DNCB Outing No. 2018-21 to Minnekhada Regional Park

Twenty-three DNCBers enjoyed another glorious Wednesday morning wandering along the trails of Minnekhada Regional Park in Coquitlam.  Lots of beaut photos of the birds, bears, flowers, vistas, and people seen on this popular outing are on our Flickr site.

Ten of us car-pooled nicely from Petra’s at 7:30 am in three vehicles.  The hour-long drive following Mike B was smooth as we arrived at the Lodge parking lot at 8:35 am to the smiles of the horde of others waiting.  The big group (23) took some time for their obligatory bonding before we descended along the driveway to the Lookout for the also obligatory Group Photo.

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DNCB at Minnekhada – photo by Dave Hoar

Pacific-slope Flycatchers and Wilson’s Warblers were singing everywhere in the Park.  Following David’s photo shoot, we decided to reverse our normal walk and start along the Fern Trail.  Not far along, we found the family of Sandhill Cranes in the marsh reeds just off the trail.  I think everyone eventually got a glimpse of the single tiny Colt following Mom very closely.

The group performed like expert birders because we heard and identified many species, including, Pileated Woodpecker, Black-headed Grosbeak, Black-throated Gray Warbler, Pacific, Bewick’s & Marsh Wrens, Warbling & Cassin’s Vireos, Brown Creeper, and Red-breasted Sapsuckers but didn’t actually see them.  While distinctly hearing and searching for the Pacific-slope Flycatcher and the Wilson’s Warbler, a Swainson’s Thrush surprisingly landed in my binoc’s view.  It found me, I didn’t find it. Nonetheless, a nice sighting.  Some did eventually see a Pacific-slope Flycatcher, Wilson’s & Orange-crowned Warblers, and Bushtits.  Our biologists identified the several Fern species along the trail, and Glen saved a cute miniature frog from being trampled.

We got close to the off-shoot trail to Low Knoll lookout when someone spotted a Black Bear.  The Bear crawled onto the trail, then meandered past us down to where we had come.  Of course, we were cautious, but this juvenile, probably a year or two old, was seemingly not concerned about us, just sniffing its way along the trail.  We left the Bear to his wandering and we continued climbing to the Lookout.  (“Minnekhada Encounters” video by David Hoar has Sandhill Cranes w. colt, then Black Bear footage)

The view from the Lookout was magnificent.  Few birds, but still awesome.  An Anna’s Hummingbird posed, and some saw the pair of Western Tanagers high in the tree tops.  The descent along the Mid-Marsh trail seemed easier than our other visits here.  In the Upper Marsh we saw a Pied-billed Grebe, Wood Ducks, perhaps a Merganser, but mostly just Canada Geese and Mallard families, and the photogenic Great Blue Herons.  We didn’t see the other Sandhill Crane, but heard it calling to the family we had seen earlier in the Lower Marsh.  Lots of Tree, and a few Barn Swallows around.

We followed the Lodge Trail back on the other side of the Lower Marsh.  Lots of Common Yellowthroats around, and the regular Sparrow and Finch species and Red Slider Turtles.  We were blanked on Roger’s Townsend’s and MacGillivray’s Warblers.

It was 11:30 am when we got back to the Lodge.  Begrudgingly, I left for home and grand-parent duties while the group continued on to the new nearby Blakeburn Lagoons Park.  They saw nesting Killdeer here before going to lunch (16 dined) at the Arms Pub in Port Coquitlam.  Mike B was ecstatic with the Steak & Spaghetti lunch with two Guinness pints.

After my directionally-challenged drive home via Port Moody, Burnaby and New Westminster, and Juliette’s gymnastics, Sandra and I ate Steak Pho at the new Vietnamese Phamtastic Pho restaurant in Ladner.  Delicious, but no liquor licence.

All in all, it was another fantastic DNCB outing.  The 23 were: Roger & Terry who did a tonne of the organizing, David & Noreen, Burnaby Roy & Solveig, sisters Pat & Maureen and Manli, Marion & Kirsten, Ladner Jack, Tsawwassen Glen, Richmond Brian, VanCity Lidia, North Delta Liz & Alan, PB Lorna (Thanks again for the sandwich), Boundary Bay Valerie, Mike B & Mike B2, returning DNCB veteran New Westminster Jonathan, and me.

Next Wednesday, May 30, we will leave Petra’s at 7:30 am for Semiahmoo Fish & Game Club (8:15-10:15), then Redwood Park (10:30-11:30) in Surrey.  Lunch at Roadhouse Grille, 1781 King George Blvd.

For more info on this outing, and other reports and photos, visit our website.

