbi found a House Wren.  For Shorebirds, we saw families and nesting Killdeer and Spotted Sandpipers.  As for Raptors, in addition to the many Bald Eagles and Northern Harriers, we saw the pair of Red-tailed Hawks beside their nest with two, perhaps three, fuzzy young. 

Following the Hatchery tour with the thousands of Coho Fry in their new tanks, there were so many folk that we split into groups and wandered the well-groomed trails with the many informative signs explaining the history and flora and fauna there.  We couldn’t find the Barred Owl family, although Roy had photos.  We didn’t enter the barn with the three Barn Owl owlets either.  In addition to the Red-breasted Sapsuckers and Downies, other Woodpeckers seen were Hairy and Northern Flickers.  Of course, we saw lots of Sparrow, Finch and other common species; Brian’s eBird List indicates about 40 species seen or heard today (see list below on website).

We finally got back to the Hatchery around 11:45 am, after Roy led us through some Amazonian-like, unused trail along the Little Campbell river.  It was pub time, so we thanked Roy for an awesome morning, and about ten of us went to the Town Hall Pub on King George Highway in South Surrey.  I had their Cottage Pie with a 20 oz House (Red Truck) Lager and they were both scrumptious.  And I was home in time to join Sandra at granddaughter Juliette’s regular Wednesday Gymnastics class.  Another glorious DNCB outing.

The 31 were: SFGC’s Roy Thompson, wandering Roger M, David & Noreen, Bryan & Masae, Ken & Anne, Wazza & Lynne, sisters Pat & Maureen, Richmond Brian & Louise, North Van Richard, North Delta Liz, Johnny Mac & Jean G, Boundary Bay Valerie, PB Lorna, Chris McV, our Flickr Guru Glen, always cool & relaxed Margaretha, Langley’s Tom, Bob, Joanne & Gareth, Vancity Lidia, Gerhard, Burnaby Marion and me (yes, I remembered them all!)

Next Wednesday, June 5, our destination is Colony Farm Regional Park in Coquitlam. Leaving Petra’s at 7:30 am we plan to meet others at the Community Gardens parking lot about 8:30 am.

Don’t forget our monthly Delta Nats meeting on Tuesday, June 4 where the distinguished and renowned Dr. David Bird will present on Birds and Their Sex Lives.  All welcome (free) at 7:30 pm at the Benediction Lutheran Church on 56th Avenue in Tsawwassen.

For more info, reports and photos, see our website, and, as always, your comments are encouraged and let me know if these verbose weekly musings annoy you and you want off my email list.  Cheers: Tom

Tom Bearss, President, Delta Naturalists Society

eBird Checklist Summary
Semiahmoo Fish and Game Club
Date: May 29, 2019 at 8:31 AM
Number of Taxa: 36

1 Anna’s Hummingbird — (1)
2 Rufous Hummingbird — (1)
4 Killdeer — (1)
2 Spotted Sandpiper — (1)
1 Great Blue Heron (Blue form) — (1)
1 Bald Eagle — (1)
4 Red-tailed Hawk — (1)
3 Red-breasted Sapsucker — (1)
1 Downy Woodpecker — (1)
2 Hairy Woodpecker — (1)
1 Northern Flicker — (1)
1 Western Wood-Pewee — (1)
1 Pacific-slope Flycatcher — (1)
1 Empidonax sp. — (1)
6 Northwestern Crow — (1)
6 Tree Swallow — (1)
2 Black-capped Chickadee — (1)
2 Bushtit — (1)
1 House Wren — (1)
1 Pacific Wren — (1)
1 Bewick’s Wren — (1)
4 Swainson’s Thrush — (1)
6 American Robin — (1)
10 European Starling — (1)
2 House Finch — (1)
1 Purple Finch — (1)
4 American Goldfinch — (1)
1 White-crowned Sparrow — (1)
1 Golden-crowned Sparrow — (1)
1 Savannah Sparrow — (1)
8 Song Sparrow — (1)
1 Orange-crowned Warbler — (1)
2 Common Yellowthroat — (1)
4 Yellow Warbler — (1)
4 Black-headed Grosbeak — (1)
6 House Sparrow — (1)

Posted in *DNCB, Bald Eagle, Black-throated Grey Warbler, House Wren, Northern Harrier, Orange-crowned Warbler, Pacific-slope Flycatcher, Red-breasted Sapsucker, Red-tailed Hawk, Semiahmoo Fish & Game Club, Spotted Sandpiper, Western Tanager, Western Wood-Pewee, Willow Flycatcher, Yellow Warbler | Leave a comment

DNCB Outing No. 2019-21 to Minnekhada Regional Park, Coquitlam

Seventeen DNCBers enjoyed a somewhat strenuous hike on a beautiful Wednesday morning through the woods of Minnekhada Regional Park in Coquitlam.  And we saw some neat species too; check out the photo evidence on our DNCB Flickr site. Note: previous problems with DNCB Flickr site appear to have been resolved!! as of May 30, 2019

At 7:30 am, eleven of us car-pooled brilliantly in three vehicles from Petra’s, arriving at the Lodge about 8:45 am.  Birds were singing all around us, but the first major attraction was the resident pair of Sandhill Cranes with their Colt hanging around the beaver lodge just below the Lookout.  We did our usual introductory pleasantries, introduced the three young-eyed Nature Trust ladies, and Roger took the first obligatory Group Photo.


