[Tweeters] Nisqually NWR 12/9/04

Scrubjay323 at aol.com Scrubjay323 at aol.com
Thu Dec 9 17:05:52 PST 2004

Today 2 of us braved the threat of rain and walked Nisqually NWR. The day  
started out overcast and it started to drizzle when we got to McAllister Creek  
and the rain became heavier by the time we got to the boardwalk. At least it  
didn't blow.
Highlights included a 4 BITTERN day, loads of NORTHERN HARRIERS and  
RED-TAILED HAWKS (didn't see Pale Male, though he'd be welcome here) and a great  view 
All the BITTERN were see on the way back to the visitor center from  
McAllister Creek. The first one was seen on the trail as we turned to head back  to 
the visitor center from McAllister Creek. He posed on the trail, head up, for  a 
few seconds and then eased off to the right. When we got about to the spot  
where he had been another BITTERN flushed from the left side of the trail.  
Another 10 or 15 yards and another BITTERN flushed from the left side of the  
trail. Both these birds flew 50 yards or so to the left. the last BITTERN was  
seen near the willows on the right side of the trail in the pond across from the 
 parking lot. We saw a couple of MARSH WREN moving in the reeds toward 
McAllister  Creek and backed up to get a better look at them When Dawn Bailey 
started  laughing and said look right in front of you. There was another BITTERN in 
the  reeds not 10 yards off the trail all hunkered down. We had passed it and 
would  not have seen it if we had not backed up to look at the wrens. So much 
for being  a keen bird spotter.
Duck numbers were down although the usual suspects were around. There were  
some COMMON GOLDENEYE on the Nisqually River and a few RING-NECKED DUCKS behind 
 the twin barns. Loads of GEESE, both CANADA and CACKLERS, in the pond across 
 from the parking lot when were started out.
The SHARP-SHINNED HAWK was in the snag near the Nisqually River overlook as  
I came back from the ring dike. As I got onto the boardwalk toward the parking 
 lots it apparently flew up the river and through the woods and landed on the 
 railing shortly in front of me for a while, providing a great view before he 
 flew off into the woods. We also saw an AMERICAN KESTREL on a snag behind 
the  visitor center. The BALD EAGLES were roosting in the new nest tree when not 
 scaring up the ducks.
We did find a couple of nice mixed winter flocks of song birds with the  
All told we had 45 species for the day with nothing new for the year.   
Mammals seen were GRAY SQUIRRELS and HARBOR SEALS.
Until next Thursday....
Phil Kelley  
scrubjay323 at aol.com
Lacey, WA 

"We were few and  they were many, now we are many and they are few."  
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