[Tweeters] Nisqually NWR

Paul Webster paul.webster at comcast.net
Mon Feb 28 09:06:45 PST 2005

Hi Tweets,

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:

Pied-billed Grebe
Double-crested Cormorant
Great Blue Heron
American Bittern
Canada Goose
Cackling Goose
Eurasian Wigeon
American Wigeon
Green-winged Teal
Northern Pintail
Northern Shoveler
Ring-necked Duck
Common Goldeneye
Common Merganser
Northern Harrier
Cooper's Hawk
Red-tailed Hawk
American Kestrel
Peregrine Falcon (in Seattle)
American Coot
Ring-billed Gull
Glaucous-winged Gull
Bonaparte's Gull
Rock Pigeon
Belted Kingfisher
Red-breasted Sapsucker
Downy Woodpecker
Northern Flicker
Tree Swallow
Golden-crowned Kinglet
Ruby-crowned Kinglet
Bewick's Wren
Marsh Wren
American Robin
Black-capped Chickadee
Brown Creeper
American Crow
European Starling
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Spotted Towhee
Song Sparrow
White-crowned Sparrow
Golden-crowned Sparrow
Dark-eyed Junco
Red-winged Blackbird

Paul Webster

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