Sunday, December 4, 2011

Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge

 When I saw the post on my Facebook wall from the WTA about this place being a good one for a winter outing, I put it on the agenda for this weekend since it was forecast to be cold and sunny. Cold we got, sunny seemed to be everywhere but at the refuge. No matter! We made a trip to Cabela's first to spend The Big Guy's birthday money and pick up two warm cones of roasted almonds and cashews, then off to the boardwalks we went.

Near the start of the old boardwalk at one of the many viewing stations. The sign said that there are river otters in these parts, and I desperately wanted to see one, but no such luck.
Along the old boardwalk trail, still looking for those otters.

The Twin Barns. The sign said that there are weasels that live around the barns and hunt mice. I desperately wanted to see one, but no such luck.

Green Heron

First viewing station at the start of the new 1.5 mile boardwalk. You can see it stretching out into the distance.

Looking back from the start of the new boardwalk. It's connected to the old boardwalk trail by nice gravel paths. All the signs say "No Running" and I desperately wanted to run, but I didn't.

Great Blue Heron amid the ducks. You quickly lose count of all the herons.

About 3/4's of the way out onto the boardwalk. If you're planning on a visit, I would suggest making use of the lovely facilities at the Visitor Center prior to going out because once you're out there, you're pretty much stuck, and since there is NO RUNNING, you're not getting back any time soon.

The sun was out at the extreme north end of the refuge making the sky and water look like cotton candy.

I will have to agree with the WTA about this being a great cold-weather place. While we didn't see as many birds as we might during a spring visit, we saw plenty. Though the parking lot was more than half full, the people were spread out enough that it's a very peaceful trek, beautiful even in the low fog.