BLOG: Birders explore UBC’s Botanical Gardens

Delta BC

Twenty-three birders from the Delta Naturalists Society enjoyed another gorgeous outing recently to UBC’s Botanical Gardens in Vancouver.

Some left Petra’s at 7:30 a.m. drove smoothly to UBC, and we all met at the Botanical Gardens entrance around 8:30 a.m.

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We were fortunate to have two awesome expert leaders, garden volunteers Debbi Hlady and Bev Ramey. It was a mild and sunny morning as Jim K took the first group photo at the entrance as we posed under a seven million year-old tree species.

Debbi and Bev led us first along the newly restored lower Asian Way trails. The trails were super smooth and the gardens were manicured and spectacular.

Many of the more 500 Rhododendron species in the Gardens were in beautiful bloom.

We didn’t see a lot of birds; Brian recorded 36 species. I missed seeing most of the warblers (Orange-crowned, Yellow-rumped, Black-throated Gray, Townsend's, Wilson's) and Lincoln’s and Chipping Sparrows that others saw, but I was really stoked by the colourful blossoms and flowers, and the Rufous and Anna’s Hummingbirds iridescent displays. The resident Barred Owl made a nice fly-past.

We also met entertaining and worldly Ian who built the canopy walk in the Gardens. Many of us bravely wobbled our way through the tree tops on the swaying, scarily-safe, rope & wire bridges. We didn’t see any birds (concentrating too much on avoiding falling), but it was a fun new adventure for us DNCBers.

After the canopy walk, we took the tunnel under the road to the upper part of the Gardens and the medicinal, cactus, and other neat gardens. Some saw a Cooper’s Hawk, and seeing both Ruby- and Golden-crowned Kinglets and Hutton’s Vireo was nice.

With 23 participants, many of whom were first time visitors to the Gardens, meant that the chatter was monstrous, and not discouraged on our outings. I heard numerous superlatives as the Gardens were spectacular this outing, which was later in the spring than our other annual visits when we often experienced rain and fewer things in bloom.

We finished back at the entrance around 11:30 a.m. and nine of us went to the Milltown Pub on the Fraser River. The cod and chips were decent and two pints of Sapporo draught hit the spot. I tried in vain to stay awake on the way home in the car with Ladner Jack Mac. Another fantastic DNCB outing.

We 23 were: leaders Debbi H with daughter keen-eyed Kathryn M and our Godmother Bev R, eBirder Richmond Brian, our Guru Anne M, Marion & Kirsten, Ladner Jack Mac, the now-regular South Surrey couples Wazza & Lynne and Colin & Stephanie, Chris McV who chauffeured six in Margaretha’s van including PB Lorna, Mike B & Mike B2 & Jim K, North Van Richard H, Boundary Bay Valerie, our Organizer Terry C, Vancouver rabble-rouser Stephen P, and me.

Our next outing will be Wednesday, May 8, leaving Petra’s at 7:30 a.m. for the Tsawwassen Ferry terminal, then driving to Reifel Bird Sanctuary, where we plan to meet others around 9:15 a.m. For more info on our outings, plus other reports, photos and club info, visit our website at And don’t forget our Nats monthly meeting on Tuesday, May 7, 7:30 p.m. at the Benediction Lutheran Church in Tsawwassen. Krista De Groot will give a presentation on bird collisions with glass, causes and solutions.

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