DNCB at Minnekhada – photo by Roger Meyer

We started our walk along the Fern Trail toward the Low Knoll Lookout.  Nature Trust Sammy pointed out a few of the several Fern species along this trail (e.g. Sword Fern, one of 9000 species world-wide).  Evidence of Pileated Woodpeckers was everywhere, but we didn’t see one.  And birds were calling and singing everywhere; we had the usual inane discussion that “elderly deaf people” have trying to identify these sounds.  Here’s a list of the birds “heard”: Warblers – Wilson’s, Yellow-rumped, Townsend’s, Orange-crowned, Common Yellowthroat (seen), Swainson’s Thrush, Pacific-slope Flycatcher, Pacific & Marsh Wrens, Spotted Sandpiper.  Some beauties we “saw” included: Western Tanagers, Black-headed Grosbeaks (sitting on a nest), American Goldfinches, Brown Creeper, Downy Woodpeckers, Steller’s Jays, Chestnut-backed Chickadees, Anna’s & Rufous Hummingbirds.  We were blanked on the Red-breasted Sapsucker, although lots of evidence of them on tree trunks.  Richmond Brian recorded 30 species on his eBird List of the outing (see list below).

At the Low Knoll Lookout, the view was spectacular, with a Mourning Dove posing, and Jim took another Group Photo.


16 DNCB at Low Knoll Lookout – photo by Jim Kneesch (not in photo)

We continued down along the Mid-Marsh Trail and found several species of Waterfowl in both the Upper and Lower Marshes, including Bufflehead, Wood Ducks, Gadwall, families of Mallards and Canada Geese, and lots of Red Slider Turtles.  Tree Swallows were entertaining, entering and exiting their nest boxes.  Although several passers-by said they saw Black Bears, this is our first outing to Minnekhada where we didn’t actually see one.

We took the Lodge Trail back to the Lodge, and being 11:45 am, we decided to end the outing and go for lunch at the Meridian Arms Pub in Port Coquitlam.  Lara and Jenny looked after the twelve of us (see photo) and my Pub Special of Steak & Spaghetti with two pints of Red Racer Lager was outstanding.  Others agreed, and the all-important cost for us pensioners was very reasonable.  The police incident with the druggies in the parking lot didn’t bother us, and the Mike & Roger historical guided drive back to Tsawwassen was almost scintillating.  After performing the seemingly daily Varage (local on-line garage sale) pick-up & delivery for daughter Erica, I was home in time to plant and hang red Geraniums for Sandra.  It was another awesome DNCB outing day.

The seventeen were: Mike drove Roger, PB Lorna & me, David & Noreen had BB Valerie, Chris drove Jim K, Glen, & Mike B2, loners were Richmond Brian, keen-eared Kirsten, VanCity Lidia, and Ladner Sammy brought her two Nature Trust students Becca & Carolina.

Next Wednesday, May 29, we’ll leave Petra’s at 7:30 am for the Semiahmoo Fish & Game Club in Surrey, meeting at the Little Campbell River Hatchery at 8:30 am.

For details on this and other outings, reports and photos, see our website.  As always, your comments are encouraged, and let me know if these annoying weekly missives incite your removal from my email list.  Cheers: Tom

Tom Bearss, President, Delta Naturalists Society

Brian Avent’s eBird Checklist Summary
Number of Checklists: 1, Number of Taxa: 30
Minnekhada Regional Park
Date: May 22, 2019 at 8:24 AM

12 Canada Goose — (1)
4 Wood Duck — (1)
2 Gadwall — (1)
12 Mallard — (1)
3 Rock Pigeon (Feral Pigeon) — (1)
1 Mourning Dove — (1)
1 Anna’s Hummingbird — (1)
3 Sandhill Crane — (1)
1 Bald Eagle — (1)
1 Hairy Woodpecker — (1)
X Pacific-slope Flycatcher — (1)
2 Steller’s Jay (Coastal) — (1)
X Tree Swallow — (1)
2 Chestnut-backed Chickadee — (1)
1 Brown Creeper — (1)
2 Pacific Wren — (1)
1 Marsh Wren — (1)
2 Swainson’s Thrush — (1)
6 American Robin — (1)
1 House Finch — (1)
1 American Goldfinch — (1)
1 Dark-eyed Junco — (1)
1 Song Sparrow — (1)
3 Spotted Towhee — (1)
1 Orange-crowned Warbler — (1)
4 Common Yellowthroat — (1)
1 Yellow-rumped Warbler — (1)
2 Wilson’s Warbler — (1)
2 Western Tanager — (1)
1 Black-headed Grosbeak — (1)

Posted in *DNCB, Brown Creeper, Minnekhada Park, Mourning Dove, Orange-crowned Warbler, Pacific-slope Flycatcher, Sandhill Crane, Swainson's Thrush, Townsend's Warbler, Western Tanager, Wilson’s Warbler, Yellow-rumped Warbler | Leave a comment