[Tweeters] NIsqually NWR 12/31/14

scrubjay323 at aol.com scrubjay323 at aol.com
Thu Jan 1 08:10:00 PST 2015


Happy New Year! Yesterday 35 of us celebrated New Years Eve by walking Nisqually in cold, clear conditions. It was 25 degrees at 8:00 when we started the walk. Most of the freshwater ponds had a coating of ice so waterfowl were out on the outside of the dikes where the water was moving. We had a 14.4 high tide at 1:01 PM.

Highlights included a brief view of the SWAMP SPARROW and lots of waterfowl on McAllister Creek near the start of the estuary boardwalk.

Passerines were numerous and active all along the boardwalk to the Twin Barns, often just off the boardwalk at eye level. We had great views of both KINGLETS, BROWN CREEPER, BEWICK'S WREN, PINE SISKINS, YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLERS, SPOTTED TOWHEES, GOLDEN CROWNED SPARROWS, SONG and FOX SPARROWS. We heard FLICKERS and a PILIATED WOODPECKER calling from inside the boardwalk.

Our lone SNOW GOOSE made an appearance along with its entourage of 8 GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GEESE. They flew off the refuge to feed in the farm fields south of I-5 but returned and roosted on the dike near the start of the estuary boardwalk.

Near the start of the estuary boardwalk was where the SWAMP SPARROW showed itself briefly. We could not get it to pop up again but could hear it calling.

Looking out toward McAllister Creek we found COMMON GOLDENEYE, HOODED MERGANSER, SURF SCOTERS, PINTAIL, SHOVELERS. GREEN-WINGED TEAL, MALLARDS, and a EURASIAN WIGEON among the AMERICAN WIGEON there. At the Nisqually River overlook were 15 COMMON MERGANSERS along with a couple of SEA LIONS and a HARBOR SEAL. The salmon run must have started.

For the day I had 55 species and wound up with 147 species for the year. This is my second highest yearly total being surpassed only by 2007 when I had 154 species for the year.

Mammals seen included COTTONTAILED RABBIT, MINK, and the SEAL and SEA LIONS.

Until next week when we start a new year. Happy New Year!

Phil Kelley
scrubjay323 at aol.com
Lacey, WA

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