Blog: Birders brave the elements during 'Bay outing

Tsawwassen

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

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

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

 

Brant Geese & Ducks
Brant Geese & Ducks - courtesy Terrance Carr/DNCB Flickr

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

See our website for more info on this outing, and other reports, photos and Delta Nats info.  As always, your comments are encouraged. Cheers: Tom

Tom Bearss, President, Delta Naturalists Society

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