[Tweeters] Billy Frank Jr. Nisqually NWR - Wednesday Walk -
shepthorp at gmail.com
Thu Sep 26 12:04:17 PDT 2019
about 25 of us had beautiful autumn day at the Refuge with cloudy skies in
the morning and partly sunny skies in the afternoon with temperatures in
the 50's to 70's degrees Fahrenheit. There was a Low -0.45ft Tide at
9:16am and a High 13.23ft Tide at 4:29pm. Highlights included two WILSON'S
SNIPE and CINNAMON TEAL at the Visitor Center Pond Overlook, continuing
RED-SHOULDERED HAWK southwest of the intersection between the Access Road
and the old McAllister Creek Road, nice mixed flocks with warblers on the
Loop Trail including HERMIT THRUSH X 3, and AMERICAN KESTREL/PEREGRINE
Starting out at the Visitor Center Pond Overlook at 8am, in addition to
WILSON'S SNIPE, and CINNAMON TEAL, we had nice looks of WOOD DUCK and
HOODED MERGANSER. Three CALIFORNIA SCRUB-JAY'S were reported in the
parking lot, we also had sightings of Mink and Long-tailed Weasel.
The Orchard was good for SPOTTED TOWHEE, GOLDEN-CROWNED SPARROW, COMMON
YELLOWTHROAT, ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER, BEWICK'S WREN and CEDAR WAXWING. A
SWAINSON'S THRUSH was observed flying behind the Education Center and three
BAND-TAILED PIGEONS flew overhead. Near the green gate across from the
entrance to the Education Center there was a nice mixed flock of
RUBY-CROWNED KINGLET, GOLDEN-CROWNED KINGLET and both BLACK-CAPPED
CHICKADEE and CHESTNUT-BACKED CHICKADEE.
The field between the Access Road and Entrance Road is now flooded
providing habitat for FOS RING-NECKED DUCK, as well CACKLING GEESE,
NORTHERN PINTAIL, GREEN-WINGED TEAL, AMERICAN WIGEON, and WOOD DUCK. Two
AMERICAN PIPITS were heard and seen flying overhead. A RED-TAILED HAWK was
observed in a snag.
We had a nice mixed flock just west of the Parking Lot along the Access
Road with sightings of YELLOW WARBLER, YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER - AUDUBON'S
variety, HERMIT THRUSH, NORTHER FLICKER and PURPLE FINCH in addition to
previously mentioned species. The RED-SHOULDERED HAWK could be heard
southwest of the west parking lot in a large stand in the fresh water
Consistent with the last two weeks we observed nice mixed flocks along the
Twin Barns Loop Trail. We had nice sightings of RED-BREASTED SAPSUCKER,
DOWNY WOODPECKER, HUTTON'S VIREO, ANNA'S HUMMINGBIRD, COMMON YELLOWTHROAT,
YELLOW WARBLER, ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER BLACK-THROATED GRAY WARBLER,
WILSON'S WARBLER, PACIFIC WREN, and FOX SPARROW. The Pacific Wren were
vocal this week which is new, and we had two additional very nice sightings
of HERMIT THRUSH which must be moving through. A late WILLOW FLYCATCHER
was observed by some of our group at the Twin Barns cut-off.
The Twin Barns Overlook was great for observing TURKEY VULTURE, COMMON
RAVEN and RED-TAILED HAWK soaring on the thermals. We finally picked up
our hundreds of transient BARN SWALLOWS and VIOLET-GREEN SWALLOWS foraging
high over the fresh water area and much lower over the salt water/tidal
Out on the dike or Nisqually Estuary Trail we had great looks of AMERICAN
KESTREL, PEREGRINE FALCON and BALD EAGLE. Mostly RING-BILLED GULL were
observed foraging on the mud flats with several GLAUCOUS-WINGED GULL and a
few CASPIAN TERN flying through. We observed distant ducks and peeps, but
ID was difficult with the low tide. There were sightings of GREAT BLUE
HEREON, SAVANNAH SPARROW, AMERICAN GOLDFINCH, WHITE-CROWNED SPARROW and
As an aside, after the walk, Jon Anderson and I went out at 2:30pm to catch
the incoming high tide, and had nice looks at 4 WHIMBREL. We counted 10
BLACK-BELLIED PLOVERs a littler further out. All just west of Leschi slough
On our return, we picked up a vocalizing HAMMOND'S FLYCATCHER, along the
east side of the loop trail. We had nice looks at HAIRY WOODPECKER, BROWN
CREEPER and additional YELLOW WARBLER and BLACK-THROATED GRAY WARBLER.
70 species for the day with 161 species for the year for the Wednesday
Walk. Mammals seen included Mink x 2, Long-tailed Weasel, Eastern Gray
Squirrel and Columbia Black-tailed Deer.
Until next week, happy birding!
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