[Tweeters] Billy Frank Jr Nisqually NWR Wednesday Walk for 4/6/2022
shepthorp at gmail.com
Thu Apr 7 19:33:40 PDT 2022
We had nice weather and birds for our Wednesday Walk, which started out
brisk with temperatures in the mid 30's, sunny skies warmed things up
quickly into low 60's degrees Fahrenheit. There was a High 11.7ft Tide at
8:49am so we skipped the Orchard until the afternoon and marched out to the
Nisqually Estuary Trail or new dike to chase the tide. Highlights included
FOY CASPIAN TERN, many good looks at COMMON YELLOWTHROAT, BLACK-BELLIED
PLOVER at the Puget Sound Viewing Platform, continuing GREATER
WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE and EURASIAN GREEN-WINGED TEAL, and LONG-BILLED
DOWITCHERS in the flooded field just south of the McAllister Creek access
Starting out at the Visitor Center at 8am we had great looks of RING-NECKED
DUCK, WOOD DUCK, HOODED MERGANSER and PIED-BILLED GREBE. TREE SWALLOWS are
securing nest cavities in area snags and WHITE-CROWNED SPARROWS were
singing from the parking lot. A CALIFORNIA SCRUB-JAY showed up to say good
morning with its squeaky gate call.
>From the access road west of the west parking lot where the old McAllister
Creek access road is gated, we had nice looks of LONG-BILLED DOWITCHER,
WILSON SNIPE and many GREATER YELLOWLEGS foraging in the fields.The fields
remain well flooded, perfect for migration, and many of our wintering ducks
can be easily enjoyed. Great looks of NORTHERN SHOVELER, NORTHERN PINTAIL,
GREEN-WINGED TEAL and AMERICAN WIGEON. A breeding pair of BALD EAGLE
continue to sit on the next over the Twing Barns.
Out on the new dike or Nisqually Estuary Trail, we had excellent views of
COMMON YELLOWTHROAT WARBLER, RUFOUS HUMMINGBIRD, SAVANNAH SPARROW and MARSH
WREN. A second breeding pair of BALD EAGLE are nesting along the Nisqually
River just east of the surg plain. The swallows were actively feeding and
we had great looks of VIOLET-GREEN SWALLOW, BARN SWALLOW, CLIFF SWALLOW and
NORTHERN ROUGH-WINGED SWALLOW. The Nisqually Estuary Boardwalk Trail was
great for viewing CASPIAN TERN, SHORT-BILLED GULL, breeding plumage HORNED
GREBE and COMMON LOON, BUFFLEHEAD, and COMMON GOLDENEYE. From the Puget
Sound Viewing Platform we were able to get good scope views of
BLACK-BELLIED PLOVER, DUNLIN with a single WESTERN SANDPIPER, LEAST
SANDPIPER, BRANT GEESE and a large flock of RED-BREASTED MERGANSER. There
were a few COMMON MERGANSER mixed in with the Red-breasted. Spotted
Sandpiper was seen along the west bank of McAllister Creek.
The Twin Barns Overlook had many great sightings including GREATER
WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE, EURASIAN GREEN-WINGED TEAL, EURASIAN WIGEON, and
CINNAMON TEAL. Additional Common Mergansers were seen at the Nisqually
The Riparian Forest Overlook is closed due to fallen tree damage. A number
of trees came down over the weekend with the windy conditions.
The Orchard in the afternoon was good for GOLDEN-CROWNED SPARROW. We had
really good numbers of Myrtle and Audubon varieties of YELLOW-RUMPED
WARBLER along the west side of the Twin Barns Loop Trail. The Northern
Saw-whet Owl roost along the trail remains active.
We observed 79 species for the day with 114 species for the year. Mammals
seen included Eastern Cotton-tailed Rabbit, Harbor Seal, Eastern Gray
Squirrel, Columbian Black-tailed Deer, and Coyote.
Have a great week and happy birding,
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