About 30 “casual” birders (see names at end) spent a very enjoyable 2 1/2 hour ramble around Boundary Bay Regional Park (BBRP) on an overcast but dry and comfortable Wednesday morning. This was our Delta Nats quarterly Birds on the Bay outing. Hi-lites included lots of Waterfowl species close to shore, a few neat smaller bird sightings, several “almost interesting newbies”, and a super feed of home-made goodies by the Delta Nats Ladies to end the walk. Check out the photo evidence on our DNCB Picasa site at: https://picasaweb.google.com/113357506005013094897.
We met at historic Cammidge House (CH) at 9:00 a.m. Following the signing up of several fresh faces and my introductory comments, the mass of 25 (others joined us on the trail later) started our walk along the road toward Centennial Beach. I flushed a bunch of Mallards in the slough while a couple of Bald Eagles watched from the big tree by the parking lot. At the re-invigorated pond surrounded by the many diverse native species planted by Metro Vancouver Parks, we saw lots of American Wigeons and one American Coot. No Brewer’s Blackbirds seen, but Red-winged Blackbirds were in colourful and noisy form. We walked across the sand to the shoreline; tide was high (unusual for our outings). Lots of dabbling ducks close to shore but we couldn’t see any “divers” among the waves. Six beaut Sanderling flew in and landed in front of us for their photo op.
We continued our walk along the trail sort of close to shore. V’s of both Snow and Canada Geese occasionally flew above us. The bushes were fairly quiet (Bird wise, but certainly not people wise) along here; we saw Spotted Towhees, Song and Golden-crowned Sparrows. When we reached the Lookout, Roger took the mandatory Group Photo. Lots of resident Northern Harriers gliding by but not yet performing their mating rituals. Continuing along the dike trail next to the water, hundreds of Green-winged Teal and Northern Pintail were close-up-and-personal. We searched in vain for the Common Teal. A few Gadwall were there too, and a small flock (~8) of Dunlin flew by. A Northern Flicker posed and pecked noisily on a fence post thrilling the photogs and newbies.
But the attraction as we approached the Pump House was the hundreds of Brant Geese. Of course, our resident Brant Expert, Tall Rick was there doing his thing, counting and taking notes of bands. Among the Brant, were American Wigeon, including one Eurasian Wigeon. A flock of six Greater Yellowlegs took off from this group and some of us saw them. In the Pump House pond was one female Bufflehead and one female Hooded Merganser. Our DNS Bird Houses were quiet; we saw no Tree Swallows this day.
Following the inland trail back to CH, a Downy Woodpecker gave us good looks. Lots of other “lbj’s” (Little Brown Jobs) in the bushes including Dark-eyed Juncos, House Finches and Chickadees. We finally saw a Hummingbird and some got good shots of an Anna’s. We heard several Marsh Wrens, but I didn’t see one. A pair of Northern Shovelers were in the Bert Brink slough. We got back to Cammidge House at exactly 11:30 a.m. (excellent management by the Leader). The Delta Nats Ladies (Jennifer, Elizabeth and Eleanor) were all smiles as the voracious vagabonds wolfed down their scrumptious home-made scones, cookies and Sandra’s egg salad sandwiches. Some newbies including Nootka and her keen-eyed daughter Sarah toured historic Cammidge House. Another super Birds on the Bay outing.
Tom Bearss, President, Delta Naturalists’ Society
P.S. Participants were: Scoper and Photog Roger M; other Photogs were Liz with guest Wayne, Glen, Terry, Ken & Anne and new DNS members Pascale & Alberto; DNCB Regulars were Kathy E, Marylile w/o Rob, Mike B, Fern, Gerhard, White Rock Al and his harem of one Alice, time challenged Otto and Dave M; Newbies included Nootka and daughter Sarah, Lidia J, Nugent (?), Wing Wong, Bernadette & hubby and Mary H; Brant Guru Richard S, and our Delta Nats Ladies Elizabeth, Jennifer and Eleanor. That’s 31 including me, and I may have missed someone.