I don’t think I’ve been to Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge for nearly a year, even though it’s the only place I can get my favorite Torta. Truthfully, I’ve never felt the same about the refuge since they replaced the 5 mile loop around the perimeter of the refuge that I walked two or three times a week. There are still lots of birds to be found at the refuge, but I can’t help but remember all the birds and wildlife that I no longer see.
I did see a number of birds I have not seen since I walked Nisqually the last time, like this Golden Crowned Kinglet
and this Brown Creeper.
I was a little surprised to see a small flock of, I think, Least Sandpiper in winter plumage.
I couldn’t resist taking a series of shots of this Hooded Merganser pair. They were calmly paddling down this slough when I pointed a camera at them and simultaneously a shotgun blast echoed from across the river.
They took off so simultaneously that I didn’t even realize there was two birds in several of my shots
until I looked at the last shot in the sequence.
Sometimes I think it’s too bad that I walked Nisqually for so many years before they changed it; new visitors I meet often seem to be enthralled by the place. Strange how the mind subtly controls our perception of a place and how hard it is to overcome that perception, no matter what the reality.