[Tweeters] Billy Frank Jr Nisqually NWR Wednesday Walk for July 7th.
shepthorp at gmail.com
Thu Jul 7 10:39:51 PDT 2022
we had a cool damp morning at the Refuge with temperatures in the 60's
degrees Fahrenheit and intermittent light rain. There was a High 8.8ft
Tide at 11:16am. Highlights included many species with recently fledged
young including WOOD DUCK, DOWNY WOODPECKER, BARN SWALLOW, CLIFF SWALLOW,
MARSH WREN, YELLOW WARBLER, COMMON YELLOWTHROAT and CEDAR WAXWING. We had
good sightings of small flocks of WESTERN SANDPIPER and LEAST SANDPIPER.
The AMERICAN WHITE PELICAN continued out on the Nisqually Reach.
Starting out at the Visitor Center at 8am, we had good looks of a WOOD DUCK
hen with 5 recent fledglings. There are a couple of BARN SWALLOW nests in
the Visitor Center with young about to fledge. The pond is also nice for
seeing PIED-BILLED GREBE and HOODED MERGANSER.
The morning chorus continues with AMERICAN ROBIN, SWAINSON'S THRUSH, WILLOW
FLYCATCHER, YELLOW WARBLER, COMMON YELLOWTHROAT, PURPLE FINCH and SONG
In the Orchard we observed a YELLOW WARBLER feeding a fledgling as well as
a BROWN-HEADED COWBIRD chick. There were good sightings of WARBLING VIREO,
BAND-TAILED PIGEON, MORNING DOVE, and PURPLE FINCH. HAIRY WOODPECKERs were
seen near the Technician Building.
The fields along the Access Road are thick with thigh high grasses and
plantains. We enjoyed numerous swallows including CLIFF SWALLOW, TREE
SWALLOW and BARN SWALLOW. Young DOWNY WOODPECKERs were being fed near the
green gate across from the Orchard. A COMMON YELLOWTHROAT was observed
feeding a Cowbird chick. Numerous young RUFOUS HUMMINGBIRD and ANNA'S
HUMMINGBIRD were seen foraging from the black-berry bramble and vetch
flowers along the access road. A WILLOW FLYCATCHER perched nicely at the
corner near the west end parking lot.
The Twin Barns Loop Trail was great for numerous SWAINSON'S THRUSH, YELLOW
WARBLER, CEDAR WAXWING and AMERICAN GOLDFINCH. Despite the low cloud
ceiling, we did not see any swifts. There was no activity at the Northern
Rough-winged Swallow nest at the cut-off and sightings were quiet at the
Twin Barns Overlook.
Out on the new dike or Nisqually Estuary Trail we had fledgling MARSH WREN
being fed, two families. A BLUE-WINGED TEAL was seen on the inside or
freshwater side of the dike. As well, we had some nice looks of BANK
SWALLOW mixed in with our other swallow species. The tide was right for a
feeding frenzy on the mudflats. Bait fish must have been localized in a
large tidal pool where dozens of GREAT BLUE HERONS, DOUBLE-CRESTED
CORMORANTS, and CASPIAN TERNS feasted. A small flock of WESTERN SANDPIPER
roosted and preened near the trail for good viewing.
The Nisqually Estuary Boardwalk Trail is still good for nesting CLIFF
SWALLOW. We had great looks at RING-BILLED GULL, CALIFORNIA GULL,
GLAUCOUS-WINGED GULL and a couple WESTERN X GLAUCOUS-WINGED GULL hybrids.
There were a few flyovers of GREATER YELLOWLEGS. Towards the end of the
boardwalk along McAllister Creek there is a dead tree on the marsh plain
that is a nice perch for NORTHERN ROUGH-WINGED SWALLOW, a single
VIOLET-GREEN SWALLOW, and numerous BARN SWALLOW. At the Puget Sound
Observation Platform we had great looks of a small flock of LEAST
SANDPIPER. Numerous BALD EAGLE were perched and foraged out on the Reach.
BELTED KINGFISHER foraged along McAllister Creek. We had distant looks of
close to 30 AMERICAN WHITE PELICAN near the mouth of the Nisqually River.
On our return, we picked up a quick sighting of the AMERICAN BITTERN on the
outside of the dike between Leschi Slough and the Twin Barns. Several
PACIFIC-SLOPE FLYCATCHERS were heard along the east side of the Twin Barns
Loop Trail. We also enjoyed a family of BROWN CREEPERS.
We observed 64 species for the day, with no new species sightings for the
year. We have seen 154 species thus far, and did not relocate the
Black-necked Stilt and American Avocet seen last week. Mammals seen
included Easter Cotton-tailed Rabbit, Eastern Gray Squirrel, Columbian
Black-tailed Deer, Harbor Seal with recently born pup and River Otter.
Until next week, happy birding.
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