Ridgefield NWR 03-24-11

I had the best trip to Ridgefield this morning!  When I first got off the highway either a Cooper's or a Sharp-shinned Hawk landed on the traffic light...  I took that as a good sign. 

Towards the beginning of the auto tour I startled a small bird in the grasses to my left.  I peeked down and saw a Wilson's Snipe peeking back at me...

Cute.  A minute later I startled another bird and my first thought was that it was probably another snipe.  Nope.  It was my first Virginia Rail!!!!  He ran off into the grasses and I was sad, but patiently waited for him to return.  He did not.  I kept driving and found two more!!  And they let me take their picture!

I watched them for awhile when seemingly out of nowhere they started gettin frisky!  Yep they were totally doing it!

It only lasted about a minute, and then they went back to walking around poking in the mud.

Oh wow that was so awesome!   I saw a few more good birds on my trip but nothing quite like that!

Greater Yellowlegs

 Marsh Wren

What an awesome trip....


  1. Amazing photos of some really sneaky and shy birds!

  2. Fantastic images! Wow, sounds like you had a great excursion. Those frisky Virginia Rails ... I guess it's that time of year. Fabulous Wilson's Snipe sighting. Terrific post!

  3. Great trip indeed! I never really thought about avian mating. Interesting.

  4. Wow! Fantastic photos! Most people struggle to get Virginia Rail with the eye and binocular, but to get such photos, and of copulation - insane!

    Nice work, perhaps your best posting yet? Well, that Short-eared Owl was pretty darn good too :-)

  5. I was at Ridgefield today, too! I saw a Virginia Rail, but it was behaving itself. Your pictures made me laugh!

  6. GOOD ONES! Great photos--
    Good Find on the snipe--hard to spot Im sure..
    Great shots of the rails they hide so well its hard to get nice light on them like you did here!

  7. Sorry I haven't kept up as I should, but Wow! what good shots of difficult birds to see, much less photograph. Nice work!

  8. Great photos, but ummm some things are supposed to be private. You should have turned around. :) Your migration has started alot earlier then our does. Fun for you!!!

  9. Once again...you have the best luck. I hope that rubs off for Birdathon!!


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