As always, your comments are welcome, and let me know if these long-winded, weekly tirades give you grief and you want off my email list.  Cheers: Tom

Tom Bearss, President, Delta Naturalists Society (1:30 am and time for bed)

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Posted in *DNCB, Black Bear, Black-throated Grey Warbler, Blakeburn Lagoons Park, Brown Creeper, Cassin's Vireo, Minnekhada Park, Orange-crowned Warbler, Pacific-slope Flycatcher, Pied-billed Grebe, Pileated Woodpecker, Red-breasted Sapsucker, Sandhill Crane, Swainson's Thrush, Warbling Vireo, Western Tanager, Wilson’s Warbler | Leave a comment

DNCB Outing No. 2018-20 to Pt. Roberts, USA

Nineteen DNCBers enjoyed another gorgeous Wednesday morning birding at some new and old spots in Point Roberts, USA.  Check out the photo evidence of the place, the people, and some amazing birds and flowers on our Flickr site.

We (9) gathered at Petra’s, car-pooling prudently (3 vehicles) at 7:30 am and very smoothly across the Border.  First stop was Kiniski’s Reef Tavern.  Pacific Loons were everywhere this morning, and one in breeding plumage was close to shore.  A huge Sealion (Steller?) cruised by, appearing to almost gobble it down, for an exciting sighting.  A female Belted Kingfisher posed on a pylon, also exciting PB Lorna.

We moved on to our regular meeting spot at Lighthouse Marine Park where the nineteen of us assembled for David’s Group Photo.  Meanwhile, the scopes were very useful in seeing and identifying the Scoter, Cormorant and Loon species in the distance.  We saw one or two Common Loons, but interestingly there were hundreds of Pacific Loons in the Strait.  The Scoters were mostly Surf, but some saw both White-winged and Black. The Cormorants seemed to be mostly Pelagic, but we saw both Double-crested and the elusive Brandt’s, occasionally even flying together.  Pigeon GuillemotsHarlequin Ducks and California Gulls were in close too, and some saw Rhinoceros Auklets and perhaps a Common Murre.  We were blanked on Caspian Terns and Jaegers, seen earlier this week.

We met Tsawwassen Birder Ken Klimco at the Lighthouse Point and he told us about earlier sightings here, including the Terns, Jaeger, Murres, Eastern Kingbird, as well as other spots in Pt. Roberts to see Great Horned Owls, Bullock’s Orioles and House Wrens.  He was very helpful.  As we walked along the trail, a flock of Sanderling whizzed by, and Roger saw a Black Turnstone.  We couldn’t find House Wrens on the inland trail, but did see the regular Sparrow species (mostly White-crowned), lots of Barn and Tree Swallows (Ken had a Cliff Swallow earlier), and both Anna’s and Rufous Hummingbirds.  Brown-headed Cowbirds were hanging around singing Common Yellowthroats, probably preparing to predate their nest (i.e. lay their eggs in it).   A nice silver male Northern Harrier cruised by a few times.

Near the parking lot, we saw the Great Horned Owl family, Mom and two young, roosting in the Cottonwood Trees.  We tried not to bother them, but a flock of Crows wasn’t as understanding as they continually harassed them.  Fortunately Mom was a good protector, for now.  We left Lighthouse Park to the PR Marina.  We were hoping to see Grebes, Scaup, Bufflehead and Mergansers among the boats, but apparently they have all gone to their breeding grounds.  Even the washrooms were locked, so this was a very unsuccessful stop. Our convoy of about 8 vehicles (poor car-pooling too) moved on to the south side of the Marina.

More Scoters and Pacific Loons here, along with a mature Bald Eagle and an Osprey-like juvenile Baldy.  A Northern Flicker posed on a pylon while a Savannah Sparrow perched on a bush for us.  We convoyed from here to the Seabright housing development near Lily Point Park.  After aimlessly wandering the newly-constructed roads, we finally reached a Visitor parking area.  Friendly PR resident and expert gardener George Wright met us and gave us some interesting history of this area of the Point where most of us had not been.  We walked a trail along the top of the cliff in front of the new homes.  It was a magnificent view of the beach below, the Strait, and across to the Gulf Islands.  More Loons, Scoters, Sea-lion, Seals seen below, along with lots of Swallows, Hummers, Sparrows and Finches up top, including a brilliant American Goldfinch.  We walked among the trees, unable to find the Bullock’s Orioles.  However, we did find the pair of House Wrens who were very accommodating, one even feeding the other.  Other interesting sightings on this trail included: Orange-crowned Warbler, Eurasian Collared-Dove (I tried unsuccessfully for Mourning Doves), Brown-headed Cowbirds, Brewer’s Blackbirds and a Bewick’s Wren.  A pair of Killdeer appeared to be protecting a nesting spot somewhere in the undeveloped house lots.  In the Model Home, George played a Charleston dance song on a 78 RPM record on an antique pump-handle record machine.  It was a fitting end to a glorious DNCB outing as we danced to our vehicles and took off to the again, very smooth Border (although there was a huge queue of vehicles entering the US for the cheap gas).

