Blog: Delta birders get some neat sightings at Derby Reach


Twenty-two DNCBers enjoyed an overcast but very comfortable Wednesday morning outing along the Fort to Fort trail in Derby Reach Regional Park. We had a few neat sightings, and lots of good chatter with several newbies and returning world travelers; check out the photo evidence on our Flickr site.


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Eight of us left Petra’s at 7:30 a.m. and met most of the others at the Edgewater Bar entrance to the park, right on time at 8:30 a.m. Others, who didn’t read Terry’s explicit directions, arrived a bit later. Following intros of several newbies and returnee visiting Washingtonians, Roger took the first Group Photo with the mighty Fraser in the background. Then we wandered through the woods along the Edge Trail. Swainson’s Thrushes were singing everywhere, but the excitement was a passing Pileated Woodpecker, that the “latecomers” photographed back at the parking lot. Songbirds/warblers were flitting high in the Cottonwood trees, but we couldn’t get any clear views for identification. Plus, with several DNCBers returning from their adventures in Europe, Asia, Okanagan, etc. the focus was on bonding rather than birding.


The DNCB birding group at Derby Reach Regional Park. - photo by Roger Meyer


When we reached an open area and start of the Edge Farm Trail, Cedar Waxwings, Black-headed Grosbeaks, a Western Tanager, Chestnut-backed Chickadee, and Rufous Hummingbirds were easier to see. Lots of swallows hawking insects over the river; someone saw a Northern Rough-winged among the Tree and Barn Swallows. And a Merlin fly past too. A reddish-backed thrush landed on the trail and we’re “fairly certain” it was a Hermit Thrush (Veery?). Near the heritage area, historic cairn and Houston Barn, a Pacific Slope Flycatcher was calling. We had 31 species today according to Richmond Brian’s eBird list.


Now approaching 10:30 a.m., we decided to go a bit further along the Fort to Fort Trail, and then we couldn’t stop walking. So, after nearly 8 kilometres we arrived at the Fort Pub and Grill in Fort Langley, right about noon. How fortuitous! Seventeen of us enjoyed a super lunch and continuing chatfest. Roger, and later Rose with his doggy bag, enjoyed the stir-fry; I had the clubhouse sandwich with salad, and it hit the spot, of course with a pint of 1516 lager. Mike B, who had gone back early to the parking lot, joined us for lunch with Roger’s van. Thus, Roger could drive six drivers back to the Edgewater parking lot to pick up their vehicles. It worked out smoothly and it was another glorious DNCB outing. I napped on the ride home to the drone of the Roger/Mike historical dialog, arriving in time to pick up granddaughters Juliette & Quinn at summer camp and daycare respectively, take them to swimming lesson in Ladner, then McDonald's for Happy Meals (only $2.99 on Wednesdays).


The twenty-two were: Roger M & Roger 2, Mike B & Mike B2, annual Tri Cities (Washington) visitors Rich & Doris, Ladner Bryan & keen-eyed Masae, newbies Mayne Island Pat M with visiting UK Barbara, European cyclists Colin & Stephanie, Germanics Margaretha & Gabriele, Ladner Jack Mac, Richmond Brian, PB Lorna, North Deltans Pat S, Johnny Mac & Jean G, our Flickr Guru and European traveler Glen, and me.


Wednesday, July 17, is our Ferry outing to Saltspring Island, meeting on the 9:10 a.m. ferry to Long Harbour. Tomorrow (Friday), several DNCBers will be taking the San Juan “Bird” Cruise from Bellingham to see oceanic species (Alcids) including Tufted Puffins. For more information on these outings, other reports and photos, see our website at As always, your comments are welcome. Cheers: Tom


Tom Bearss, President, Delta Naturalists Society (Shot my age in golf today)   

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