Yesterday almost 50 of us enjoyed a productive walk at Nisqually. We started in high overcast and finished with bright sunshine. the birds were out early and we had a nice surprise. We had a 9.4 high tide at 9:57 so there wasn't much water in the reclamation area, but that worked to our advantage.
As we walked the estuary dike I spotted a large brown bird soaring toward the sound and watched it land an probe the mud with its large, decurved beak. It was a LONG-BILLED CURLEW, the first I've seen on the refuge. It stayed in the area for some time allowing good scope views by many of the participants. The only other shorebirds I saw were a couple of GREATER YELLOWLEGS that flew over the interior boardwalk as we headed toward the twin barns.
There is little visible water on the interior of the refuge so waterfowl were basically non-existent, but there were plenty of YELLOW WARBLERS and COMMON YELLOWTHROAT about.
We did have two sightings of AMERICAN BITTERN popping out of the cattails and relocating nearby and Jon Anderson had a male YELLOW-HEADED BLACKBIRD on the way back from the estuary boardwalk.
For the day I had 40 species and now have 110 for the year. Mammals seen included COTTON-TAILED RABBIT, GRAY SQUIRREL, and a very healthy looking COYOTE pup.