[Tweeters] Nisqually Wednesday Walk.

Kenneth Brown kenbrownpls at comcast.net
Wed Aug 24 21:13:47 PDT 2022

Today's walk was really two walks. 27of us began at the usual time and place, seeing Wood Ducks on the Visitor's center pond. We followed our "usual" route, touring the orchard first, seeing Mourning Doves, Band-tailed Pigeons, Anna's Hummingbirds and lots of Cedar Waxwings, then the no-longer flooded fields west of the access road where we saw predominantly Barn Swallows with a few Tree Swallows for seasoning. North along the west side of the loop we saw more wood duck chicks and most of the passerine species listed below. Once out on the dike we saw acres of mud, there being a minus tide, which explained the absence of terns and most gulls. We were surprised by a low flyover of an American Bittern that dropped into the tall grass north of the dike. The freshwater side showed little activity as it appears to have dried up completely. On the saltwater side we were rewarded by an active flock of 14 Baird's Sandpipers that conveniently included a Western Sandpiper for comparison purposes. The party disintegrated after that, with a few continuing out on the boardwalk, the rest turning back, some to end their walk and some to complete the loop walk on the east side and take a lunch break.

Wood Duck 8
Hooded Merganser 2
Rock Pigeon (Feral Pigeon) 2
Band-tailed Pigeon 8
Mourning Dove 2
Anna's Hummingbird 4
hummingbird sp. 2
Semipalmated Plover 5
Killdeer 2
Baird's Sandpiper 14
Least Sandpiper 10
Western Sandpiper 60
peep sp. 40
Greater Yellowlegs 4
Ring-billed Gull 5
California Gull 1
Double-crested Cormorant 5
American Bittern 1
Great Blue Heron 5
Osprey 1
Northern Harrier 2
Bald Eagle 5
Downy Woodpecker 4
Hairy Woodpecker 1
Northern Flicker 1
Merlin 1
Peregrine Falcon 1
Western Wood-Pewee 5
Willow Flycatcher 3
Warbling Vireo 4
American Crow 8
Common Raven 1
Black-capped Chickadee 25
Chestnut-backed Chickadee 2
Tree Swallow 5
Barn Swallow 80
Bushtit 12
Brown Creeper 2
Marsh Wren 1
Bewick's Wren 2
European Starling 150
American Robin 12
Cedar Waxwing 40
Purple Finch 1
American Goldfinch 12
Song Sparrow 4
Spotted Towhee 1
Red-winged Blackbird 2
Brown-headed Cowbird 3
Yellow-rumped Warbler 7
Black-throated Gray Warbler 1
Wilson's Warbler 4
Black-headed Grosbeak 1

After a nearly 2 hour intermission to await the turning of the tide, 5 of us returned to the dike, hearing a Virginia Rail calling in the swamp along the way. We found the mud mostly covered and the tide had pushed the shorebirds in closer. We had good looks at two dozen Baird's Sandpipers along with a larger flock of Western and Least Sandpipers. We made it out to the McCallister Creek overlook but decided against proceeding to the end as by then the water covered almost everything and the heat was oppressive. Back on the dike we saw the season's first larger return of ducks, mostly Pintail and smaller numbers of Mallards and Gadwall. The following were seen on this later walk.

Canada Goose 8
Gadwall 50
Mallard 50
Northern Pintail 300
Hooded Merganser 2
Virginia Rail 1
Semipalmated Plover 8
Killdeer 4
Baird's Sandpiper 24
Least Sandpiper 25
Western Sandpiper 80
Spotted Sandpiper 1
Greater Yellowlegs 6
Ring-billed Gull 12
gull sp. 80
Caspian Tern 4
Double-crested Cormorant 9
Great Blue Heron 1
Osprey 1
Belted Kingfisher 2
American Crow 2
Barn Swallow 40
European Starling 15
Cedar Waxwing 1
Purple Finch 1
Savannah Sparrow 1
Song Sparrow 2
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