Monday, November 20, 2017
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Ridgefield NWR: the Latest Additions to my Life List (Part IV)

I added a few birds to my personal life list during our Feb. 6 visit to Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge.

Wilson’s Snipe, a TON of ’em! I knew they were there, but I didn’t know what they were until I got home. They were so well camouflaged in the weeds, mud and water, all I knew is there was movement in front of my lens, I had no idea what it was.

I was too focused on capturing a shot of another new bird for my list …

… the Killdeer. This dramatically clad bird really stood out on the shoreline, his red eye ring shining. The Killdeer is among N.A.’s “most widely distributed shorebird,” according to Birds of Washington State, and is also the bird that is known for the broken wing trick, used to lure predators away from their nest.

This Pied-billed Grebe appeared and then disappeared before I could get more than a couple of shots at it. All I knew was the profile and size and movement of the bird was different from any I had ever seen before. It wasn’t until I got home that I was able to ID him.

That is one funky looking bird.

” … the most widespread grebe species in North America, yet it is not always easy to find. Shy and retiring by nature … when frightened by an intruder, this grebe will slide noiselessly under the water’s surface, with only its bill and eyes exposed.” ~Birds of Washington State, Lone Pine Publishing

I could not get over the big bill on this Mallard-mutant-like duck, the Northern Shoveler. Whoa!

“Socially, they occasionally work together in groups while feeding, rotating like a pinwheel, stirring up the surface water and skimming it for food particles.” ~ iBird West app

Sandhill Cranes are showing up at the refuge, pick a sunny day and go!

Visit the Friends of the Ridgefield NWR or the official F&W website for more information about the refuge.

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