I headed up to the Ridgefield NWR today on the ‘promise’ that the weather would be at least partially sunny. After all, sun filtered by thin clouds can be a bird photographer’s dream for many types of shots. Low and behold, the sky was blanketed with a thick overcast all day, and it even started raining on my way home in the afternoon. I didn’t see the sun once all day.
I guess I shouldn’t complain because it could have been raining all day. Despite the weather, I did finally spot the resident Peregrine Falcon on a perch only about 30-40 feet away. Although not ideal light for the bird’s location, I was elated to be able to take hundreds of frames of this fabulous raptor!
There wasn’t a huge variety of creatures to photograph today, so I am posting several shots of the species I did happen to see.
Let’s start with the secretive American Bittern, which likes to hide near or in tall grasses. This one happened to be near post #11, where the grass is super green right now, making the bird fairly easy to spot as it scouted out the edge of the water for prey.
[Click on thumbnails for large views]
Then I headed over to the three-tree area where I was told the Peregrine Falcon likes to hang out. Yes, the bird was there, not only for this loop but also for two other loops I made around the auto tour. This can be a fantastic place to take shots of birds in the early morning as the sun comes up over the ridge. Unfortunately for me, the sun was blocked by the overcast layer, making for a dreary background and not so fast shutter speeds. Here are some of the shots I did get though–easily the best opportunity I have had at photographing this bird in my five years of shooting.
Also, here is video of the bird (sorry for the bouncy camera work–I need to come up with a way to shoot steady video from my vehicle!)
Beginning a new loop, I notice a coyote across the slough to my right just before arriving at post #4. Here’s a series of shots, one of which, catches him chewing on some berries.
My last species of the day is a handsome Dark-eyed Junco, shot between posts #9 & 10 in the Ash woods.
Thanks for taking the time to stop by The Blog! Hope you enjoyed some of the shots this week. See you next time!