An Amateur Birdwatcher's tally
Nisqually September 2018.
After 8 months of almost routine birdwatching we went to Nisqually Wildlife Sanctuary. It’s less than an hour away from our home but it seems a long distance to full time employees so it’s a special occasion when we go.
Dogs aren’t allowed. Katie and Maggie had to stay home with the cats. So the event did have its downside. Still, we stuck to the plan and headed down to the refuge. Our trip took us through Tacoma but traffic was light early in the morning on a weekend. After passing Fort Lewis we knew we were nearing the park. Our excitement rose.
The entry is bordered by swampy meadows and brush. But the meadows were dry. That didn’t bode well. We parked and I headed for the station to pay our fare of $3 per day. The little water way in front was full of algae. But on the back deck I saw a big bird facing my way, stepping slowly. I didn’t recognize it. But a passerby told me it was a blue heron! After getting more of a side view I realized his assessment was correct. There was also a single mallard. This would be the only duck I would see in a place that is usually well stocked with them. The place to too dry to hold any more. I was sad as I headed for the boardwalk trail.
No deer. Next to no water. The trees and bushes were drying up. In the rapine forest there was no pond or marshy areas. I got a picture of a wren. One single bird picture in almost 2 miles of walking.
The Nisqually river was low and still. No eagles perched high in the trees. No hawks watched from above. There were no woodpeckers. I did hear a kingfisher, though I didn’t see him.
So I went to the outlook, where songbirds often flutter. I saw a sparrow but didn’t get a picture. So I took a photo of the twin barns instead. Often times robins and crows graze in front of the barns. Sometimes an eagle perches on a tall tree nearby. But there was only one quick squirrel, two little garter snakes, and a little creepy crawly that I got a photo of.
After an hour and 15 minutes and a little over 6200 steps on my Fitbit, I reached the parking lot again. As we drove away we saw a second blue heron. Bird wise we did not do very well at Nisqually. But it is a pleasant place I could come back to often. Especially after the rains come. Even without my poor little doggies, who went to the dog park later and had a blast.
I love birdwatching. It's relaxing and fun. Even though I've been birding for over 10 years I classify myself as an amateur birder. I plan to write a blog a week about my experiences. Hope you enjoy them!