Nisqually NWR - Fri. 11/5/99 - SAS Trip

F. Wood fbwood at
Sat Nov 6 00:15:08 PST 1999

Had a great trip to the new boardwalks and headquarters bldg. Friday and
saw 39 species.
Four standouts include:
1) A male Flicker seen from the north end of the porch at the new
headquarters with both a scarlet moustachial stripe and a scarlet nape
crescent (seen with scope). Couldn't determine wing lining color of
sitting/feeding bird.
2) A Virginia Rail, also seen rushing through the swamp grass from
the headquarters porch. We were lucky ever to pull ourselves away from
the headquarters overlook!
3) A Thayer's Gull on a piling at the west end of the trial from
headquarters to McAllister Creek. Good scope views of the dark brown
4) The White-tailed Kite on low bushes just southwest of the first
Ring Dike Trail turnoff to the Photo Blind (almost as far as you can go
north along the Nisqually R. during duck hunting season). Again, good
scope views. We note that the 1998 Seattle Audubon Soc. Check List of
Washington Birds still lists it as a "Black-shouldered Kite" even though
the AOU separated it, once again, from the Black-shouldered Kite of Europe
and Africa in 1994, recreating the White-tailed Kite. Where were you,
The staff at the refuge say the Great Horned Owls have been heard
and seen in the woods along the old Dike Trail to the east of the
headquarters. We saw some scattered Barn Owl feathers on the east side of
the Dike Trail representing a presumed Great Horned meal.
And the bird related exhibit at the headquarters building is
not extensive, but is a fabulous introduction to some of the delta's
The process is underway to determine the best future for the
delta: how much of the area should be fresh water wetlands and grassland,
estuarine (full tidal) wetlands, or muted tidal wetlands. An "Issues
Workbook" from last Nov. is available, and a current analysis is due for
publication next summer. Call the Refuge at 360/753-9467 and get on their
mailing list. This is your refuge.

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