About 34 (Wow!) casual birders enjoyed a gorgeous Wednesday morning wandering around Boundary Bay Regional Park (BBRP). This was the June version of our quarterly Birds on the Bay outings in BBRP. We saw most of the “regulars” on this outing which was of interest to a few newbies, but in reality, most participants were more interested in a leisurely, chatty walk in a beautiful park, followed with a delectable collection of tasty home-made delights prepared by the Delta Nats Ladies. Check out the photo evidence on our DNCB Blog www.dncb.wordpress.com.
The huge group gathered at historic Cammidge House at 9 a.m. Following brief introductions, including future Young Naturalists Andrea and Jocelyn and lots of other newbies, we began our walk down the road toward Centennial Beach. With lots of patience, we finally saw a couple of Common Yellowthroat warblers that were constantly singing in the reeds beside the driveway. A mother Mallard was shepherding five ducklings in the slough across the road. In the trees in the park were House Finches and lots of European Starlings. The new picnic shelters looked nice and there was lots of growth around the pond. A big Red-eared Slider Turtle caught our attention on the pond shore. I knew I was losing control, so before the group disbanded into an array of splinter chat groups, Ken took the obligatory group photo.
We crossed the sand to the shoreline and the tide was way out. On the horizon we could see Bald Eagles, Great Blue Herons and Glaucous-winged Gulls. Although the view was stunning, there were no Shorebirds, so we went back to the trail toward the Pumphouse. In the shrubs and grass along the way we saw most of the common species: Spotted Towhees, Savannah and Song Sparrows, American Robins, Red-winged Blackbirds, Eurasian Collared-Doves, Black-capped Chickadees, Northwestern Crows, “parasitic” Brown-headed Cowbirds and Cedar Waxwings.
Hummingbirds are always a treat and we saw both Anna’s and Rufous today. Both Barn and Tree Swallows were hawking insects around us and a few of our Nats Nesting Boxes were occupied with Tree Swallows. Lots more Common Yellowthroats singing and Marsh Wrens buzzing too. Some saw both Downy Woodpeckers and Northern Flickers. A few Northern Harriers were around including one entertaining male that was harassing a Red-tailed Hawk circling above us.
We got to the Pumphouse just before 11 a.m. in a stretched out convoy, so we had to practically race back along the inland trail to get to Cammidge House by 11:30 a.m. No Killdeer around, but an “invasive” House Sparrow was seen in our Pumphouse Nesting Box. Gadwalls were in the Pumphouse pond. Brilliant American Goldfinches were flitting by us along the trail. Some “all-rounder” naturalists enjoyed seeing some of the wildflowers and other flora (wish I remembered their names which I have been told umpteen times).
Wild Asparagus impressed one newbie. Anyhow, we got to Cammidge House in dribs and drabs just after 11:30 a.m. and were met by Jennifer, Sandra and Rochelle, the Delta Nats Ladies, and their godfather Don. They served their array of home-made sandwiches, scones and biscuits, along with fruits, crackers and cheese, and “stone” candy, with freshly-brewed coffee. The voracious mob of starving birders wolfed down these delectables in unbelievably quick fashion. Not being the popular winter season, and spring migration being done, there were no unexpected or unusual sightings this morning, but I think/hope everyone had an enjoyable time. Anyhow, I did.
Next Wednesday, June 18, the DNCBers will be doing another “away” outing to Minnekhada Regional Park in Coquitlam. We will leave Petra’s at 7:30 a.m. and plan to arrive at the Minnekhada Lodge parking lot shortly after 8:30 a.m.
Tom Bearss, president, Delta Naturalists’ Society