[Tweeters] Niaqually NWR 4/3/13

scrubjay323 at aol.com scrubjay323 at aol.com
Wed Apr 3 21:38:46 PDT 2013


We had great weather and spring break for many schools this week so we had 43 folks on our walk today. We also had a 12.7 high tide at 12:40 to entice me to walk the estuary boardwalk. Alas, the shorebirds didn't get the message and were a no show. Other than that is was a great day. The only shorebirds I saw were GREATER YELLOWLEGS and a SPOTTED SANDPIPER.

Highlights included several first of the year sightings including COMMON YELLOWTHROAT, SAVANAH SPARROWS, CLIFF SWALLOWS, BARN SWALLOWS, and for me, both RUFOUS and ANNA'S HUMMINGBIRDS.

We also had a flock of 33 GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GEESE inside the new dike and about 150 BLACK BRANT out on the reach visible from the end of the boardwalk. A pair of BELTED KINGFISHERS were excavating their nest hole from last year across McAllister Creek and the SPOTTED SANDPIPER worked the shoreline there.

The official first sign of Spring for me is the COMMON YELLOWTHROAT, which we saw at the visitor center and at the turn off to the twin barns. Many of the swallows were seen at the twin barns. The NORTHERN SHRIKE continues near the barns also.

We managed to spot two RUFOUS HUMMINGBIRD nests, one on each side of the boardwalk, both high in trees and difficult to spot. Along the Nisqually side we saw a female ANNA'S HUMMINGBIRD in some salmonberry along with a female RUFOUS HUMMINGBIRD. We got a brief but good comparison of both species.

The GREAT HORNED OWL family continues along the Nisqually side and the young are growing fast and losing their down as flight feathers grow in.

For the day I had 62 species and now have 92 for the year. Mammals seen were EASTERN GRAY SQUIRRELS, HARBOR SEALS, and a MUSKRAT.

Until next week......

Phil Kelley
scrubjay323 at aol.com
Lacey, WA

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