[Tweeters] Nisqually NWR 12/27/04

Nancy nelrjb at comcast.net
Mon Dec 27 17:37:55 PST 2004


Hello Tweeters,
My brother and I birded the Nisqually today.  What a glorious birding day.  Sunshine, brisk and lots of birds.

Over by the 2 white barns was a pair of BALD EAGLES guarding their new nest.  Then we saw an IMMATURE BALD EAGLE catch a bird in the air and fly over to the nest to eat his lunch.  The two mature eagles called to him as he landed and watched him eat.

There were at least 4 NORTHERN HARRIERS soaring around the area.  A couple flew very close and hovered over the grass land.  

One highlight for me was a NORTHERN SHRIKE.  It was a life bird for me. Another birder spotted him first and pointed us in the direction of the access road near where there were hunters shooting.

There were hundreds of CANADA GEESE moving about.  I have not seen them in such concentration around here before.

Some of the ducks we saw were:
NORTHERN SHOVELER (many)
MALLARDS (many)
GADWALL
AMERICAN WIGEONS
NORTHERN PINTAIL
GREEN WINGED TEAL
GARGANEY- one male and 3 females - I know this is a rare bird here but I am pretty sure this was not a pintail. His tail was shorter but his markings were similar. But he was a fair distance away and I did not have a scope. The white stripe on his head went through his eye.

Other birds of note:
1 PEREGRINE FALCON
1 SNOW GOOSE (among the many Canada Geese)
AMERICAN COOTS
BUFFLEHEAD
1 EUROPEAN STARLING
3 AMERICAN ROBINS
1 GREAT BLUE HERON
4 GOLDEN CROWNED SPARROWS
1 SONG SPARROW
1 RUBY CROWNED KINGLET
GLAUCOUS WINGED GULLS
RING NECKED GULLS
1 ROCK DOVE
1 SPOTTED TOWHEE
6-HOUSE FINCH
5-RED WINGED BLACKBIRDS

There were hunters shooting their guns.  I am wondering, what exactly are they hunting?  Would they be shooting specific ducks or are the hunting the CANADA GEESE?  I assume that this is why most of the refuge was closed.  Even with the hunters it was a great birding day.

Nancy Lander
Renton, WA.


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