[Tweeters] Nisqually NWR 7/16/14

scrubjay323 at aol.com scrubjay323 at aol.com
Thu Jul 17 16:26:28 PDT 2014


Wednesday 45 of us enjoyed a great walk at Nisqually. It was sunny and warm and we had an 11.8 high tide at 8:49 AM. We headed straight out to the reclamation area to take advantage of the tide. Wise choice!

I couldn't decide on the day's highlight. Was is six SWALLOW species at the visitor center? Was it the interaction of the BALD EAGLE attempting to catch a GREAT BLUE HERON in flight? Or was it the fact that fall is here? At least the shorebirds think so!

We had a great start to the day with six SWALLOW species at the visitor center including great views of NORTHERN ROUGHWINGED SWALLOWS and BANK SWALLOWS sitting on the roof of the visitor center along with TREE, CLIFF and BARN SWALLOWS. There were a couple of VIOLET-GREEN SWALLOWS flitting about.

On the way out the new dike we watched an adult BALD EAGLE attempt to catch a GREAT BLUE HERON overhead. The HERON stayed inside the EAGLE'S turns and continued to climb higher. The EAGLE came close a couple of times but the HERON eluded it. When I saw another EAGLE flying in I thought the HERON was a goner for sure, but the second EAGLE flew by and continued toward the Nisqually River. The HERON successfully avoided capture and the EAGLE eventually gave up the chase.

If you get Shep's ebird report you know we had over 2000 shorebirds on the refuge Wednesday, including WESTERN and LEAST SANDPIPERS, KILLDEER, WILSON'S SNIPE, GREATER and LESSER YELLOWLEGS, SEMI-PALMATED SANDPIPER, and SPOTTED SANDPIPERS. He may have seen other species from the estuary boardwalk. Last week we had a few sandpipers, but nothing like this.

If we had seen nothing else it would have been a great day but we had a mob of CROWS harassing a PEREGRINE FALCON in the woods near the turn off for the twin barns.

For the day I had 48 species while Shep and the folks who walked the estuary boardwalk managed 70+ species.

Another highlight was an AMERICAN BEAVER seen from the visitor center about 8:00 AM. Other mammals seen included COLUMBIAN BLACK-TAILED DEER and COTTONTAILED RABBIT.

Until next week when Eric will lead in Shep and my absence....

Phil Kelley
scrubjay323 at aol.com
Lacey, WA

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