[Tweeters] Nisqually NWR, Wednesday Walk 8/17/2017
shepthorp at gmail.com
Thu Aug 18 12:30:09 PDT 2016
we enjoyed a sunny summer day at Nisqually with temperatures in the
60's-70's degrees Fahrenheit and a Low -1' Tide at 11:40am and High 13'
Tide at 6:30pm. Over 70 species seen with highlights including GREAT
EGRET, LINCOLN SPARROW, 7 swallow species with great opportunity to study,
and SEMI-PALMATED PLOVER.
Two Great Egrets were observed flying over the fresh water marsh from
Access Road south of the Twin Barns and the Twin Barns Observation
Platform. While on the platform we had great looks at an early arrival of
a crisp and buffy looking Lincoln's Sparrow. I split the walk in half
because of the low tide at 11am. Several of us had lunch at the Nisqually
Bar and Grill and came back in the afternoon to catch the incoming tide.
Two to three hours before a 13 foot tide the Nisqually Estuary Trail and
Nisqually Estuary Boardwalk Trail between the Observation Tower and Photo
Blind was very active with shorebirds and waterfowl. We had great looks at
20 plus Semi-palmated Plover, 100 plus WESTERN SANDPIPER, and 150 plus
LEAST SANDPIPER. The Baird's Sandpiper seen last week were not relocated,
but we did have a LESSER YELLOWLEGS and several GREATER YELLOWLEGS.
NORTHERN PINTAIL and GREEN-WINGED TEAL are returning to the surge plain
with several dozen of each.
Starting out at the Visitor Center at 8am, we had great looks of PURPLE
MARTIN and GREEN HERON. The Purple Martin are using the tall Douglas Fir
or "Peregrine Tree" as a place to perch. We've had really good numbers of
Purple Martin, with speculation that some have bred in the artificial snags
in the surge plain. Luhr Beach has nest boxes as well.
The corner between the Visitor Center and the west entrance to the Twin
Barns Loop Trail was hopping with CEDAR WAXWING, WHITE-CROWNED SPARROW and
AMERICAN GOLDFINCH. We also had good looks at WARBLING VIREO, SWAINSON'S
THRUSH, WESTERN TANAGER, DOWNY WOODPECKER, RED-BREASTED SAPSUCKER and
The west side of the Twin Barns Loop Trail was productive with good looks
at WOOD DUCK and COOPER'S HAWK. The woods are quiet, and most birds are
busy eating and being sulky. Other species seen flitting were WILLOW
FLYCATCHER, MARSH WREN, WILSON'S WARBLER and COMMON YELLOWTHROAT.
Out on the Nisqually Estuary Trail we had great looks at BARN SWALLOW,
CLIFF SWALLOW, TREE SWALLOW, VIOLET-GREEN SWALLOW, NORTHERN ROUGH-WINGED
SWALLOW AND BANK SWALLOW. The swallows feed all over the Refuge, and the
deceased Elder Berry bushes along Leschi Slough have been good spots for
large numbers of mostly immature swallows to perch, providing great scope
views. We also had nice observation of CINNAMON TEAL, VIRGINIA RAIL, BALD
EAGLE, PEREGRINE FALCON and SAVANNAH SPARROW.
The Nisqually Estuary Boardwalk Trail in the afternoon was good for GREAT
BLUE HERON, GLAUCOUS-WINGED GULL, OLYMPIC GULL, RING-BILLED GULL,
CALIFORNIA GULL, CASPIAN TERN, DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANT, OSPREY, SPOTTED
SANDPIPER and BELTED KINGFISHER.
The east side of the Twin Barns Loop Trail provided sightings of RED-TAILED
HAWK, BROWN CREEPER, and YELLOW WARBLER.
We probably observed 50 species plus in the morning and added 15-20 species
in the afternoon giving us 71 for the day. The Nisqually Birdwatch has 160
species for the year.
Mammals seen included River Otter at the Visitor Center in the morning,
Harbor Seal in McAllister Creek, and Columbia Black-tailed Deer in the
Riparian Forest on the inside of the loop trail.
Until next week when we meet again at 8am, good birding.
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