This morning a friend joined me on the hour-long drive down to Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge, a brackish wetlands habitat on the southern end of Puget Sound, just a few minutes north of Olympia on I-5. This federally-maintained wetlands is a major nesting site for birds of all kinds as well as a migration stop-off. Seeing as we’ve had a rather early-onset spring here on the West Coast, early March is seeing quite a few early arrivals. First-of-the-year rufous hummingbirds been being reported around northwest Washington for the past week and I saw one this morning at Nisqually (see later in this post for the photo proof!). We were joined not long after we started by a wonderful retired high-school teacher (44 years of teaching!) who we spent the entire hike conversing with.
The variety of birds we saw was impressive, and my pictures only reflect a small portion of them. It was also a very foggy morning: we arrived at just before 7:30am and didn’t start seeing direct sunshine until around 9:15! The fog unfortunately meant that photos were difficult. The fog was so thick that anything beyond about 10 meters was shrouded in fog, with the colors and sharpness of any picture muted toward gray and blurry.
Still, I managed to get some pictures I liked, and saw some really cool birds along the way.