It was about 12:30 pm when 8 of us gathered in the Rose & Crown Pub where lovely Leila served us their delicious luncheon Specials.  My Beef on a Bun (no mayo) with Salad (Balsamic Vinegar) hit the spot and met my new Diabetes directives, if you don’t count the two pints of Canadian.  We finished in time for me to pick up Sandra’s “required” Tim Horton’s Iced Cap and Sour Cream Glazed Donut, and be on time for granddaughter Juliette’s 2:00 pm Gymnastics class in Ladner.

The nineteen were: Roaming Roger M, Mike B, Mike B2, Guru Anne, our Organizer Terry, PB Lorna, Roy & Solveig, David & Noreen, Jean G, world traveler Kirsten W, VanCity Lydia, South Surrey Julie, Sisters Pat & Maureen, Liz S, photog Glen, and me.

Next Wednesday, May 23, we will leave Petra’s at 7:30 am for Minnekhada Regional Park, planning to meet at the Lodge parking lot around 8:30 am.

Check our website (wwwdotdncbdotwordpressdotcom) for more outing info and other reports and photos.  As always, your comments are welcome, and let me know if this rambling, incoherent verbiage annoys you and you want off my email list.  Cheers: Tom (quickest report ever)

Tom Bearss, President, Delta Naturalists Society

Posted in *DNCB, Bald Eagle, Black Scoter, Black Turnstone, Brandt's Cormorant, California Quail, California Sea Lion, Common Murre, Harbour Seal, Harlequin Duck, Lighthouse Marine Park, Northern Harrier, Orange-crowned Warbler, Pacific Loon, Pelagic Cormorant, Pigeon Guillemot, Point Roberts, Rhinoceros Auklet, Sanderling, Steller Sea Lion | Leave a comment

DNCB Outing No. 2018-19 to Tennant Lake Park and Whatcom Museum, Bellingham, USA

Sixteen DNCBers enjoyed a clear, rainy, then clear again Wednesday morning at Tennant Lake Park in Ferndale, and then at the Whatcom Museum (new Audubon exhibit) in Bellingham.  There are some beaut photos of our sightings at the park and museum, and of the participants, on our Flickr site at: https://www.flickr.com/search/?group_id=3027315%40N23&text=2018-19&view_all=1.

Several left Petra’s at 7:00 am, and all 16 of us met at the Blaine Marina at 8:15 am.  The Border was smooth for non-Nexus, but a big line-up for the Nexus holders.  We toured the Marina looking unsuccessfully for Eared Grebes.  The Glaucous-winged Gull colony was nesting in full force on the breakwall, and two big “seized” fishing boats (one Canadian) were interesting sightings.  Following directional discussions, we car-pooled the “20 minute” drive to Tennant Lake.  Unfortunately, I was with Roy & Solveig “Magellan”, and we took a “Roger Shortcut” and got to the park in 40 minutes.  No harm though, because the pouring rain stopped as we arrived to the join the patiently-waiting others.  David took the obligatory Group Photo by the Park sign.

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DNCB at Tennant Lake – photo by David Hoar

The park gardens were beautiful and I chatted with two of the volunteer gardeners who recognized us from last year’s outing.  Some of us climbed the tower to enjoy the view over the lake, gardens and heritage building, which interestingly contained informative display material but, according to the gardener, is only open for visitors once a year. So we began our walk along the trail and then on the long circular boardwalk through the swamp.  A gorgeous walk when it wasn’t raining.  Our bird sightings included lots of Warblers (Yellow, Yellow-rumped, Common Yellowthroat) and we heard other warblers but couldn’t ID the calls/songs.  Singing and calling Marsh Wrens, Red-winged Blackbirds, Sparrows (Song, White-crowned, etc.) made warbler identification difficult for us “casual birders”.  Plus it was raining and often social chatter took precedence over birding.  We were blanked on Rails and Cinnamon Teal.

A pair of Ring-necked Ducks and a brilliant male Wood Duck were neat to see roaming among the dense cover of lily pads on the lake.  The yellow Water Lilies were brilliant. Lots of Tree Swallows around, and a few Double-crested Cormorants.  A female “Downy” Woodpecker was interesting, because on examining the photos later, it was a Hairy Woodpecker.  Similarly, on examining a photo of a female Red-winged Blackbird, it turned out to be a female Yellow-headed Blackbird.  That’s why I love to have photogs on our outings to confirm our/my misidentifications.  We finished our walk around 10:30 am and it was raining heavily now.  So we decided to abort the outing and go for an early lunch at the Chihuahua Mexican Restaurant in Ferndale.

