As National Wildlife Refuge week comes to an end Saturday, this is a good time to visit the South Sound’s best-known refuge.
At the Nisqually National Wildlife refuge, the waterfowl numbers are increasing and the wintering songbirds are starting to arrive.
Among some of the birds you might see this time of year are Northern shrike, ruby-crowned kinglet, varied thrush, peregrine falcons and American kestrels. You also might see bald eagles hunt the flocks of waterfowl.
If you can check out some of the Nisqually River tributaries, you might see some chum salmon returning to spawn.
Refuge visitors are reminded that with waterfowl hunting season resuming Saturday, the Estuary Boardwalk Trail is partially closed until the season ends Jan. 27.
The refuge is off Interstate 5 at Exit 114. Admission is $3 for four adults. Children ages 16 and younger enter free.
For more information, go to fws.gov/refuge/nisqually.Staff report