DNCB Report No. 2019-43 to Jericho Beach Park

Twenty-four DNCBers wandered around Jericho Beach Park in Vancouver on an overcast, but dry Tuesday morning.  We had a few neat sightings, lots of post-Thanksgiving chats, and a delightful lunch.  Check out the photo evidence on our DNCB Flickr site.

We (12) car-pooled nicely in three vehicles from Petra’s around 7:30 am.  Traffic was fine through the tunnel, but Oak Street Bridge was horrendous.  I followed Magellan Roger and, predictably, our shortcuts through Dunbar and almost every side street in Vancouver got us to Jericho Beach surprisingly only 15 minutes after everyone else (~8:40 am).  The masses were waiting, and Terry had organized our free parking on a side street.  Noreen took our first Group Photo here before we walked to the beach.

2019-43_Jericho_DNCB_ontime gang DSC00649 Oct 15

DNCB at Jericho Beach – the on-time gang – photo by Noreen Rudd

The beach was quiet, water calm and flat, and the view across English Bay to downtown Vancouver, Stanley Park, and the mountains in the background was spectacular, despite being overcast.

Two Bufflehead, Common Loons, Horned Grebes, and both Pelagic and Double-crested Cormorants were the bird attractions on the Bay, among the many anchored Freighters.  Then we walked around the ponds in the park.  Of note, we saw Kinglets, both Ruby- and Golden-crowned, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Pacific Wren, American Goldfinches, five Sparrow species (Savannah, Song, White- & Golden-crowned, and Fox), Anna’s Hummingbird, Bushtits, Downy Woodpecker, plus other regular common birds.  A lone juvenile Snow Goose circled over our heads and landed in a pond, pleasing our photogs.  No other rarities in the ponds, only Mallards, American Wigeon and Great Blue Herons.  Lots of wild (domestic) Rabbits around.  David reported 34 species on his eBird list for the day.

We walked out the Jericho Pier to see the fishermen.  They periodically pulled in their Crab Traps, which always contained Crabs, but all too small for keeping while we were there.  A Harbour Seal was entertaining, seeking photogs attention.  The walk back to the vehicles, via the treed area (including Redwoods, Big Leaf Maple) on the other side of the ponds produced many of the afore-mentioned bird species.  Terry was fascinated by the recent activity of the resident Beaver.  We got back to the vehicles around 11:10 am and, after Noreen took the Group Photo of all 23 of us,

2019-43_Jericho_DNCB_late gang DSC00713

DNCB at Jericho Beach Park – including latecomers – – photo by Noreen Rudd

and wanting to avoid the predicted Noon rainfall, we decided to go for early lunch at Aphrodite’s Organic Café & Pie Shop on 4h Avenue (Terry’s choice for the desserts).

My organic stuffed French Toast with fresh fruits on the side, along with an “okay” organic Honey Ale (no lagers on Tap), was huge and delicious.  The service was excellent too, but the 18% automatic gratuity for a large group (12) pissed off a number of us.  I was happy as my Aussie guests Graham & Merrelyn picked up my bill.  The drive home in light rain was smooth and uneventful (1:30 pm).  Another super DNCB outing.

We 24 were: Short-cut Roger, Mike B, PB Lorna, David & Noreen, Jonathan & Lorraine, South Surrey Warren (Wazza) & Lynne and Colin, VanCity Kirstin, Ladner Pam, newbie/returnee Janet H, Torontonian Brian R & Cindy C, Richmond Brian, Glen B, our lovable Germanics Margaretha & Gabriele, Gerhard L, visiting West Australians Graham & Merrelyn, our Organizer and pie-lover Terry C,  and me.

Next Tuesday, October 22, is a local outing to Reifel Bird Sanctuary, meeting at the entrance shortly after 9:00 am.  We’ll leave Petra’s at 7:30 am and visit the Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal first.

Also, on Sunday, October 20, Delta Nats will be exhibiting in the Welcome Back the Birds event at Harris Barn in Ladner, 1:00 to 5:00 pm.  Please join us at this free family event.

See our website for more info on these events, other reports and photos.  As always, your comments are welcome, and let me know if this weekly propaganda is annoying and you want off my email list.  Cheers: Tom

Tom Bearss, President, Delta Naturalists Society (timely report for a change, playing hockey tomorrow)

Vancouver–Jericho Park Oct 15, 2019
34 species (+1 other taxa)

Snow Goose  1
Canada Goose  20
American Wigeon  44
Mallard  19
Bufflehead  2
Horned Grebe  3
Rock Pigeon (Feral Pigeon)  7
Anna’s Hummingbird  1
Ring-billed Gull  16
Glaucous-winged Gull  2
Pelagic Cormorant  2
Double-crested Cormorant  2
cormorant sp.  55
Great Blue Heron  4
Downy Woodpecker  1
Northern Flicker  3
Northwestern Crow  21
Black-capped Chickadee  17
Bushtit  15
Ruby-crowned Kinglet  9
Golden-crowned Kinglet 1
Pacific Wren  2
Bewick’s Wren  1
American Robin  3
House Finch  6
American Goldfinch  15
Fox Sparrow  4
Dark-eyed Junco  8
White-crowned Sparrow  1
Golden-crowned Sparrow  14
Savannah Sparrow  1
Song Sparrow  5
Spotted Towhee  8
Red-winged Blackbird  1
Orange-crowned Warbler  1


Posted in *DNCB, Golden-crowned Kinglet, Harbour Seal, Jericho Beach, Pelagic Cormorant, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Yellow-rumped Warbler | Leave a comment

DNCB Outing No. 2019-42 to Brunswick Point

Nineteen DNCBers braved the windy and cool elements on what turned out to be a very pleasant and productive Tuesday morning outing along the dike trail at Brunswick Point.  We saw lots of migrant waterfowl and shorebirds, and other good stuff; check out the photo evidence on our DNCB Flickr site.

