It’s been quite a while since I’ve spotted a lifer species for myself at the Ridgefield NWR, but with the location help of my brother, Gary, on Nov. 17, 2016, I was able to get this shot of a Red Phalarope (one of a pair). This bird breeds in coastal Artic tundra and migrates over the ocean as opposed to land. They winter in tropical waters as far south as Peru and Chile. The “Red” in the name comes mainly from the female of the species, whose body feathers turn a bright brick red during breeding season–the same time her bill turns yellow with a black tip. As the crow flies, Ridgefield, Wa., is about 60 miles east of the Pacific Ocean which makes this a somewhat rare inland spotting. As I took this picture, both birds were busy continually plunging their heads into the water which is why you see water droplets in the air. The length of this bird is 8 to 8 1/2 inches with wingspan 16 to 17 inches.
Canon 7D Mark II, 1/1250, f4, ISO 800, 500mm, 12:56 p.m.