Eighteen DNCBers finally enjoyed a sunny Tuesday outing at Lighthouse Marine Park, the Marina, Maple Beach, and Lily Point Park in Point Roberts. Check out some brilliant photo evidence on our Flickr site at: https://www.flickr.com/search/?group_id=3027315%40N23&text=2018-05&view_all=1.
A convoy of too many vehicles (for cheap gas) left Petra’s shortly after 7:30 a.m. and passed through the Border quickly. Sixteen of us met at the Lighthouse Marine Park parking lot around 8:15 a.m. and it was very windy and cool. Our Pt. Roberts “guru,” Paul Ferry was there with his horde of Local Walkers. The tide was high and the waves obscured vision to any birds that were out there. We did see a few Harlequin Ducks, Bufflehead and both Pelagic and Double-crested Cormorants close to shore. We decided to walk to the “lighthouse” where we “always” see lots of birds. Not so. A few Sanderling whizzed by. We got glimpses of Surf Scoters, Common Goldeneye, Common Loons, Horned Grebes and Red-breasted Mergansers, and Harbour Seals. Anne M, who slept in and missed our outing, saw Western Grebes there after we left. A dog-walker took our group photo on Roger’s camera (16 without time-challenged Jim K & Margaretha).
We walked further along the beach trail, then turned inland and returned via the treed park path. It wasn’t any better as the wind was strong. Some saw Sparrows (White-crowned), Anna’s Hummingbird and other common stuff, but no warblers, wrens or kinglets. We noted that they have cleared a lot of the bushes and were re-building the wood deck and buildings. Hopefully open for the summer. By now, some DNCBers were frustrated, so we convoyed off to the marina.
Most of us as instructed, stopped at the north side parking lot of the marina. Finally some productive and pleasant up-close-and-personal birding. Between the yachts we saw both Horned and Pied-billed Grebes, both Common and at least one Barrow’s Goldeneye, Bufflehead, Surf Scoters, Red-breasted Mergansers, and a Belted Kingfisher posing for us. Brilliant House Finches and even some colourful European Starlings shone in the trees beside us.
We saw the resident Red-tailed Hawk as we drove to the south side of the Marina. Still windy so nothing striking in the bay, but a small flock of Scaup in the channel was new. Now about 10 a.m., we convoyed again to Lily Point Park, although we lost a few participants who were either gloveless and cold, or hungry, or wanted gas, or were simply lost. Anyhow, the 10 remaining scoped from the lookout and saw a Red-throated Loon, Common Murres (Terry photographed them here and at Lighthouse Park), three Scoter species (Surf, White-winged and Black), plus more of the previously-seen species. It was sunny, warm and less windy here, so we decided to return to Lighthouse Park. Not a productive decision as it was still very wavy with few birds there. So we decided to check out Maple Beach.
Down to five participants, a flotilla of Scoters relatively close to shore was entertaining. Roger and I finally found the Black Scoter among the 100+ birds, plus several White-winged too among the mostly Surf Scoters. A Black Oystercatcher on shore ended our outing before we crossed the busy border and arrived at a timely 11:55 a.m. for lunch at the Rose & Crown Pub in Tsawwassen. Interestingly, some of our “lost” participants were already there; one wonders whether the DNCB attraction is birds or lunch. Anyhow, Leila and Shelley looked after the 10 of us well, including a “founding DNCBer,” PB Lorna, who dropped in to say hi. The special of soup and sandwich (I forget what it was) was popular and delicious, of course washed down with two tasty pints of Canadian. Following the chatfest, Richmond Brian drove me to the Land Rover dealer in Richmond to pick up my Range Rover with its new $1,500 alternator (say no more). Notwithstanding my last stop, it was another glorious DNCB outing.
The 18 were: SLB Syd, Mike 2B, Jim K, Photogs Glen B & Ladner Jack, Pat S (without sister Maureen but thankfully fairly mobile following surgery from a DNCB Squamish fall), part-timers Ansa & Claudio, relative newbie Ursula S, North Delta Liz, Point Roberts Paul, Van City Lidia, Richmond Brian, Margaretha, Roger M, Mike B, Terry and me.
Next Tuesday, Feb. 6, we will leave Petra’s at 7:30 a.m. for Iona Regional Park. Note destination schedule change. We should be at the park washroom parking lot at 8:15 a.m. Also, our monthly DNS meeting is next Tuesday too with DNS member and UBC student, Laura Stewart, presenting on her birding adventures in Saskatchewan. Join us at 7:30 p.m. at the Benediction Lutheran Church in Tsawwassen (free admission). For more info on outings and our meetings, check out our website at www.dncb.wordpress.com. As always, your comments are welcome. Cheers: Tom
Tom Bearss, President, Delta Naturalists Society