Portland, Multnomah County, Oregon

Aug. 5 & 10, 2011 – Ridgefield NWR

Wildlife activity subsides quite a bit during the warm summer months at the Ridgefield NWR.  On Aug. 10, I did not click the shutter until 2 1/4 hours into my visit.  And even then, I did not get any usable images from those first clicks.  For the two visits to the refuge I am covering on this blog post, I have relatively few shots to share–but it’s not because I didn’t give it the good ol’ college try!  🙂

I’m hearing and seeing a lot of wildlife at the refuge but mainly in the distance, far away from the reach of my lens.  On these two visits, I was amazed by the void left from the lack of the unmistakable call of the Common Yellowthroat.  From April into July these beautiful little birds could be heard almost everywhere along the 4.2 mile auto tour.  Now, they seem to be gone.  In nature, as in life, nothing stays the same for long.

This is not to say that it’s impossible to get good images at this time of year.  On any given day, anything can happen right in front of you at the refuge.  The probablility however, is just a lot lower right now.

Here are the shots I thought were even remotely worth posting from the Aug. 5th outing.  I arrived at the refuge near sun up and was greeted with a low overcast that lasted quite a while.  I had been at the refuge for about 1 1/2 hours before my first serious shutter click.  I was surprised to find this immature Bald Eagle on the bare branches at the three-tree area between posts 12 & 13.  I used flash fill because of the strong backlight from the sky.  This bird was unusually skittish and gave me only one shot before taking flight.

[Click on thumbnails for larger views]

I found this Mallard much more easy-going (than the eagle) in the green algae near the Kiwa Trail entrance.

On around the loop I spot three American White Pelicans resting in Rest Lake (aptly named).  Reports of up to 80 pelicans have been spotted at the refuge in recent weeks but today I only saw this trio.

Nearly 1 1/2 hours later, I had to really hunt for this American Goldfinch.  The bird was really a little too far away but I liked the colors.

Here’s a high key shot of an immature Bald Eagle, very possibly the same bird pictured above.

About a minute later, this gull flies by me over the lake.  I’m unable to identify the gull but it is likely a 1st or 2nd year juvenile Herring, Glaucous-winged, Thayer’s, or, Western Gull.

That was about it for the Aug. 5th trip.  Here are the few shots I got on the Aug. 10th trip to Ridgefield.  On this day, I arrived at about 2 p.m. and stayed until around 7:30, so I had some decent light toward the end of the day.  I liked that there were only a few other visitors at the refuge while I was there.

I was standing out on the road in front of Rest Lake when this Great Blue Heron took off from the field from my right to left.

And, lastly, an unidentified duck gives me a decent opportunity with a fly-by.

Nine images from two days of shooting  —  pretty pathetic, huh?  It was still fun trying.  The weather has been quite mild here in the Pacific Northwest so far this summer and being nearly the only person on the refuge in this ‘cool’, sunny weather was quite exhilarating.  Looking forward to fall though when the wildlife activity picks up again!  See you next time on The Blog!

This entry was posted on Saturday, August 13th, 2011 at 12:52 am and is filed under The Blog. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

2 Responses to “Aug. 5 & 10, 2011 – Ridgefield NWR”

  1. Kim says:

    Sorry it hasn’t been very active over there lately, Papa! I still enjoyed the shots that you did get! Especially loved the composition of your pelican shot, and the juvie eagle was cool too! Nice set of pics! Hopefully there will be more for you to shoot next time! 🙂

    • Dennis says:

      Thanks Kimi! I’m really happy with the relatively low level of mosquito activity I’ve experienced this spring/summer. There are a few around but nothing like we have experienced in past years.

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