Tualatin River NWR & Ridgefield NWR

i decided to go for an early morning stroll through the tualatin river national wildlife refuge today.  one of those bank thermometers along 99-w said it was 27 degrees.   because of the cold i only did a quick hike around, but got some good pictures in the short time.

the moon was still pretty clear for 8:15 a.m.  much of the water down there was frozen so the birds were mostly confined to the non-frozen parts.  

mostly northern pintails from what i can tell...

across the water i saw these guys:
a nice pair of bald eagles!

did i mention it was freezing?  it looked like a winter wonderland even though it was just frost...

i assume this is a blue heron...

a couple of canada geese... of course.

a very patient golden-crowned sparrow...

when i returned to the overlook the ducks had begun walking on the ice...

a northern harrier.

that was about it for tualatin river.  in the afternoon i headed to ridgefield nwr...  on the road between I-5 and the refuge i saw this fellow:

a red-tailed hawk.

at the refuge i had some luck with mammals...
a pair of nutria....snuggling?

and a pair of river otters!!  i was very excited, but not as excited as jake..

so freakin cute.

yeah, i'm just going to call everything a red-tailed hawk today...

i think this is a song sparrow.

an immature red-tailed hawk?
(side note: why is there an ant on my laptop keyboard???)

now if this guy isn't a red-tailed hawk then i don't know what is...

a rough-legged hawk?  perhaps the same one i saw before that i mistook for a bald eagle (at a much further distance)... here it is in flight:

posing in front of the sunset...

sandhill cranes flying by...

an elusive american bittern..

tundra swans?

immature tundra swans..

snow geese, tundra swans, canada geese, ducks...

ok i think that's everything from today!


  1. My you were busy yesterday! Your photos are great! I was told that I should consider all hawks to be Red-tails unless I can see other traits to say otherwise. It does seem that they are prevelant! I do think that one is a Rough-legged too. Every New Years I go to Ridgefield and we always see them there. What a fun day!

  2. What a great load of photos! Only the first hawk is not a red tail - it's a female harrier. The snow geese are immature tundra swans with the pink bills. Snow geese are probably half the size of a swan so they'd stand out that way. I love that you saw otters and a bittern. You have great wildlife karma.

  3. Actually I think it's an immature harrier....not sure on the gender.

  4. Great shot of the sandhill cranes - and well done on the bittern too!


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