[Tweeters] NIsqually NWR 2/11/15

scrubjay323 at aol.com scrubjay323 at aol.com
Thu Feb 12 07:19:52 PST 2015


Yesterday 42 of us enjoyed a great walk at Nisqually. It was overcast with a high haze but no rain or wind. We had a 13.2 high tide at 10:02. It was a bit damp at the start but warmed up some as the day went on.

Highlights were many including SWAMP SPARROW, TRUMPETER SWANS, and juvenile GREAT HORNED OWLS.

There was lots of water in all the freshwater ponds so waterfowl were scattered throughout the refuge. Numbers seem to be declining but the diversity is still good. GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GEESE were seen on the dike near the start of the estuary boardwalk and there seems to be an increase in the number of CANADA GEESE on the refuge.

There were two juvenile GREAT HORNED OWLS in the nest tree and an adult was roosting near by just in case. The juveniles are getting big and starting to grow their feathers. Still lots of down, though.

A flock of 13 TRUMPETER SWANS flew over the refuge as we were walking the new dike. They were calling and flew out over the sound, circled back around and then continued off into the fog toward the Narrows Bridge.

We managed to get good looks at the SWAMP SPARROW after we turned around at the start of the estuary boardwalk. The bird had been seen by a couple of the group on the way out but most of us got our looks on the way back. There were several female RED-WINGED BLACKBIRDS in the area as well as SONG SPARROWS and MARSH WRENS. We spotted the SWAMP SPARROW in the cattails inside the turn in the dike just before the start of the estuary boardwalk.

We also had a good day with raptors with several BALD EAGLES, NORTHERN HARRIERS, RED-TAILED HAWKS and a PEREGRINE FALCON and a COOPER'S HAWK keeping passerines under cover.

For the day I had 54 species and now have 78 for the year. For some reason a large turtle was trying to soak up some warmth behind the visitor center As we finished the walk.

Until next week......

Phil Kelley
scrubjay323 at aol.com
Lacey, WA

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