Blog: Delta birders check out hot spots in Point Roberts


Twenty-three DNCBers enjoyed a rainless, almost comfortable, Tuesday morning birding the hotspots in Point Roberts USA.  Our photogs got some great shots, but our Flickr site is “down” at the moment. I’m providing links here to our DNCB Flickr “Pool”, and to some of our Nats photog’s individual sites: GlenTerryDavidNoreenPat and Brian.  You’ll see brilliant photos on all these sites.

The 10 folk in Petra’s at 7:30 a.m. all left for the border in their own cars to buy the cheap gas. Border was smooth for the convoy; we stopped at Kiniski’s Reef Tavern first. It was very cool, cloudy and windy; water was high and wavy in the Salish Sea. Lots of neat birds south of the ferry terminal, but required patience and a scope to spot, for example Common Goldeneye, both Horned and Western Grebes (further out), Bufflehead, probably all three Cormorant species flying by (Double-crested, Pelagic & Brandt’s), Red-breasted Mergansers, Surf & White-winged Scoters, and Common Loons.

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We drove to the Lighthouse Marine Park where the others were waiting. As the chatfest lingered on, the resident Black Turnstones were feeding up close on the limited bit of shoreline. We walked toward the Point, getting good looks at several pairs of spectacular Harlequin Ducks. Got brief looks too at the heads of a couple of California Sealions. We picked out a few Pacific Loons, and some saw Common Murres and Pigeon Guillemots. Noreen took the Group Photo at the Point, surprisingly with a bit of sun shining on us.


Source: courtesy Noreen Rudd


I/we couldn’t find a Rhinoceros Auklet or any other uncommon pelagic species. David listed 40 species seen on his eBird list (see below) for this morning.

The inland trail back to the parking lot was relatively quiet too. Sparrows (Song, Golden- & White-crowned) and House Finches were flitting in the bushes, but no Wrens seen today. Anna’s Hummingbirds were entertaining.

Next stop was the north-west side of the Marina. The resident Belted Kingfisher was there, and caught a little fish for us.  Between the moored boats were Lesser Scaup, Bufflehead, and both Common and Barrow’s Goldeneye doing their neck-breaking ritual. On the drive to the south side of the Marina, a perched Red-tailed Hawk was the only raptor we saw other than the Bald Eagles which are everywhere this Winter.  More Harlies, Scaup and Goldeneye here; the immature Goldeneyes arousing discussion as to whether they were Barrow’s or Common. Killdeer were in the field, but no Meadowlarks.

We bypassed Sea Bright Farm and drove directly to Lily Point Park. We went to both Lookouts in the park, and there were lots of “dots” in the Strait below. We could ID, with our scopes, many of the same species already seen, but nothing new (e.g. Murrelets, Auklets, Murres).

It was just after noon when we left Lily Point, stopped for cheap gas, and drove to the Rose & Crown Pub in Tsawwassen for lunch.  Most of the 10 of us had the lunch special of vegetable/potato soup and an egg/cheese/ham sandwich, and it was delicious. And my pint of Original 16 Lager, also on special, hit the spot too. It was another fantastic DNCB outing.

The 23 were: Guru Anne, Organizer Terry, Photog/eBirders David & Noreen, Flickr Guru Glen, almost Delta residents Jonathan & Lorraine, White Rockers Colin & Wazza, Ladner Pam, our garrulous Germanics Gabriele & Margaretha, North Deltans Pat & Jean, Drop-in Pt. Bob’s Paul, historian Mike B w/o Roger, recovering Limper Mike B2, Richmond Brian & Louise, Ladner Bryan w/o Masae, ILB Tony M, our Moneyman Jim, and me.

On Tuesday, Feb. 4, our outing is to Brunswick Point, leaving Petra’s at 7:30 a.m. and meeting others at the River Road entrance in Ladner at about 8 a.m.

And don’t forget our Nats monthly meeting on Tuesday evening, Feb. 4, at 7:30 p.m. at the Benediction Lutheran Church in Tsawwassen with photographer Martin Gregus presenting on Snowy Owls and other raptors. All welcome, free.

As always, your comments are welcome.  Cheers: Tom

Tom Bearss, President, Delta Naturalists Society


Beach at Kiniski’s Reef Tavern, Point Roberts 28-Jan-2020
10 species
Surf Scoter 10
White-winged Scoter 4
Bufflehead 1
Common Goldeneye 2
Red-breasted Merganser 8
Horned Grebe 4
Western Grebe 10
Glaucous-winged Gull 16
Common Loon 1
Double-crested Cormorant 384

Lighthouse Marine Park, Point Roberts 28-Jan-2020
23 species
Brant 2
Harlequin Duck 3
Surf Scoter 4
Long-tailed Duck 1
Common Goldeneye 1
Red-breasted Merganser 4
Horned Grebe 3
Western Grebe 15
Anna’s Hummingbird 1
Black Turnstone 48
Common Murre 2
Pigeon Guillemot 2
Glaucous-winged Gull 12
Red-throated Loon 2
Pacific Loon 10
Common Loon 2
Brandt’s Cormorant 20
Pelagic Cormorant 9
Double-crested Cormorant 80
Bald Eagle 2
Northwestern Crow 5
European Starling 4
White-crowned Sparrow 3
Golden-crowned Sparrow 1

Point Roberts jetties 28-Jan-2020
16 species
Snow Goose 120
Canada Goose 12
Harlequin Duck 2
Bufflehead 2
Common Goldeneye 4
Barrow’s Goldeneye 1
Red-breasted Merganser 1
Horned Grebe 1
Glaucous-winged Gull 2
Bald Eagle 1
Belted Kingfisher 1
Northern Flicker 1
Northwestern Crow 2
European Starling 5
American Robin 1
Red-winged Blackbird 2

Point Roberts jetties 28-Jan-2020
17 species (+1 other taxa)
Canada Goose 12
Greater Scaup 10
Harlequin Duck 3
Surf Scoter 3
Bufflehead 5
Common Goldeneye 5
Rock Pigeon (Feral Pigeon) 1
Anna’s Hummingbird 1
Killdeer 3
Glaucous-winged Gull 4
gull sp. 22
Great Blue Heron 2
Red-tailed Hawk 1
Belted Kingfisher 1
Northwestern Crow 5
House Finch 4
Song Sparrow 1
Red-winged Blackbird 9

Lily Point, Point Roberts 28-Jan-2020
10 species
Surf Scoter 3
White-winged Scoter 2
Common Goldeneye 3
Red-breasted Merganser 4
Glaucous-winged Gull 5
Common Loon 1
Bald Eagle 9
Belted Kingfisher 1
Northwestern Crow 3
Black-capped Chickadee 3

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