[Tweeters] Billy Frank Jr. Nisqually NWR, Wednesday Walk for Sep 18,
shepthorp at gmail.com
Thu Sep 19 11:52:27 PDT 2019
autumn is on the way at Nisqually where 20 of us met up at 8am at the
Visitor Center Pond Overlook to enjoy a cloudy morning with light
precipitation and partly sunny skies in the afternoon to warm things up.
There was a High 11.78ft Tide at 9:02am. We changed up our routine to
chase the tide, and headed out to the dike. Highlights included first of
season CACKLING GOOSE, GOLDEN-CROWNED SPARROW and LINCOLN'S SPARROW. In
the Riparian Forest along the Twin Barns Loop Trail we had several large
mixed flocks of migrating warblers, kinglets, and chickadees, perhaps from
the rainy weather moving through. We were not able to relocate the
Red-shouldered Hawk from last week, but there are still reports of one
being seen as recently as the beginning of the week.
Starting out at the Visitor Center Pond Overlook at 8am, we had nice looks
at GREAT BLUE HERON and a first year RED-TAILED HAWK in the "Peregrine
Tree" or single tall Douglas Fir.
We scanned the fields west of the Access Road on either side of the old
McAllister Creek Road, and picked up high counts of VIOLET-GREEN SWALLOW
and BARN SWALLOW moving through.
Along the west side of the Twin Barns Loop Trail we saw our first of season
GOLDEN-CROWNED SPARROW along with WHITE-CROWNED SPARROW, SPOTTED TOWHEE,
SONG SPARROW and SWAINSON'S THRUSH. There was also a mixed flock, our
first of four, of BLACK-CAPPED CHICKADEE, CHESTNUT-BACKED CHICKADEE, BROWN
CREEPER, YELLOW WARBLER, ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER, and BLACK-THROATED GRAY
WARBLER. One BTGW was observed by all foraging off the Access Road.
Inside the trail on the pond we had good looks at WOOD DUCK and MALLARD. A
small flock of AMERICAN PIPIT, 20-30, diverted our path from the boards to
the Access Road on the south side of the Twin Barns. The fields are plowed
and the most southern field is flooded as the Refuge Management begins the
controlled flooding of the fields.
Out on the Nisqually Estuary Trail or new dike we had good looks of BALD
EAGLE, RED-TAILED HAWK, NORTHERN HARRIER, PEREGRINE FALCON X 2 (adult and
immature) and male AMERICAN KESTREL. With the tidal push we got good looks
at NORTHERN PINTAIL, AMERICAN GREEN-WINGED TEAL, NORTHERN SHOVELER, and
AMERICAN WIGEON. Numerous RING-BILLED GULL and several GLAUCOUS-WINGED
GULL foraged off the mud flats, six CASPIAN TERNS, 2 juveniles, roosted on
a mud bar just west of Leschi Slough. There were decent numbers of
WESTERN SANDPIPER, probably upwards of 500 birds or more, and a single
GREATER YELLOWLEGS. We dipped on Least Sandpiper and other hopefuls. A
WILSONS SNIPE flew over, a late NORTHERN ROUGH-WINGED SWALLOW was observed
in the hundreds of migrating swallows. We had good numbers of SAVANNAH
SPARROW flitting around and at least two LINCOLN'S SPARROW were heard and
seen at the junction of the Access Road and dike. As a rain cloud formed,
approached, from the east we saw good numbers of VAUX'S SWIFT showing up.
>From the Twin Barns Overlook, we saw our first of the season CACKLING
GEESE, fly into the sanctuary. 6-8 birds were also seen in the flooded
field south of the Access Road.
The Nisqually Overlook had a young SPOTTED SANDPIPER roosting on a log
along the waters edge and DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANT was observed foraging in
Two additional mixed flocks were enjoyed along the east side of the Twin
Barns Loop Trail and the Orchard. Along with previously mentioned species
we had nice looks of TOWNSENDS WARBLER, WESTERN TANAGER and DOWNY
WOODPECKER. RED-BREASTED SAPSUCKER, WESTERN WOOD-PEWEE, and HUTTON'S VIREO
were observed along the east side of the loop trail.
Other cool sightings were at least 100 AMERICAN GOLDFINCH foraging the
field just north of the dike between the dike and surge plain. Dozens of
CEDAR WAXWING working the Crab apple Trees between the west parking lot and
Access Road. And a single CINNAMON TEAL hanging out with the Mallards and
Wood Ducks at the Visitor Center Pond Overlook.
We observed 66 species for the day, with 160 species for year for the
Wednesday Walk. Mammals seen included Townsend's Chipmunk, Eastern Gray
Squirrel, and Columbia Black-tailed Deer.
Until next week, happy birding!
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