Welcome to another cloudy winter day in the Pacific Northwest. Today, Feb. 15, I’m back at the Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge to continue my quest for pictures of wildlife in the wild. Glad you are able to join me!
My first stop is between posts #5 & 6, on the right. I can usually spot a Great Horned Owl here at quite a distance perched in a tree. It is believed that there is a nesting pair here, although I don’t know exactly where the nest is. There is also speculation that the owl pictured below was one of the owlets raised between posts #9 & 10 in the spring of 2010. (7:49 a.m.)
[Click on the thumbnails to see large views of each shot].
I drive into the Ash tree forest and near post #9 I see a flock of Golden-crowned Sparrows moving through the brush. Each bird took its turn landing on this perch that was in a perfect place and great light. Here’s one of the shots. (8:08)
Here I’m still in the woods and noticed a Red-tailed Hawk with its back toward me. I made a noise and the hawk turned its head for a shot. (8:29)
I just exited the woods past post #10 and I hear and see a Marsh Wren in the cattails. (8:34)
Dumb me….I was driving along the road at Rest Lake and flushed a couple of Sandhill Cranes that were just off the side of the road. How could I not have seen these huge birds? Anyway, they did fly around parallel to my truck so I had a shot out the driver’s side window. Beautiful creatures these are! (8:47)
A few minutes later a Red-winged Blackbird is posing for me on a sticker bush. (8:51)
On my next loop of the auto tour and I come upon a couple of deer between posts #6 & 7. Here’s a shot of the momma deer. (9:20)
Then a Western Scrub Jay flies from the ground into a nearby tree. (9:26)
I’m approaching post #11 and for some reason these geese thought the road was the best place to rest. (9:31)
Here’s an immature Bald Eagle on the prime snag just past post #9. I was hoping he would flap his wings or take off, or something! But he just looked around. (9:39)
These two Tundra Swans took off from Rest Lake and flew right over the road between posts #11 & 12. (9:55)
On the far shore of South Rest Lake is a Northern Pintail drake. (9:58)
Here’s a Ring-billed Gull in flight over Rest Lake. (11:08)
This next bird was taken near the entrance to the Kiwa Trail. Let me warn you it is a bad photo due mainly to the heavy crop. But I wanted to post it because I was thinking that it is a MacGillivray’s Warbler, which I have never seen before. If anyone can correct this ID, please let me know! (11:45) Edit 4/5/12: Thanks to Scott Carpenter via his comment for IDing this bird as an Orange-crowned Warbler. Guess I was just hoping too much for something a little more rare around here! 🙂
A Mallard drake posed for the camera. (11:58)
Another Marsh Wren makes an appearance in the marsh grasses. (12:17 pm)
The Northern Harriers love this post. (12:37)
An under-carriage shot of the Red-tailed Hawk. (12:45)
The next two shots are of the same Red-tailed Hawk. This bird had just finished consuming a catch. (1:34)
This Song Sparrow sat on this post for hours near post #14. (1:49)
Back at South Rest Lake again where this Northern Shoveler was looking good. (1:59)
And a relaxed Great Blue Heron rounds out today’s photo shoot. This was very close to post #12. (2:07)
All the photos except for the Golden-crowned Sparrow, were taken between ISO 500 and ISO 800, and many with fill flash. Evidence that this was a fairly cloudy day at the refuge. But I can’t complain with the 19 different species I was able to capture today. Hope you saw something you liked! Thanks and I’ll see you next time on The Blog!
4 thoughts on “Feb. 15, 2012 – Wed. – Ridgefield NWR (25 Photos)”
Nice series. I especially like the crane photo. Your mystery warbler looks like an Orange-crowned Warbler to me.
Hi Scott, you know I think you are right about the warbler. The field guide I originally looked in did not show a bright eye-ring and I thought then that it had to be something else. But I checked another guide and it shows the eye-ring plainly. It’s much more likely that it’s an OCW–guess I was just hoping for an addition to my life list. Thanks for the comment and the ID, Scott! I’ll edit the post to correct the error.
/Users/terrymartin/Desktop/_MG_3550.jpg dennis, I took this photo of a Macgillvrays warbler last summer. I think yours is a Orange crowned–also a very nice warbler– the orange crowned song is a very fast trill, like a speeded up junco—I have been following your website for a while, really enjoy it.
Terry, your image isn’t showing in the comment. Would like to see your shot. Send me a link or the shot to my email. Thank you for following my site!