I can’t believe how far behind I am on posting my photo shoots to The Blog! But here I am with some shots from my Feb. 23rd outing at Ridgefield NWR. The weather wasn’t bad with some pretty bright overcast skies for much of the day. I arrived not long after sun up.
Let’s start with a beautiful Northern Harrier near post #12–what an amazing creature! (8:29 a.m.) [Be sure to click on the thumbnails below to download larger more detailed images].
In the Ash tree forest I came upon this immature Bald Eagle who wasn’t too bothered with me. The bird was perched among a lot of small branches, which I removed to give the shot a little less busy look. (9:16)
Not far from the eagle is this mossy fallen snag with a singing Song Sparrow on it. I can see now that I made a mistake in not moving my truck either back or forward a foot so that the dark tree was not right behind the bird. I still like the perch though and the bird stayed long enough to get a bunch of stills as well as a video. (9:27)
Below is a minute long video of the Song Sparrow preening. It’s amazing the sizes, shapes, and contortions the bird can attain while preening. Change the settings to 1080p if you want to view in full screen HD.
Next, I turn the corner at post #12 (2nd loop) and am surprised to see a lone River Otter on the far bank of the canal about 30 feet away. It didn’t stay long once I stopped to shoot but I got some frames to pick from. (9:46)
There were so many Red-tailed Hawks around I don’t recall the exact location of this specific bird. Looks like a young bird to me. (9:54)
I parked between posts #6 & 7 to watch one of the nesting mature Bald Eagles gather some nesting materials. This shot was taken from at least 100 yards. (10:14)
I move around the loop to the owl nest (in the woods) again and see that the mother owl has temporarily flown across the water. She gave me a fairly clean shot. (10:39)
I move ahead a few hundred feet and see this female Lesser Scaup off to the right around post #10. (10:49)
On my third loop, I approach the area near the Kiwa Trail entrance and see an Eclipse Hooded Merganser Drake in the water. (11:39)
Just a few minutes later I spot a handsome Ring-necked Duck in an “aw shucks” pose. (11:43)
And, Mrs. Ring-necked Duck looking as beautiful as ever. (11:43)
I’m now back at the GHO nest and see the mother has returned to the nest and keeping an eye out. (12:18)
On my fourth loop now, and just approaching the area a few hundred feet prior to the Kiwa Trail. I notice a lot of small bird activity across the water and hoped the birds would land on a perch on my side of the lake. Some of them did and they were Yellow-rumped Warblers (Butter Butts, in some circles). (12:56 – 1:14)
In the water, close to where I was shooting the warblers, a lone Mallard drake was hanging out in some awesome light. (1:21)
This ends the shooting day. Hope you saw something you liked! See you next time on The Blog!