Some car-pooled from Petra’s at 7:30 am and we all met at 8:00 am at the Ladner River Road entrance to the Brunswick Point trail.  It was overcast, occasionally spitting rain, windy and cold; I was surprised to see so many keeners showing up.  We started our stroll along the trail and had a few sightings, despite being unable to hear any birds because of the wind and, of course, the continuous chatfests.  Lots of sparrows (four species seen Song, White- and Golden-crowned, Fox), finches, and Bushtits flitting in the bushes.  David took the obligatory Group Photo below the dike, out of the wind.


DNCB at Brunswick Point – photo by David Hoar

A bird raced up out of the marsh reeds and Torontonian Brian identified it as a Wilson’s Snipe.  As we scoped the thousands of Snow Geese lined along the water’s edge, a big brown bird cruised by.  Anne is fairly certain it was a Brown Booby; one was seen at Iona last week.  Wish we had better looks at this bird.  Then a Peregrine Falcon cruised by.

As we moved along the trail, the clouds dispersed and the sun began to shine.  The trail got closer to Robert’s Bank and we were able to ID some of the hundreds of Shorebirds feeding in the mud.  Mostly Black-bellied Plovers, with Dunlin, a few Western and Least Sandpipers, and a Pectoral Sandpiper among them.  Roger saw Sanderlings and Killdeer.  The hundreds of ducks were further out,  Green-winged Teal, Northern Pintail, American Wigeon, Gadwall and Mallards.  The tide was way out so our scopes were helpful, and required.  A couple of Bald Eagles were posted in the mud flats and several Northern Harriers were cruising above the marsh.

Some DNCBers had some other interesting sightings including a Yellow-rumped Warbler, Golden-crowned Kinglets, an American Kestrel.  I enjoyed watching six Western Meadowlarks flitting in the marsh, along with four Northern Flickers, plus the occasional V flypast of small flocks of Snow Geese.  We were blanked on American Bitterns and owls.  David counted 34 species on eBird for this outing see below.

We got back to the vehicles about 11:25 am, good timing for us to go to lunch at Speed’s Pub in Ladner (10, see photo), arriving before the Noon crowd.


Pub gang Speed’s – photo by Tony Mitra

My traditional Fish & Chips Special along with only one pint of 1516 OK Springs Lager was delicious and others were complimentary of their food and Cliff’s superb service.  I was home in time to nibble at Sandra’s To Do List of some 8000 items (slight exaggeration).  It was another awesome DNCB outing.

The 19 brave souls were: Richmond Brian & Louise, Torontonian Brian, returning regulars Jonathan & Lorraine, David & Noreen, Mike B, Chris McV, injured Roger M, Roger Two, Glen B, inimitable ILB Tony, regular late arrivers lovely Germanics Margaretha & Gabriele and directionally-challenged Colin & Wazza, our Guru Anne, and me.

Next Tuesday, October 15, we will leave Petra’s at 7:30 am for Jericho Beach Park.  We’ll park on West 2nd Avenue and meet others nearby.

Check out our website for more info on this and other outings, and reports and photos.

Don’t forget the Delta Candidates Election Debate at 6:30 pm tonight (Thursday) at Kin Village in Tsawwassen, co-sponsored by Delta Nats.

As always, your comments are welcome, and let me know if these weekly missives bore you and you want off my email list.  Cheers, & Happy Thanksgiving: Tom

Tom Bearss, President, Delta Naturalists Society

Brunswick Point, Delta Oct 8, 2019
34 species (+2 other taxa)

Snow Goose X hundreds
Canada Goose 92
Mallard 42
duck sp. X
Rock Pigeon (Feral Pigeon) 5
Black-bellied Plover 22
Killdeer 2
Dunlin 2
Least Sandpiper 3
Pectoral Sandpiper 2
Western Sandpiper 4
Wilson’s Snipe 1
Ring-billed Gull 2
California Gull 1
Glaucous-winged Gull 2
gull sp. X Lots distant
Brown Booby 1 Sighted overhead by several experienced birders. It was flying up river (east) with a strong Westerly wind. No photos but there is one that has been photographed in the area recently (Iona Jetty)
Great Blue Heron 3
Northern Harrier 5
Bald Eagle 4
Northern Flicker 10
American Kestrel 1
Peregrine Falcon 1
Northwestern Crow 4
Black-capped Chickadee 5
Bushtit 30
Golden-crowned Kinglet 2
American Robin 8
House Finch 3
American Goldfinch 2
Fox Sparrow 2
White-crowned Sparrow 1
Golden-crowned Sparrow 2
Song Sparrow 6
Western Meadowlark 10
Yellow-rumped Warbler 1

Posted in *DNCB, American Kestrel, Bald Eagle, Black-bellied Plover, Brown Booby, Brunswick Point, Dunlin, Least Sandpiper, Northern Harrier, Pectoral Sandpiper, Peregrine Falcon, Sanderling, Western Meadowlark, Western Sandpiper, Wilson's Snipe, Yellow-rumped Warbler | Leave a comment

DNCB Outing No. 2019-41 to White Rock Pier & Blackie Spit Park

Thirty-two DNCBers joined part or all of our Tuesday morning outing to the White Rock pier then Blackie Spit Park in South Surrey.  We saw lots of neat stuff, including rarities, and you can see the incredible photo evidence on our DNCB Flickr site.

