[Tweeters] Nisqually NWR Wednesday Walk for July 13th, 2016.
shepthorp at gmail.com
Wed Jul 13 19:48:35 PDT 2016
forty of us enjoyed another great day at the Refuge with mostly sunny
skies, temperatures in the 60's-70's degrees Fahrenheit, and a High 9'4"
Tide at 2:45pm. Highlights included many juvenile bird species, post
breeding scatter, and shorebird autumnal migration.
Starting out at the Visitor Center Pond Overlook at 8am, we enjoyed great
looks of juvenile NORTHERN FLICKER and RED-BREASTED SAPSUCKER. Two
VIRGINIA RAIL chicks were observed running across lily pads on the far side
of the pond. Both AMERICAN ROBIN and BARN SWALLOW are nesting in the
visitor center with terrific up close views of fledglings. A VAUX'S SWIFT
was observed foraging over the pond.
We headed toward the Orchard where the morning chorus of YELLOW WARBLER,
SWAINSON'S THRUSH, CEDAR WAXWING, WESTERN WOOD-PEWEE, and AMERICAN
GOLDFINCH was peaceful and beautiful. We had great looks of TREE SWALLOW,
BLACK-HEADED GROSBEAK, WESTERN TANAGER, WILLOW FLYCATCHER and WARBLING
We decided to do our walk backwards and headed into the east side of the
Twin Barns Loop Trail. At the Riparian Forest Overlook we observed many
young SONG SPARROW, SWAINSON'S THRUSH, AMERICAN ROBIN, YELLOW WARBLER, and
Along the east side of the Twin Barns Loop Trail, we enjoyed nesting RUFOUS
HUMMINGBIRD, BUSHTIT, WESTERN WOOD-PEWEE, and WILSON'S WARBLER. We had
nice looks at YELLOW WARBLER, CEDAR WAXWING and BROWN CREEPER. We heard
two PACIFIC-SLOPE FLYCATCHERS, ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER, BEWICK'S WREN, and
possibly CASSIN'S VIREO.
At the Nisqually River Overlook, a female LAZULI BUNTING was observed and a
OLIVE SIDED FLYCATCHER was heard. Along the north side of the loop trail
we had additional looks of Yellow Warbler, Song Sparrow, and American
Robin. We heard WILLOW FLYCATCHER, COMMON YELLOWTHROAT, and BULLOCK'S
At the Twin Barns Overlook, we enjoyed an immature PEREGRINE FALCON fly
north through the Refuge. The bird was heavily streaked on the breast with
a dark face consistent with a Peale's variety that we've recently seen and
photographed on our previous walks. On the trail to the deck, between the
boardwalk and barn, we checked on a Yellow Warbler nest that had a deceased
BROWN-HEADED COWBIRD in it.
Out on the new dike or Nisqually Estuary Trail we had nice looks of
CINNAMON TEAL and HOODED MERGANSER. We also observed MALLARD, NORTHERN
PINTAIL, COMMON YELLOWTHROAT, SAVANNAH SPARROW, and RED-WINGED BLACKBIRD.
On the mudflats north we observed a small group of WESTERN SANDPIPER. Over
the fresh water marsh we observed CLIFF SWALLOW, TREE SWALLOW, BARN
SWALLOW, NORTHERN ROUGH-WINGED SWALLOW, PURPLE MARTIN and a single BANK
On the boardwalk or Nisqually Estuary Boardwalk Trail we observed
RING-BILLED GULL, GLAUCOUS-WING GULL, CALIFORNIA GULL, CASPIAN TERN, and
DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANT. Many GREAT BLUE HERON were feeding along estuary
channels. With the tidal push we had very nice looks at many LEAST
SANDPIPERS and WESTERN SANDPIPERS and observed some female Least Sandpipers
mixed in the more numerous males. Our counts of Caspian Tern have been
very high with usually 75-150 birds seen out on the boardwalk. Both BALD
EAGLE nests on the west side of McAllister Creek have juvenile chicks in
them, the one south of McAllister Creek Observation Platform and the other
across from the Puget Sound Viewing Platform.
On our return, we picked up WOOD DUCK, KILLDEER, SPOTTED TOWHEE, and
flushed an AMERICAN BITTERN from the fresh water marsh on the inside of the
Nisqually Estuary Trail.
We had 64 species for the day with 156 species for the year. Mammals seen
included Cotton-tailed Rabbit, Muskrat, Chipmunk, Harbor Seal and
California Sea Lion.
Until next week when we meet again at 8am, good birding!
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