While out duck hunting with my camera, Sep. 8, at the Ridgefield NWR, I got out of the truck and tried some flight shots handheld. The marsh area south of Rest Lake had ducks (mostly Mallards) flying in and out of it constantly. The area appears to still be bone dry as there was no sign that even shallow water exists there–signs such as water splashes and wet birds after take off. If refuge managers treat this area as they have in the past, it will be filled with a foot or so of water sometime in the next couple of months for use by wintering waterfowl. The Mallard pictured was just approaching for a landing in the vegetative marsh. All my recent postings of ducks, herons, bitterns and such were taken from this exact spot. In a couple of weeks (Oct. 1), refuge visitors will be asked to stay in their vehicles while on the auto tour route, which is good for wildlife but can limit photographic opportunities by humans–especially birds in flight.
Canon 7D Mark II, 1/1250, f4, ISO 640, 500mm, 7:56 a.m.