[Tweeters] Nisqually NWR - Wednesday Walk 8/23/2017
shepthorp at gmail.com
Wed Aug 23 20:28:12 PDT 2017
thirty of us enjoyed a cool morning and sunny afternoon at the Refuge with
temperatures in the 60's to 70's degrees Fahrenheit. We had a High 12.79ft
Tide at 6:50am and a Low -0.52 Tide at 1:25pm. Highlights included
BLACK-THROATED GRAY WARBLER, GREAT EGRET, AMERICAN WIGEON, NORTHERN
SHOVELER, and thousands of peeps.
Starting out at the Visitor Center Overlook at 8am, we had great looks of
SORA and WOOD DUCK in the visitor center pond. We also had nice looks of
MALLARD, BARN SWALLOW and COMMON YELLOWTHROAT.
In the edge habitat around the west entrance to the Twin Barns Loop Trail,
we had great looks of BLACK-THROATED GRAY WARBLER, CHESTNUT-BACKED
CHICKADEE, AMERICAN GOLDFINCH, CEDAR WAXWING, WILLOW FLYCATCHER,
WHITE-CROWNED SPARROW, and DOWNY WOODPECKER.
With the falling high tide, we elected to take the Access Road to the Twin
Barns for quick access to the new dike or Nisqually Estuary Trail. Along
the way we picked up SAVANNAH SPARROW, SONG SPARROW, SWAINSON'S THRUSH and
many more Common Yellowthroat.
Out on the Nisqually Estuary Trail we were rewarded with distant looks of
GREAT EGRET and first of season AMERICAN WIGEON in the restored surge
plain. Other species observed included GADWALL, GREEN-WINGED TEAL,
RING-BILLED GULL, KILLDEER, many peeps and Mallards. A single LONG-BILLED
DOWITCHER was observed flying over. In the fresh water marsh on the inside
of the dike or trail, we had great looks of AMERICAN BITTERN, SORA,
VIRGINIA RAIL, CINNAMON TEAL, and first of season NORTHERN SHOVELER. In
dead bush-trees on the salt water tide flats we observed immature
VIOLET-GREEN SWALLOW, TREE SWALLOW, CLIFF SWALLOW and BARN SWALLOW. Many
juvenile birds appear to be migrating.
On the Nisqually Boardwalk Estuary Trail, we got closer looks at thousands
of peeps, most WESTERN SANDPIPER with good numbers of LEAST SANDPIPER as
well. This is our third wave of peeps, many of the birds appeared very
"clean" and "crisp", which may indicate these were immature or this year's
hatchling's in full migration. A second GREAT EGRET flew north along the
McAllister Creek, and at the overlook we had nice observation of
DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANT, CASPIAN TERN and PEREGRINE FALCON. Further out
towards the Puget Sound Viewing Platform we enjoyed nice observation of
CALIFORNIA GULL, GLAUCOUS-WINGED GULL, and BELTED KINGFISHER.
During our return on the Twin Barns Loop Trail we enjoyed sightings of
YELLOW WARBLER, BLACK-CAPPED CHICKADEE, BROWN CREEPER, and WESTERN WOOD
We observed 60 species for the day, and have 153 species for the walk
during the year. Mammals seen include Mink, Harbor Seal, California Sea
Lion and Townsend's Chipmunk.
Until next time, when Phil will return to lead the walk,
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