Blog: Delta birders pay visit to Burnaby Lake Park

Delta BC

Fifteen DNCBers enjoyed a hot Wednesday morning wandering the trails at Burnaby Lake Park. Check out the beautiful photo evidence on our Flickr site at: (more to come).


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Eight of us car-pooled nicely in two vehicles from Petra’s at 7:30 a.m.. Interestingly, our Burnaby Legend & Leader, Roger Meyer, drove one vehicle on an historic “short cut” tour of Burnaby and we got to the Park parking lot at 8:35 a.m., 15 minutes after the other Petra’s vehicle. Following the obligatory introductory blather among the 15, we strolled out to the lookout at Piper Spit. There was lots of bird noise in the trees around us and Burnaby Marion spotted a Hutton’s Vireo. The gardens around the Nature House were filled with gorgeous blooming flowers, and, of course, several Hummingbirds (I assume both Rufous and Anna’s) were flitting among them. Redwing Blackbirds were feeding juvenile Brown-headed Cowbirds, and we heard Common Yellowthroats, and finally got a look at a couple. Tonnes of Mallards around and we saw a few Wood Ducks and a Long-billed Dowitcher among them.


As we approached the Lookout, the pair of Sandhill Cranes were feeding on seeds on the plank floor. They were hardly bothered by us, until we got very close and they just jumped over the fence onto the mudflats. The water seemed low and there was a lot more vegetation in the lake than I am used to seeing there. As David took the Group Photo (15 with Maureen “parachuted” in), a Merlin cruised by, hawking dragonflies. It obligingly perched for its photo shoot on a stick tree just off the lookout. It, along with other perched birds like the Great Blue Herons, was continually panting as it was abnormally very hot already this morning. We were blanked on the Mandarin Duck recently seen here.


Duckling - Pat Smart


Roger led us on the Piper Mill “loop” Trail first, and from the big Lookout we saw one of several Willow Flycatchers seen throughout the morning. Cedar Waxwings and Swainson’s Thrushes were also in the trees along the trail and some got good looks and photos. Lots of LBJ’s along the trail too including Song and Fox Sparrows, House Finches, Spotted Towhees, Rock Pigeons, and unfortunately, some unidentified warblers (Yellow Warbler?).


We got back to the Nature House about 10 a.m. and then continued along our regular route, the Brunette Headwaters Trail to the Cariboo Dam. More of the same species seen, but we also saw a Warbling Vireo. A passing runner showed us his photos of a Black Bear with a juvenile Cub on the trail, but we didn’t see any Bears. Approaching 11 a.m., some found the heat unbearable and returned to the Nature House; others continued to Cariboo Dam. We were rewarded as Roger eventually found a Wandering Tattler feeding among the rocks at the Dam. Of course, back at the Nature House and Piper Spit, Maureen and the others saw a Pileated Woodpecker, a Mink and several Killdeer. Exhausted, sweaty and fulfilled, and just past Noon, we ended the outing and ten of us decided to have lunch at the luxurious, air conditioned, Burnaby Golf Course Restaurant.


The Jug of Sleeman’s Lager went down very smoothly, along with the Hamburger Special with Mozzarella Cheese & Mushrooms, and a Salad (fortunately Maureen ordered Chips). Unlike other DNCB pub fare, veggie-wimp Terry was even pleased with this restaurant choice. As usual, our historian and fictitious raconteur, entertained us with stories, including his legendary one-over-par 71 on this golf course back when he was a Teaching Pro with his high school class. I snored through more of R&M’s stories on the ride back to Tsawwassen, arriving before 3 p.m. and in time for granddaughter pickup at her camp at the Ladner Water Park. Now Thursday morning, our France guests left this morning, I missed my weekly golf at the Cove, and grandson Thomas is napping, so I have/had time to write this almost-entertaining report.


The eclectic 15 were: Leader Roger M and Co-Leader Marion S, future leader and motor cyclist Fisherman Burnaby Roy, sisters Pat & Maureen, co-raconteur Mike B, Boundary Bay Mike 2B, elusive North Van Richard H, our Bird Spotter Kirsten W, affable PB Lorna, award-winning photog Richmond Brian, always reliable David & Noreen, Chief Organizer Terry C and me.


Wednesday, Aug. 15, is a local DNCB outing along the Boundary Bay dike at 104th, for migrating shorebirds. Check out our website for more info, reports and photos at: We will also have an extra outing at Reifel on Monday, August 13 at 9 a.m. with some kids from Tsawwassen First Nations. As always, your comments are encouraged, and let me know if these less-than comedic reports annoy you and you want off my email list. Cheers: Tom


Tom Bearss, President, Delta Naturalists Society

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