[Tweeters] Nisqually Wednesday Walk 3/4/2015

Shep Thorp shepthorp at gmail.com
Wed Mar 4 22:41:29 PST 2015


Hi Tweets,

approximately 30 of us had a beautiful day at the Refuge with sunny skies
and temperatures in the 30's to 50's degrees Fahrenheit. There was a Low
Tide of 4'8" at 11:30am, so we dipped on many of our usual shorebirds, but
we had highlights of FOY VIOLET-GREEN SWALLOW, and great looks of WILSON'S
SNIPE, PILEATED WOODPECKER, AMERICAN BITTERN and GREAT HORNED OWL and
owlets.

Starting out at the Visitor Center Pond Overlook at 8am, the Wilson's Snipe
was foraging on the muddy spit spring to the right of the platform. We had
nice looks of CANADA GOOSE, MALLARD, RING-NECKED DUCK, PIED-BILLED GREBE
and SONG SPARROW. A pair of Swan were seen flying into the Refuge from the
entrance road.

A quick stop in Orchard produced nice observation of GOLDEN-CROWNED KINGLET,
CHESTNUT-BACKED CHICKADEE, GOLDEN-CROWNED SPARROW and TREE SWALLOW.

Along the Access Road we and nice looks of RUBY-CROWNED KINGLET, BROWN
CREEPER, RED-TAILED HAWK, NORTHERN PINTAIL, PURPLE FINCH, AMERICAN WIGEON,
EURASIAN WIGEON and FOY Violet-green Swallow mixed in with many TREE
SWALLOW.

The west side of the Twin Barns Loop Trail was a good area for
YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER. We had terrific looks at two Pileated Woodpecker,
one male and one female, south of the Twin Barns cut-off. An adult Great
Horned Owl was bedded down in the nest tree from last year along the north
section of the loop trail as preveiouwly observed over the last two weeks.
The owlets were relocated in the Riparian Stand of shorter Alder Trees just
south of the large stand of Cottonwoods from the east side of the loop
trail. We suspect the adult owl is exhibiting nesting behavior, but its
only been 7 weeks since the owlets were born. It will be fascinating to
see what develops with the adult in the old nest tree.

We had nice looks of RED-BREASTED SAPSUCKER and AMERICAN GOLDFINCH east of
the Twin Barns. At the Twins Barns Overlook several GADWALL were feeding
in the flooded field, and we had beautiful looks at a female NORTHERN
HARRIER.

Out on the Nisqually Estuary Trail or new dike, we had terrific views of
NORTHERN SHRIKE, GREATER-WHITE FRONTED GEESE, NORTHERN SHOVELER and two
AMERICAN BITTERN. A few hundred CACKLING GEESE, both minima and Taverner's
flew in. A peale's variety of PEREGRINE FALCON soared over the dike. We
also observed HOODED MERGANSER and MARSH WREN.

The Nisqually Estuary Boardwalk Trail was great for observing BUFFLEHEAD,
COMMON GOLDENEYE, SURF SCOTER, RED-BREASTED MERGANSER, MEW GULL,
RING-BILLED GULL, GLAUCOUS-WINGED GULL, SPOTTED SANDPIPER and BELTED
KINGINSHER. From the Puget Sound Viewing Platform we had nice observation
of HORNED GREBE, GREAT BLUE HERON, and BALD EAGLE. Other species seen
included all three CORMORANTS, GREATER SCAUP, and COMMON RAVEN.

On the north section of the Twin Barns Loop Trail we had great looks at a
male RUFOUS HUMMINGBIRD. At the Nisqually River Overlook, we had nice
observation of COMMON MERGANSER.

We saw 69 species for the day and we've seen 111 species on the extended
walk for the year. Mammals seen included Coyote, River Otter, Harbor Seal,
and California Sea Lion.

Until next week, when we meet again at 8am.
Good birding,
Shep
--
Shep Thorp
Browns Point
253-370-3742
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