[Tweeters] SAS Field Trip to Nisqually NWR 12/10/13

Shep Thorp sthorp at theaec.com
Tue Dec 10 20:40:28 PST 2013


Hi Tweets,

we had a white Tuesday at Nisqually this morning, with snow flurries,
temperatures in the 30's degrees Fahrenheit, and a high 14'9" tide at
11:40am.

Meeting at 8am at the Visitor Center Pond Overlook, we had great looks at
RING-NECKED DUCK, AMERICAN WIGEON, NORTHERN SHOVELER, GADWALL, MALLARD and
AMERICAN COOT.

The Orchard was a good place to observe VARIED THRUSH and NORTHERN FLICKER
(intergrade). We also saw many SONG SPARROW and GOLDEN-CROWNED SPARROW.

The flooded fields were frozen and very quiet.

The west side of the Twin Barns Loop Trail was active with good numbers of
GOLDEN-CROWNED KINGLET and BLACK-CAPPED CHICKADEE. VIRGINIA RAIL was heard
along the pond, grunt call, and we had terrific views of SPOTTED TOWHEE,
BEWICK'S WREN, PACIFIC WREN, FOX SPARROW, HAIRY WOODPECKER and NORTHERN
SHRIKE.

The Twin Barns Overlook was quiet, but we observed a Muskrat foraging in
the slough.

Out on the Nisqually Estuary Trail, we had great looks at many raptors
including BALD EAGLE, RED-TAILED HAWK, NORTHERN HARRIER and PEREGRINE
FALCON (anatum subspecies). There were thousands of AMERICAN WIGEON and
AMERICAN GREEN-WINGED TEAL to observe. Along Leschi Slough we had great
looks of EURASIAN WIGEON. There were also many NORTHERN PINTAIL and
additional MALLARD, NORTHERN SHOVELER, and GADWALL to see. A flock of
approximately 1000 DUNLIN flew in flock formation for over 15 minutes over
the surge plain and mud flats putting on a spectacular show. There were
three GREATER YELLOWLEGS, KILLDEER, GLAUCOUS-WINGED GULL, RING-BILLED GULL,
MEW GULL as well. We also had good looks of MARSH WREN and RUBY-CROWNED
KINGLET.

The Nisqually Estuary Boardwalk Trail was fairly productive with good looks
at BUFFLEHEAD, HOODED MERGANSER, RED-BREASTED MERGANSER, COMMON GOLDENEYE,
BELTED KINGFISHER, DOUBLE CRESTED CORMORANT, LEAST SANDPIPER, COMMON LOON,
SURF SCOTER and HORNED GREBE. Both STELLER'S JAY and COMMON RAVEN were
heard.


>From the Nisqually River Overlook, we had great views of COMMON MERGANSER

and a California Sea Lion.

On our return along the east side of the Twin Barns Loop Trail we enjoyed
great looks at BROWN CREEPER and DOWNY WOODPECKER. With the snowy
condition many GOLDEN-CROWNED KINGLET were feeding on and around the old
Nisqually River Dike. We also observed a young Columbia Black-tailed Deer.

Finishing up in the parking lot, we had a huge flock of CACKLING GEESE and
CANADA GEESE. A WILSON'S SNIPE was seen on the mud flat next to the
entrance gate at departure.

Overall a very nice day with 61 species seen. Until next time, good
birding!

Shep Thorp
Browns Point
sthorp at theaec.com
253-370-3742
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