[Tweeters] Nisqually NWR Wednesday walk 6/19/13

Shep Thorp shepthorp at gmail.com
Wed Jun 19 23:30:32 PDT 2013

Hi Tweets,

approximately forty of us enjoyed another beautiful day at the Refuge with
temperatures in the 60's degrees Fahrenheit, 50% cloud cover, a light
breeze, and a Low 0'1" Tide at 9:00am. Highlights included Bullock's
Oriole courting in the tall Cottonwood Trees, Great Horned Owl at the
Riparian Forest Overlook, nesting Marsh Wren, Yellow-headed Blackbird,
three Ruddy Duck and Wilson's Phalarope.

Starting out at the Visitor Center Pond Overlook at 8am, Cooper's Hawk and
Peregrine Falcon were seen in the parking lot. Barn Swallow and Cliff
Swallow were nesting in the Visitor Center. Common Merganser and Wood Duck
were also seen.

Leading our walk in reverse from normal, we entered the Twin Barns Loop
Trail from the east entrance. The morning chorus was glorious with
Warbling Vireo, Bullock's Oriole, Western Wood-pewee, Yellow Warbler,
Swainson's Thrush, Willow Flycatcher and Song Sparrow singing away. We had
brief looks at the Bullock's Oriole in the tall Cottonwoods, and a Willow
Flycatcher stayed perched for all to observe.

At the Riparian Forest Overlook, we picked up Wilson's Warbler. Nearby the
American Robins seemed agitated and we flushed a Great Horned Owl eastward.

Along the old Nisqually River Dike, we observed Yellow Warbler, Swainson's
Thrush and heard Brown Creeper. At the Nisqually River Overlook we
observed additional Common Merganser and Willow Flycatcher. In this area
and the cut off towards the Twin Barns we observed many Cedar Waxwings.
Additional Bullock's Oriole were observed in the area of the Twin Barns

The fields south of the Twin Barns are rapidly drying up. Waterfowl
numbers were down in this area, but hundreds of swallows were foraging
including Cliff Swallow, Tree Swallow and Barn Swallow.

Out on the Nisqually Estuary Trail, new dike, the fresh water area on the
inside of the dike was full of birds. Many juveniles including Hooded
Merganser, Pied-billed Grebe, American Coot, Mallard and Canada Goose.
Many of us enjoyed seeing the Yellow-headed Blackbird in the cattails,
three Ruddy Ducks in the ponded water, and one female Wilson's Phalarope
along the waters edge. We also observed Savannah Sparrow, American
Goldfinch, Red-winged Blackbird, Northern Rough-winged Swallow, Blue-winged
Teal, Northern Shoveler, Northern Pintail, Gadwall and American Wigeon.
Virginia Rail, Sora and Wilson's Snipe were heard.

The tide was low, and we turned around at the McAllister Creek Viewing
Platform. The mud flats appeared bird free, but good numbers of Great Blue
Heron, Caspian Turn, Ring-billed Gull, Glaucous-winged Gull could be seen
beyond the Puget Sound Viewing Platform.

On our return, we enjoyed two broods of Wood Duck in the Visitor Center

63 species observed for the day with our year count at 156 species.

Until next week when Phil Kelley returns and we meet again at 8am, good

Shep Thorp
Browns Point
sthorp at theaec.com
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