Kayaking by Nisqually Wildlife

2012 Apr 4

The Nisqually Wildlife Refuge is in the delta area where the Nisqually River empties at the south of the Puget Sound. It truly is rich with wild life.

We put in during the end of a negative tide that had exposed the delta as a vast mud flat. Some water flow had cut a channel from the boat ramp out to the Sound. Our kayak can float in only inches of water, and this is a good thing because that was all there was in the channel at some places. (more trip details)

The view of the Olympic Mountains was fantastic. You can see the shallowness of the water by some underwater grasses just visible in the lower left.

View forward the kayak toward Melanie

The eagles were plentiful. In one area I counted eleven bald and golden eagles.

Eagle on a fallen tree in water

We watched an eagle almost catch another smaller bird. The eagle was chasing, and at the last second, the little bird dove into the water with a huge splash. The eagle braked and then hovered over the spot. After some time, the little bird popped out and sprinted away, but the eagle didn't really chase it again. When I told this to a knowledgable birding friend, she said the eagle wasn't hungry because it was very capable of having made the catch.

These seals were sunning in a shallow area. Half of them skittishly swam away as we approached even though we did not get close.

Seals with Mt. Rainier

We turned to go up the Nisqually River at a marker pylon with a ladder. Half-way up was another seal on a bracket holding the ladder! We think he got on up there at the high tide in the morning, and wasn't about to leave his spot for us!

Seal up on navigation pylon