[Tweeters] Nisqually NWR - Jan 16, 2013

hannaslagle at comcast.net hannaslagle at comcast.net
Wed Jan 16 20:38:14 PST 2013

Hi Tweeters: 


Today was a delta wide survey day at Nisqually.  Twenty of us spent a very cold morning trying to find birds in a very dense fog.  High tide was 15.4' at 9am.  Phil and Shep were not able to be at the refuge today.  As a result we split into our survey groups, with Matt leading the regular route, and I covered the south dike.  There were also two boats with surveyors and a team working the tribal side of the estuary, but that information was not available, and so is not included with this posting. 


Below are highlights from the regular route and the south dike.  Matt's ebird report for the regular route is also included.


>  General observations:  Almost all of the fresh water areas on the refuge, i.e. those areas inside the dike, are frozen over.  The numbers of ducks were down compared to recent weeks, but there continues to be large numbers of Cackling Geese.

>  Matt went down to the twin barns before dawn, and once again spotted a Barn Owl flying near the barns.  It then flew into the North barn.  This is the third consecutive week that one or more of these owls have been seen at the twin barns.  While it was still dark, he also heard a Great Horned Owl calling from the eastern side of the boardwalk loop.

>  Merlin perched near the visitor center.  Northern Shrike perched on a snag in the restoration area off the dike; and a large flock of Dunlin feeding nearby, as well as flying by and calling. 

>  The walk back on the river side boardwalk was mostly quiet.  We did come across a small flock of both Kinglets.  A special sighting was an American Bittern past the riparian cut-off, and off the south side the boardwalk.  It was standing in some grasses and small willows just before the large culvert that goes under the boardwalk.   

>  The first portion of the south dike included the pond just across the road from the orchard and maintenance shop.  There were ten Killdeer either on the ice or in the nearby grasses.  As we continued the walk we saw additional Killdeer bringing the total to over twenty.

>  There were large numbers of Cackling Geese on the inside of the south dike, with the number estimated to be 1,800.  Ducks were much lower in number and included American Wigeon, Mallard, Green-winged Teal, Northern Shoveler and Bufflehead.  American Wigeon were the most prevalent. 

>  Raptors off the south dike included Bald Eagle, Red-tailed Hawk and Northern Harrier.


Total species for the day:  47.  A special thanks to those hardy folks who participated in today's walk.  We'll resume the regular (no survey) walk next week.


Eric Slagle

hannaslagle at comcast.net



Nisqually NWR, Thurston, US-WA
Jan 16, 2013 7:00 AM - 11:30 AM
Protocol: Traveling
2.0 mile(s)
Comments:     Temperature below freezing; thick fog; much of the freshwater areas frozen
47 species

Cackling Goose (Branta hutchinsii)  2000
Canada Goose (Branta canadensis)  100
Gadwall (Anas strepera)  4
Eurasian Wigeon (Anas penelope)  1
American Wigeon (Anas americana)  150
Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos)  75
Northern Shoveler (Anas clypeata)  20
Northern Pintail (Anas acuta)  10
Green-winged Teal (Anas crecca)  20
Ring-necked Duck (Aythya collaris)  4
Bufflehead (Bucephala albeola)  10
Hooded Merganser (Lophodytes cucullatus)  2
American Bittern (Botaurus lentiginosus)  1
Northern Harrier (Circus cyaneus)  3
Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus)  6
Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis)  5
American Coot (Fulica americana)  12
Killdeer (Charadrius vociferus)  10
Dunlin (Calidris alpina)  200
Ring-billed Gull (Larus delawarensis)  1
Glaucous-winged Gull (Larus glaucescens)  1
Rock Pigeon (Columba livia)  2
Barn Owl (Tyto alba)  1     Seen pre-dawn flying around field adjacent to Twin Barns and then entering North Barn.
Great Horned Owl (Bubo virginianus)  1     Heard calling repeatedly at 7:00 am from eastern side of Boardwalk Loop Trail near Visitor Center.
Belted Kingfisher (Megaceryle alcyon)  1
Downy Woodpecker (Picoides pubescens)  2
Northern Flicker (Colaptes auratus)  2
Merlin (Falco columbarius)  1
Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus)  2
Northern Shrike (Lanius excubitor)  1
American Crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos)  100
Black-capped Chickadee (Poecile atricapillus)  12
Brown Creeper (Certhia americana)  2
Pacific Wren (Troglodytes pacificus)  1
Marsh Wren (Cistothorus palustris)  1
Bewick's Wren (Thryomanes bewickii)  1
Golden-crowned Kinglet (Regulus satrapa)  30
Ruby-crowned Kinglet (Regulus calendula)  6
American Robin (Turdus migratorius)  4
Varied Thrush (Ixoreus naevius)  1
European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris)  10
Spotted Towhee (Pipilo maculatus)  4
Fox Sparrow (Passerella iliaca)  2
Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia)  12
Golden-crowned Sparrow (Zonotrichia atricapilla)  27
Dark-eyed Junco (Junco hyemalis)  8
Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus)  4

View this checklist online at http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S12622811

This report was generated automatically by eBird v3 ( http://ebird.org )

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