A good decision; my Mexican Salad with Guacamole & Beef was delicious, washed down with a very tasty pint of Modelo Negra draught beer (suggested by “Magellan” Roy, and followed with a second pint of Bud Light).

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DNCB at Ferndale restaurant – photo by Roger Meyer

All thirteen of us (see Roger’s photo) at lunch enjoyed their individual Mexican Luncheon Specials, at reasonable prices served by a very friendly Edgar.  We finished lunch just before Noon so had time to go to the Whatcom Museum in Bellingham before returning home.  Our main attraction was the Museum’s impressive collection of 500 mounted birds on the third floor of the historic City Hall, built in 1892.  Some also found the historical exhibits (e.g. maritime, First Nations, etc.) on other floors interesting too.  The sun came out again as Roger dropped me at my Range Rover at the Blaine Marina, and I was home by 2:00 pm, in time to keep Sandra happy and watch granddaughter Juliette excel at her gymnastic class.  Not a lot of exceptional “live” bird sightings, but nonetheless a very enjoyable outing.

We 16 were: Roger drove Mike B, Boundary Bay Valerie, PB Lorna & Terry C, Roger Two drove Ladner Jack, David & Noreen, Pat drove sister Maureen and “welcome back” Manli, Van City Lidia drove alone, and Explorers Burnaby Roy & Solveig “Magellan” took me.

Next Wednesday, May 16, we will leave Petra’s at 7:30 am for Pt. Roberts, meeting at Lighthouse Marine Park parking lot before 8:00 am.  For more info on our outings, and reports and photos, check our website.

Don’t forget our Mothers Day/International Migratory Bird Day event at Cammidge House on Saturday, May 12, 12:30 to 2:30 pm.

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

Tom Bearss, President, Delta Naturalists Society (now 1:00 am on Friday and I will be at BC Nature’s AGM at UBC Botanical Gardens for Early Morning Birding at 6:00 am: Crazy!!!)

Posted in *DNCB, Ring-necked Duck, Tennant Lake, Whatcom Museum, Yellow Warbler, Yellow-headed Blackbird, Yellow-rumped Warbler | Leave a comment

DNCB Outing No. 2018-18 to Whidbey Island, USA

Sixteen DNCBers really enjoyed our “away” outing to Deception Pass and Whidbey Island USA last Wednesday.  It was a gorgeous day and we saw lots of neat stuff.  Check out the photo evidence at: https://www.flickr.com/search/?group_id=3027315%40N23&text=2018-18&view_all=1.

Some left Petra’s at 7:00 am and we met at the Peace Arch Park parking lot at 7:30 am.  Marion had arrived early and spotted and photographed a Chipping Sparrow near the Duty-Free Shop.  Fifteen of us car-pooled brilliantly in 4 vehicles and we met the 16th, Van City Lidia at the Coupeville-Port Townsend Ferry terminal at 10:00 am.  The Border crossing was smooth, and the 2 hour drive through upstate Washington countryside was interesting and beautiful, especially for those of us who don’t go there often, and surprisingly, we all reached the ferry on time.

Our Ferry from Coupeville left at 10:15 am, so we had a few minutes to bond and wander around the terminal before departure.  Harlequin Ducks and Pigeon Guillemots in the harbour were the main attraction along with a flypast of PB Lorna’s Belted Kingfisher.  Anne tried unsuccessfully to describe and explain the hybrid Gulls to us (Thayer’s, Icelandic, Western, Ring-billed, Glaucous-winged).  On board, we gathered on the bow, and David took the obligatory Group Photo in the sun.

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I love ferries, and this 40 minute crossing of the Juan de Fuca Strait is exceptional.  The vistas of the surrounding Olympic mountains are spectacular, and we get great looks at pelagic birds we don’t see often: Rhinoceros Auklets, Common Murres, Pacific Loons.  We were blanked this trip on Ancient and Marbled Murrelets, Tufted Puffins and Gray or Humpback Whales, but did see Red-breasted Mergansers, Bufflehead, and three Cormorant species, Pelagic, Double-crested and Brandt’s.  Black-headed Bonaparte’s Gulls were among the several Gull/Auklet “feeding frenzies” we witnessed.  To maintain my image, I had to try a Port Townsend Gold Lager draught on the return trip, delish.

