[Tweeters] Nisqually NWR 3/19/14

hannaslagle at comcast.net hannaslagle at comcast.net
Wed Mar 19 20:15:17 PDT 2014

Hi Tweeters:
Thirty-two of us enjoyed a good day of birding in weather that varied from sunshine to downpour, with lots of wind in between, especially on the dike.  A special thanks to the folks from Kittitas County/Ellensburg who joined us for the walk. 
High tide was 13' 6" at 7:47am.  Low tide was 0' 8" at 2:25pm. 
General observations:  Number of ducks continues to decrease, with Northern Shoveler and Green-winged Teal predominant today.  Cackling Geese are still high in numbers;  estimated flock of 1,000 today.
Highlights of the walk included Great Egret, active Hummingbird nest and the Great Horned Owl family.  Below are key sightings by location.
Visitor Center Overlook:  Pair of Hooded Merganser, several pair of Gadwall, Ring-necked duck and Pied-billed Grebe.  At the end of the walk a male Rufous Hummingbird zipped by.
Access Road and Pond South of the Parking Lot:  Northern Shoveler, American Wigeon.
Access Road and Pond to the West of the parking lot and up to the McAllister Creek gate:  Tree, Violet Green and Barn (1) Swallows, Northern Harrier, Immature Bald Eagles (2), American Coot, Northern Pintail, Northern Shoveler, Green-winged Teal, American Wigeon.  No Bald Eagle visible on the nest across McAllister Creek.
Westside of Boardwalk Loop:  Wood Duck, Greater White-fronted Goose, Bewick's, Pacific and Marsh Wren, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Cooper's Hawk.
Barn Overlook:  Hooded Merganser, Green-winged Teal, Northern Pintail, Northern Shoveler, American Coot, Tree Swallow, Northern Shrike, Golden-crowned Sparrow, flyby of pair of Wood Ducks, and Cackling Goose.
Dike Trail (including overlook at beginning of boardwalk):  Green-winged Teal (large numbers on the saltwater side), Bald Eagle, Northern Pintail, American Wigeon, Bufflehead, Common Goldeneye.
River Overlook:  Lots of Yellow-rumped Warblers, Downy Woodpecker(male), Brown Creeper, Double-crested Cormorant, Great Blue Heron, and Great Egret flying west over the river and into the refuge.
Riverside(East) Boardwalk Loop: Black-capped Chickadee, Brown Creeper, Downy Woodpecker(female), Yellow-rumped Warblers, Spotted Towhee, Great Horned Owls ( adult and three young), and active Hummingbird nest.  The Hummingbird was previously reported as an Anna's, but today the female appeared to have pale rufous coloring on the back underside, which was all we could see. It is a high nest and was difficult to get a good view of the bird.  We'll try to get a conclusive look next week.
Total Species:  51
Until next week, when Phil and Shep return.
Eric Slagle

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