[Tweeters] Nisqually NWR 2/15/17

Phil Kelley scrubjay323 at gmail.com
Wed Feb 15 16:32:51 PST 2017


Today 8 of us enjoyed a wet day at Nisqually. Although it rained most of
the day, it was fairly warm and we didn't have much wind. The birds didn't
do too much.

couple of deer carcasses.

The deer carcasses were of most concern as they are only the second and
third I've seen on the refuge. The first was a couple of months ago. One
of the carcasses consisted of rib cage and backbone and was just off the
parking lot between the maintenance road and the pond south of the
McAllister Creek trail. Not much meat left on it at all. The other carcass
was found along the estuary dike trail between the Nisqually side and the
twin barns trail. This one was also pretty well eaten but there was a leg
and hoof still there. Both deer appeared to be fawns. Not sure what is
predating on them but it is a cause for concern.

The GREAT HORNED OWL was seen sitting in the 3 pronged snag between the
twin barns and the Nisqually side, not far from last year's nest tree. The
OWLS nested in this tree several years ago. No evidence of young but time
will tell.

The RED-BREASTED MERGANSERS were rafted up out toward McAllister Creek near
the start of the estuary boardwalk. There were about 20 of them in the
flock. Also in that area we had COMMON GOLDENEYE, and GREATER SCAUP. The
waterfowl didn't seem to mind the wet conditions as much as the passerines
(or the observers).

We also had some TREE SWALLOWS with a couple of VIOLET-GREEN SWALLOWS
hawking over the pond across from the parking lot.

For the day I had 5 species and the SWALLOWS give me 66 species for the
year. Mammals seen included COTTON-TAILED RABBIT and RACCOON.

Until next week.....

Phil Kelley
scrubjay323 at gmail.com
Lacey, WA
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