[Tweeters] Nisqually Wednesday Walk 10/23/13

Shep Thorp shepthorp at gmail.com
Thu Oct 24 10:43:34 PDT 2013


Hi Tweets,

31 of us were thrilled to be back at the Refuge this week! The weather was
fog and clouds with temperatures in the 50's degrees Fahrenheit and a High
13'3" Tide at 9:49am.

Meeting at the Visitor Center Pond Overlook at 8am we observed HORNED
GREBE, PIED-BILLED GREBE, LESSER SCAUP, RING-NECKED DUCK, WOOD DUCK,
AMERICAN WIGEON, MALLARD and HOODED MERGANSER. We were very surprised to
see the Horned Grebe in this fresh water pond, maybe the fog had something
to do with this bird being in an unusual location.

There were many AMERICAN ROBIN, NORTHERN FLICKER and AMERICAN/NORTHWESTERN
CROW around the parking lot.

The fields south and west of the Access Road are flooded and provide great
foraging habitat for waterfowl including CANADA GOOSE, CACKLING GOOSE,
GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE, NORTHERN SHOVELER, and NORTHERN PINTAIL. Many
RED-TAILED HAWK were seen hunting.

The west side of the Twin Barns Loop Trail provided good opportunities to
see DOWNY WOODPECKER, GOLDEN-CROWNED KINGLET, RUBY-CROWNED KINGLET,
BLACK-CAPPED CHICKADEE, BROWN CREEPER, BEWICK'S WREN, PACIFIC WREN, SONG
SPARROW, FOX SPARROW, GOLDEN-CROWNED SPARROW, SPOTTED TOWHEE, and
RED-WINGED BLACKBIRD. A single immature or female CINNAMON TEAL was seen
just south of the Twin Barns cut-off, as well a VIRGINIA RAIL was heard.


>From the Twin Barns Observation Platform, we had great looks at waterfowl.


The Nisqually Estuary Trail or new dike was very productive with sightings
of GREEN-WINGED TEAL, BUFFLEHEAD, GREAT BLUE HERON, AMERICAN BITTERN,
NORTHERN HARRIER, BALD EAGLE, AMERICAN COOT, GREATER YELLOWLEGS, DUNLIN,
RING-BILLED GULL, GLAUCOUS-WINGED GULL, BAND-TAILED PIGEON, BELTED
KINGFISHER, NORTHERN SHRIKE, COMMON RAVEN, BARN SWALLOW, MARSH WREN,
SAVANNAH SPARROW AND WESTERN MEADOWLARK. It was great to see the Northern
Shrike back, probably two birds. We were very surprised to see seven Barn
Swallows foraging over the fresh water marsh this time of year.

The last 700 feet of the Nisqually Estuary Boardwalk Trail is closed during
hunting season and will reopen the beginning of February. Additional
species seen included DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANT, LEAST SANDPIPER, WESTERN
SANDPIPER, BONAPARTE'S GULL, MEW GULL, GLAUCOUS-WINGED X WESTERN GULL
HYBRID-OLYMPIC GULL, and STELLER'S JAY. The McAllister Creek Observation
Platform was a good location for observing a mixed flock of Dunlin, Least
and Western Sandpiper.

On our return we located two GREAT HORN OWL, roosting close together in the
the short riparian stand on the inside of the east section of the Twin
Barns Loop Trail just south of the beaver dam. Hopefully this is our
breeding pair making plans for the winter.

For the day we saw 64 species with 174 species for the year. Mammals seen
included Columbia Black-tailed Deer, EasterN Gray Squirrel, and Harbor Seal.

Until next time, when we meet again at 8am, good birding!

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