Date: 2/8/18 10:17 am
From: Shep Thorp <shepthorp...>
Subject: [Tweeters] Nisqually NWR Wednesday Walk 2/7/2018
Hi Tweets,

25 of us enjoyed fair skies with some sun breaks on a dry day with
temperatures in the 50's degrees Fahrenheit. There was a High 13.6ft Tide
at 10:36am making for a nice falling tide in the early afternoon.
Highlights included our nesting GREAT HORNED OWL in the nest snag tree from
2016, and a GREEN-WINGED TEAL intergrade on the boardwalk.

Starting out at the Visitor Center at 8:00am, we had great looks at two
pair of HOODED MERGANSER's with the males displaying. A Columbia
Black-tailed Deer took a morning dip and flushed a WILSON'S SNIPE. Plenty
of SONG SPARROW were foraging in the foliage, some even beginning to sing.

We were not able to relocate the Northern Saw-whet Owl that has been
residing in the roost tree, hopefully it's still around in another roost.
The entrance to the Orchard had a nice mixed flock of BLACK-CAPPED
CHICKADEE, GOLDEN-CROWNED KINGLET and BROWN CREEPER. The Indian Plumb and
Salmon Berry is beginning to bloom, and we had great looks at an ANNA'S
HUMMINGBIRD. DOWNY WOODPECKER, NORTHERN FLICKER and FOX SPARROW were also
observed. Plenty of BEWICK'S WREN singing around the Refuge with a few
PACIFIC WREN chiming in as well.

There was another nice mixed flock of RUBY-CROWNED KINGLET, BUSHTIT,
YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER, additional Golden-crowned Kinglet, Black-capped
Chickadee and Brown Creeper where the Access Road cuts across the slough
south and west of the parking lots. The flooded fields along the Access
Road where great for observing NORTHERN SHOVELER, NORTHERN PINTAIL,
MALLARD, CACKLING GOOSE, CANADA GOOSE and RED-TAILED HAWK. The male
RED-WINGED BLACKBIRDS have moved in and are singing and claiming territory.

The entrance area to the west side of the Twin Barns Loop Trail was good
for GOLDEN-CROWNED SPARROW and SPOTTED TOWHEE. The Visitor Center Pond had
RING-NECKED DUCK and BUFFLEHEAD. MARSH WREN and VIRGINIA RAIL were
reported heard near the cut off to the Twin Barns. Both BALD EAGLE and
PEREGRINE FALCON could be scoped along the Nisqually River. Along the
north side of the Twin Barns Loop Trail, in a large snag just inside the
loop, the GREAT HORNED OWL is easily seen in the nest tree form 2016,
suspected to be incubating a clutch. An old goose egg is pushed to the
side, probably from last year.

>From the Twin Barns Overlook, we had nice looks at additional waterfowl
with good numbers of AMERICAN COOT. A female AMERICAN KESTREL was observed
hunting along the Access Road, and we got to see her catch a Pacific Choral
Tree Frog which she ingested on the roof of one of the Twin Barns. We had
a terrific fly over of 14 GREATER YELLOWLEGS.

The tide was high out on the new dike or Nisqually Estuary Trail. We had
good looks of GADWALL, GREEN-WINGED TEAL, AMERICAN WIGEON, RING-BILLED
GULL, MEW GULL, GLAUCOUS-WINGED GULL and NORTHERN HARRIER. A solid dark
brown RED-TAILED HAWK continues in the stand of trees between the Nisqually
River and the surge plain.

Along the Nisqually Estuary Boardwalk Trail we added COMMON GOLDENEYE,
DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANT, GREAT BLUE HERON, LEAST SANDPIPER and SPOTTED
SANDPIPER to our list. Towards the end of the boardwalk we had two
EURASIAN WIGEON. The Puget Sound Viewing Platform was good for Black BRANT
GEESE, SURF SCOTER, COMMON LOON, RED-THROATED LOON, RED-BREASTED MERGANSER,
HORNED GREBE, BRANDT'S CORMORANT, and PELAGIC CORMORANT. A gorgeous flock
of over 200 non-breeding plumage DUNLIN flew into the shoreline immediately
adjacent to the platform for terrific bin and scope looks. On our return,
Jon Anderson spotted a GREEN-WINGED TEAL intergrade just north of the
McAllister Creek Observation Platform. Photo's were taken and embedded
into our eBird report.

On our return, AMERICAN BITTERN was flushed from the fresh water marsh.
COMMON MERGANSER can be observed staging at the Nisqually River Overlook.
HAIRY WOODPECKER, RED-BREASTED SAPSUCKER, additional YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER,
both varieties, can be enjoyed along the east side of the Twin Barns Loop
Trail for now.

We had 65 species for the day, with 82 species for the year. Mammals seen
included Muskrat, Columbia Black-tailed Deer, Harbor Seal and Mink.

Until next week, when Phil should return from his super bowl celebratory
activities in Disneyland with the Philadelphia Eagles folk, happy birding,
and go BIRDS!

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

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