Blog: Delta birders trek to North Van


Seventeen DNCBers enjoyed a warm, sunny Wednesday morning wandering the trails of Maplewood Flats Conservation Area in North Vancouver. We saw some neat species, met some neat folk, and had an enjoyable pub lunch. Check out the photo evidence on our Flickr site (more coming).


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Ten of us car-pooled nicely in two vehicles from Petra’s at 7:30 a.m. I was in Roger’s “shortcut” van and we drove the “quick” way through downtown Vancouver to avoid the morning rush hour highway traffic.  We arrived at the Maplewood Flats Nature Hut at 8:40 a.m., predictably 15 minutes after everyone else. We all bonded for several minutes before Noreen took the Group Photo in front of the Feeder area. Lots of finch, sparrow (including a Fox Sparrow) and woodpecker activity at the feeders. While identifying the American Goldfinches a warbler slipped into view, and it was a gorgeous male Townsend’s Warbler, probably my Bird of the Day.


House Finch
House Finch - photo by Glen Bodie/DNCB Flickr


We took the trail to the mudflats where the Purple Martin boxes on the pylons were full of activity. The tide was way out but we also saw Mew and Glaucous-winged Gulls in the distance and a flock of Common Mergansers. Both Pelagic and Double-crested Cormorants were diving. The Osprey nest was empty, but Marylile said that the single young Osprey had successfully fledged. A Spotted Sandpiper was bobbing along the shore and some saw other smaller sandpipers (Peeps?) and Black Oystercatchers. Common Ravens and a Red-tailed Hawk gave us fly-pasts.


We walked the inland trails and I missed seeing the Western Tanagers and the Yellow Warblers because the Blackberries were in perfect bloom and were a delicious breakfast. Fresh Bear scat on the trail showed that a Black Bear was also recently enjoying these blackberries. We regularly saw LBJ (little bird) activity in the tops of the trees but had difficulty with species identification. Interestingly, while looking at Bushtits and Chickadees, Tony showed me a photo and it was a Black-throated Gray Warbler, another of our Target birds.  David’s eBird list indicates 28 species seen today.


When we got back to the new Nature Pavilion at 11:30 a.m., the Wild Bird Trust of BC just finished their meeting and we met President Irwin Oostindie, Conservation Area Manager Ernie Kennedy, and our good friend Vice President Jude Grass. We got to tour the building and the gallery of beautiful Nature Paintings. Then it was lunch time at the nearby Maplewood Taphouse. Nine of us endured a bit of a wait as Chris was the sole server, but it was worth the wait as everyone enjoyed their lunch, especially me and my beef stroganoff with two sleeves of Deep Cove Lager, on special and extremely reasonably priced (i.e. cheap).


Roger got us back to Tsawwassen around 2:30 p.m.; I snoozed most of the way to the drone of ILB Tony’s incessant rambling drivel. It was another awesome DNCB outing.


The 17 were: Roger drove our Organizer Terry, Ladner Pam, ILB (Indian Land Baron) Tony M, Margaretha S and me, David & Noreen took Anita DD and our Flickr guru Glen. VanCity Lidia, Kirsten W, Ladner Bryan & Masae, North Van’s Richard, “welcome back” Marylile, and “drop-in” Debbi H, all met us at the park entrance.


On Wednesday, August 21, we’ll leave Petra’s at 7:30 a.m. for the Heritage AirPark at 104th St to walk the Boundary Bay dike trail. Others can meet us at the AirPark around 8 a.m. Delta Nats will also have our Display at two events on Sunday, August 18; the Garlic Fest & Raptor Show at Terra Nova Park in Richmond and, the Ladner Animal Expo at Memorial Park, both events go from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Join us at one or both. Check out more info on our outings and events, plus other reports and photos on our website at:  As always, your comments are welcome, and let me know if this weekly drivel annoys you and you want off my email list. Cheers: Tom


Tom Bearss, President, Delta Naturalists Society (overly keen with this prompt report on this morning’s outing)

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