Nolemana and I had to appraise a house in Ridgefield, Washington, and since it had been a really long time since we’d been there, we decided to drive through the Ridgefield National Wildlife Rufuge. I’m really glad we did; it was a cold day but free of rain.
We drove down a gravel road to get to the entrance.
Along the way down, we saw a whole area of blow-down.
I think this must have happened when we went through the terrible storm a couple of months ago.
We come to the entrance of the park; here’s the bridge over the river.
Looking South down the river:
Sign at the entrance of the refuge:
Although it was a cold autumn day, the area had its own beauty.
Our first glimpse of ducks.
I wish my telephoto lens was better; and Nolemana forgot to bring his, so the photos aren’t what I wish they were. But at least you get the idea. This is one of many coots that we saw.
We came across this heron, right next to the road!
You’re not allowed to get out of the car at this time of the year. You can take your time as you drive around the refuge; if you never stop, it takes about 30 minutes. But who wants to do that with sights like this?
I love the contrast of earth and sky.
There were all kinds of ducks, some diving, some not.
I loved seeing them all!
We saw swans off in the distance!
We left the water for just a bit…
… and in a few minutes, came across this really cute duck!
I tried to get a closer photo of the swans which didn’t work very well; but then Nolemana pointed out that we’d be driving around more close in just a bit.
I love swans!! By now, we could hear them talking to each other.
I couldn’t get enough!
We began to drive to where we could get a better view of the swans, and came across this
ugly interesting creature. I know what it is… do you? I’ll give you a bit to figure it out if you don’t already know.
He got tired of us looking at him and slowly lumbered away.
We drove just a bit further on, then oh! Be still my heart!!
He was so beautiful sitting there, and so unafraid. We were very, very quiet.
It’s a juvenile Swainson’s Hawk! I could hardly breathe!
We just sat there watching him for a bit, then drove on so as not to upset him by our presence. And we came to the place where we could get a little closer to the swans.
I really longed for a better telephoto lens! But we could hear the swans talking, and could watch them gliding along the water.
Are you bored with swans yet? I’m not! Heh heh.
I like this shot through the dry teasels. They are very poky, and people used to use them to card wool in preparation for spinning. They’re very hard on the hands! I like the contrast between them and the swans.
Next, we saw this wonderful heron, who just kinda stood there while we gawked.
Such a handsome bird!
We’d seen this guy in flight, and followed him till he landed. Not sure what he found, and it’s kinda blurry…
We were back at the entrance again; so crossed the river on our way home.
All in all, a wonderful trip around. It’s a great trip in the winter since so many birds have migrated here for the winter.
Hope you enjoyed the trip. Have you figured out what the creature is yet?
It’s a nutria. They cause a lot of wetland damage and people are not crazy about having them around.