[Tweeters] Solitary Sandpipers and a Sandhill Crane at Nisqually NWR today

Byers byers345 at comcast.net
Sat May 4 14:37:22 PDT 2013

Hello Tweeters,

Figuring today was going to be too nice to sit at home, we
headed down to the Nisqually NWR early enough to arrive about 8. We noticed
a ranger talking to two people with big cameras as we drove in. By the time
we parked and were loitering near the Visitors Center, he walked up, noticed
our spotting scope, etc. and suggested that we might want to join the camera
people at the pond on the opposite side of the road from the Education
Center. He thought he had an unusual sandpiper. We hot-footed it over
there and, Bill will testify, I had just said I though the birds might be
Solitary Sandpipers, when the ranger returned and said he'd checked the
field marks and they were indeed Solitary Sandpipers. What a nice way to
start a tour of the wildlife refuge!

Along the boardwalk out to the Twin Barns, Bill found us an
American Bittern. It was stalking slowly, put purposefully along the shore
opposite the boardwalk. From the Twin Barns overlook we spotted perhaps 20
Dowitchers-I couldn't say whether they were long- or short-billed. There
was also one Wilson's Phalarope and one Western Sandpiper. Later we saw
both Yellowlegs.

Just as we were driving out of the refuge, I noticed a
large, gangly looking bird soaring slowing over the same pond where we had
seen the Solitary Sandpipers earlier. With the coloration, the slightly
drooping neck and feet sticking out the back, I realized we had a Sandhill
Crane. We couldn't stay parked where we were, so we didn't see whether it
landed near there or not. We missed quite a few of the birds Shep Thorp had
reported earlier in the week, but we were happy with those we managed to

Happy Birding, Charlotte Byers, Seattle

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