Nisqually Wildlife Refuge & Flaming Geyser National Park Journal 5

Location: Billy Frank Jr. Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge: 100 Brown Farm Rd NE, Olympia, WA 98516. Flaming Geyser State Park: 23700 SE Flaming Geyser Rd, Auburn, WA 98092
Time: Tuesday, November 1st at 2:43-4:15
Temperature: 48-56F
Weather: No precipitation, cloudy overcast

In the flat grass area of the Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge, we observed a sickly-looking Coyote with what could be Mange. Horsetail ferns, Willow trees, Snowberry, and Red alder were along this grassy area aligning the path. Conifer Roundhead mushroom was found growing near a Bigleaf maple tree. A giant flock of Cackling geese could be seen and heard, with their call being high-pitched. The Coyote could be seen stalking the flock of Cackling geese but was not successful with catching any. At a tree area with Bigleaf maples with lots of fallen leaves and Western redcedar, there was a section where Pacific tree frogs were visible underneath the trees among the fallen leaves; their size is around a half dollar. Their call is like a rah-rah call. Within this area, a noticeable presence of squirrels and a Hairy woodpecker made a peek-sounding bird call. Overlooking at the wetlands where the water meets the shore, the shore is lined with snags, which could be an indication of the Nisqually river delta meeting up with the Puget Sound water. Reed Canary grass and Himalayan blackberries could be seen. Mallards, Pintail ducks, Greater White Fronted Geese, and Widgeons could be seen by the water.
Along the trail, many Isabella Tiger Moths were most noticeable by their black and burnt orange appearance. An American Kestrel is perched on a branch of a Douglas fir tree. A Northern Flicker could be seen perched in a snag. The Riparian river edge at the front of the Refuge could be characterized by Black cottonwood, grasses, wheat, and cattails. The lake from the meandering river had dragonflies, Bracken fern, blackberries, grasses, cattails, Willow trees, and Red alder.
Further down the path near the boardwalk, species such as Queen Anne’s Laces and Western bleeding heart, a noticeable presence of dabbling birds, could be seen, like the Gadwall. Most interestingly, within the Flaming Geyser National Park, methane concentrate is leaking and can be lit aflame. The area is an essential habitat for salmon and many other fish species. The site had more moss visibly growing and Wood sorrel. The water had high sulfur contents, enough that you could smell it. Underneath the entrance bridge, mussels were found and are an indicator species of good water quality because they can filter the water. The side channel tributaries are essential for fish, especially spawning salmon. During the 1970s, tribal members were paid by the government to remove wooden debris from waterways, which was thought to be beneficial to the fish, resulting in a loss of fish habitat. Warren KingGeorge spoke of how the land had changed before the installation of the city of Tacoma, taking water from the lower plains covered in grasses that used to be a part of the river bank. I would say around 5 meters + was where once was the river bank and shows how much the river has receded.

Image above contains a Great Blue Heron standing in the river.

I wonder why there were two Peregrine falcons perched in this snag.

Image above shows a Pacific tree frog found underneath a Bigleaf Maple and Western redcedar.

I noticed that it was common to see the Isabella Tiger Moths along this path. Is this an ideal habitat?

Sketch above is of Nisqually Wildlife Refuge wetlands where the Coast and Puget Sound meet. The wetland was full of birds and snags for habitat.

Image above is of Riparian river area near the front of the Refuge.

Posted by danii_s danii_s, November 17, 2022 07:55 AM

Comments

No comments yet.

Add a Comment

Sign In or Sign Up to add comments