[Tweeters] Informal Wednesday Walk,
Billy Frank Jr Nisqually NWR for 2/16/2022
shepthorp at gmail.com
Wed Feb 16 20:47:13 PST 2022
we had a beautiful day at the Refuge and the birding was pretty good as
well. Partly sunny skies with the temperatures in the 40's to 50's and a
Low 6.69ft Tide at 12:10pm. Highlights included relocating the EURASIAN
GREEN-WINGED TEAL, some of our group observed the RED-SHOULDERED HAWK, and
first of year TREE SWALLOW.
Starting out at 8am at the Visitor Center Pond Overlook, we had nice looks
of HOODED MERGANSER, RING-NECKED DUCK and PIED-BILLED GREBE. Large flocks
of CACKLING GEESE, both minima and taverner's, were flushed from the
flooded fields by BALD EAGLE.
The Orchard was good for a large flock of GOLDEN-CROWNED KINGLET, along
with SPOTTED TOWHEE, SONG SPARROW and BEWICK'S WREN. We found a nice mixed
flock of YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER, GOLDEN-CROWNED KINGLET, RUBY-CROWNED
KINGLET, BLACK-CAPPED CHICKADEE and BROWN CREEPER.
The flooded fields along the Access Road were great for enjoying
waterfowl. We had beautiful looks of NORTHERN SHOVELER, NORTHERN PINTAIL,
AMERICAN GREEN-WINGED TEAL, and AMERICAN WIGEON. We located an American
Wigeon x Eurasian Wigeon hybrid feeding with the other wigeon. We also
picked up an intergrade NORTHERN FLICKER. There are good numbers of
AMERICAN COOT in the field and a pair of BALD EAGLE have been renovating a
nest in the cottonwood trees over the Twin Barns. Some of our group
observed first of year TREE SWALLOW.
>From the Twin Barns Overlook we were able to relocate the EURASIAN
GREEN-WINGED TEAL in the flooded fields.
Out on the new dike or Nisqually Estuary Trail we observed 5 WESTERN
MEADOWLARKS in the surge plain. Two were interacting by chasing each other
around and flying higher into the air. We had nice looks at NORTHERN
HARRIER and RED-TAILED HAWK. A BALD EAGLE was collecting grass from the
field to line the nest in the cottonwoods. There was a large number,
20-30, GREAT BLUE HERONS, roosting in the freshwater marsh. Many in our
group scoped out the RED-SHOULDERED HAWK hunting along the central access
road in the restricted sanctuary west of the Twin Barns.
The Nisqually Estuary Boardwalk Trail was good for BUFFLEHEAD, COMMON
GOLDENEYE, RED-BREASTED MERGANSER, SURF SCOTER and HORNED GREBE. We picked
up BELTED KINGFISHER and SPOTTED SANDPIPER along the west bank of
McAllister Creek. There were many GREATER YELLOWLEGS foraging the
watersedge and a small group of LEAST SANDPIPER flew in. From the Puget
Sound Viewing Platform we had nice looks of BRANT GEESE. On the reach we
picked up all three Cormorants and a small flock of GREATER SCAUP off Luhr
Beach. COMMON LOON came into the mouth of the McAllister Creek.
On our return we picked up PACIFIC WREN, COMMON MERGANSER at the Nisqually
River Overlook, and RED-BREASTED SAPSUCKER near the Riparian Forest
Unfortunately we were not able to relocate the Northern Saw-whet Owl from
We observed 63 species for the day, and have seen 94 species for the year.
Mammals seen were Muskrat and Harbor Seal.
Until next week, happy birding,
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