Today 35 of us enjoyed a quiet but productive day at Nisqually. It started out cool and overcast, but quiet, and we ended up in warm sunshine, but still quiet. We had a 10.10 high tide at 2:45 PM so conditions were good for shorebirds.
All the highlights happened near the start of the estuary boardwalk, including GREEN HERON, GREAT EGRET, VIRGINIA RAIL, SORA, and the shorebirds.
It was really quiet in the woods with only scattered sightings of warblers and sparrows that were skulking through the trees.
When we got to the start of the estuary boardwalk there was an immature GREEN HERON working the bank closest to the trail. It stayed there for 20 minutes or more so everyone got great looks. Out on McAllister Creek was a GREAT EGRET working the area with several GREAT BLUE HERONS and DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANTS.
Someone spotted a SORA working the cattails inside the dike behind us. While looking at it I spotted a VIRGINIA RAIL about 15 feet from the SORA. Again we had great looks as both birds worked the edges.
Inside the reclamation area on the rising tide we had several flocks of peeps that included WESTERN and LEAST SANDPIPERS, 50 or so SEMIPALMATED PLOVER, a couple of KILLDEER and 2 GREATER YELLOWLEGS. Shorebird migration is in full swing!
For the day I had 41 species and now have 121 for the year. Mammals seen included a RIVER OTTER at the visitor center and several HARBOR SEAL out in McAllister Creek.