Twenty-nine folk (yes 29) enjoyed another glorious Wednesday morning in South Surrey at Blackie Spit and Elgin Heritage Parks. Check out the beaut photo evidence of the birds, flora and participants on our Flickr site at: DNCB Flickr site.
Some from Petra’s, others from wherever in the lower mainland, we all met shortly after 8 a.m. at the parking lot entrance to Blackie Spit Park. Interestingly, our Target Bird, the annual resident Long-billed Curlew, was nonchalantly feeding in the muddy beach right in front of us. After focusing on the LBC, David took the obligatory Group Photo, interrupting the chatfest among the several worldly DNCBers returned from Europe, Saskatchewan, Ontario, Quebec, Arizona, etc.
We walked past the Ring-billed Gulls on the path to the spit. A flock of Peeps flew by, possibly Dunlin and/or Western Sandpipers. Harbour Seal pups were calling to their Mom in the shallow bay; the tide was very low. Several Savannah Sparrows posed on Tansy blooms. Young 4 year old William was fascinated with the Crows, but he soon got bored with our old folk lethargic birding, so Grandma Stephanie took him to the more fascinating shells and stones in the mud. Both Barn and Tree Swallows were hawking insects but not much other activity, so the rest of us also left the spit for the Savenye Trail.
Lots of young Purple Martins around, and there was activity in most of their nestboxes on the pylons. We also saw Anna’s and perhaps Rufous Hummingbirds, and finches, both House and American Goldfinches. Yellowlegs (20+) were feeding intermittently along the Nicomekl River, and we were able to distinguish Lessers among the mostly Greater. A couple of Black-headed Grosbeaks showed up among the Cedar Waxwings near an active Paper Wasp nest. And we saw warblers in the trees but were only able to identify an Orange-crowned Warbler and Golden-crowned Kinglet. David’s eBird count was 28 species at Blackie Spit this morning. I don’t mention most of the common regular specie sightings in these reports.
We left Blackie Spit about 10:45 a.m. in a convoy for Elgin Heritage Park along the Nicomekl. This was another nice walk with more LBJ sightings (little brown jobs) and lots of “birder bonding.” We were blanked on Godwit sightings, but immature Robins that were almost Varied Thrushes aroused a bit of excitement. A cruising Red-tailed Hawk was our only raptor, other than the Bald Eagles. Now just past 11:30 a.m., about a dozen of us decided to lunch at our nearby “regular” Town Hall Pub on Westminster Highway. My cottage pie with two sleeves of the house lager, along with Sabine’s and Roger Two’s chips, hit the spot. In the few seconds she wasn’t talking, Debbi kindly took the Luncheon Group photo. I got home in time to hunt for bugs with grandson Thomas, pick up granddaughters at camp and daycare respectively, then Pho dinner at Tsawwassen Commons with our visiting Ottawa friend Monica and both kids and all four grandkids. It was another awesome DNCB outing, and evening.
The 29 were (They love their names in print): Organizer Terry C, PB Lorna & Mike B, time-challenged Margaretha, Gabrielle & Roger (from his sick bed), Pat S, Glen B, our Bird Box Team of Chris McV, Jim K, Roger Two & Ladner Jack Mac, sophomore newbie Sabine, locals Ken & Anne, Colin & Stephanie with grandson William, Warren (aka Wazza) & Lynne, Pat S, Ladner Pam, e Birders David & Noreen & Richmond Brian, Debbi & Kathryn, Johnny Mac, VanCity Lidia, Marion S and me.
On Wednesday, August 7, we will leave Petra’s at 7:30 a.m. for Burnaby Lake Park, meeting at the Nature House around 8:15 a.m. For more info on outings, 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