I have a bit of a hole in my blogging since my last entry. That snowstorm had me captured at home for a few days and then the ice storm came after that. For 36 hours it was like the trees were at war with us. At times the cracking and crashing around us sounded like we were under siege. It was quite terrifying but through it all we suffered no serious damage although both of our vehicles and house had some very close calls. We have trees all around us and God did some serious pruning. We did lose power for five full days and that is not fun. We are better equipped than some with our wood cook stove but kerosene lanterns are still dull and no hot water is trying. But we got through it and now the clean up. Last weekend we made a start--there is so much damage it will take us all through the summer, but now we can get the cars out, walk around the house and such. The issue with this is it doesn't get us out and about to view birds. I did add a Stellar blue jay #35 to the list on January 16. He came to our bird feeder.
But yesterday the weather was great, my daughter Libby, son-in-law Eric and my one and only grandchild Liam (20 months) are visiting from Nashville so all us except Eric set off to Nisqually Wildlife Refuge for the day. This is a place that changes so much every month you need to keep returning to view the different bird species. Hunting season is over and the boardwalk was opened all the way to the end and when we arrived we realized we were not the only ones waiting for a good day to visit the Refuge. We arrived around 10am and the parking area was already full, we actually parked in the RV area, along with others. The visitors center is situated on a lovely pond area and there is always waterfowl there. Not to be disappointed we saw Mallards, Northern Pintails and American Wigeons. We were trying to get our grandson to say Wigeon as his first word but it didn't happen. One of the other people standing around said he's not going to look at ducks and say "duckie" he's going to say "Wigeon". That would make me so happy. Anyway, we walked out to the boardwalk that follows the pond and lowland area. We saw some ringed necked ducks #36 some coots swimming and diving around. There was a beautiful great blue heron right next to the boardwalk--it never gets old seeing them.
pintails there all with there rear ends in the air while their bills were prodding the bottom areas for delicacies. It looked like a comical ballet of sorts. Walking further we could hear some other birds singing in the trees but I couldn't recognize any except a robin. The boardwalk opens to the "barn" area which in a month or so will be filled with about three kinds of swallows but as of yet they must still be wintering down south. From the barns you go up on the dike which has fresh water on the left and salt water lowland on the right. We saw an juvenile red tail hawk perched in one of the trees on the left. This area usually has copious amounts of waterfowl, and that day we saw Canadian geese and some northern shovelers #37. The shovelers are always fun to watch scooping up the bottom to find their meal. Walking a bit further a crowd was gathered around an American bittern #38 standing right off of the path. He was lovely and a real showstopper. Rudy got some nice pictures. One of the docents said he was after voles or a least some other small burrowing critter. It was delightful to see him so close, the markings and coloring are incredible and he wasn't bothered much for the clicking of shutters and shuffling around him.
Here's a video of the day.