[Tweeters] Nisqually NWR Wednesday morning walk/USGS survey 10/19/11

Shep Thorp tanwaxlake at comcast.net
Fri Oct 21 14:18:49 PDT 2011

Hi Tweets,

sorry for the late report, my only excuse is WOW, lots to see and do!

This week was survey week with the USGS, so our leaders split into 3 groups.
We had over 30 birders and we enjoyed another fabulous day at the Refuge
with cloudy skies, temperatures in the 50's degrees Fahrenheit and a high
12'6" tide at 12:17pm.

Highlights! As many of you have already heard, there is a basic plumage
Bobolink at the end of the New Dike Estuarine Trail hanging around the green
gate and south along the new dike. White-crowned Sparrow was seen again
along the north branch of the Twin Barns Boardwalk Loop Trail between the
Twin Barns cut-off and the Nisqually River cut-off. The Great Egret is
still around and can bee seen along McAllister Creek and out on the New
Boardwalk Estuarine Trail. The Northern Shrike is back, first report of
sighting this Autumn.

At the Visitor Center Pond Overlook, we saw Pied-billed Grebe, Mallard,
Lesser Scaup, Ring-necked Duck, Peregrine Falcon, Red-winged Blackbird,
Northern Flicker, Belted Kingfisher and American Robin.

At the flooded field south of the parking lot between the Access Road and
Entrance Road, we saw Canada Goose, Northern Shoveler, Northern Pintail,
American Wigeon, and Long-billed Dowitcher.

Viewing the fields south of the Twin Barns, as reported previously by Dave
Richardson, the group observed the Peregrine Falcon catch and eat a
Long-billed Dowitcher. Thousands of Cackling Geese were seen moving in and
out of the Refuge.

On the Twin Barns Boardwalk Loop Trail, we saw American Bittern, American
Coot, Steller's Jay, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Golden-crowned Kinglet in high
count, Bewick's Wren, Marsh Wren, Black-capped Chickadee, Brown Creeper,
Downy Woodpecker, Townsend's Warbler, Song Sparrow and White-throated

At the Twin Barns Overlook, we saw Cooper's Hawk, Northern Harrier, Lincoln
Sparrow and Golden-crowned Sparrow. The Savannah Sparrows were not seen and
have probably migrated south. In the fresh water ponds within the new dike
we saw lots of waterfowl including Green-winged Teal, and shorebirds
including Killdeer, Black-bellied Plover, Western Sandpiper, Dunlin, Greater
Yellowlegs, and Wilson's Snipe.

Out on the New Dike Estuarine Trail, we saw Bobolink, Western Meadowlark,
Red-tailed Hawk, American x Northwestern Crow Hybrid and lots more

On the New Boardwalk Estuarine Trail, we saw Northern Shrike, Great Egret,
Great Blue Heron, Common Loon, Horned Grebe, Double-crested Cormorant,
Ring-billed Gull, Mew Gull, Glaucous-winged Gull, and Western x
Glaucous-winged Gull Hybrid (Olympic Gull).

I was on the boat crew, which unfortunately had engine trouble, but was able
to add Surf Scoter, White-winged Scoter, and Bald Eagle to our daily list.

We had 62 species for the day, and increased our year list to 170 species.

Thanks to all the terrific birders and the collaborative effort in spotting
all these wonderful birds. We had many photographs to confirm
identification of the Bobolink demonstrating great team work in
birding/surveying the Refuge.

Note the last 700 feet of the New Boardwalk Estuarine Trail will be closed
until January 29th due to Hunting Season, please check Nisqually NWR website
for details.

Until next week, good birding!

Shep Thorp
Browns Point
sthorp at theaec.com
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