[Tweeters] Nisqually NWR
paul.webster at comcast.net
Mon Feb 28 09:06:45 PST 2005
Barbara and I led a Seattle Audubon field trip to Nisqually NWR on Saturday morning, February 26. We had foggy weather on the drive down and at the refuge that hindered viewing for the first hour, and temperatures ranged from the upper 30s to the mid 40s -- winter isn't over yet.
To begin with, the eleven participants in our group and about a dozen others watched an AMERICAN BITTERN stalk, catch, and swallow whole what appeared to be a bullfrog -- in the pond right in front of the refuge headquarters! We birded the McAllister Trail, finding a good assortment but rather small numbers of waterfowl. Most seemed to be on the east side of the Nisqually River, as we could hear large numbers of geese over there from time to time.
As the fog lifted a bit the harriers could start patrolling the area and we saw six TREE SWALLOWS overhead. At the Twin Barns we watched a procession of some 250 American Wigeon and a single Eurasian male waddling slowly northward beside the near pond. Our walk along the Nisqually River Trail to the Ring Dike produced three Downy Woodpeckers, a Red-breasted Sapsucker, two Brown Creepers, and two YELLOW-RUMPED (MYRTLE) WARBLERS. Our last sighting at Nisqually was a first-winter COOPER'S HAWK in mid-molt from juvenile to adult plumage. (We missed GADWALLS, a BALD EAGLE, a NORTHERN SHRIKE, and some PURPLE FINCHES that Barbara and I had seen on our scouting trip here Thursday afternoon, February 24th.) Nearly back to the Ravenna Park 'n Ride we sighted a PEREGRINE FALCON on a tower next to the Ship Canal Bridge.
In six hours at Nisqually we saw 47 species, for a trip total of 48:
Great Blue Heron
Peregrine Falcon (in Seattle)
More information about the Tweeters