Some car-pooled from Petra’s at 7:30 am and we all met at the entrance to the “new” White Rock pier around 8:00 am.  The rising sun made the area very picturesque for our photogs, and it was a bit chilly (15 degrees) but comfy.  We walked the pier and got mandatory Group Photos at both ends.

2019-41_WR Pier_DH

DNCB at White Rock Pier – photo by David Hoar

2019-41 DNCB at the end of WR Pier_DH

DNCB at South end of WR Pier – photo by David Hoar:  “I’ve looked at Piers from both sides now…”

The tide was high and there were rafts of Surf Scoters close by, along with Common Loons, both Red-necked and Horned Grebes (Western Grebes in the distance), Pelagic and Double-crested Cormorants, a few White-winged Scoters, but we were blanked on Black Scoters and Eared Grebes.  The resident flock of Black Turnstones made a guest appearance on the stone breakwall during one of the many bonding chatfests that occurred throughout the morning.  We had several newbies, visitors and “occasionals” with us this morning, including locals from White Rock.

As we waited for a train to pass, a Savannah Sparrow posed on the rocky shoreline below the pier entrance sign (is it really the Longest Pier in Canada?)  Some walked the promenade to the promenade end (Bayview Park), passing the Museum and Friends of Semiahmoo Bay Marg’s Native Plant Demonstration Garden.  We mistakenly thought there were Black Scoters here.  Unidentified warblers were in the bushes.  We drove on in many vehicles to Blackie Spit Park.

Blackie Spit did not disappoint us.  The wintering resident Long-billed Curlew and a Marbled Godwit, our Target Birds, were feeding along the Nicomekl River shore, with Green-winged Teal, Northern Pintail and American Wigeon.  Savannah Sparrows were flitting, and bathing, but we didn’t see any Western Meadowlarks (seen on weekend).  Across the river, a hundred Harbour Seals were lounging, as were flocks of Gulls (Glaucous-winged, Ring-billed, California, Mew, Western, etc.) and Caspian Terns.

At the end of the Spit, it was interesting to watch the dynamics of this huge group of DNCB birders.  Many were flocked together in small groups on the sandy shore, gazing periodically out onto the water.  Their mouths were flapping continuously; occasionally smiling and laughing.  There wasn’t a bird anywhere in sight, but they were having a ball.

We left the Spit toward the Rene Savenye area.  A dozen or more Steller’s Jays were gathering acorns from a single tree.  Northern Flickers were noisy, and Terry got a photo of an uncommon (here) yellow-shafted species, normally only found east of the Rockies.  Many Yellowlegs (30+) were in the river bed and we got great looks, and photos, of a Greater and Lesser feeding beside each other.  Lots of little birds were flitting in the bushes, including warblers, but we could only confirm Orange-crowned and Yellow-rumped, and Purple Finches, Anna’s Hummingbirds, both Black-capped & Chestnut-backed Chickadees, White-crowned Sparrows, Dark-eyed Juncos, and Cedar Waxwings.  Jean identified a Pine Siskin that I saw.  Our eBirder David recorded 42 species seen today at the three locations (see below).

Approaching Noon and, since I’d lost track of the whereabouts of most participants, a few of us (10, see Tony’s photo) decided to go for lunch at our regular South Surrey spot, the Town Hall Pub.  The very pleasant and colourful Maegan served us and, although my Cottage Pie was just okay, the two pints of House Lager (Red Truck) along with Glen’s Pork Ribs, Mike’s Fries and David’s “almost” Calamari were delightful.  I was home before 2:30 pm, in time to rest and prepare for Tuesday night’s Nats meeting.  Another super DNCB outing.

The 32 were: Organizer Terry and Wandering Roger, PB Lorna, Roger Two, Glen B, our Indian Land Baron (ILB) Tony, back in the fold Jonathan & Lorraine, visiting Torontonian Brian R and his newbie friend Cindy C, sisters Pat & Maureen, Jean G, Marion & Kirsten, our Guru Anne, eBirder David w/o Noreen, my private fisherman Richmond Brian & Louise, Collin w/o Stephanie; affable White Rock magnate FOSB’s Marg C & David, newbie White Rocker Mahara S, sophomore Lindly L, VanCity Lidia, our lovable Germanics Margaretha & Gabriele, “occasional” Langley Joanne, Chris McV, Debbi H w/o Kathryn, Mike B and me.

Next Tuesday, October 8, we’ll leave Petra’s at 7:30 am for the Brunswick Point trail.  We should be at the River Road entrance before 8:00 am, depending on our route to get there.

For more info on our outings, and other events, reports and photos, check our website.

A reminder that the BC Nature FGM starts Thursday, Oct. 3 to the 6th at Pitt Meadows Golf Course and, Delta Nats is a co-sponsor of the 100 Debates on Climate Change on October 10 at Kin Village, with all Delta Candidates for election in the federal election on October 21 participating.  All welcome at these events.


