It was a gorgeous sunny Wednesday morning for our quarterly Birds on the Bay outing in Boundary Bay Regional Park. We had about 25 participants (I lost count with so many children) including several newbies and kids, and lots of neat sightings. Check out the photo evidence on our Flickr site at: https://www.flickr.com/search/?group_id=3027315%40N23&text=2017-49&view_all=1.
We met at 9 a.m. at historic Cammidge House (CH) and “signed in” the newbies. While making my welcome remarks, a Cooper’s Hawk flew past and landed in a nearby tree. Very exciting. David took a group photo on the CH steps. On our walk along the driveway to Centennial Beach, while watching the several Bald Eagles in the tree, “someone” scared a flock of Mallards lounging in the slough. The Beach pond was full of ducks, mostly Mallards and American Wigeon, and one female Common Goldeneye. We walked across the sand and set up the scope near the shore. The tide was coming in and mixed flocks of Dunlin and Sanderling landed in front of us for good views. A single injured Yellowlegs (blood on its chest, gunshot wound?) caught our attention, as did several Black Oystercatchers searching among the stones and shells for food. Further out were large rafts of waterfowl; we identified Scoter and Scaup species among the thousands. Of course, the view across the 'Bay to White Rock, Mount Baker and Burnaby was exhilarating as always.
We left the beach for the trail in search of migrants among the “little birds” in the bushes. Lots of Sparrows, mostly Golden-crowned with some Song and Fox seen too. The “regulars” were all seen too, Anna’s Hummingbirds, Spotted Towhees, House Finches, Red-wing Blackbirds, etc. but no Warblers seen this day. We heard a Marsh Wren and some got photos of a Western Meadowlark (a Target Bird recently arrived). Both male and female Northern Harriers often glided by us. And twice a Falcon swooped by too; we think it was a Merlin (smaller than a Peregrine).
At the Lookout, David took another group photo. Unfortunately the Delta NatureKids (home-schooled) families missed both group photos, but I see Terry and perhaps other photogs put shots of them on our Flickr site. Walking toward the PumpHouse, more “healthy” Yellowlegs (Lesser?) along with Green-winged Teal were close to shore. Flocks of both Canada and Brant Geese flew by, and at the PumpHouse lots of Brant’s were among the hundreds of Northern Pintail and American Wigeon. We also picked out one colourful male Eurasian Wigeon. Ring-billed and Mew Gulls were there too with the many Glaucous-winged Gulls (perhaps other gull species too). A brilliant male Hooded Merganser was in the PumpHouse pond.
Approaching 11 a.m., I sort of hustled the group back to CH along the inland trail. We saw more of the regulars, Finches, Hummers, Sparrows, Flickers, but no Waxwings or Warblers, and the warm sun and constant chatter among new and old friends made the walk back very enjoyable. We arrived at CH on time at 11:30 a.m. to the smiles of our Delta Nats Ladies, Jennifer and Rochelle. The “Homemade” Goodie Table was unbelievable: Jennifer’s scones, Elizabeth’s and Rochelle’s shortbread and cookies, Sandra’s legendary egg salad sandwiches, and the cheeses and fruits were absolutely scrumptious, along with a tasty cup of hot noodle soup (no beer on BOTB outings). The Chatfest continued as the group sat around the table gorging on these delights. A glorious ending to a beautiful morning. And I made my Wednesday “Noon” hockey in Richmond, plus a couple of cans of Sleeman’s lager after the game, to ensure my DNCB balanced diet remained intact.
Next Tuesday, Dec. 19, we will meet at and leave from Petra’s at 7:30 a.m. for an outing in Point Roberts. We plan to be at the PR Lighthouse Marine Park parking lot before 8 a.m. The following week’s outing will be on Saturday, Dec. 23 (not Tuesday 26th) with the Ladner Christmas Bird Count. More info on these and other outings, and reports and photos, are on our website at: www.dncb.wordpress.com. As always, your comments are encouraged. Cheers: Tom
Tom Bearss, President, Delta Naturalists Society