Greetings all! I made a trip back to Ridgefield to check out the Pelicans again. This time I decided to take an afternoon trip rather than the usual morning trip. I arrived around 2 p.m. and left at about 7:30 p.m.
On my first loop around the auto tour, I again saw the group of about 40 American White Pelicans south of Rest Lake, a couple hundred yards past post #11. The birds had gathered in front of the large “mound” that is covered with green grass and a few small bushes. On my last sighting, the birds were behind this hump, and farther away from the road. Even though they were closer to the road on this trip, the pelicans seemed only interested in resting and preening.
[Reminder: Please click on these thumbnails to see a large view of the shots.]
On my next loop, I spotted a duck family on a log between posts #9 & 10. This little guy (a Mallard, I believe) was at the end of the log and looked ready to get into the water.
Nearby, I spotted a Western Wood-pewee perched on a branch just outside my driver’s side window.
After exiting the Ash Tree forest, I again stopped where the pelicans were now somewhat more active. I decided to attempt some video of their activities, but a car with noisy kids pulled up right behind me and basically spoiled my soundtrack. The video depicts the pelicans preening and bathing in the water.
Here are some of the birds testing their wings.
A Blue Heron poses for me.
A pair of pelicans give me a fly-by.
Coming right at me.
While watching the pelicans, I was also keeping an eye on a lone Ring-billed Gull that constantly circled around the area. Here are a couple of shots.
Up near post #11, some folks were scoping out a Peregrine Falcon so I walked up there and took a few very long-range shots. This is a very heavy crop.
I return to the pelicans and standing along side them is a group of Great Egrets that all take off together. Beings it’s so late in the day, the sun backlights this photo terribly, so the shot is questionable. It does give a feel for what I was seeing though–which shows three of the nine birds all flying together.
A Great Blue Heron flies by!
A gazillion blackbirds flew by so I grabbed a shot against the cloudy sky.
And the Ring-billed Gull comes super close on its loop around the area.
A Juvenile Pied-billed Grebe makes an appearance.
And I’ll end today’s shoot with another shot of the Ring-billed Gull.
I did want to mention that I put my new bug shirt to use today, mainly while standing out where the pelicans, egrets, gull, and herons were flying (just past post #11). I have been wearing the shirt on all my shooting trips since I bought it but never had yet donned the mesh hood in a real mosquito situation. Today the bugs weren’t terrible but I did get a bite on an exposed finger while holding my camera. (I wear short-fingered gloves).
I probably wore the mesh hood for about 20 minutes as the bugs were definitely out. I didn’t feel like being such an easy target. The most noticeable thing about wearing the hood is the loss of much of my peripheral vision since the mesh doesn’t go around the sides of the head. I also noticed a slight loss of airflow to the face. Vision through the mesh is somewhat restricted but really not bad. Holding the camera to my eye to take shots while looking through the mesh takes a little getting used to, but it is quite doable. I believe I took the final gull shot above with the mesh on.
While I prefer not to wear the face mesh, it is quite a good feeling to have it available on those days when the bugs are really out to get you. It beats getting eaten up! Overall, I recommend the bug shirt to anyone who is serious about protection from biting insects. It’s a good insurance policy to have along if you get caught out in the wilderness and your spray-on insect repellent isn’t quite doing the job. Here’s the website if you are interested in reading more about the shirt.
Thanks for visiting The Blog this week! See you next time and happy shooting!