ankeny nwr

this morning i headed down to the ankeny national wildlife refuge just south of salem.  it turned out to be a great time despite a couple downpours and some crazy wind.

right away i spotted this guy:
a peregrine falcon!

then i pulled off the road to check out the "rail trail" which is an extremely slippery wooden bridge-type walkway over some wetlands to a viewing blind.  it was like walking on ice, and the rain that started falling did not help.

i managed a picture of a spotted towhee:

looks like a winter wren to me!

and then there was this guy....

i watched him from the car for a long time- he was right in front of the walkway i had JUST been on... the whole time i was watching, jake was whining like he wanted to go play with him.  right.  ok one more picture of this fat cutie....

next i took the much shorter slippery wooden walkway to the viewing blind at pintail and egret marshes... rain started to dump on me and the wind really picked up causing the shutters on the blind swing open and shut... it was kind of creepy and i could not see much through the rain...

a bufflehead duck.

up the road a bit was this guy:
an american kestrel!

love 'em or hate 'em, giant flocks of starlings are cool to watch...

this guy was watching those starlings... i am not sure if it's another peregrine falcon or something else.

yeah, this woulda been a great picture of a belted kingfisher... but then it dove.

and lastly, some tundra swans just outside of the wildlife refuge.....


  1. Yep, the winter wren looks like one, but gave me pause, because the western ones are somewhat different from the ones I see in the east, and it appears to be in a reeds, the sort of thing a marsh wren likes. Yep, bufflehead, but I think your prairie falcon is a kestrel. I am taking you at your word when you say you like it when people help on the IDs

  2. oh you're right, the markings do look more like a kestrel! thanks!!


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