[Tweeters] Nisqually NWR 12/30/04

Scrubjay323 at aol.com Scrubjay323 at aol.com
Fri Dec 31 08:07:35 PST 2004


Tweets,

Nine of us walked Nisqually yesterday on a mostly pleasant day. A couple of
sprinkles early, but cool and overcast the rest of the day. The gray skies
made for some interesting viewing.

Once again the day started with three GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GEESE right next
to the parking lot. Later in the day they were on the parking lot. Must be
some nice grass there! They were with a mixed flock of CANADA and CACKLING
GEESE. On the ponds were the usual compliment of ducks: MALLARDS, PINTAIL,
SHOVELERS, AMERICAN WIGEON, BUFFLEHEAD, GREEN-WINGED TEAL, GADWALL, COOT, and
RING-NECKED DUCKS. We also had PIED-BILLED GREBE on the pond behind the visitor
center and COMMON MERGANSER and COMMON GOLDENEYE on the Nisqually River.

Raptors seemed to be everywhere with multiple sightings of NORTHERN HARRIER,
RED-TAILED HAWK, BALD EAGLE, and PEREGRINE FALCON. We also saw a
SHARP-SHINNED HAWK near the Nisqually overlook.

We saw an AMERICAN BITTERN out near McAllister Creek and a late comer saw
one near the start of the boardwalk.

While we didn't see any great numbers of passerines we did find a couple of
small mixed winter flocks that contained both KINGLETS, BLACK-CAPPED
CHICKADEE, DOWNEY WOODPECKER, BROWN CREEPER, and BEWICK'S WREN.

Two birds of interest were a dark hawk inside the boardwalk near the twin
barns, that has generated much discussion as to whether it is a small, dark
morph RED-TAILED HAWK or a BROAD-WINGED HAWK, and a falcon out near the ring
dike. That bird generated discussion at to whether it is a PEREGRINE FALCON or a
PRAIRIE FALCON. We saw both birds perched and lean toward RED-TAILED HAWK and
PEREGRINE FALCON although the folks who support BROAD-WINGED HAWK and
PRAIRIE FALCON are knowledgeable, experienced birders. Always something to think
about.

Mammals seen were 5 EASTERN GRAY SQUIRRELS in the picnic area near the twin
barns, a HARBOR SEAL and 2 CALIFORNIA SEA LIONS in the Nisqually River near
the ring dike. I guess the salmon are really in the river now.

For the day 45 species, with nothing new for the year. Total for the year is
137 species.

Happy New Year to all and may 2005 be you birdiest year every. Until next
year...

Phil Kelley
Lacey, WA
360-459-1499
scrubjay323 at aol.com

"We were few and they were many. Now we are many and they are few."
Confucius



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