[Tweeters] Nisqually NWR 3/20/13

scrubjay323 at aol.com scrubjay323 at aol.com
Wed Mar 20 18:46:36 PDT 2013


As Snoopy would say "It was a dark and stormy morning" at Nisqually today. At least it started out that way. In spite of the bad weather we had 19 people on the walk. Fortunately the rain stopped by the time we got to the twin barns but the wind never let up.

Highlights included sightings of the GREAT EGRET and GREAT HORNED OWL family. Some of the group got to watch a RUFOUS HUMMINGBIRD chasing a NORTHERN SHRIKE through the orchard!

Water levels were high on the interior ponds and most of the waterfowl have paired up and are exhibiting courtship activity. Numbers of birds are down but a good variety of species is about. WOOD DUCKS are back and COOTS were swimming around with nest material in their beaks. We had good looks at an EURASIAN WIGEON from the twin barns overlook among the AMERICAN WIGEON..

Passerines were harder to find but were active in the wooded areas. There has been an influx of YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLERS and the WRENS are all singing on territory.

The GREAT EGRET was seen along the tree line behind the pond just off the main parking lot along with a couple of GREAT BLUE HERON.

The GREAT HORNED OWLS were first seen from the overlook on the way to the twin barns. What appeared to be an adult and one young were low and in pretty heavy cover. We later picked up an adult inside the boardwalk along the Nisqually River side that was a little more exposed.

For the day I had 42 species. Mammals seen were EASTERN GRAY SQUIRREL and COLUMBIAN BLACK-TAILED DEER. We also sidestepped a sluggish GARTER SNAKE out on the dike. It appeared to be searching for some heat to warm up by but wasn't having any success.

Until next week.....

Phil Kelley
Lacey, WA

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