We arrived back at Coupeville around 11:30 and began our walk up to historic Fort Casey.  Along the way we saw a couple of California Quail, as well as Brown-headed Cowbirds, most of the regular Sparrow (including Savannah) and Finch species, a Chipmunk, and the lots of Swallows.  Brilliant Violet-green Swallows were nesting in (I guess) gun holes in the Fort.  A few Harbour Porpoises showed their fins cruising in the Strait.  We had our lunch at picnic tables on the Fort lawn.  I had already eaten my PB sandwich, so sponged Nance’s cookies, washed down with a G-Water (only Glen had beer), and a couple of miniature Tootsie Rolls.

We bought US State Park Passes at the office, then walked back down to the our vehicles at the ferry terminal.  Next stop was Deception Pass State Park.  Another gorgeous setting.  We saw more pelagic species, Common Loons, Harbour Seals, Horned and Red-necked Grebes, and several Nothern Rough-winged Swallows seemingly cavorting and fighting over a nesting cavity in a sand cliff close to shore.  Then Roger led us on another of his legendary “short-cuts” through the woods and camping sites.  Albeit an overly long walk, we saw lots of really neat stuff including a pair of Osprey (also “cavorting”), a Pileated Woodpecker (perhaps a pair), Brown Creepers, Pacific Wrens, Warblers (Orange-crowned, Yellow), Common Yellowthroat, at least), Rufous Hummingbirds, and a Canada Goose pair with nine babies.

Back at the beach, a pair of Killdeer were probably preparing to nest.  There were several other sightings by others that I didn’t see including, Red-throated Loons, Common Mergansers, Western Grebes, Bewick’s Wren.  It was around 4:00 pm when we decided to head home.  The drive back was serene as I snoozed with Richmond Brian in the 3rd seat of Roger’s van, under the drone of Roger & Anne’s chatter up front.  About 25 minutes at the Border, and I was home by 6:00 pm, another glorious DNCB outing.

The Sixteen were:  Roger M, Mike B, Guru Anne M, Richmond Brian, PB Lorna, Marion S, Burnaby Roy & Solveig, David & Noreen, VanCity Lidia, newbie South Surrey’s Julie J, Aussie Nance, Glen B, our Organizer Terry C and me.

Next Wednesday, May 9, we leave Petra’s at 7:30 am and go back to the US to Tennant Lake Park plus the Whatcom Museum in Washington. See 2018 DNCB Outings Page for more info and directions about this outing.

The BC Nature AGM and Conference also starts next Thursday, May 10, at UBC, and our International Migratory Bird Day event is at Cammidge House on Saturday, May 12, 12:30 to 2:30 pm.  There will be displays, Mother’s Day Tea with the Birds at Cammidge House, and a guided birding walk from 1:15 to 2:00, followed by refreshments.  More information at BBPA website.

As always, your comments are welcome, and let me know if you want off my email list to receive these repetitive, annoying reports.  Cheers: Tom

Tom Bearss, President, Delta Naturalists Society

Posted in *DNCB, Bonaparte's Gull, Brandt's Cormorant, Brown Creeper, California Quail, Chipping Sparrow, Common Murre, Coupeville, Deception Pass, Fort Casey, Harbour Porpoise, Harbour Seal, Harlequin Duck, Northern Rough-winged Swallow, Orange-crowned Warbler, Osprey, Pelagic Cormorant, Pigeon Guillemot, Pileated Woodpecker, Port Townsend, Red-breasted Merganser, Red-necked Grebe, Red-throated Loon, Rhinoceros Auklet, Townsend’s Chipmunk, Whidbey Island, Yellow Warbler | Leave a comment

DNCB Outing No. 2018-17 to Ladner Parks

Photos at our DNCB Flickr site

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DNCB: Early Birders at Ladner Harbour Park – photo by David Hoar

On a gorgeous, hot (record high near 25 degrees) Wednesday morning, eighteen DNCBers visited Beach Grove Park, then several parks in Ladner.  Check out the photo evidence on our Flickr site at: DNCB Flickr site.

On leaving Petra’s at 7:30 am before going to Ladner, eight of us decided to stop briefly at Beach Grove Park to check on the Great Horned Owls.  We found Mom and her two owlets perched in the tree above their nest cavity.  We also found the two Anna’s Hummingbird nests, but they were both empty as the young had already fledged.  Interestingly, the trees in Beach Grove were alive with Yellow-rumped Warblers, both Myrtle and Audubon.  We commented on the similarity with the large number of Kinglets seen last Wednesday at Queen Elizabeth Park.

We got to Ladner Harbour Park at 8:30 am where Roger was already touring with the rest of our group.  We met at the play structure and David took the obligatory Group Photo of all eighteen.  A pair of Hermit Thrushes (my Bird of the Day) were openly visible along the path behind the play structures. In the trees were lots more Yellow-rumped, and we also got good looks at a few Orange-crowned Warblers, even the orange.  Later, some saw a Wilson’s Warbler, but we were blanked on the reported Black-throated Gray Warblers.

