[Tweeters] Billy Frank Jr. Nisqually NWR,
Wednesday Walk for 1/29/2020
shepthorp at gmail.com
Wed Jan 29 21:15:03 PST 2020
approximately 15 of us endured a wet one at the Refuge with cloudy skies,
rain, windy conditions and temperatures in the 40's to 50's degrees
Fahrenheit. There was a High 14.38ft Tide at 08:46am, so we chased the
tide and rerouted our walk to the Nisqually Estuary Trail and Nisqually
Estuary Boardwalk earlier in the day. Highlights included FOY GREEN-WINGED
TEAL (Eurasian) and BARN SWALLOW.
Starting out at 08:00am at the Visitor Center Pond Overlook we had nice
looks at GADWALL, RING-NECKED DUCK, BUFFLEHEAD and HOODED MERGANSER. I was
very excited to see our FOY PIED-BILLED GREBE, as this species had been
very difficult for us to find on the Refuge with the recent low water
We proceeded to the west entrance to the Twin Barns Loop Trail, and found
GOLDEN-CROWNED SPARROW in the bramble between the boards and the access
road. The flooded fields west and south of the Twin Barns were great for
NORTHERN SHOVELER, NORTHERN PINTAIL, AMERICAN WIGEON, GREEN-WINGED TEAL and
AMERICAN COOT. A RED-TAILED HAWK was scoped in the Willow Trees along the
central access road. Continuing on our way we observed BLACK-CAPPED
CHICKADEE, DOWNY WOODPECKER and HAIRY WOODPECKER.
The Twin Barns Overlook was very productive. With all the rain the flooded
fields were very wet with large pooled ponds. We observed good numbers of
Northern Shoveler, Northern Pintail, American Wigeon, Green-winged Teal,
American Coot and Mallard. Annually we see GREEN-WINGED TEAL (EURASIAN),
and we located one in the hundreds of American Green-winged Teal.
Unexpectedly, we also observed two intergrade teal.
Out on the dike or Nisqually Estuary Trail, we enjoyed SONG SPARROW, FOX
SPARROW, DARK-EYED JUNCO, and SPOTTED TOWHEE on the inside of the trail in
the bramble adjacent to the fresh water slough. RUBY-CROWNED KINGLET,
BLACK-CAPPED CHICKADEE, and BUSHTIT were also seen. On the salt water side
we had good looks of WESTERN MEADOWLARK in the grassy portions of the
restored surge plain, and NORTHERN HARRIER.
With the high tide, rain, and wind, there was plenty of water. An early
unexpected BARN SWALLOW, made a fast flying appearance through the Refuge.
GLAUCOUS-WINGED GULL, "OLYMPIC" GULL", RING-BILLED GULL and MEW GULL were
seen in good numbers. Two flocks of approximately 50 DUNLIN were scoped
out on the reach, and several GREATER YELLOWLEGS were seen. We observed
approximately 15 BALD EAGLES.
The Nisqually Estuary Boardwalk Trail was good for DOUBLE-CRESTED
CORMORANT, BRANDT'S COMORANT, BRANT GEESE, SURF SCOTER, COMMON GOLDENEYE,
and RED-BREASTED MERGANSER.
At the Nisqually River Overlook, 10 COMMON MERGANSER were seen. The
Orchard was good for GOLDEN-CROWNED SPARROW and RED-BREASTED SAPSUCKER.
We observed 54 species for day, with 79 species for the year. Mammals seen
included American Beaver and Eastern Gray Squirrel.
Until next week, when it hopefully will be a bit dryer.
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