Date: 7/27/22 5:21 pm From: Shep Thorp <shepthorp...> Subject: [Tweeters] Billy Frank Jr Nisqually NWR, Wednesday Walk, for July 27, 2022
approximately 20 of us had a warm morning at the Refuge with temperatures in the 60's to 80's degrees Fahrenheit. There was a Low -1.3ft Tide at 11:43am. Highlights included WOOD DUCK chicks in the Visitor Center Pond, WILSON'S WARBLER and BLACK-THROATED GRAY WARBLER along the west side of the Twin Barns Loop Trail, PEREGRINE FALCON fly over at the Twin Barns, and both GREATER YELLOWLEGS and LESSER YELLOWLEGS in the freshwater marsh along the Nisqually Estuary Trail.
Starting out at 8am at the Visitor Center Pond Overlook, we had nice views of the WOOD DUCK ducklings with hen in the pond. COMMON YELLOWTHROAT WARBLER foraged along the edge of the pond. Both BARN SWALLOW and AMERICAN ROBIN continue to nest in the breezeway.
The Orchard was good for PURPLE FINCH, YELLOW WARBLER, SWAINSON'S THRUSH, CEDAR WAXWING, WESTERN WOOD-PEWEE, and MOURNING DOVE. Some observed juvenile RUFOUS HUMMINGBIRD and juvenile BEWICKS WREN. Both WARBLING VIREO and BLACK-HEADED GROSBEAK were heard. We had very nice looks at BAND-TAILED PIGEON, including first year birds.
Along the Access Road, we had nice looks of WILLOW FLYCATCHER . TREE SWALLOW were seen mixed in with numerous Barn Swallows.
The west side of the Twin Barns Loop Trail was great for juvenile birds and migrating warblers. We had great observations of young YELLOW WARBLER, SWAINSON'S THRUSH, WILLOW FLYCATCHER, ANNA'S HUMMINGBIRD and AMERICAN GOLDFINCH. It was nice to see the return of WILSON'S WARBLER and BLACK-THROATED GRAY WARBLER migrating through.
The Twin Barns Overlook had a nice fly over of BELTED KINGFISHER and a young PEREGRINE FALCON. A few VIOLET GREEN SWALLOWS were seen mixed in with other swallows. BROWN CREEPERs were observed in the Oregon Ash and Big-leaf Maple around the picnic tables.
Out on the new dike or Nisqually Estuary Trail we picked up our waterfowl including HOODED MERGANSER, AMERICAN WIGEON, GREEN-WINGED TEAL and AMERICAN COOT in additional to our expected MALLARD and CANADA GOOSE. There were good numbers of GREATER YELLOWLEGS in the freshwater marsh and estuary channels. For those that birded the dike before 8am, a single LESSER YELLOWLEGS was seen with the GRYE. Approximately 400 peeps covered the mudflats at 7am, including WESTERN SANDPIPER, LEAST SANDPIPER, and SEMIPALMATED PLOVER. During the later morning, early afternoon we had nice flyovers of OSPREY and BALD EAGLE. There were good numbers of GREAT BLUE HERON foraging the estuary channels. MARSH WREN and VIRGINIA RAIL were heard in the freshwater marsh.
Most of us turned around at the Observation Tower, a few brave souls walked the Nisqually Estuary Boardwalk Trail from the Observation Tower to McAllister Creek Observation Platform, picking up RING-BILLED GULL, CALIFORNIA GULL, GLAUCOUS-WINGED GULL, CASPIAN TERN, DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANT and NORTHERN ROUGH-WINGED SWALLOW.
On our return, we heard at least two PACIFIC-SLOPE FLYCATCHERS along the east side of the Twin Barns Loop Trail, and there were good numbers of WESTERN WOOD-PEWEEs calling and foraging.
For the day we had 68 species observed, and have 157 species for the year. Mammals seen included Eastern Cotton-tailed Rabbit, Columbian Black-tailed Deer, and Eastern Gray Squirrel.