[Tweeters] Nisqually NWR - my 1st birding walk here in WA

Jennifer Griffith jbgrif at mindspring.com
Sat Apr 19 21:30:34 PDT 2008

Good evening, everyone! I just relocated here (WA state) from GA less than 2 weeks ago, & have some anxiety regarding getting positive IDs on many of the birds in the area. Regardless, I've had some success around our apartment complex, & today Dave (hubby) & I decided to check out Nisqually NWR. I'd heard from several people that this would be a great place for birding, as well as general relaxation & nature-watching. Though Dave isn't really into birding, he's got great eyes for spotting birds so he sometimes humors me by coming along.

Shortly after we arrived, we heard something small in the bushes near the nature center/shop & spotted some hummingbirds - OK, we heard them first. My 1st hummers of the year: Rufous! After seeing & hearing several familiar birds - red-tailed hawk, robins, red-winged blackbirds & black-capped chickadees - as well as a couple I couldn't see well enough to ID, we saw a warbler which was somehow familiar, but not quite what I was used to. The butter-colored backside said yellow-rumped warbler, but with a yellow crown & throat? A check of my field guide - an older Peterson's which was a gift from a friend in GA - confirmed it was the Audubon's variation of yellow-rumped (we always saw the "myrtle" variation at our suet feeders near Atlanta).

Around this time, Dave was starting to have some serious back pain, so he went back to the car while I headed back to the gift shop. There I met several very nice birders who invited me to join them (I apologize that your names slip my mind right now), & we headed to the "duckier" areas. My thanks to these friendly folks who helped with some goose & swallow IDs before the weather started to turn again; that combined with a message from Dave asking when we were leaving signaled the end of this walk for me. Still got a pretty impressive list of birds for just being there a couple hours (life birds marked with a *):

Great blue heron
Greater white-fronted goose*
Canada goose
Cackling goose*
Wood duck
Cinnamon teal*
Northern shoveler
Northern pintail*
Green-winged teal
Red-tailed hawk
American coot
Greater yellowlegs
Violet-green swallow*
Barn swallow
Black-capped chickadee
Marsh wren
American robin
European starling
Yellow-rumped warbler (Audubon's)*
Red-winged blackbird

This list doesn't include a tiny, unidentified bird seen flying out of some bushes, or some small brown birds seen in a tree which I couldn't ID.

I think I'll like it around here, but am sure looking forward to summer! So, when can I enjoy 85-degree temps on a regular basis around here? LOL!

Jennifer Griffith
Lacey, WA

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