Today 12 brave souls walked Nisqually in 20 degree temperatures and dealt with icy roads to get to the refuge. We were rewarded with a very nice day of birding.
There was almost no wind and although the ponds were iced over the birds cooperated. Highlights included a COMMON REDPOLL near the visitor center and a RUDDY DUCK inside the estuary dike.
The day started out good with a MINK on the pond behind the visitor center. It didn't seem to care if it was walking on the ice or swimming to the next patch of ice. While watching the MINK we were treated with a couple of BARN SWALLOWS flying over the pond hawking insects.
As we departed the visitor center Kyle spotted a COMMON REDPOLL in the trees in front off the visitor center. Also in that area we saw both KINGLETS, BEWICK'S WREN, BLACK-CAPPED CHICKADEE, and YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER (which proved to be very common today).
Out on the estuary dike we picked up LINCOLN'S SPARROW and saw our first of the year (maybe only) RUDDY DUCK with a couple of AMERICAN COOT and GREEN-WINGED TEAL. We also saw GREATER YELLOWLEGS and DUNLIN from this area.
>From the start of the estuary boardwalk we saw RED-BREASTED MERGANSER, COMMON GOLDENEYE, BELTED-KINGFISHER, MEW GULL, RING-BILLED GULL, and DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANT.
For the day I had 53 species and now have 65 for the year. Mammals seen included the MINK and BLACK-TAILED DEER.