Twenty-three hardy DNCBers enjoyed a rainy, but comfortable if dressed appropriately, Wednesday morning in Langley at Brydon Lagoon and Hi-Knoll Park. Check out the spectacular photographic evidence on our Flickr site.
Eight folks left Petra’s at 7:30 a.m., car-pooling brilliantly in two vehicles; the ride was smooth sailing, arriving at 8:15 a.m. at the parking lot entrance to Brydon Lagoon, well-before the time-challenged leader. The entrance to the trail around the Lagoon was newly landscaped since last year’s visit. A passing dog walker took our Group Photo (17 without a few late arrivers) under the new Brydon Lagoon sign, using Noreen’s camera. The neat species in the pond included an American Coot, several pairs of courting Ring-necked Ducks, Bufflehead, Northern Shovelers, Double-crested Cormorant, and other common waterfowl species. Swallows were circling everywhere above the pond, hawking insects; mostly Tree and Violet-greens, but we also saw Northern Rough-winged and a number of Barn and Cliff Swallows. A magical five swallow morning.
Along the pond trail we searched in vain for warblers, but got lots of good looks at Sparrow species (Song, White- and Golden-crowned), both Anna’s and Rufous Hummingbirds, American Goldfinches and lots of Red-winged Blackbirds of various ages. We had Purple Finches, but not House Finches this day.
From the trail while walking across the marsh, we saw a Canada Goose sitting in the Eagle’s nest. Langley Field Naturalist Joanne said the goose had been there for a few days. Interestingly, when we came back a couple of hours later, an adult Bald Eagle was perched in the tree, and the nest was empty. We heard a Marsh Wren and someone saw a Bewick’s Wren. Lots of beautiful blossoms on the trees and bushes, and the moss on the huge twisted tree branches was amazingly eerie as it always is in this park.
We crossed the road into Hi-Knoll Park (which I later learned is actually in Surrey) and the Fawn Lilies were there as we had hoped. Both the White and rarer Pink were in fine bloom, as were several other wildflower species that we have come here to see, Trilliums (White and Pink, which I learned is a mature/old white Trillium) and Bleeding Hearts. Lots of evidence of Pileated Woodpeckers here and we saw Northern Flickers. A bird singing sounded like a Swainson’s Thrush, but we weren’t sure. Despite the rain, the walk through this “almost” old growth grove is very pleasant.
When we turned down the hill at the Hydro Tower, Kathryn and Debbi saw Bushtits, apparently uninteresting (Ho-Hum) to most others. Although we saw several more Hummingbirds, we could not coax any warblers to appear. Roger led us back across the road on a new, to us, trail, which was interesting with many “planted” species of trees and bushes and their colourful blossoms (Quince, Cherry, etc.). This was the Skelton Farm before the Anglican Church, then Langley Parks, took over the property in the 2000s.
On the return walk back to the vehicles, Roger led us on a couple of errant side trips. We went to the area near the Goose/Eagle Nest tree where Richmond Brian scared off the Common Snipe so only he saw it. Then Roger led us through the ”Homeless Woods”, vainly in search of the Barred Owls we had seen here earlier years. Thankfully, the homeless garbage and the Tarp in the Tree provided conversation tidbits arousing wry smiles on our soaked faces. According to Brian’s eBird List we had 40 species today.
We got back to the vehicles around 11:30 a.m. and knew it was time to hit Samz Pub for lunch, where we (11) were again welcomed by John Gordon’s daughter, Kara? I had the steak sandwich with salad and fries, washed down with Granville Island Honey Lager; scrumptious. It was still pouring rain when we left the pub after 1 p.m., but it was another delightful DNCB outing.
We 23 were: the four South Surrey Lovebirds, Colin & Stephanie, Wazza & Lynn, “lost Sailor” Langley Ralph & newbie Wanda, Photogs David & Noreen with Mike B2 & Ladner Jack Mac, patient Kathryn & Mom Debbi, Mike B drove Organizer Terry C, PB Lorna and returnee Gerhard, Langley experts Gareth P & Joanne R, our eBirder Richmond Brian, sisters Pat & Maureen, Roaming Roger and me.
Next Wednesday, April 17, we will leave Petra’s at 7:30 a.m. for Queen Elizabeth Park in Vancouver. We expect to meet others around 8:15 a.m. at the Golf Course office near the parking lot by the tennis courts. Note also that this Sunday, April 14 are two events with Delta Nats participation where you too may want to participate. Ladner Jack MacDonald will be leading the Birds in Focus Photography Workshop at Cammidge House, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and, we will have our Nats Display and a Nature Walk at Delta’s annual Fish Release at Watershed Park in North Delta, 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. For more info on these events, our outings, and earlier 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