Date: 1/4/18 7:47 am
From: Shep Thorp <shepthorp...>
Subject: [Tweeters] Nisqually NWR Wednesday Walk - 1/3/2018
Hi Tweets,

forty of us had a spectacular day for our first walk of the year with fog
in the morning, sun around noon, temperatures in the 30's to 50's degrees
Fahrenheit, and a Low 7.5ft Tide at 11:49am. Highlights included NORTHERN
SAW-WHET OWL, VARIED THRUSH, VIRGINIA RAIL, and AMERICAN X EURASIAN WIGEON
hybrid.

The Northern Saw-whet Owl remains in the small Cedar tree roost adjacent to
the parking lot. This celebrity appears to be doing just fine, but
appropriately is now "taped off" to keep the crowds at a sensible
distance. It's been a wonderful winter with at least two Saw-Whets at the
Refuge. Please remember the Rufuge is the birds Sanctuary, and we as
visitors should remain on marked trails to prevent interrupting their
livelihood. By preserving the Sanctuary for our birds, hopefully they will
return for years to come.

Starting out at the Visitor Center Pond Overlook at 8am, we had great looks
at BUFFLEHEAD, RING-NECKED DUCK, MALLARD and PIED-BILLED GREBE.

The Orchard is our hot spot for RED-BREASTED SAPSUCKER, ANNA'S HUMMINGBIRD,
FOX SPARROW, SPOTTED TOWHEE, and with the fruit trees we see VARIED THRUSH
visiting for the winter.

The flooded fields adjacent to the Entrance Road are good for CACKLING
GEESE, NORTHERN PINTAIL, NORTHERN SHOVELER and RED-TAILED HAWK.

Along the Access Road we picked up AMERICAN WIGEON, AMERICAN GREEN-WINGED
TEAL, NORTHERN HARRIER and two accipiters COOPER'S HAWK and SHARP-SHINNED
HAWK.

The west entrance of the Twin Barns Loop Trail was good for NORTHERN
FLICKER, BLACK-CAPPED CHICKADEE, GOLDEN-CROWNED KINGLET, RUBY-CROWNED
KINGLET, BEWICK'S WREN, MARSH WREN, GOLDEN-CROWNED SPARROWS. We had high
counts of VIRGINIA RAIL, DOWNY WOODPECKER, and BROWN CREEPER.

>From the Twin Barns Overlook, the fields below are nicely flooded for great
observation of waterfowl.

Out on the new dike or Nisqually Estuary Trail we had good numbers of BALD
EAGLE, 20-30, along the Nisqually River as the winter Chum Salmon are
finishing up their run. We had fantastic looks at AMERICAN KESTREL,
PEREGRINE FALCON, RED-TAILED HAWK, and NORTHERN HARRIER. Thousands of
ducks including huge flocks of AMERICAN WIGEON, AMERICAN GREEN WINGED TEAL
and NORTHERN PINTAIL. We also had good looks of GADWALL, AMERICAN COOT,
GLAUCOUS-WINGED GULL, RING-BILLED GULL, MEW GULL, GREATER YELLOWLEGS and
WESTERN MEADOWLARK.

On the Nisqually Estuary Boardwalk Trail we picked up really nice
observation of DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANT, COMMON GOLDENEYE, BUFFLEHEAD,
BELTED KINGFISHER, LEAST SANDPIPER and SPOTTED SANDPIPER. The last 700
feet of the boardwalk is closed until January 29th during hunting season.
However, from the terminal gate we could scope RED-BREASTED MERGANSER,
COMMON LOON, BRANDT CORMORANT, and BONAPARTE'S GULL.

On our return, we observed the GREAT HORNED OWL on the inside of the Twin
Barns Loop Trail along the east side just north of the Beaver Dam, as well
PACIFIC WREN. There were a number of COMMON RAVEN flying through out the
Refuge.

A great way to start the year with 64 species seen. We also observed
AMERICAN BEAVER, COLUMBIA BLACK-TAILED DEER, HARBOR SEAL, CALIFORNIA SEA
LION, and EASTERN GRAY SQUIRREL.

My eBird Summary for the Wednesday Walk, Birdwatch Nisqually, for 2017 was
a total of 176 species observed not including domestics and hybrids.
Highlights for 2017 included AMERICAN GOLDEN PLOVER, NORTHERN SAW-WHET OWL,
BLACK PHOEBE, SAY'S PHOEBE, CHESTNUT SIDED WARBLER, and RUSTY BLACKBIRD.
Unexpected misses included SANDHILL CRANE, ROUGH LEGGED HAWK, SEMI-PALMATED
SANDPIPER, WILSON'S PHALAROPE, ICELAND(THAYER'S) GULL, MARBLED MURRELET and
BARN OWL.

Until next week when we meet again at 8am at the Visitor Center Pond
Overlook, good birding.

Shep
--
Shep Thorp
Browns Point
253-370-3742

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