[Tweeters] NIsqually NWR 4/2/14

scrubjay323 at aol.com scrubjay323 at aol.com
Thu Apr 3 15:57:07 PDT 2014


Yesterday 46 of us walked Nisqually in generally mild weather. It was a bit breezy out on the dike and boardwalk but not too bad. We had a -0.5 low tide at 2:21 pm so we saw lots of mud out along the estuary boardwalk.

Yesterday was the first day I walked the refuge with my new hearing aids. I didn't realize how noisy it was and how much I was missing. The birds were singing like crazy!


The interior ponds were high after all the rain we've had but waterfowl were pretty spread out and in low numbers. The predominant species were NORTHERN SHOVELERS and COOT. The GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GEESE were near the pond across from the parking lot and provided great views. The were with some CACKLING GEESE. We did manage to see a EURASIAN WIGEON on the way out to the twin barns and saw several pair of HOODED MERGANSERS. There was a pair of WOOD DUCKS examining a hole in a tree across the pond inside the boardwalk to the twin barns.

SAVANAH SPARROWS and COMMON YELLOWTHROAT were singing their hearts out al over the refuge. We got good views of both as well as several YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLERS. RUFOUS HUMMINGBIRDS were present and we found one on a nest high in a tree near the second overlook on the way to the twin barns.

Out on the estuary boardwalk we saw RED-BREASTED MERGANZERS, COMMON GOLDENEYE, and BLACK BRANT from the end. There were several GREATER YELLOWLEGS all along the boardwalk. The CASPIAN TERN flew over the last pavilion as we scanned the sound.

The highlight of the day was the GREAT HORNED OWLS. There were high in hardwoods near the hummingbird sign on the Nisqually side. The young were moving around while the adult roosted next to the tree trunk. One by one the juveniles flew to the alder thicket past the hummingbird sign. They remained in view and the adult was moving around quite a bit when I left. The juveniles had no problem flying the 50 yards or so to the alder thicket. Won't be long before they can make a longer flight...

For the day I saw 50 species and now have 86 for the year. The only mammal seen yesterday was a MUSKRAT.

Until next week........

Phil Kelley
scrubjay323 at aol.com
Lacey, WA

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