South Shore's Outing to Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge

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Team:
South Shore K-8
Date:
Saturday, November 3, 2018
Trip Type:
Bird Watching
Plan:
The trip is to explore Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge for bird and other wildlife viewing. We will look out for wildlife as we walk along the estuary boardwalk.
Binoculars will be provided by the refuge as well as a 15 - 20 minute orientation by a refuge biologist about wildlife refuges,
bird migrations, and bird identification.

We plan to arrive to the refuge at 10 am for the orientation and then walk along the boardwalk stopping for lunch along the way. The total walking route will be about 4 miles. We plan to return binoculars and leave the refuge by 3:15 pm.
Report:
We met at the school at 9 am, gave introductions about estuaries and wildlife, talked about leave no trace and departed the school by 9:30am. We were about 15 minutes late to meet the environmental educator at the refuge, but she was very understanding. All of the participants had time to look around the education center at stuffed birds, and vivariums with live pacific tree frogs and local fish species. Then we borrowed refuge binoculars and headed out to the boardwalk and dike trails for strolling and bird watching. We saw bald eagles, great blue heron, slugs, gulls, Canada geese, and a seal. Overall a very good trip. We stopped for lunch and had a sort of picnic along the way. Highlights include the discovery and thought provoking discussion with one of the students about the refuge system, whose goal is to protect habitat for wildlife, juxtaposed against hunting season, which kills wildlife (but which also funds conservation and management programs). Lowlights include having some participants complaining the long walk was not worth the few(?!) wildlife we saw. Overall a good trip. As a note to future leaders a port-a-potty is available near the old barn, which is a good stopping point after lunch or on the way back. Overall a good trip and made our way back to school on time at 4:00 pm.