[Tweeters] Nisqually NWR 12/17/14

scrubjay323 at aol.com scrubjay323 at aol.com
Wed Dec 17 19:47:00 PST 2014


Today 24 of us enjoyed a great day at Nisqually. We had a 13.4 high tide at 1:14 and pretty calm conditions.

The highlight of the day was a pair of SWAMP SPARROWS out near the start of the estuary boardwalk. The were actively calling and bouncing around the cattails and put on quite a show.

Another highlight was a single SNOW GOOSE in with a small flock of GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GEESE that flew toward the freeway, circled around and landed on the dike just past the twin barns, providing everyone with decent looks.

There is lots of water in all the ponds and last weeks wind knocked down much of the vegetation so spotting is much easier than it was. Waterfowl numbers are up but they are spread out. We are short one MALLARD that became prey for a BALD EAGLE. The EAGLE carried the bird into the cottonwoods near the twin barns and proceeded to enjoy lunch with about 20 birders watching. Someone said the EAGLE swallowed a duck leg whole.

Speaking of EAGLES there were lots of birds of prey about today. We saw several RED-TAILED HAWKS, several NORTHERN HARRIERS , including a male, at least two PEREGRINE FALCONS, a COOPER'S HAWK, and a NORTHERN SHRIKE. Not a good day to be a prey species today. At one point the COOPER'S HAWK was on a snag in the reclamation area and two PEREGRINE FALCONS were in a tree at the edge of the area. The COOPER'S HAWK was keeping an eye on the FALCONS just in case.

Passerines were scarce today but we did see most of the expected species including LINCOLN'S SPARROW in addition to the SWAMP SPARROWS.

For the day I had 51 species with the SWAMP SPARROW being new for the year giving me 147 species for the year.


Until next week when we walk as usual on Wednesday......

Phil Kelley
scrubjay323 at aol.com
Lacey, WA

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