Ridgefield NWR 08-21-10

I can't believe I went almost 3 weeks without visiting Ridgefield!  Wow.  Anyway... I decided there was no better way to start off my birthday than to get up early and see what I could find there.. I felt like the animals knew it was my birthday and were especially patient just for me....

I started off on the Kiwa Trail and was greeted by this guy:


I made it almost halfway around the trail when I heard something that made me stop short.  Dog scuffle?  Huh?  It took me a second to remember I was not at work and that this sound made no sense.  Oh wait, nope, not dogs... FIVE coyotes!!!

One of them caught sight of me right away and took off, pausing to look at me from a distance.


I assume this is the family of coyotes that I have seen photos of on Flickr... Finally I got to see them myself!   I was sort of stuck on that bridge that goes over the marshy area because I wasn't sure how 5 coyotes would react to my sudden appearance during their breakfast (yep, they were scuffling over something dead).  So I kept my distance...

You can sort of see something dead dangling from the coyote's mouth here..


Here's a picture just to show the four at once:


Eventually they noticed me and took off..  I could not have asked for a better birthday present than breakfast with a family of coyotes.

Shorebird migration is fully evident at Ridgefield now...

Greater Yellowlegs...



An American Bittern was out wading nearby...


I decided to make a second trip around the loop... This time the Yellowlegs were joined by several Great Egrets... They were stunning.




I could have watched them all day... Instead I drove up the road a little ways before finding this fella:

My first thought was a Green Heron, probably because there had been a recent sighting posted on the board, but once I got home and looked it up I realized it was an immature Black-crowned Night-Heron!

Awesome!  I had never seen one at Ridgefield before.  It also didn't seem to mind me taking a phone call while taking pictures of him (yes, Mom & Dad, that's the bird I was photographing while talking to you this morning!).


He was sooo cool-looking, I took about 100 pictures of him.


Ok just one more of this gorgeous bird...


On my way out I took a few shots of a kestrel on a refuge sign...


A perfect trip to Ridgefield!

Comments

  1. Happy Birthday, Jen. You have the great attribute to give rather than receive.

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  2. You've had some great birding experiences lately. I hope I can get to the shore soon for some shorebirding. I'm jealous whenever I see someone get great pictures of a bittern - usually very secretive bird.

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