[Tweeters] NIsqually NWR 12/15/05

Scrubjay323 at aol.com Scrubjay323 at aol.com
Thu Dec 15 17:18:25 PST 2005


Tweets,

Today 5 of us walked Nisqually in cold, clear conditions. The day started
out foggy, but soon cleared.

The highlights included an early BARN SWALLOW, a VARIED THRUSH, and an early
male WOOD DUCK.

The BARN SWALLOW was hanging around the pond on the left as we headed out
to McAllister Creek. It was flying low and slow, dipping down low over the
water. It appeared to be struggling and often rested on the low reeds in the
area.

We spotted the VARIED THRUSH, our first of the season, in the riparian area
inside the boardwalk, as we headed out to the twin barns. It was just past the
freshwater marsh overlook.

The WOOD DUCK was with some mallards in the slough along the Nisqually River
trail past the Nisqually River overlook. What beautiful plumage! This guy
was dressed for the party!

All told we had 10 species of ducks, and we saw all three waders: several
GREAT BLUE HERONS, an AMERICAN BITTERN along the trail to McAllister Creek, and
GREEN HERON in the slough inside the boardwalk near the hummingbird tree on
the Nisqually side.

Among the passerines we had a large flock of BUSHTITS at the junction of the
boardwalk from the twin barns and the Nisqually River side along with a
couple of mixed flocks of BLACK-CAPPED CHICKADEES and KINGLETS, both kinds.

There were lots of raptors with RED-TAILED HAWK and NORTHERN HARRIERS being
the most common. A PEREGRINE FALCON was back on station in the doug fir behind
the visitor center.

All told we had 48 species for the day with nothing new for the year.

Mammals seen included 2 COLUMBIAN BLACK-TAILED DEER, a couple of HARBOR
SEALS, and a CALIFORNIA SEA LION in the Nisqually River near the ring dike. Boy,
was he bellowing!

Until next Thursday...

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



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