Portland, Multnomah County, Oregon

Nov. 22, 2013 – Ridgefield NWR – 22 Images

I’m so behind on posting my shots again!  This post covers my day at Ridgefield NWR on Nov. 22, 2013.  The temperature was cold by western Oregon/Washington standards—about 21 degrees F when I started shooting this morning.  That’s a heatwave for many of you folks, I know!   So there is some ice in today’s pictures.  It wasn’t a very bright day when I started but by afternoon I was seeing some sun.  I stuck with shooting at 500mm and 700mm (with the 1.4x).  Let’s get started!


Heron’s and egrets, it seems, just look like they are patiently waiting for the air to warm up and the ice to melt so they can get back to hunting in the waterways.  Many of them are also out in the fields hunting rodents.  This Great Egret hardly moved a muscle while I was shooting.    An early morning backlit shot.   Canon 5D Mark III, 1/800, f4, ISO 1250, 500mm.   (7:32 a.m.)

[Be sure to click once on the thumbnails to open a larger view of the image!]


_X5A7734-Edit20131122RNWR  great egret


Nearby, an assortment of ducks were walking around on the ice searching for an iceless spot.

Mallard.    Canon 5D Mark III, 1/400, f4, ISO 1250, 500mm     (7:34 a.m.)

_X5A7745-Edit20131122RNWR  mallard on ice



Canon 5D Mark III, 1/320, f4, ISO 1600, 500mm   (7:35 a.m.)

_X5A7750-Edit20131122RNWR  mallard in ice


American Wigeon:

Canon 5D Mark III, 1/400, f4, ISO 1600, 500mm    (7:35 a.m.)

_X5A7751-Edit20131122RNWR  gadwall on ice


Some nice morning light shown on this House Finch, although I’m not sure about the pose and the sharpness.  Let’s just call this a documentary shot!    Canon 5D Mark III, 1/500, f4, ISO 1250, 500mm    (7:43 a.m.)

_X5A7782-Edit20131122RNWR  house finch


I approached this shady waterway where a Great Blue Heron was hanging out.  The sun was shining solely on the bird leaving the area around the bird in the shade.    Canon 5D Mark III, 1/2000, f4, ISO 1250, 500mm    (8:06 a.m.)

_X5A7819-Edit20131122RNWR  great blue heron


And here’s that mound located about 275 feet away from the road where the skirmish between the eagle and the hawk took place a few weeks ago.  If you haven’t seen those shots, please click here then remember to come back here to finish viewing this post!

I put on the 1.4x at this point.    Canon 5D Mark III, 1/2000, f5.6, ISO 800, 700mm    (8:21 a.m.)

_X5A7829-Edit20131122RNWR  great blue heron


Out in the field was a flock of about 50 Sandhill Cranes.  A group of four in the air decide to join the others.

Canon 5D Mark III, 1/2500, f5.6, ISO 800, 700mm    (8:33 a.m.)

_X5A783620131122RNWR  sandhill crane


And, one of many Red-tailed Hawks hanging out at the refuge!    This one backlit by the sun.   Canon 5D Mark III, 1/400, f5.6, ISO 800, 700mm    (9:00 a.m.)

_X5A7854-Edit20131122RNWR  red-tailed hawk


A Northern Harrier hen working the fields for a morning meal.    Canon 5D Mark III, 1/1250, f6.3, ISO 800, 700mm    (9:25 a.m.)

_X5A7922-Edit20131122RNWR  northern harrier flight


An American Bittern in the grasses next to the road.     Canon 5D Mark III, 1/800, f6.3, ISO 800, 700mm    (10:20 a.m.)

_X5A7963-Edit20131122RNWR  american bittern


I love these little Ruby-crowned Kinglets and I haven’t had many opportunities recently to photograph them.  This one landed in the shade of a bush and is not very good quality, especially from a noise standpoint.  But I wanted to include the shot anyway.

Canon 5D Mark III, 1/3200, f7.1, ISO 400, 700mm    (1:10 p.m.)

_X5A8060-Edit20131122RNWR  ruby-crowned kinglet


Wish this next one had come out sharper but I liked the lighting.  Another Northern Harrier in flight.

Canon 5D Mark III, 1/1600, f6.3, ISO 640, 700mm    (1:45 p.m.)

_X5A8133-Edit20131122RNWR  northern harrier flight


On a perch about 300 feet from the road I spot a mature Bald Eagle–likely one of the resident nesting eagles.  Following is a five-frame launch series of this eagle using the 700mm set up.

Canon 5D Mark III, 1/1600, f6.3, ISO 640, 700mm    (1:52 p.m.)

_X5A8167-Edit20131122RNWR  bald eagle



_X5A8171-Edit20131122RNWR  bald eagle



_X5A8172-Edit20131122RNWR  bald eagle



_X5A8173-Edit20131122RNWR  bald eagle flight



_X5A8174-Edit-Edit20131122RNWR  bald eagle launch


And just over 100 feet off the road is a perch that has nice direct front lighting when the sun is shining in the morning.  In the afternoon the light begins to come from the left side.  I’m guessing this is a fourth year immature Bald Eagle and a beauty it is.  The top pose is my favorite.

Canon 5D Mark III, 1/1000, f7.1, ISO 800, 700mm    (2:18 p.m.)

_X5A8228-Edit-Edit20131122RNWR  bald eagle



_X5A8261-Edit20131122RNWR  bald eagle



_X5A8263-Edit20131122RNWR  bald eagle


And lastly, a Cinnamon Teal is basking in the afternoon sun.    Canon 5D Mark III, 1/1250, f6.3, ISO 1250, 700mm    (3:37 p.m.)

_X5A8397-Edit20131122RNWR  cinnamon teal


Thanks for taking the time to view this late Fall edition of The Blog!  Hope to see you on the next one, too!

This entry was posted on Friday, January 10th, 2014 at 12:40 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.

4 Responses to “Nov. 22, 2013 – Ridgefield NWR – 22 Images”

  1. Sue says:

    Always beautiful to see. When we go there I think of you and the others who have such great camera equipment to capture these wonderful images.

  2. Steve says:

    Dennis, Just happened to find your website this past week. Spectacular shots and your articles are so informative and wonderful. We are from Kansas and are planning a trip to the Seattle/Portland area later this year. Can you tell me the best time to visit Ridgefield?

    • Dennis says:

      Hi Steve! Thanks for the comment and for your ‘like’ on my Facebook page. In answer to your question, I think winter and spring are the best times to visit Ridgefield. Summer is usually very quiet. If you want the freedom of being able to get out of your car and walk around, come between May 1 and Sep. 30. The Kiwa trail is open during that time, too. July and Aug. will be hot, dry and wildlife activity seems to quiet down then. Also, mosquitoes can be an issue around late spring all the way through the summer. I’m talking here about the River ‘S’ Unit, which is the auto tour unit.

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