As always, your comments are encouraged, and let me know if this weekly drivel bothers you and you want to be removed from my email list.  Cheers: Tom

Tom Bearss, President, Delta Naturalists Society

White Rock Pier 1-Oct-2019
13 species (+1 other taxa)
Canada Goose 42
American Wigeon 15
Surf Scoter 32
White-winged Scoter 3
Red-necked Grebe 2
Western Grebe 5
Rock Pigeon (Feral Pigeon) 26
Black Turnstone 9
Mew Gull 2
Glaucous-winged Gull 12
gull sp. 44
Common Loon 5
Great Blue Heron 1
Savannah Sparrow 1

Bayview Park, White Rock
11 species
Canada Goose 8
Surf Scoter 55
White-winged Scoter 5
Horned Grebe 12
Rock Pigeon (Feral Pigeon) 15
Mew Gull 1
Ring-billed Gull 2
Glaucous-winged Gull 12
Steller’s Jay 1
Northwestern Crow 7
Song Sparrow 1

Blackie Spit (Incl. Dunsmuir Farm & Nicomekl estuary)
36 species (+3 other taxa)
American Wigeon 53
Mallard 7
Northern Pintail 4
Green-winged Teal 11
Horned Grebe 1
Red-necked Grebe 4
Rock Pigeon (Feral Pigeon) 7
Anna’s Hummingbird 2
Killdeer 2
Long-billed Curlew 1
Marbled Godwit 1
Greater Yellowlegs 42
Lesser Yellowlegs 1
Ring-billed Gull 9
California Gull 3
Common Loon 10
Double-crested Cormorant 3
cormorant sp. 1
Great Blue Heron 32
Northern Flicker 7
Northern Flicker (Yellow-shafted x Red-shafted) 1
Steller’s Jay 7
Northwestern Crow 6
Black-capped Chickadee 5
Chestnut-backed Chickadee 2
Bushtit 10
European Starling 1
American Robin 22
Cedar Waxwing 12
Purple Finch 2
Pine Siskin 1
Dark-eyed Junco 8
White-crowned Sparrow 6
Savannah Sparrow 7
Song Sparrow 2
Spotted Towhee 3
Orange-crowned Warbler 1
Yellow-rumped Warbler 1
passerine sp. 1

Total 42 Species

Posted in *DNCB, Black Turnstone, Blackie Spit, California Gull, Caspian Tern, Cedar Waxwing, Harbour Seal, Long-billed Curlew, Marbled Godwit, Mew Gull, Orange-crowned Warbler, Pelagic Cormorant, Purple Finch, Red-necked Grebe, Western Gull, White Rock Pier, Yellow-rumped Warbler | Leave a comment

DNCB Outing No. 2019-40 to Pt. Roberts, USA

Twenty-five DNCBers enjoyed a beautiful Wednesday morning of birding at several locations in Pt. Roberts, USA.  We saw lots of species, several neat and entertaining, at Lighthouse Marine Park, the Marina and Sea Bright Homes complex; check out the massive selection of photo evidence on our DNCB Flickr site.

Three car loads left Petra’s at 7:30 am, crossed the border smoothly, and met the others around 8:10 am at Lighthouse Marine Park, after a brief stop at Kiniski’s Reef Tavern (to search the shoreline, not drink).  The sun was shining brightly and I was very comfortable in just a tee shirt.  As people arrived, and the chatfest exploded, some scanned the Bay.  Many winter migrants have arrived, and we saw three Grebe species (Horned, Red-necked and Western), three Scoter species (Surf, White-winged and even Black), three Cormorant species (Double-crested, Pelagic and Brandt’s), two Loon species (Common and Pacific) and Caspian Terns.  Noreen took the mandatory Group photo before we walked to the “lighthouse” point.

2019-40_Pt Roberts Gang_NR9

DNCB at Lighthouse Marine Park – photo by Noreen Rudd

The scopes were very helpful to focus on some species further out such as Pigeon Guillemots, Marbled Murrelet and the Harbour Porpoises.  Our photogs got flocks of Red-breasted Mergansers and Greater Scaup which I didn’t see.  The tide was not high, nor low, and the shore was rocky.  Some of the resident flock of Black Turnstones were very difficult to spot among the rocks, as was the Killdeer.  Only a few of the Harlequin Ducks were in breeding plumage, and the males were gorgeous.

While watching a flock of gulls feeding, we noticed our Target and Bird of the Day, a Parasitic Jaeger, pursuing the gulls to steal their food.  Then another Jaeger joined in.  It was very entertaining to watch the Jaegers in action, which happened a few times so everyone got good looks.  Humpback Whales were seen here the day before, but we didn’t see any whales this day.

We took the inland trail back to the parking lot.  Big flocks of Cedar Waxwings, House Finches and White-crowned Sparrows cruised among the trees and bushes.  An American Kestrel was a neat sighting.  We saw most of the common birds too, and David’s eBird List below indicates we had 47 species seen.  We had our first warbler here, an Orange-crowned, and a singing Fox Sparrow and Chestnut-backed Chickadee were a bit exciting too.

