I took a trip over to Sherwood, OR, where the beautiful Tualatin River NWR is located. They have their new parking lot done and the third building that houses restrooms with running water and electricity. (This is not the case at Ridgefield NWR!). Tualatin has a nice mile-long gravel trail that winds through various different habitats. During the summer, visitors can also walk on the many miles of service roads that traverse the refuge.
I reach the refuge about sun up and get my gear ready. It is still cloudy with a chance of showers so I cover my lens and camera body with my weather sleeve–just in case. I also bring along a 13 gal. kitchen trash bag just in case I get caught in a downpour. It turns out that it didn’t rain but the weather sleeve still served to camouflage my white lens.
While walking the trail I see many flocks of Cedar Waxwings flying high from tree top to tree top. A great sight (and sound) but not so good for photos. I also hear many other small birds as I walk but most weren’t interested in coming out for a picture. The exception was a young Song Sparrow near the main observatory at the end of the trail. As with many juvenile birds, this little one didn’t have the sense to be afraid of me, so I was able to catch a couple of shots.
[Larger views of these photos can be seen by clicking once on the thumbnails].
I also “saw” a couple of Western Bluebirds from the observatory but didn’t realize they were Bluebirds until I got home and checked my shots on the monitor. The bluebirds were out on a snag accompanied by a small group of very “flighty”House Finches–they being the reason I took the shots. The snag was so far away though that none of the pictures were worth saving.
I now head back the other direction on the trail toward the parking lot, and spot this busy spider weaving its web between small trees.
Here’s a Great Egret I spotted about 200 feet off one of the service roads. He perched there and preened for the longest time and I was hoping he might fly toward me. No luck there! He had more patience than I did.
Not too far from exiting the woods I see this salamander right in front of me on the trail. In restrospect, now I wish I had gotten all the way down onto the ground for these shots. As they are, I have the camera on my monopod at about a two foot height. The lower perspective would have added more interest I believe.
Short and sweet today! Anticipating fall migration and the re-opening of the Ridgefield NWR when they finish the road work there sometime next week. Take care, all!