Ridgefield NWR 09-23-10

I had an awesome trip up to Ridgefield yesterday afternoon, just as the rain was ending...

First off, there were a bunch of nutria babies!  Too cute...



Near the nutria were some Gadwalls swimming...


Next I stopped to look at some ducks farther away... I looked down and noticed a bittern right in front of me..


I was happy enough just watch him for a bit... but then he yanked a little rodent out of nowhere and ate it!  I had never seen a bittern eat anything so I was super excited....


He would shake the rodent then plunge it (squeaking!) into the water and then yank it out of the water and shake it some more.  I suppose he was drowning it as well as breaking its neck?


I don't know what I was expecting, but I was surprised to watch him swallow the rodent whole...



Note the tail hanging out of his mouth... ew!


And then it was gone!  I swear he burped after he swallowed it...

Shortly after watching the bittern I saw my first Sandhill Cranes of the season pass by overhead...


Then what I thought was a hawk passed by and I took a few quick shots of it...


Am I crazy or does it resemble a falcon?  [Thanks for the help, it is indeed a Peregrine!]

Lastly I watched a coyote hunting in the fields for awhile...  I only saw him catch something once of about ten or fifteen attempts...


I really love watching them...



What an awesome trip!!

Comments

  1. You always get the best photos up there! The bittern is great. We saw a heron do the same thing once, but I've never seen a bittern eat anything either. Cool!

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  2. Ditto the Nature Nut. And not only does your bird resemble a falcon but it indeed a Peregrine. Great shot.

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  3. Great Job Jen. The bittern shots were great. And I agree on the peregrine. Keep it up.

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  4. Hi Jen. Ridgefield is certainly turning up trumps for you. Awesome shots of the Bittern feeding. FAB.

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  5. Ah, thank you for the falcon ID!! And the kind words!!

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  6. It's easy to see why you seem to have a preference for this wildlife venue. You are documenting your experiences in a very entertaining way.

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  7. Killer Bittern shots! No, I mean REALLY killer! Incredible bunch of photos. I'm envious! In the south, they eat Nutria. Fabulous photos. Got any recipes???

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  8. I love the jumping coyote shot! So cool! Peregrine-nice bird! The nutria babies are cute but I don't really feel sorry for the rat.

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