We left this Park for the south side of the Marina.  Black Oystercatchers, a Belted Kingfisher, and a River Otter eating a fish were the best new sightings at this location.  We continued on to the Sea Bright housing development.  We followed their beautiful trail and steps down the cliff.  Up top, a flock of Yellow-rumped Warblers flitted for our photogs.  Down the steps, more Grebes, Harlies and Cormorants, but no whale spouts, which we were looking for.  I felt like sun bathing on the beach as it was so nice and warm.

It was nearly 12:30 pm when we left here for the cheap gas, then the smooth Border crossing, to the Rose & Crown Pub in Tsawwassen for lunch.  Lovely Leila served us, the “Fantastic Five” (see Tony’s photo), the Lunch Specials, mine was Roast Beef on a Bun with a Meat & Veggie Soup, of course with a pint of draught Canadian.


DNCB at Rose & Crown – photo by Tony Mitra

I was home in time to join Sandra and Auntie Barbara at granddaughter Juliette’s Gymnastics Class.  It was another awesome DNCB day.

The 25 were: our Organizer Terry C, our Gurus Anne & Roger (I’ve promoted Roger for no good reason), our Flickr Guru Glen B, South Surrey couples Colin & Stephanie and Wazza & Lynne with Beatrice, other photogs Richmond Brian, Pat S with newbie David D, ILB Tony M, David & Noreen, New Yorkers Carolyn & Chief Bill, visiting Torontonian Brian R, VanCity Lidia, Boundary Bay Val, North Delta Jean, time-challenged Germanics Margaretha & Gabriele, our historian Mike B and me.

Next Tuesday (yes Tuesday), October 1, we will leave Petra’s at 7:30 am for the White Rock pier around 8 am, then Blackie Spit Park.

Also, don’t forget our monthly Delta Nats meeting that same evening at 7:30 pm at the Benediction Lutheran Church in Tsawwassen.  Ron Long will be presenting on his adventures at nature parks in Botswana and Namibia.  All welcome, and free.

Get more info on this event, our outings, reports and photos on our website.  As always, your comments are encouraged, and let me know if this verbal diarrhea annoys you and you want off my email list.  Cheers: Tom

Tom Bearss, President, Delta Naturalists Society

Lighthouse Marine Park, Point Roberts
25-Sep-2019; 38 species (+1 other taxa)

Canada Goose 11
Greater Scaup X
Harlequin Duck 7
Surf Scoter 6
White-winged Scoter 18
Black Scoter 1
Long-tailed Duck 2
Western Grebe 4
Anna’s Hummingbird 2
Killdeer 2
Black Turnstone 6
Parasitic Jaeger 2
Mew Gull 1
Ring-billed Gull 4
California Gull 1
Glaucous-winged Gull 9
gull sp. X
Caspian Tern 3
Pacific Loon 1
Common Loon 4
Pelagic Cormorant 2
Double-crested Cormorant 12
Great Blue Heron 4
Northern Flicker 2
Peregrine Falcon 1
Northwestern Crow 29
Black-capped Chickadee 8
Chestnut-backed Chickadee 3
Red-breasted Nuthatch 1
European Starling 3
Cedar Waxwing 23
House Finch 17
American Goldfinch 30
Fox Sparrow 4
Dark-eyed Junco 4
White-crowned Sparrow 4
Savannah Sparrow 4
Song Sparrow 3
Spotted Towhee 2
Orange-crowned Warbler 2

South Beach, Point Roberts
25-Sep-2019; 15 species (+1 other taxa)

Horned Grebe 3
Red-necked Grebe 1
Black Oystercatcher 3
Black Turnstone 33
Pigeon Guillemot 3
Marbled Murrelet 1
Glaucous-winged Gull 4
gull sp. X
Caspian Tern 2
Common Loon 1
Pelagic Cormorant 3
Belted Kingfisher 1
House Finch 5
Fox Sparrow 1
Savannah Sparrow 2
Song Sparrow 1

Seabright Farm, Point Roberts
25-Sep-2019; 21 species

Harlequin Duck 7
Surf Scoter 2
Horned Grebe 3
Red-necked Grebe 1
Mew Gull 2
Ring-billed Gull 2
Pacific Loon 1
Common Loon 1
Brandt’s Cormorant 3
Pelagic Cormorant 4
Double-crested Cormorant 2
Great Blue Heron 1
Belted Kingfisher 1
Northern Flicker 3
American Kestrel 1
Black-capped Chickadee 3
Dark-eyed Junco 6
Savannah Sparrow 2
Song Sparrow 1
Spotted Towhee 2
Yellow-rumped Warbler 6

TOTAL 47 Species

Posted in *DNCB, American Kestrel, Black Oystercatcher, Black Scoter, Black Turnstone, Brandt's Cormorant, Caspian Tern, Cedar Waxwing, Harbour Porpoise, Harlequin Duck, Marbled Murrelet, Pacific Loon, Parasitic Jaeger, Pelagic Cormorant, Pigeon Guillemot, Point Roberts, Red-breasted Merganser, Red-necked Grebe, River Otter, Western Grebe, Yellow-rumped Warbler | Leave a comment

DNCB Outing 2019-39 to Iona Regional Park

2019-39 Iona_Noreen.jpg

DNCB at Iuna – photo by Noreen Rudd

THREE Reports this week!!  From Anne Murray, Roger Meyer & Tom Bearss, just back from his golfing trip to Newfoundland.

