[Tweeters] NIsqually 08/18/2010

hannaslagle at comcast.net hannaslagle at comcast.net
Wed Aug 18 20:31:16 PDT 2010


There were twenty of us on the walk today.  It was also a monthly survey day that included the non-tidally influenced areas, the full dike and the north part of the refuge along the old dike footprint.  

The morning started out similar to last week, a bit cool and cloudy.  And also like last week, the birds were not very active early on, but the activity and excitement increased as the morning warmed up.

Highlights from the start of the walk at the visitor center included a flyover by a COOPER'S HAWK and GREAT BLUE HERON.  Along the first part of the boardwalk we saw four juvenile WOOD DUCKS, BEWICK'S WREN (both an adult and juvenile),  CEDAR WAX-WING and another GREAT BLUE HERON, one of the many we saw over the course of the morning.

We also saw one of the juvenile GREAT HORNED OWLS on the inside of the board walk.  Near the cutoff to the twin barns we sighted a VIOLET-GREEN SWALLOW, RUFOUS HUMMINGBIRD, YELLOW WARBLER, COMMON YELLOWTHROAT, WESTERN WOOD PEWEE and WILLOW FLYCATCHER.  From the twin barns overlook we saw several BALD EAGLES, BELTED KINGFISHER and several WHITE-CROWNED SPARROWS.

As we moved on to the river overlook, one part of the group moved ahead and the other (thanks to Shep) lagged a bit behind to great benefit.  Sightings on this stretch were excellent and included two BLACK-THROATED GRAY WARBLERS, several YELLOW WARBLERS, a possible ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER, two HAIRY WOODPECKERS, two WILSON WARBLER, two BROWN CREEPERS and juvenile RED-BREASTED SAPSUCKER.

Sightings from the dike included two BUFFLEHEADS, NORTHERN SHOVELERS, and AMERICAN KESTREL.   Ed spotted two phalarope in ponded water on the outside of the dike (Ruth identified as WILSON'S PHALAROPE), and we had a flyover of around thirty WESTERN SANDPIPER.  A VIRGINIA RAIL called as we neared the new boardwalk construction.

It was fairly quiet on the return walk.  Sam spotted a MacGILLIVRAY'S WARBLER at the crossover intersection to the twin barns, but we were unsuccessful in getting it to show again.

Matt and Ed assisted with the full dike survey.  Highlights included two BAIRD'S SANDPIPER,  a flock of around fifty LEAST SANDPIPER, HOUSE FINCH and RED-TAILED HAWK.

SHEP was in the boat doing the survey of the North part of the refuge.  Key additional sightings included four SEMIPALMATED PLOVERS, PURPLE MARTIN, GADWALL, RED-BREASTED MERGANSER, NORTHERN HARRIER, PEREGRINE FALCON (hunting flocks of western and least sandpipers), SPOTTED SANDPIPER and CASPIAN TERN.

It was another great day at the refuge.  We are all very happy to report that Phil Kelly will be back next week to lead the walk.

Total species for the day:  59

Eric Slagle, Olympia

hannaslagle at comcast.net

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