|From the Pond/River Area|
|Raccoons in the Pond|
|Great Blue Heron|
The first section you will enter is just past the visitor’s center and is the Pond/River walk area. This section is best taken along the old board walk, giving you views of the ponds where ducks, turtles and the occasional Nutria can be spotted. During the spring, Great Horned Owls can be spotted near the barns, on the section of the wooden walkway between the river and the barns. During salmon runs, eagles and seals can be spotted in large number along the river. This place is great to take young kids, as it is a short, easy walk. At the end of the trail, you reach the barn area where there are Port-a-potties and picnic tables. A word of caution: If you decide to picnic here, the squirrels in the area are somewhat aggressive.
The last section is new, but so far is the most popular area. This boardwalk, complete with covered shelters, lookouts with spotting scopes and information displays gives you the opportunity to walk over a flood plain. Make sure you check the tides, as low tide and high tide both have limited bird activity. Also, make sure you read all signs, as the boardwalk is occasionally closed due to hunting. In good weather, the boardwalk offers amazing views of Mt. Rainier, the Puget Sound, and the Tacoma Narrows Bridge.
All along the boardwalk one can see Great Blue Herons, Eagles and numbers of different type of ducks. At the end of the boardwalk there is a lookout, allowing a panorama view of the area, as well as a place that is covered to watch eagles, herons and the occasional King Fisher. This section is a fantastic destination in good weather and even on a misty day, though if it is a super wet day, I may avoid it.
Overall, the Nisqually Wildlife Refuge is a fantastic place to go birding for all levels of birders. If you are a beginner or an expert, this area gives you plenty to see in the air, off in the distance or along the waterways. Nisqually Wildlife Refuge is a great day trip away from the hustle and bustle of the city, giving you a few places to see how nature was before humans interacted too much. If migratory birds can visit this place once a year, you should be able to make it at least twice; after all, this place has gone to the birds. For more information, check out the quick facts below!
|Immature Bald Eagle|
|Mt Rainier from the boardwalk|
|Great Horned Owls|