[Tweeters] Nisqually NWR, Western Bluebirds

Kathy Andrich chukarbird at yahoo.com
Mon Mar 16 19:28:05 PDT 2009

Hi Tweeters,

I ventured out into serious rain to visit Nisqually NWR on a rare weekday off. Just as I turned into the entry road I saw a bird on the wire and thought it would be my first Song Sparrow of the day. Wrong, it was a very drab and gray female Western Bluebird. Then when I left I looked to see if it was still there and I saw a beautiful male Western Bluebird. So there is a pair gaurding the entrance.

I insanely walked the entire loop but there was one long break from the hard rain, much appreciated. I did not haul my scope this time. Afterwards I read the pamphlet about all the changes that will happen at the refuge and do not regret my wet walk at all. I don't know when the outer dike/trail will close forever but it will at some point.

Here is what else I saw/heard with a few notes:

Canada Goose
Cackling Goose
American Wigeon
Northern Shoveler
Northern Pintail
Green-winged Teal
Ring-necked Duck
Common Goldeneye
Hooded Merganser
Common Merganser
Red-breasted Merganser
Pied-billed Grebe
Horned Grebe (in both McAllister Creek and Nisqually River)
Double-crested Cormorant
Great Blue Heron
Bald Eagle (3+ adults and at least 2 immature)
Northern Harrier (males and females)
Red-tailed Hawk (very pale immature)
American Coot
Killdeer (heard only)
Greater Yellowlegs (2 flew overhead calling near the sound)
Dunlin (presumably, too far for positive ID)
Ring-billed Gull
Glaucous-wing Gull
Gull sp (didn't get too into the gulls, today)
Rock Pigeon
Belted Kingfisher
Downy Woodpecker
Northern Flicker
Pileated Woodpecker (2 calling back and forth, from across McAllister
Steller's Jay (heard only)
American Crow
Tree Swallow (a few)
Violet-green Swallow (many)
Black-capped Chickadee
Bewick's Wren (heard only)
Winter Wren (heard only, singing)
Marsh Wren (brief glimpse, singing)
Golden-crowned Kinglet
Ruby-crowned Kinglet (one was singing)
Western Bluebird
American Robin
European Starling
Yellow-rumped Warbler (one Audubon's in fresh breeding plumage, nice!)
Spotted Towhee
Fox Sparrow
Song Sparrow
White-crowned Sparrow
Golden-crowned Sparrow (many, easily over 100 throughout walk, some going
into breeding plumage)
Red-winged Blackbird (singing)
Purple Finch (heard only, singing)
House Finch (singing)
American Goldfinch (heard only)

Looked for but didn't see Pine Grosbeak, American Bittern and the Great-horned Owl. Did not see any falcons either but ran into 2 other intrepid birders and they saw a Peregrine/Eagle interaction.

Roosting in Kent, near Lake Meridian
(chukarbird at yahoo dot com)
Any driving directions contained within this message are given as a courtesy, beware, author is directionally challenged and will not vouch for them.

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