Saturday, April 9, 2011

Nisqually Wildlife Refuge - April

Sam and I took our April walk at Nisqually Wildlife Refuge.  Our goal is to visit at least once a month, taking photos of various locations and anything of interest that we see.  We want to see how it changes throughout the year.  Today was a great visit with lots to see.

The beginning of our route was blocked by a downed tree but the boardwalk was still open.  No problem...just scramble over it.  Sam loved the tree.

The big excitement at the refuge our the owlets.  We saw them when they were little last month.  This month, they are almost as big as mama, just fluffier.  A kind photographer put his camera with its super huge lens on live feed so we could watch them up close for a moment.  Mama was hanging out on a nearby limb; she blended in so well that you can't see if in the photo I tried to take of her.

Walking across the dike to the estuary was fun today.  Hundreds of tree swallows darted all about.  This was one large group of them; there were also tons of individuals flitting here and there.

Of course, there's the ubiquitious Canadian geese. They aren't too concerned about us humans, but they'll wake up and move off the side of the trail when you get too close.

Walking on the estuary boardwalk, we noticed tracks in the mud (it was very low tide).  I thought they looked kind of cool.

For now, I'm calling these the mysterious holes.  The mud in some areas was full of them...dark little mounds of mud with a hole in the center.  Some type of clam maybe?

At one point, one of the mature bald eagles was flying around the board walk.  We stopped to watch it for a while.  It looks further away in the photo that it was.  It was fun to watch.  We continued after it finally settled down, perched in a tree.

This is one of the pictures we take every month to document the changes in the refuge and Sam over the year.  Today Mount Rainier was hidden behind the clouds.

We got to see one of the blue herons pretty well, too, today.  Normally, they aren't quite this close to the boardwalk.  It was also standing in a different area than we normally see them.

This was the most exciting part of the trip.  The juvenile bald eagle flew right overhead several times.  The rest of the time we were watching it, it soared in circles very close to the board walk.  Its tail looks a little roughed up, dontcha think?

This duck-like bird is an American Coot.  Their white bills really stand out against their black bodies.

There's lots of these ducks at the refuge also.  These are Northern Shovelers.

We've become very familiar with robins because they visit our yard by the dozen.  They are so cute and round.

Sam just had to visit the downed tree again before we came home.  It will be gone within the next couple of days.

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CastoCreations said...

Looks like SO much fun! It was a great day to head out doors too.