I got razzed a bit about not getting out to Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge before I did this year. I did make it on the 3rd of January and enjoyed driving on the frozen roads before they melted out. The light was pretty good and the residual snow patches added some variety to the location and photos. There are a number of red-tailed hawks in the area and the bald eagles are busy moving material to their nest on the east side of the loop road. A kestrel showed up on several laps but sat in the bright sun on top of a sign and the photos just don’t make the grade for posting. People are seeing one redtail sitting on fence posts and signs and allowing cars to get quite close. This has been going on for some time and continued this trip. I don’t know if these are the same bird or not but the sequence is fun… first you sit up high and watch for movement in the field nearby. Then you fly, strike and eat. I’ve spared you the really nice photos of the vole being torn apart and gutted but give you one modest shot to show that the vole population at Ridgefield is “down one” again.
Today I got a message from my friend Carol to let me know that there was an owl near the trail at the Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge. Since we needed a bit of exercise and the rains had not started again we grabbed the camera and headed out to see if we could find the owl… assuming it was still there by the time we got there. It was. Thanks Carol. I may go back again if any day in the next week has some brighter sky to add some light to this dense understory. I’d like a photo that used natural light only. Without a flash this shot would not have been possible.
Happy New Year everyone. Best wishes for a productive and safe year!