From Tom:  Thirty (Wow!) DNCBers enjoyed another beautiful Wednesday morning of birding in Iona Regional Park.  We saw lots of neat species including shorebirds, warblers (some being banded), raptors and newly-arrived migrant waterfowl; check out the 200 plus brilliant photos on our Flickr site at our DNCB Flickr site.

Some car-pooled from Petra’s enduring horrendous rush-hour traffic (The kids are back in school), and we all met at the Iona parking lot around 8:30 am.  Diving Caspian Terns and a River Otter entertained us in the front pond as Noreen and Tony took the Group photo of the masses.


DNCB at Iona – photo by Tony Mitra

The tide was high so we checked out the beach before strolling through the park and then the sewage lagoons.  I left the group at this stage to pick up my Aussie guests Merrelyn & Graham at the Alaska Cruise terminal downtown, returning with them at 11:00 am.  So Anne and Roger have provided their reports below.

From Anne:  After checking out the beach, our large group headed inland past the lagoons where we immediately dissolved into many small groups.  Song Sparrows and Yellow-rumped Warblers flitted in the blackberry bushes, and a Hermit Thrush posed briefly.  Half the group stopped to check out the Wild Research banding station.  I joined others wandering ahead to the sewage lagoons.  A dark Peregrine seen earlier flew overhead, then a smaller Merlin flew the other way and conveniently posed on a dead tree giving excellent views of its field marks.

Once into the lagoons, most of the group in there pushed on remorselessly, but I stopped with a few others to scope the enormous flock of Savannah Sparrows feeding on the mud of the southwest drained lagoon.  There were dozens of birds there – maybe a hundred – blending in very well with the low grass and foliage and dry mud.  I suspected Lincoln’s Sparrows would be present so spent quite awhile with a few other birders checking every bird.  Eventually I had repeated views of one Lincoln’s in bushes beside the path, and later another popped up into view on the perimeter fence.  Red-winged Blackbirds, Song Sparrows and a solitary Marsh Wren were in among the Savannahs.

Then our very small group checked out the shorebirds in the northeast lagoon (no ducks on the other two lagoons which were full of water; no doubt they were disturbed by the Merlin, Peregrine and a Northern Harrier).  We saw a dozen Long-billed Dowitchers and perhaps a Short-billed – it’s head shape looked S-B but I didn’t have my camera and all the photogs were away and gone up the riverside trail.  Good views of a flock of about 10 Pectoral Sandpipers, and there were a  few peeps that disappeared before I got around to scoping them.

Our small group had also fragmented, so I hurried to catch up with the main group now spread out along the woodlot path.  A lot of chatter and nothing too exciting in the way of new birds was subsequently seen.  A nice walk in good weather with about 40 species of birds, rounded off with excellent fish tacos at O’Hare’s pub afterwards.

Anne Murray

From Roger:  Anne and I agreed that the Merganser at the beginning was a juvenile Hooded.  After Tom left to pick up his guests, the group fragmented, and we probably all saw some different species.  The highlights for me were the feeding Caspian Terns at the beginning… watching them dive into the water and come up with fairly large fish.  The Peregrine and Merlin being so active, and watching the Peregrine circle and then drop like a bullet chasing its prey was a beautiful sight!

I thought the bird banders were very gracious with their explaining what they do and showing members several of the species they were banding… I’m sure this was something new for several in the group.  For me, seeing a flock of Pectorals was exciting as I’ve usually only come across singletons.  Anne’s Lincoln’s Sparrow was a good one, but we were so spread out by that time that I’m not sure how many got to see it.

I though we had a great day and enjoyed talking to the newbies.  Not too many species, but the ones we saw were worth it!  Good to have you back, Tom, and we await your Labrador Blog with all your exciting birds (or birdies, eagles?)  Roger Meyer

Check out David’s eBird List below, which shows we saw about 41 species.

From Tom again:  On my return to Iona at 11:00 am, Graham, Merrelyn and I spent a lot of time with Amanda and the Wild Research Bird Banders.  We were thrilled to hold and release tiny Yellow and Yellow-rumped Warblers and a Golden-crowned Kinglet among the many birds they captured and banded this morning.

Approaching Noon, we joined the group at the parking lot where sixteen of us decided to go for lunch at O’Hare’s Gastropub in Steveston (group was too large to go to Flying Beaver).  Good decision as the pub was recently beautifully renovated, and my Special of a Ham & Cheese Panini with Pea Soup and two pints of the House Lager was delicious, and cheap, plus our server Ariana was delightful.  Another awesome DNCB outing.

The 30 were (They like their names in print): Gurus Anne & Roger, Organizer Terry, Mike B, Glen B, Chris McV, Ladner Jack Mac, Johnny Mac, Ladner Pam, sisters Pat & Maureen and Manli, Jean G, David & Noreen, Richmond Brian & Louise, PB Lorna, Colin & Stephanie, Warren (Wazza) & Lynne, Jonathan & Lorraine, ILB Tony M, newbie Susan, Lindly, Aussie’s Graham & Merrelyn, and me.

Next Wednesday, September 25, we will meet at and leave from Petra’s at 7:30 am for Point Roberts USA (note changed destination).  We’ll meet others at the Lighthouse Marine Park before 8:00 am.