Wandering along the Swenson Walk, lots of other neat stuff caught our fancy, including an active Bushtit nest, Varied Thrushes, trunk-climbing Brown Creepers, copulating Downy Woodpeckers (Spring is in the air), and Eurasian (no Mourning seen) Collared-Doves.  Roger’s group earlier saw a Hairy Woodpecker and of course we saw a few Northern Flickers.  Lots of common stuff too, such as White- and Golden-crowned Sparrows, Finches, Juncos, Towhees, etc.  Anna’s Hummingbirds were around and I think we saw a couple of Rufous too. Veering off the trail to the Fraser shoreline, lots of Marsh Wrens in the bulrushes; we also saw Bewick’s and heard Pacific Wrens. Waterfowl seen today included Green-winged Teal, Northern Shovelers, Scaup (Lesser probably), Gadwall and later Common Mergansers, Ring-necked and beautiful Wood Ducks.

Close to the Lookout by the Dog Off Leash area, we rustled up two or three Wilson’s Snipe.  They kept flitting from deep grass to deep grass, preventing me from getting real good looks. Otherwise, they would have been my Bird of the Day.  A resident Mute Swan was cruising along the Ladner Slough past the fishing boats and beautiful float homes.  Lots of Tree and Violet-green Swallows around, and we saw a few Barn Swallows.  This is a really quaint and pristine setting, popular for photogs and artists, and a pleasant spot for us naturalists too, especially on a beautiful morning like today.

Around 10:00 am we drove to Ferry Road to the trail along the slough between the road and the Links at Hampton Cove Golf Course.  A large Red-eared Slider Turtle was sunning on a log, while more warblers flitted in the trees between the slough and the homes.  A Mallard had nine ducklings following her.  Lots of Bald Eagles around and we suspect that she’ll lose one duckling a day.  It’s a lovely walk along this trail, and we saw many of the above-mentioned species but nothing rare or unusual.  In past years, a rare-here White-throated Sparrow (and something else I forget) were seen along this trail.

Approaching 11:00 am, we moved on to South Arm Marshes Wildlife Management Area (SAMWMA), another very pleasant walk.  More Warblers, the Bewick’s Wren, an “almost” Black-throated Gray Warbler, Wilson’s Warbler, a pair of Black-capped Chickadees preparing their nest cavity, but we couldn’t find a Red-breasted Sapsucker.  Some saw a Flycatcher.  The view from the Lookout was splendid.  Approaching Noon, we walked quickly back to our vehicles parked on Ferry Road.

Lunch at Speed’s Pub for 9 of us on the back patio was very pleasant too.  Kassidy’s service was fast, friendly and efficient and my Soup (chicken/rice) and Sandwich (tuna) Special, along with a pint of 1516 Okanagan Springs Lager hit the spot.  Home by 2:00 pm in time for granddaughter Juliette’s Gymnastic class. Another awesome DNCB outing.

The 18 were: Terry C, Roger M, Marion S, Margaretha S, Glen B, Liz S, Aussie Nance, Chris McV, Richmond Brian, Guru Anne M, North Delta Pat (w/o sister Moe), Colin & Stephanie, David & Noreen, PB Lorna (Thanks for Birthday sandwich, home-made cookies and candle), Mike B2, and me.

Next Wednesday May 2 is our “all day, away outing” to Whidbey Island USA, leaving Petra’s at 7:00 am.  We will meet and leave from the Peace Arch Park parking lot at 7:30 amSee more details at 2018 DNCB Outings page

This Saturday, April 28, we will have our Nats Display set up at the Harris Barn in Ladner from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm for Delta’s Heritage Week event.  And don’t forget our monthly meeting on Tuesday, May 1 at 7:30 pm at the Benediction Lutheran Church in Tsawwassen.  Marg Cuthbert will be giving a presentation on Birding and Nature in Mozambique.  All welcome, free.

As always, your comments are welcome, and let me know if these tediously long weekly tirades are sufficiently irritating that you want off my email list. Cheers: Tom

Tom Bearss, President, Delta Naturalists Society

Posted in *DNCB, Bald Eagle, Beach Grove, Brown Creeper, Great Horned Owl, Hermit Thrush, Ladner Harbour Park, Ladner S.Arm Marsh, Orange-crowned Warbler, Ring-necked Duck, Townsend's Warbler, Wilson's Snipe, Wilson’s Warbler, Yellow-rumped Warbler | Leave a comment

DNCB Outing No. 2018-16 to Queen Elizabeth Gardens

Photos at our DNCB Flickr site

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DNCB at Q.E. Park – photo by David Hoar

Eighteen DNCBers enjoyed a beautiful Wednesday morning wandering around the gardens of Queen Elizabeth Park in Vancouver.  Lots of gorgeous photos of the flowers, blossoms, birds and folk on our Flickr site at: https://www.flickr.com/search/?group_id=3027315%40N23&text=2018-16&view_all=1.

