[Tweeters] Nisqually NWR Wednesday Walk for July 18th, 2018
shepthorp at gmail.com
Fri Jul 20 12:25:02 PDT 2018
we had a cool morning with clouds and a hot afternoon with sun and
temperatures in the 60's to 70's degrees Fahrenheit. There was a High
10.53ft Tide at 10:16am. The Autumnal Migration has started in earnest
with the departure of our breeding TREE SWALLOWS/CLIFF SWALLOWS and the
arrival of our first male WESTERN SANDPIPER in molt. If you want to be
bedazzled by juvenile and molting plumage's, check out the Orchard and the
Twin Barn Loop Trail to see all sorts of variety of AMERICAN GOLDFINCH,
SONG SPARROW, SAVANNAH SPARROW, WHITE-CROWNED SPARROW, both CHICKADEE,
YELLOW WARBLER, COMMON YELLOWTHROAT, SWAINSON'S THRUSH, AMERICAN ROBIN,
CEDAR WAXWING, HOODED MERGANSER, and of course BROWN-HEADED COWBIRD.
Starting out at the Visitor Center Pond Overlook at 8am, we had great looks
at eclipse WOOD DUCK and two juvenile HOODED MERGANSER. The merganser
pre-occupied many of us with mis-identification of Pied-billed Grebe or
other. The Riparian Forest still has a lovely morning chorus, with hints
we are coming to the end of song. Von picked up a MACGILLIVRAY'S WARBLER
at the east side of the Twin Barns Loop Trail.
The Orchard is good for baby CEDAR WAXWING, AMERICAN GOLDFINCH, SONG
SPARROW, YELLOW WARBLER and BROWN-HEADED COWBIRD. We had really nice looks
at a PACIFIC-SLOPE FLYCATCHER at the entrance to the Education Center, as
well BUSHTIT and BLACK-CAPPED CHICKADEE. A Cascara Tree with ripening
cherries was a hot spot for BAND-TAILED PIGEON, WESTERN TANAGER,
BLACK-HEADED GROSBEAK, SWAINSON'S THRUSH and CEDAR WAXWING - aggression was
Along the Access Road we picked up SAVANNAH SPARROW, BEWICK'S WREN, SPOTTED
TOWHEE, and WHITE-CROWNED SPARROW. Over the fields we observed BARN
SWALLOW and VAUX'S SWIFT. We observed high counts of BANK SWALLOW and had
at least 8-10 birds in the area. NORTHERN HARRIER was seen by some.
The West entrance to the Twin Barns Loop Trail was great for babies,
feeding, and molting adults collecting food. We enjoyed nice looks of
SWAINSON'S THRUSH, AMERICAN ROBIN RUFOUS HUMMINGBIRD and ANNA'S
HUMMINGBIRD. There is a YELLOW WARBLER nest with chicks on the right side
of the Twin Barns Cut-off Boardwalk between the bridge and the access
road. The nest is below eye level in the Himalayan Blackberry and Thimble
Berry bramble 1/2 way between the stairs on the left and the transecting
access road, well hidden 10-15 feet from the trail on the right. Look for
feeding adults. Good luck!
At the Twin Barns Overlook, a pair of TREE SWALLOWS are still feeding young
in the nest box, but most of our breeders are gone and our Tree Swallow and
Cliff Swallow count was way down in comparison to last week. Both BANK
SWALLOW and NORTHERN ROUGH-WING SWALLOW were seen foraging with BARN
SWALLOW and CLIFF SWALLOW.
Out on the new dike or Nisqually Estuary Trail we had a concentrated flurry
of activity in the fresh water marsh on the inside of the trail, where we
relocated the immature GREEN HERON, spotted an immature VIRGINIA RAIL, and
had great looks of LEAST SANDPIPER and molting male WESTERN SANDPIPER. Our
elusive AMERICAN BITTERN vocalized, and flushed to show us quick views
flying over the marsh.
On the Nisqually Estuary Boardwalk Trail, we observed a second cycle
BONAPARTE'S GULL at the photo blind. There is a BALD EAGLE chick in the
south nest south of the McAllister Creek Viewing Platform along the west
side of the McAllister Creek. We had nice looks at GLAUCOUS-WINGED GULL,
CALIFORNIA GULL, RING-BILLED GULL and CASPIAN TERN. SPOTTED SANDPIPER and
additional Least Sandpiper were seen in the mudflat channels between marsh
plain from the Puget Sound Viewing Platform. DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANT,
BELTED KINGFISHER and BARN SWALLOW were foraging along McAllister Creek.
PURPLE MARTIN x 4 were still attending the nest boxes off Luhr Beach, and
STELLER'S JAY was heard across the way
On our return, we had great looks of WILLOW FLYCATCHER and BROWN CREEPER
along the east side of the Loop Trail. Our hit or miss spot, the Riparian
Forest Overlook, was very good for awesome looks at BUSHTIT, BLACK-HEADED
GROSBEAK, WESTERN WOOD-PEWEE, SWAINSON'S THRUSH, and CHESTNUT BACKED
CHICKADEE. A male WARBLING VIREO continues to sing on territory at the
cut-off for this trail.
Another great day, with great sightings and really neat behavior to enjoy,
with a total of 67 species seen and 145 species for the year!
Mammals seen included Columbia Black-tailed Deer, Harbor Seal and Rat.
Until next week when the Leader of our Gaggle returns, Phil Kelley, good
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