For more info on this and other outings, plus reports and photos, see our website.  As always, your comments are encouraged, and let me know if this longwinded, boring epistle annoys you, and you want off my email list.  Cheers: Tom

Tom Bearss, President, Delta Naturalists Society


DNCB + Aussie Guest – photo by Roger Meyer

eBird Report by David Hoar
Iona Island 18-Sep-2019
Comments: Not certain of shorebird numbers 41 species (+2 other taxa)

Canada Goose 12
Northern Shoveler 6
American Wigeon 7
Mallard 9
Northern Pintail 1
Green-winged Teal 18
Hooded Merganser 1
Anna’s Hummingbird 1
Killdeer 3
Pectoral Sandpiper 6
Western Sandpiper 18
Long-billed Dowitcher 18
Greater Yellowlegs 5
Lesser Yellowlegs 2
Ring-billed Gull 92
Glaucous-winged Gull 5
gull sp. X
Caspian Tern 8
cormorant sp. 20
Great Blue Heron 4
Northern Harrier 2
Downy Woodpecker 1
Merlin 2
Peregrine Falcon 1
Northwestern Crow 3
Black-capped Chickadee 4
Barn Swallow 20
Golden-crowned Kinglet 1
Marsh Wren 1
Hermit Thrush 1
American Robin 2
Fox Sparrow 1
White-crowned Sparrow 35
Golden-crowned Sparrow 4
Savannah Sparrow X Dozens in many locations
Song Sparrow 6
Lincoln’s Sparrow 2
Spotted Towhee 7
Red-winged Blackbird 5
Orange-crowned Warbler 3
Common Yellowthroat 1
Yellow Warbler 2
Yellow-rumped Warbler 6

Posted in *DNCB, Caspian Tern, Hermit Thrush, Hooded Merganser, Iona, Lincoln’s Sparrow, Long-billed Dowitcher, Merlin, Orange-crowned Warbler, Pectoral Sandpiper, Peregrine Falcon, River Otter, Western Sandpiper, Yellow Warbler, Yellow-rumped Warbler | Leave a comment

DNCB Birds on the Bay Outing No. 2019-38 in Boundary Bay Regional Park

With Tom still whooping it up in Newfoundland, and Roger and Terry off gallivanting somewhere, I was designated to lead today’s quarterly Birds on the Bay walk in Boundary Bay Regional Park, meeting at 9.00 am.  We had a great group, 23 in all, including several newbies, and gorgeous calm, sunny weather, though the sky was filled with ominous looking rain clouds all around.  I started the event with strict instructions to the group to behave like serious birders: no charging off ahead disturbing everything and no engaging in long chat fests and missing the birds.  Of course, no one took the slightest notice.  However, I did try and pace the walk better than my usual slow dawdle, so we made it round the park quite punctually.  David kindly volunteered to do the eBird list (below) and took group photos.  Check out the photo evidence at our DNCB Flickr site.

Birds on the Bay gang 2019-38_DH

BOTB group at Cammidge House – photo by David Hoar

An Anna’s Hummingbird, a Northern Flicker and an American Robin got our list started near Cammidge House, followed by some fleeting views of White-crowned Sparrows in the roadside bushes, with a Western Tanager emerging for a microsecond among them.  At the pond, 5 Brewer’s Blackbirds helpfully posed behind leaves in the overhanging willow.  A few scruffy Mallard were seen here and at the pump house.  The tide was very low so it was not a good day for waterfowl or shorebirds, but we were able to scope 7 Great Blue Herons at the distant tideline among the large flocks of miscellaneous gulls (too far away even for scope ID).  We should schedule these walks for better tide conditions in future, if at all possible.

Walking north, we appreciated the new rope fencing for the sand dune area, which will benefit nesting Savannah Sparrows and Killdeer among other species.  Savannahs were spotted in the nearby bushes along this stretch of the path, as were Orange-crowned Warblers (lots of warm yellow colour, signifying the coastal subspecieslutescens) and more Anna’s Hummingbirds.  A Merlin flew north ahead of us, unhelpfully presenting only its rear view. Dead trees in the central area of the park had Northern Flicker, Downy Woodpecker, yet more Anna’s Hummingbirds and a couple of Cedar Waxwings.  We took another group photo at Ursula’s bench (in memory of long-time DNS member and gifted photographer, Ursula Easterbrook, who passed away a couple of years ago).

Grouped at Ursula's Bench BOTB 2019-38_DH

BOTB group at Ursula’s Bench – photo by David Hoar

During a lull in the birds, I pointed out some of the park’s native plants, such as big-headed sedge, silver burweed, gumweed, etc.  Spotted Towhees were heard and occasionally seen, as were Yellow-rumped Warblers and a lone Song Sparrow.  3 Barn Swallows flew over.  Northwestern Crows were ubiquitous on the beach and elsewhere.

As there have been large numbers of migrating American Pipits at other locations in Boundary Bay, we were alert to the possibility of this species and scanned the shoreline dune area carefully.  We soon spotted a group, distinguished by their walking gait and long tails edged with white.  They were not too cooperative, keeping in the lower part of the dunes and hiding behind logs.  Everyone got a good look, however, when they gradually took flight, and we counted 31 in all!

The lagoon area that is so rewarding near high tide was pretty dry and quiet.  A single Greater Yellowlegs flew over as we approached and 7 Killdeer posed nicely on the sand.  The outflow area was occupied by a several hundred Canada Geese, all talking at once.  We continued our loop back through the interior of the park, as usual strung out along the trail and animatedly chatting.  Most paused to watch a Red-tailed Hawk and a young Northern Harrier circling overhead.  Two Caspian Terns flew west.  A lone female Purple Finch was on a bare branch.  Young White-crowned Sparrows hopped off the path into the bushes.

