[Tweeters] Nisqually NWR 3/25/09

Scrubjay323 at aol.com Scrubjay323 at aol.com
Wed Mar 25 21:41:36 PDT 2009


Today 10 of us enjoyed a great walk at Nisqually in spite of sometimes
adverse conditions. We had rain and wind at times but it really wasn't a bad day.

Highlights included an adult GREAT HORNED OWL and two juveniles at the nest
tree just outside the boardwalk, a couple of AMERICAN BITTERN sightings, a
VIRGINIA RAIL, and the location of two BUSHTIT nests. We also had the first
TURKEY VULTURTE of the year.

The owls continue at the juncture of the boardwalk from the twin barns and
the Nisqually River trail. The young are almost as big as the adult but still
in lots of down.

The BITTERN and VIRGINIA RAIL were seen out near McAllister Creek. There
was also a NORTHERN SHRIKE in the same area.

Both the BUSHTIT nests were seen out toward the ring dike area on the inside
of the slough and the lucistis SONG SPARROW with the white head was seen
just past the far end of the ring dike. Any question we had about whether it
was really a SONG SPARROW was answered when it lit in a bush next to the
trail and sang. I still can't figure how this bird has survived as long as it
has with those markings. It has been there for at least three years.

Waterfowl numbers are way down but a nice variety are till present on the
refuge. We did see a flock of 20+ GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GEESE out past the
twin barns. Could be the same flock we saw last week in the same area.

All told we saw 56 species today with the VIRGINIA RAIL and TURKEY VULTURE
being new for the year.

Mammals seen were EASTERN GRAY SQUIRREL and MINK.

Until next week when we walk the outer dike, perhaps for the last time
before the outer dike comes down.

Phil Kelley
scrubjay323 @aol.com
Lacey, WA

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