Some left Petra’s at 7:30 am (I was picked up by David) and we all met at the QE Park Golf Course office at 8:30 am.  David took the Group Photo while we watched a pair of Red-breasted Nuthatches cavorting above us.  Then we walked our normal route past the Bowling Green and down the hill.  There was lots of little bird activity in the trees and around the many different flowers, especially Kinglets.  We got good looks at both Ruby- and Golden-crowned Kinglets, Bushtits (making a nest), Sparrows (Song, Fox, White- and Golden-crowned), Anna’s Hummingbirds (feeding two babies in a nest), and Hutton’s Vireos, which were a real test of our identification skills (thanks, Anne).  We may or may not have seen a Flycatcher.

We were a large group, got separated many times, but the inane chatfests carried on regardless, often even when no one else was nearby to hear.  Everyone mentioned how pleasant is this outing in the Spring when the weather is so nice, many flowers are in bloom, the manicured trails and gardens are immaculate, and the views of the city and mountains are glorious too.  During our three plus hours spent wandering, we also saw more neat birds including mating Northern Flickers (yes, see photo evidence), Varied Thrushes, Downy Woodpeckers, Gadwall and other common ducks in the pond.  One of our esteemed participants was enchanted by the sighting of a Northwestern Crow.  We were inundated by Kinglets, and finally found some Warblers in the tree blossoms.  We got good views of Yellow-rumped, and some saw Orange-crowned.  We heard Pacific Wrens and Brown Creeper, but I didn’t see them.  We were blanked on owls too, but saw lots of other common species that I haven’t mentioned.

The Park was filling up with visitors when we decided to leave just after Noon for lunch at the Locus Restaurant on Main Street.  We had been here before and the seven of us really enjoyed the service, food, and weird décor.  The Beer and Seafood Special I had was one of the tastiest meals I have had on a DNCB outing, and inexpensive too.  And I got home by 2:00 pm in time to watch granddaughter Juliette at her gymnastic class in Ladner.  It was truly an awesome DNCB outing.

We eighteen were: Roger with Terry & PB Lorna, David & Noreen with Glen & Mike B2, Marion S, sisters Maureen & Pat, Johnny Mac, Aussie Nance, Van City Lidia, Fisherman Roy & Solveig, Richmond Brian, Crow Aficionado Peter W and me.

Next Wednesday, April 25, we will leave Petra’s at 7:30 am for Ladner Parks, meetig first at the Ladner Harbour parking lot around 8:00 am.

Apologies for this tardy report, life got in the way with theatre (Shakespeare in Hollywood at Metro Theatre featuring Erica Bearss as the trollop Lydia), hockey, golf, grandparenting, doctor’s appointments, strata meetings, taxes, etc.  Get the gist?  Check out our website for more info, reports and photos.

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

Tom Bearss, President, Delta Naturalists Society

Posted in *DNCB, Brown Creeper, Hutton's Vireo, Orange-crowned Warbler, Queen Elizabeth Park, Yellow-rumped Warbler | Leave a comment

DNCB Outing No 2018-15 to Brydon Lagoon and Hi-Knoll Park

Eighteen DNCBers, including several Langley Field Naturalists, enjoyed an overcast but comfy and dry Wednesday morning wandering around Brydon Lagoon and Hi-Knoll Park in Langley.  We had lots of neat sightings of birds and wildflowers and people as evidenced in our Flickr photos at: https://www.flickr.com/search/?group_id=3027315%40N23&text=2018-15&view_all=1.

As is customary, eight of us car-pooled from Petra’s at 7:30 am, beautifully in only two vehicles (Roger took returnee Gerhard, Terry C, BB Valerie & Roger Two, David & Noreen rode with me).  We forgot to tell Gerhard not to park behind Petra’s – he got a ticket!

Following Roger’s “scenic” route, we eventually got to Brydon Lagoon around 8:20 am, where the crowd was waiting patiently: a nice mixture of Langleyites including renowned photog John Gordon, Bird Box Guru Gareth P, Yachter Ralph B, Recorder Tom W, newbie Bob C, Leader & Legend Anne G, Wolfman Wim, along with other Nats North Delta’s Johnny Mac and Jean G, and Richmond Brian (that’s 18 total; they love their names in print).

Following introductions and some almost-humorous chatter, David took the obligatory Group Photo as we gazed over the new construction onto the entrance pond.  Several Ring-necked Ducks, Northern Shovelers, Green-winged Teal and Mallards in the pond, all in nice breeding plumage.  John G spotted a Common Yellowthroat, one of many seen this morning; he said he counted at least 30 nests there last year.  We were all in awe of our hero John, then he scared off two Wilson’s Snipe (sub species of Common Snipe as of 2003) before most of us saw them.  How quickly one can fall from the podium.

