Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge - Mar 29th

This was our first visit to this Refuge. The winter birds are still in numbers and we discovered some birds that don't normally show up until later in the spring.

The Northern Shoveler was our first new species. These birds were so busy feeding that their heads were under water most of the time.   I finally set the camera on burst mode and took nearly a hundred shots of one drake before catching his head out.


Tree Swallows were earlier this year, probably because of a mild winter.



We thought this was a Sparrow, but learned that although the markings are similar, the sharply pointed bill and other color and markings determine that it's a female Red-winged Blackbird.


American Coot are usually seen in a group, but this one was all by himself. They are listed as an abundant winter resident here.


This is the third Greater Yellowlegs we've seen in the past month, all in different locations.


Green-winged Teal feeding in the shallow tideland water.


Al spotted this Mew Gull flying and he landed within a good photo distance from the boardwalk we were on. The black on his outer wings when flying, make him an easy identification.


A 2nd winter Glaucous-winged Gull wasn't an easy identification for us. The color of the bill and plume seem to fit.


It's easy to get close to the Mallards here.   This drake must see a lot of people on the dikes bordering his feeding grounds.


Female Mallard showing off her pretty blue wing plumage as she flies.


American Wigeons are plentiful around here this time of year, but we don't usually get to see them up as close as this.


We saw numerous Great Blue Herons on the walk, but these two seemed more colorful than most.


It is unusual to get this close to an American Robin.


This was the only Bald Eagle we saw today. He landed in a tree across the road from the refuge and doesn't seem nearly as large when perched in this huge fir tree.

Four new species for us today.

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