[Tweeters] Nisqually Wednesday Walk 10.7.2015: Snow Goose and Northern Shrike.

Shep Thorp shepthorp at gmail.com
Thu Oct 8 12:20:09 PDT 2015


Hi Tweets,

we had a wet one for our Wednesday Walk with rain and temperature in the
50-60's degrees Fahrenheit. There was a Low 1'10" Tide at 8:18am.
Noteworthy sightings included a juvenile SNOW GOOSE and first of season
NORTHERN SHRIKE.

Twenty-five of us started out at the Visitor Center Pond Overlook at 8am.
We had nice observation of MALLARD, PIED-BILLED GREBE, NORTHERN FLICKER,
SONG SPARROW and American Beaver.

With the low tide we decided to bird the Orchard first, and the fruit trees
are full of apples and pears. There were good numbers of sparrows to pick
through and we saw SPOTTED TOWHEE, FOX SPARROW, GOLDEN CROWNED SPARROW, and
DARK-EYED JUNCO Oregon variety. There were also many AMERICAN ROBIN,
EUROPEAN STARLING, GOLDEN CROWNED KINGLET and RUBY-CROWNED KINGLET. A
Coyote was running through the Orchard as well.

The flooded field across the entrance road from the Orchard is where the
Snow Goose was first spotted around 7:30am. By the time our group arrived
only NORTHERN PINTAIL remained. We had a nice fly over of a PEREGRINE
FALCON.

The field south of the Access Road is flooding well and had good numbers of
CANADA GOOSE, Mallard and Northern Pintail. We only saw several CACKLING
GEESE including Minima and Taverner's. We had a fly over of a MOURNING
DOVE. The fields west of the Access Road and south of the Twin Barns are
still dry, with sightings of RED-TAILED HAWK and additional Canada Geese.

The west side of the Twin Barns Loop Trail had good numbers of passerines
including YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER, BLACK-CAPPED and CHESTNUT-BACKED
CHICKADEE, BROWN CREEPER, DOWNY WOODPECKER, BUSHTIT, BEWICK'S WREN, PACIFIC
WREN, PURPLE FINCH, Golden-crowned Kinglet and Ruby-crowned Kinglet, and
WHITE-CROWNED SPARROW. The last pond overlook before the Twin Barns
cut-off was full of waterfowl including AMERICAN WIGEON and AMERICAN
GREEN-WINGED TEAL. Perhaps the rainy weather, or another fly over of the
Peregrine Falcon was the reason. Along the marsh area south of the cut-off
where we had observed the Northern Waterthrush several weeks ago, we had
fantastic views of VIRGINIA RAIL and WILSON'S SNIPE. This area has been a
good hot spot for these species this Fall.

At Twin Barns Overlook we picked up ROCK PIGEON and additional Pacific
Wren. A Columbian Black-tailed Deer was observed feeding north of the
slough.

Out on the new dike, or Nisqually Estuary Trail, we added NORTHERN
SHOVELER, SAVANNAH SPARROW, MARSH WREN, RING-BILLED GULL, GLAUCOUS-WINGED
GULL, GREATER YELLOWLEGS, GREAT BLUE HERON, BALD EAGLE and NORTHERN HARRIER
to our list. We finally had great looks at the juvenile SNOW GOOSE on the
grass field on the inside of the or fresh water side of the trail just east
of the marsh.

<a data-flickr-embed="true" href="
https://www.flickr.com/photos/124216888@N03/21844163189/in/dateposted-public/"
title="Snow Goose. Nisqually NWR."><img src="
https://farm1.staticflickr.com/628/21844163189_0240db7e08_z.jpg"
width="361" height="640" alt="Snow Goose. Nisqually NWR."></a><script async
src="//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

Some of our birders were concerned with the identification and how dark or
black the bill was on the Snow Goose. I presumed it was part of normal
variation for a first year immature Snow Goose, but let me know if you have
other ideas? Our first of season NORTHERN SHRIKE flew into the surge
plain. We had very nice looks and song of WESTERN MEADOWLARK. We had a
high count of WILSON'S SNIPE with two different flocks of four flying into
the fresh water marsh. Just a single BARN SWALLOW seen for the day.

We were unable to relocate the Great Horned Owl previously reported in the
morning by one of the early morning walkers along the inside of the north
stretch of the Twin Barns Loop Trail.

For the wet day, we had 53 species. My total for the year on the Wednesday
Walk is 168 species. Mammals seen included American Beaver, Coyote, and
Columbian Black-tailed Deer.

Until next week, happy birding!

Shep

--
Shep Thorp
Browns Point
253-370-3742
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