It’s July 5, 2012, and it’s summer at the refuge. Most summer days in the Pacific Northwest (with the exception of the coast) are clear with bright sunshine, and this day was no exception. I arrived a little after 6 a.m. and started my rounds, driving the 4-mile auto tour, and spotted this lone Great Egret in the shallow water off to my left around post #3. It wasn’t long before it took a short flight to my left. (6:20 a.m.)
[Please view large by clicking once on the thumbnails.]
When it landed, it ruffled up its feathers in the light that was coming from my left.
Driving through the Ash tree forest, across the water I spot a Great Blue Heron perched on a snag about 8 feet off the ground. He turned his head just right, allowing me to avoid harsh shadows on his head. (6:41)
A little further down the refuge road, but still within the Ash forest, I notice a raptor fly across the road in front of me to a perch on the right side near the water. Not exactly a picturesque perch but Sharp-shinned Hawks are not often seen at this refuge–especially close enough to photograph. So I’m happy to have gotten this shot. This was another one where it was difficult to avoid unsightly shadows cast by surrounding leaves. I like the way she is standing on one foot. (6:53)
Below is a short video of the Sharp-shinned Hawk pictured above. In the video, the bird is probably trying to regurgitate a pellet, which is how raptors expel nondigestible materials. Due to the distance I am from the bird, the video looks best at 1080p resolution and full screen.
I’m now back around the loop at post #3 again where a Great Blue Heron launches not too far in front of me. I believe I got out of my truck and handheld this one. (9:03)
A Mourning Dove basking in the sunshine. (9:18)
Near the Ducks Unlimited sign I spot this immature Western Scrub Jay perched on a wire with the sun to its back. (9:20)
One of the two immature Bald Eagles from near the nest gives me a fly-by. Tough lighting with the sun being so high in the sky. (11:23)
And last but not least, heading down the home stretch not far from the main refuge parking area, I spot a family of Killdeer–two parents and two kids–on the road. Here’s a shot of one of the kids–what a cutie. (12:06 p.m.)
That’ll do it for this installment of The Blog. Thanks for tuning in and we’ll see you next time with some shots from July 13.