[Tweeters] Dusky Flycatcher at the Nisqually NWR

Ruth and/or Patrick Sullivan godwit at worldnet.att.net
Mon Sep 26 19:20:17 PDT 2005

Hello Tweets,

This afternoon while on a return walk from the entire "loop" trail at the Nisqually NWR in Thurston Co. a Dusky Flycatcher was observed and photographed at 3:15pm in the Big-Leaf Maple grove immediately south of the Twin Barns. The bird remained foraging/perching fairly low on overhanging branches just east of the gravel trail that leads from the Twin Barns to the main parking lot,then within 5 minutes the bird disappeared and could not be relocated. The bird's overall plumage was quite dark or "dusky" from the head extending along the entire back,but the shady conditions could have contributed to this at times. The fairly bright yellow underparts contrasted well below the rather dark sides with lighter areas on the throat and upper breast. As the bird remained unvocal during the brief observation the bird readily flicked it's tail,as it perched but never flicked it's wings. At times the bird appeared to show itself "pumping" the tail,but this observation could have been a result of the angle of viewing.The complete white eye ring was very visible at all angles along with a rather long bicolored bill,being primarily orange-yellow on the lower mandible. The bill shape was best visible in at last one of the photos taken of the bird,but at other angles the bill appeared more angled and less defined. The color of the lower mandible also varied in lighting,but one photo clearly showed extensive orange-yellow areas extending to nearly the tip of the bill. This was a very unexpected sighting for this location and represented our 2nd personal record for Thurston Co. and our first record during fall migration in western WA!

Away from this sighting our visit today at the Nisqually NWR was quite slow,but produced a few different species than the past 2 days. Large increasing numbers of Am.Wigeons and other waterfowl continue at or near the Nisqually Delta and lingering numbers of Yellow-rumped Warblers and Ruby-crowned Kinglets persist throughout the Nisqually NWR. Our combined list of additional highlights for this location includes the following:

4 Common Loons
4 Pied-billed Grebes on the 25th(with 8 birds on the 26th)
8 Horned Grebes off the Nisqually Delta on the 25th(with 28 birds on the 26th)
1 Red-necked Grebe
1 Am.Bittern on the 25th
26 Cackling Geese(our personal first of the season)
5 Wood Ducks
1 Blue-winged Teal on the 26th
1 Lesser Scaup on the 25th
45 Surf Scoters off the Nisqually Delta
5 White-winged Scoters off he Nisqually Delta on the 26th
8 Common Mergansers along the Nisqually River
3 Turkey Vultures on the 26th
1 adult Bald Eagle on the 26th
2 Northern Harriers(with 5 birds on the 26th)
4 Sharp-shinned Hawks(with 1 bird on the 25th)
2 Cooper's Hawks(with 3 birds on the 25th)
5 Red-tailed Hawks
1 American Kestrel at the Twin Barns on the 26th
1 Merlin on the 25th and 26th
1 adult Peregrine Falcon on the 26th
3 Am.Coots
5 Virginia Rails(heard only)
3 Greater Yellowlegs(with 8 birds on the 25th)
6 Long-billed Dowitchers on the 26th
1 adult Parasitic Jaeger chasing a single Bonaparte's Gull off the Nisqually Delta on the 26th
1 Bonaparte's Gull on the 25th and 26th
1 Rhinoceros Auklet off the Nisqually Delta on the 26th
15 Band-tailed Pigeons on the 25th
1 Pileated Woodpecker
8-10 Violet-green Swallows on the 25th(with 2 birds on the 26th)
35+ Barn Swallows on the 25th(with 15+ birds on the 26th)
8 Steller's Jays on the 26th
2 Common Ravens on the 26th(foraging loosely amongst a large group of Am.Crows in freshly cut fields immediately north of the Twin Barns)
38 Bushtits on the 26th
3 Brown Creepers
5 Am.Pipits on the 25th
1 Hutton's Vireo on the 26th
1 Orange-crowned Warbler on he 26th
1 Black-throated Gray Warbler on the 26th
1 Western Tanager on the 26th
5 "Sooty"Fox Sparrows
6 Lincoln's Sparrows
1 adult White-throated Sparrow(observed amongst a loose flock of Golden-crowned Sparrows along the McAllister Creek trail at the NW corner of the refuge)
1 Lapland Longspur(observed and heard flying over the McAllister Creek trail towards the Nisqually Delta)
25+ Purple Finches

Good birding,

Ruth and Patrick Sullivan
godwit at worldnet.att.net

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