Fifteen DNCBers visited several spots in Point Roberts on Wednesday joining thousands of birds as Spring migration continues. Check out some amazing photos, including several species in gorgeous breeding plumage, on our Flickr site.
The weather was miserable and pouring rain when I got to Petra’s, but when we left at 7:40 a.m. toward the border, it was only spitting, and the day, although overcast, proved to be quite comfortable with tonnes of super sightings. We six car-pooled nicely, the border was smooth, and we all met at Lighthouse Marine Park just after 8 a.m. We had checked out Kiniski’s Pub first where our first Sea Lions (both Steller and California, we think) were seen along with large rafts of Western Grebes and Brant Geese way out. Horned Grebes, Red-breasted Mergansers and both Pelagic and Double-crested Cormorants were closer to shore.
David took the Group Photo at Lighthouse Park before we walked to the lookout point. Our scopes were really helpful here. We picked out and had good looks at pelagic species including a Common Murre, Rhinoceros Auklet and Pigeon Guillemots. Large rafts of Surf Scoters were at every spot we visited in the Point this day. There were some White-winged among the Surf and some of our “experts” even saw Black Scoters. A few Common Goldeneye were doing their courtship “necking.” We saw both Common and Pacific Loons, Bufflehead, Gadwall, three Grebe species, although not many Red-necked. The walk inland at this park was fairly quiet; an Anna’s Hummingbird and some sparrows. Some saw and photographed Chestnut-backed Chickadees, perhaps here.
We stopped next at the north side of the Marina to see PB Lorna’s resident Belted Kingfisher. Our first Ruby-crowned Kinglet was there too. At the south side of the marina were more than a hundred gorgeous Harlequin Ducks. And the R-B Mergs and Horned Grebes were photogenic here as well in their beaut plumages. As was a couple of Killdeer, a brilliant male House Finch and a Savannah Sparrow.
We had seen large rafts of birds from the Marina further south, so we decided to stop at Sea Bright housing development to get closer looks. We descended the stairs and got good looks at more Scoters, Brants and Goldeneye, plus some Long-tailed Ducks. A number of Rufous Hummingbirds were very entertaining here too, flashing their gorges. Our “lost” Guru Anne may have seen an Eared Grebe which was a target bird that the rest of us were blanked on. We had more than 50 species this day; check our eBird DNCBlist created by Richmond Brian.
We moved on to Maple Beach on the Bay side of the Point where we thought the Herring Spawn might be active. Again, there were large rafts of waterfowl here too, but we couldn’t pick out anything different. A greater Yellowlegs dropped in for its photo shoot, but we didn’t see other shorebirds. Now approaching Noon, we decided to fill up with the cheap American gas and leave the Point for lunch at our seemingly new “hangout,” the Rose & Crown Pub in Tsawwassen. Lovely Leila served the nine of us; my Special of Ham & Cheese Sandwich with Fries hit the spot, especially with the sleeve of Canadian.
The 15 DNCBers were an interesting, eclectic group: Organizer Terry C, photogs David H (w/o Noreen), Glen B & Pat S, our Guru Anne, eBirder Richmond Brian, PB Lorna, our historian Mike B, Mom & daughter team of Debbi H and Kathryn, and the four “lovebirds” from South Surrey, Colin & Stephanie, Wazza & Lynn, and me. It was another awesome DNCB outing.
Next Wednesday, April 10, we will leave Petra’s at 7:30 a.m. for Brydon Lagoon and Hi-Knoll Park in Langley, meeting around 8:30 a.m. at the parking lot on 53 Ave at bottom of 198A St. And don’t forget our annual Birds in Focus Presentation evening this Saturday, April 6, at the Tsawwassen Arts Centre, 6:30 p.m. start. Renowned photographers Liron Gertsman, Ron Long and Yuri Choufour will be giving photo presentations. For more info on this event, our outings, and reports and photos, see our website at www.dncb.wordpress.com. As always, your comments are welcome. Cheers: Tom
Tom Bearss, President, Delta Naturalists Society (apologies for errors, written at 1 a.m. after grandparent and spousal duties)