DJ and I drove out to the Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge in Washington. It’s a drive-thru bird refuge. The upside – it’s wonderfully full of birds. The downside – you have to stay in the car.
Yeah, that part was annoying. Hard to take photos from the car given you get the angle you get. Oh, and it’s one way. So unless you do two loops – the first loop driving, the second as passenger – you are also stuck shooting over someone in the car.
Despite all of those things, it was a great place.
We saw ducks (at least 4 kinds), geese (two kinds), bald eagles, hawks, egrets, herons, dowitchers, tundra swans, and coots, to name a few. My dad would be proud as I was able to spot and point out the various ducks – pintails, mallards, wood ducks, etc.
|dowitchers, I believe|
This great blue heron was sitting next to the road. Two cars drove by this great bird not even seeing it standing right there. The people behind me were wondering what I was seeing when I stopped. They followed my camera lens and found it. As I’m taking photos, DJ is next to me saying “Work it, bird! That’s right, pose for the paparazzi. Now smize!” Yeah, my child.
Later she spotted one land in a pond startling the crap out of some birds that flew away. DJ’s reaction, “That bird did not have clearance to land almost causing an avian collision in pond.”
Then there was this beauty:
I believe this is a Northern Harrier. He sat camouflaged in the scrub. Another bird most drove by before I spotted him.
I wanted to see an owl. It was promised in all the stuff we read. In the last two weeks, they spotted three different kinds. So as we drove the the wooded areas, we looked in the the trees. And instead, spotted this bird:
A juvenile bald eagle. They don’t get their signature white heads until they hit 5yrs old. Until then, it’s brown. This one clearly is getting closer to being an adult. The stature and the beak told us it was a bald eagle.
Tundra swans!! The best photo I could get of them. Yes, I’m already eyeballing a more appropriate lens for taking photos of the birds. There was definitely some lens envy going on when a few people drove by with amazing zoom lenses. Most of my photos are cropped so you can see the birds better.
I will definitely be going back. And I will be taking another driver with me so I can take shots instead of trying to do both. And I believe there are times and areas where you can walk. I’ll definitely be researching those areas.
Lastly, it was a good few hours with DJ. We talked about life, about friends, about relationships. It was good bonding time. She gave me the laughs I needed – and the insights that kids that seem too old for their age can give you. Good stuff.
It was funny because after we left, I turned the radio back on. There is a song that has a line in it that says “I’m glad you came”. If I know the song before the kids do, I usually say a line of the song. In this case, I said “I’m glad you came”, to which, DJ says quite sincerely “I am glad I came too. That was fun.” Then she heard the song, slapped herself on the forehead before declaring she was a dork. I love that kid.