Portland, Multnomah County, Oregon

May 20, 2013 – Ridgefield NWR – 21 New Photos

Well, it’s been almost 2 months since my last blog post describing my shooting day!  After an update to WordPress back in May, I was unable to upload images to my website.  I contacted both my host and WordPress –neither had the answer.  I even looked into getting a whole new website as a last resort.  But today, I decided to give the upload process another try and to my surprise it worked!  So for now I am a happy camper and I hope the fix is permanent!

I’m starting where I left off when I got shut down–May 20, 2013.  It’s hard to believe that was over two months ago!  But the images were already processed and I wanted to get back into the swing of things right away.

Note: Many shots I post to my blog are intended only to give my readers a visual of how my shooting day went.  Most blog images are not of high enough quality to be displayed in my galleries–they just aren’t up to snuff technically, due to low light situations and other factors.  I add only what I believe are my better shots to my galleries.  With this in mind, I hope you find the images in this blog post (and all my blog posts) pleasing and that they give you a feel for what I saw as I drove the 4-mile auto tour route at the Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge on May 20, 2013.  If you have time, please visit my galleries for my best work (over 200 images currently).

[For a larger view of the images, please click once on the thumbnails.]

Here’s a male Bufflehead perched on a mossy log in low light.   (6:32 a.m.)   ISO 3200

_X5A4697-Edit20130520RNWR  Bufflehead

A Yellow-headed Blackbird defends his territory from his red-winged rivals.   (6:38)   ISO 3200

_X5A4709-Edit20130520RNWR  yellow-headed blackbird


Another pose from the YHBB.

_X5A4711-Edit20130520RNWR  Yellowheaded blackbird


A Red-winged Blackbird.   (6:39)   ISO 3200

_X5A4716-Edit20130520RNWR  red-winged blackbird


I spotted this Great Blue Heron hunting in a pool of duck weed.  How the bird can see any prey under all that green is amazing.  This is a series of 3 shots showing the bird’s striking abilities.  It’s still quite early in the morning and the sun has yet to peek through the clouds, requiring me to keep using ISO 3200.    (6:58)

_X5A4814-Edit20130520RNWR  great blue heron


Head submerged.

_X5A4815-Edit20130520RNWR  great blue heron


A lot of work for that little morsel!

_X5A4820-Edit20130520RNWR  great blue heron


American Goldfinch.    (7:44)    ISO 3200

_X5A4858-Edit20130520RNWR  american goldfinch


Female American Goldfinch.   (7:46)    ISO 3200

_X5A4883-Edit20130520RNWR  american goldfinch


You may have already seen a couple of the photos in this next section if you read my June 4 blog post comparing shots at 400mm to 560mm with a 1.4x extender, but here I have added many more poses of this Wood Duck.   The duck was perched about 70 feet away, too far for a top notch quality image, but it was an uncluttered scene that provided a good test between the two lens systems.

(9:48)  1/640, f5.6, ISO 1600  400mm

_X5A4936-Edit20130520RNWR  wood duck


(10:08)  1/640, f8, ISO 2000, 560mm

_X5A5037-Edit20130520RNWR  wood duck


(10:17)  1/1000, f8, ISO 3200, 560mm

_X5A5061-Edit20130520RNWR  wood duck


(10:18)  1/1000, f8, ISO 3200, 560mm

_X5A5070-Edit20130520RNWR  wood duck


(10:18)  1/1000, f8, ISO 3200, 560mm

_X5A5075-Edit20130520RNWR  wood duck


(10:18)  1/1000, f8, ISO 3200, 560mm

_X5A5078-Edit20130520RNWR  wood duck


(10:20)  1/1000, f8, ISO 3200, 560mm

_X5A5094-Edit20130520RNWR  wood duck


(10:21)  1/1000, f8, ISO 3200, 560mm

_X5A509520130520RNWR  wood duck flight

This shot of a Great Horned Owl was taken at 560mm (400 + 1.4x).  The bird was perched in the woods at a great distance with a very bright backlight.  I almost didn’t include this shot but I love the expression on the bird’s face.   (11:34)

_X5A5132-Edit20130520RNWR  great horned owl

This spring I’ve been spotting more Cedar Waxwings than in previous years on branches that are relatively low.  Here’s a handsome male.    (11:40)   1/640, f8, ISO 2000, 560mm

_X5A5138-Edit20130520RNWR  cedar waxwing


Here’s a flight shot of a Great Blue Heron taken with the 1.4x extender attached to my 400mm lens.  I don’t normally like flight shots where the bird is flying away from me but this one still included the bird’s eye and head.  I don’t recommend my lens + 1.4x combo for serious birds in flight shooting though due to the relatively slow AF that results.   (12:34 p.m.)  1/1250, ISO 1600,  560mm

_X5A5324-Edit20130520RNWR  great blue heron flight


I had driven back around to the main parking lot of the refuge, about ready to pack it in and head home.  Then I noticed a Western Scrub Jay perched on a nearby post.  I can’t pass up a shot of a bird that is willing to pose!  Technically, the shot quality suffers due to the sun being too high in the sky causing the unwanted shadows, especially over the eye.  It could also be sharper, but the interesting thing is that the bird has a deformed bill.   (12:38)  1/1250, f8, ISO 1600, 560mm

_X5A5329-Edit20130520RNWR  western scrub jay deformed bill


Check out this shot below of a Scrub Jay with a deformity in the exact same location as the above bird, taken in September 2011.  Maybe these two birds have the same parent or parents.  It’s nice to know that these creatures can adapt and survive despite these problems.

Long Lower Lip   western scrub jay with deformed bill


It’s great to be back after the recent technical issues with my website!  Take care and I’ll see you next time!










This entry was posted on Wednesday, July 31st, 2013 at 1:36 pm 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.

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