[Tweeters] Nisqually Wildlife Refuge

drsybert at northtown.org drsybert at northtown.org
Tue Aug 26 17:16:33 PDT 2014

Yesterday, Vic, Ruby and I enjoyed the cool, sunny weather at Nisqually.
We have been there together several times, but our major purpose this
time was to introduce them to the value of my Scope. We meant to make a
day of it, so our pace was more leisurely than usual as we took time to
observe the birds in action after we spotted them.

Although we were there by nine, we missed the day's most unusual visitor
as people who were leaving assured us they had seen a mink on the
boardwalk! We missed the Marsh Wren, too, but only because it persisted
in hiding after being spotted by another nearby birder! Our own most
unusual experience was seeing the bittern in flight for a change instead
of simply posing among the reeds!. A close second was the display of
two Osprey flying along the channel, behaving several times as if they
were going to dive, but never quite doing it. We had a beautiful,
close-up view, thanks to the Scope.

That was later in the day, however. One of the first things we enjoyed
before we even set up the scope was a chickadee flock of black caps,
chestnut backs, and nuthatches flitting through the trees, and later
several Yellow Warblers entertained us in the treetops. The only ducks
we saw were Mallards (one with a brilliant purple stripe!), and we saw
only a few swallows, a couple flocks of Canadian Geese, and one Tern as
they flew overhead (not all at once, of course). However, the lack was
more than made up by the many gulls, small sandpipers (whose species I
could not figure out), Herons, Egrets and Bald eagles.

The scope made it possible for us to get a close view of the fishing
activities of the herons and egrets as well as the Bald Eagles. One of
them flew up into the trees across from the second shelter on the board
walk, and sat in majesty there for us to observe and to share the Scopic
view with many other hikers, including some children who were thrilled.
At the end of the boardwalk, the scope allowed us to find out that two
of the strange shapes on a distant rock were an adult bald eagle and a
juvenile. Finally, the adult joined another one on a spit of sand near
the nature center to rescue some flotsam that we assume from their
activity was carrion of some sort.

In spite of not getting to add any species to our life lists, we found
it to be one of our most enjoyable birding experiences. (And Vic taught
me some things about using the Scope and the tripod that I had not yet
figured out.)

Darlene Sybert

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