We followed the path toward Brydon Lagoon. Lots of Swallows flying above, mostly Tree, but some Violet-green too.  Hopefully they fill the bird boxes there soon.  The entrance to the Lagoon had been cleared of many bushes, mostly invasives like Blackberry I suspect, and the trails were well-maintained, more for the school kids rather than us birders.  The usual suspects were in the pond: Bufflehead, Scaup (mostly Lesser, but probably Greater too; our analysts are suspect – that’s 3 “suspects” in a row), Pied-billed Grebe, and more Ring-necked and Shovelers; no Mergansers or Green Heron seen today.  The “inland” Langley folk were excited about Double-crested Cormorants and Glaucous-winged Gulls flying overhead.

The bushes along the trail had several beauties, including brilliant Yellow-rumped Warblers, Sparrows (Song, Golden- & White-crowned), plus the common Towhees, Juncos, Chickadees, Red-winged Blackbirds, etc.  We also saw both Anna’s and Rufous Hummingbirds.

We left the Lagoon and walked across the marsh toward Hi-Knoll Park. Marsh Wrens were gathering nesting material.  A Northern Harrier cruised by and some saw a Sharp-shinned Hawk.  This crossing to the bridge over the Nicomekl River was fairly dry in comparison to our earlier very muddy outings here.  The huge, shapely, Big Leaf Maple trees, covered with Moss and Licorice ferns are always eerie but exciting to see. We were blanked on Pileated and Hairy Woodpeckers, but heard Flickers and saw a Downy.  David took another Group Photo at the Colebrook Road Park sign, unfortunately before we ran into Langley Legend Anne Gosse.

DH_DNCB_group

DNCB (minus Anne G) at Colebrook Road sign – photo by David Hoar

Crossing the road and entering Hi-Knoll Park, we saw our first Fawn Lilies, and lots of them, both White and the rarer Pink.  Lots of Trilliums in bloom too, arousing interest with a few Ontarians.  The trails here were manicured too, and the walk beneath the beautiful old trees was exhilarating, although we missed White Rock Al and his informative commentary.  Purple Finches were singing, and some heard Pacific Wrens.  At the power lines, a Common Raven posed in a tower while more sparrows, warblers and Bushtits (including a pair entering their hanging nest) flitted in the bushes.  We all finally saw one of a few Orange-crowned Warblers, and a Bewick’s Wren, and a Steller’s Jay too.

We walked back through the park and over the Nicomekl to the grove of trees before the Lagoon.  Here John G led us through the grove in search of Barred Owls, none seen.  Then, at the corner where we regularly see the Snipe, four were again roused by John and we all got glimpses as they flew off.   Then he led us into another grove where a Great-horned Owl was roosting above two people sleeping at the base of the tree (Homeless?).  We searched in vain for the GHO’s nest and mate.

We finished off by returning to the parking lot at Noon, via the trail on the other side of the Lagoon, enjoying more warblers along the way.  Langley Tom counted 41 species seen today, but he missed a couple.  So it was another grand DNCB outing.

Eleven of us went for lunch at Samz Pub on 56th Ave. in Surrey where John G’s daughter works.  The Chicken Pot Pie with Salad Special was delicious, of course with a couple of “almost-full” pints (unlike in Oz) of Granville Island Honey Lager.  I hardly snoozed at all on the drive back to Tsawwassen, helped by David and Noreen’s chatter.

Next Wednesday, April 18, we will leave Petra’s at 7:30 am for Queen Elizabeth Park in Vancouver.  We expect to meet others at the Pitch & Putt parking lot before 8:30 am.

Don’t forget that your Delta Nats Display will be at Delta’s annual Fish Release event at Watershed Park this Sunday, April 15, 11:30 to 2:30 pm.  Nats are leading a Nature Walk to the event at 11:30 am from Pinewood School.  Join us if you can.

For more info on Delta Nats outings, events, reports and photos, check out our website.  As always, your comments are welcome, and let me know if you want off my email list to receive these far-too-long and boring missives. C heers: Tom

Tom Bearss, President, Delta Naturalists Society

Posted in *DNCB, Brydon Lagoon, Great Horned Owl, Hi-Knoll Park, Northern Harrier, Orange-crowned Warbler, Pied-billed Grebe, Pink Fawn Lily, Purple Finch, Ring-necked Duck, Sharp-shinned Hawk, Trillium, White Fawn Lily, Wilson's Snipe, Yellow-rumped Warbler | 2 Comments