I mentioned in my previous post that I was surprised when I showed up at the Ridgefield NWR River ‘S’ Unit, Sep. 18, at sun up, and the gates were closed until noon due to an emergency repair of the railroad crossing at the access bridge. Disappointed, I had to weigh my options about where to go during the morning hours. I decided to just drive up the road a couple of miles to the Ridgefield NWR’s Carty Unit, which is an area of the refuge only accessible on foot (as opposed to the auto tour route accessibility of the River ‘S’ Unit). I thought about putting the camera on my tripod which makes the set up weigh about 15 pounds, and walk some of the trails. But I wasn’t physically or psychologically ready to do that. I had noticed while contemplating my next move, that there was some bird activity at the northwest corner of the just about empty parking lot, with trees, shrubs and cattails within about 30 feet. So I pulled up to that area where there was no one parking, and set up my gear to shoot out the window. It wasn’t too long when this female Downy Woodpecker landed on a branch of this big tree I was watching. Unfortunately light was not the greatest in the shade of this tree so I upped the ISO to 2000 and lowered shutter speed to 1/400, and hoped for the best. Well, maybe this isn’t the best but I got a shot of her in a nice setting. So the morning waiting for the refuge to open wasn’t a complete waste.
Canon 5D Mark III, 1/400, f5, ISO 2000, 500mm, 8:33 a.m.