The best was yet to come, however!  Nancy and I were conversing energetically when my arm was tugged – our lead group had walked right past a beautiful Great Horned Owl, sitting in a tree just off the trail.


Great Horned Owl (DH)

Great spot by newbie Cathy who now gets bragging rights over her sister!  After that we were able to chat our way happily back to Cammidge House arriving more or less punctually at 11:30.  As usual for the Birds on the Bay event, Elizabeth, Jennifer and Rochelle had coffee on and delicious goodies spread out for lunch. Thanks also to Margarethe who brought chips and hummus.  It was a lovely walk with good weather, great company and some neat birds.

The group today included Noreen and David, Chris, Glen, Mike B, Pam, Debbi, Pat, Jonathan and Lorraine, Val, Tony, Margaretha, Johnny Mac, Gerhard, Aussie Nance, Chief Bill and Caroline, newbies Cathy, Lindly, and Tobin.

Next week, Wednesday 18 September, we are going to Iona Regional Park.  Leave Petra’s at 7:30 am, and meet at the Iona washrooms around 8:15 am.

Report by Anne Murray for Tom Bearss, absent in Newfoundland

eBird List by David Hoar
Boundary Bay Regional Park
29 species (+1 other taxa)

Canada Goose X Several hundred
Mallard 19
Anna’s Hummingbird 5
Killdeer 7
Greater Yellowlegs 1
gull sp. X
Caspian Tern 2
Great Blue Heron 7
Northern Harrier 1
Red-tailed Hawk 1
Great Horned Owl 1
Downy Woodpecker 1
Northern Flicker 2
Merlin 1
Northwestern Crow 32
Black-capped Chickadee 6
Barn Swallow 3
American Robin 3
Cedar Waxwing 2
House Sparrow 2
American Pipit 31
Purple Finch 1
White-crowned Sparrow 10
Savannah Sparrow 15
Song Sparrow 1
Spotted Towhee 4
Brewer’s Blackbird 5
Orange-crowned Warbler 2
Yellow-rumped Warbler 5
Western Tanager 1

Posted in *DNCB, American Pipit, Birds-on-the-Bay, Boundary Bay, Caspian Tern, Cedar Waxwing, Great Horned Owl, Merlin, Purple Finch, Red-tailed Hawk | Leave a comment

DNCB Outing 2019-37 to Mt. Baker, WA

Twelve DNCBers enjoyed a spectacular outing to Mt Baker in Washington. Besides the scenery and flowers, highlights were an American Dipper, 25 American Pipits, 2 Red-breasted Sapsuckers and a Mountain Goat with one horn (a unicorn?).  We did not see any other animals but we heard Pikas.  Check out the photo evidence at our DNCB Flickr site.

The 12 participants were David & Noreen, Lorna, Jack, Valerie W, New Yorkers Bill & Carolyn, Tony, Lidia, Brian & Louise and Terry.  We missed our leader Tom who is golfing in Newfoundland.

Our first stop on the mountain was at Picture Lake.  A Whisky Jack (AKA Gray Jay, Canada Jay) greeted us but it soon disappeared.  We crashed an advertising photo shoot with a young lady in a wedding gown.

Mt. Shuksan was reflected in the lake where there were four Common Mergansers.  There were still a few blueberries on the bushes.  In the trees were Yellow-rumped Warblers, White-crowned & Golden-crowned Sparrows and Juncos.  A Belted Kingfisher posed on a tall snag.

Our next stop was Austin Pass for a walk down to Bagley Lakes where we found the usual American Dipper.  Here we added Flicker, Cedar Waxwings, Pine Siskins and Savannah Sparrows.  After eating our lunches here we walked around the Fire and Ice Trail where we saw many American Pipits and 2 Red-breasted Sapsuckers.  See David’s eBird List below.

Our last stop was at Artist Point (elevation over 1500 metres) to walk part way along the very scenic Ptarmigan Ridge/Chain Lakes Trail.  Here we got our first views of Mt Baker and saw the Mountain Goat.  Many wild flowers were still blooming and attracting butterflies.

Next Wednesday, September 11, is our quarterly Birds on the Bay walk at Centennial Beach.  It begins at Cammidge House at 9am, and in Tom’s absence, will be led by Anne Murray.

Report by Terry Carr

Mount Baker–Picture Lake, Artist Point, Chain Lakes Trail, Whatcom, Washington, US
17 species

Common Merganser 4
Belted Kingfisher 2
Red-breasted Sapsucker 2
Northern Flicker 3
Canada Jay 2
American Crow 2
Common Raven 2
American Dipper 1
American Robin 10
Cedar Waxwing 19
American Pipit 25
Pine Siskin 6
Dark-eyed Junco 7
White-crowned Sparrow 8
Savannah Sparrow 4
Orange-crowned Warbler 1
Yellow-rumped Warbler (Audubon’s) 8

Posted in *DNCB, American Dipper, American Pipit, Artist Point, Canada Jay, Cedar Waxwing, Chain Lakes Trail, Gray Jay, Mountain Goat, Mt. Baker, Picture Lake, Pika, Red-breasted Sapsucker, Yellow-rumped Warbler | Leave a comment