[Tweeters] Nisqually NWR Wednesday Walk for 7/20/2016
shepthorp at gmail.com
Thu Jul 21 09:15:15 PDT 2016
thirty-five of us enjoyed a beautiful day at the Refuge with sunny skies
and temperatures in the 60's-70's degrees Fahrenheit. There was a Low
-1'9" Tide at 12:43pm so lots of mud flat and few shorebirds to observe,
but that was easily made up by lots of juvenile birds out and about.
Highlights included GREAT EGRET, AMERICAN PIPIT, CINNAMON TEAL, SPOTTED
SANDPIPER, GREAT HORNED OWL and AMERICAN KESTREL.
Starting out at the Visitor Center at 8am, we had good looks at juvenile
HOODED MERGANSER and BARN SWALLOW, WOOD DUCK ducklings, and nesting
NORTHERN FLICKER feeding young in the large snag just west or to the left
of the Visitor Center Pond Overlook.
In the Orchard we had nice looks of YELLOW WARBLER, WARBLING VIREO,
BLACK-HEADED GROSBEAK, CEDAR WAXWING and TREE SWALLOW. The adult Yellow
Warbler's were busy feeding juveniles. A good sized flock of BUSHTIT's
flew through as well. A quick look at the GREAT HORNED OWL was seen by
some as the owl flushed from behind the Education Center and into the stand
between the USGS technician offices and the I5 highway.
Along the east entrance of the Twin Barns Loop Trail a few WESTERN WOOD
PEE-WEE were seen sallying for insects, many SWAINSON'S THRUSH were heard
and seen, and we had nice looks of BROWN CREEPER.
The east side of the Loop Trail was good for a family of WILLOW
FLYCATCHERS, and juvenile RUFOUS HUMMINGBIRD and BLACK-CAPPED CHICKADEE.
The BUSHTIT nest just north of Riparian Forest cut-off is still active
despite the large flock seen earlier in the Orchard. The north side of the
Loop Trail we picked up DOWNY WOODPECKER, WILSON'S WARBLER, PURPLE MARTIN
and WESTERN TANAGER. Three RED-BREASTED SAPSUCKERS were found in the Maple
Trees behind the Twin Barns as well PURPLE FINCH. A female AMERICAN
KESTREL was spotted in the snags of the surge plain from the Twin Barns
Out on the Nisqually Estuary Trail or new dike, we picked up GREAT BLUE
HERON, BALD EAGLE, CLIFF SWALLOW, BANK SWALLOW, MARSH WREN, SAVANNAH
SPARROW, HOUSE FINCH and AMERICAN GOLDFINCH. We had great looks of GREAT
EGRET in Shannon Slough. Nathanael Swecker and others spotted an AMERICAN
PIPIT in the fresh water grass marsh on the inside of the trail, unusual
for this time of year, white outer tail feathers with tail pumping when
perched low in a cattail. We also had nice looks at CINNAMON TEAL across
from the entrance of the boardwalk.
On the Nisqually Estuary Boardwalk Trail we had good looks of RING-BILLED
GULL, CALIFORNIA GULL, and GLAUCOUS-WINGED GULL. We had distant looks at
CASPIAN TERN and DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANT. A single eaglet remained in the
north BALD EAGLE NEST across from the Puget Sound Viewing Platform. LEAST
SANDPIPER was heard.
We observed 59 species for the day and have seen 157 species for the year.
Mammals seen included Cotton-tailed Rabbit, Columbia Black-tailed Deer,
Eastern Gray Squirrel, Harbor Seal, and Muskrat.
Until next week, when Phil will lead the walk again, good birding!
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