[Tweeters] NIsqually NWR 1/21/15

scrubjay323 at aol.com scrubjay323 at aol.com
Thu Jan 22 10:10:39 PST 2015


Yesterday 36 of us survived a cold, damp day at Nisqually. The chill went right through us, but it was still a good day. We had a 6.1 low tide at 12:20 PM so there was lots of mud in the reclamation area.

The highlight of the day was finding a GREAT HORNED OWL sitting on the old nest tree from several years ago. It (she?) was sitting by the nest hole about 9:15 when we arrived but had disappeared at 11:30 when we returned to the area. This is the tree with the three broken branches shaped like an inverted tripod inside the boardwalk between the twin barns and the Nisqually side. Hopefully in the next couple of weeks we will find the young owlets.

Raptor activity was abundant with several BALD EAGLES, NORTHERN HARRIERS, and RED-TAILED HAWKS throughout the refuge. We also had a COOPER'S HAWK in the vicinity of the twin barns.

I got to the refuge a bit after seven to try and spot the BARN OWL that has been roosting overnight near the visitor center but was too late. About 7:00 one was seen near the orchard and another was seen moving from one of the twin barns to the other.

Other notable sightings included a WESTERN MEADOWLARK and 2 LESSER SCAUP inside the new dike and a PILIATED WOODPECKER working a snag near the GREAT HORNED OWL nest site.

A notable miss was the SNOW GOOSE of recent weeks. We saw the 8 GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GEESE it had been hanging out with, but no SNOW GOOSE.

For the day I had 46 species and now have 68 for the year.

The only mammal I saw was a couple of GRAY SQUIRRELS near the twin barns.

FYI, hunting season closes Sunday so the estuary boardwalk will be open to the end starting Monday.

Until next week......

Phil Kelley
scrubjay323 at aol.com
Lacey, WA

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