Today 25 of us enjoyed (survived?) a cold, windy walk at Nisqually. With the wind blowing and an early high tide we decided to head straight out to the estuary dike and boardwalk.
There was still lots of water on the surge plain and we did see some good birds but it was bitter cold in the wind. Most of us never made it to the estuary boardwalk.
Out on the surge plain we saw GREATER YELLOWLEGS, LONG-BILLED DOWITCHERS, BLACK-BELLIED PLOVER, WIGEON, GADWALL, NORTHERN PINTAIL, GREEN-WINGED TEAL, and lots of RING-BILLED GULLS working the area. We had flyovers of MEW GULLS and NORTHERN HARRIERS. We saw a MERLIN on the way out and had a PEREGRINE FALCON working the marsh across from the parking lot.
At the Nisqually overlook we had BALD EAGLES and had CALIFORNIA SEA LIONS in the river. Along the Nisqually boardwalk we found a GREAT HORNED OWL near the beaver dam and picked up a small flock of passerines that included both CHICKADEES and both KINGLETS, as well as BROWN CREEPER and RED-BREASTED SAPSUCKER.
The orchard didn't have much new to offer but we did get great looks at a RED-BREASTED SAPSUCKER work over a tree within 15 feet of us for a good 15 minutes. Our presence didn't concern it at all.
For the day I had 41 species and now have 126 for the year. Mammals seen were the SEA LION and BLACK-TAILED DEER.