Ridgefield NWR.

Yesterday morning I headed up to Ridgefield before the heat kicked in.  The clouds looked pretty rad when I arrived so I made a quick panorama shot:

A couple of Osprey were circling overhead and one came by to check me out.

As I was approaching the gate to the hunting area I saw a couple birds on the road, one was a robin and the other I couldn't quite tell at first.  With bins I discovered it was a Black Phoebe!

I have seen plenty of them but I had been looking for one at Ridgefield for years with no luck.  And here it was, exactly where everyone else had reported them.   He didn't let me get close but that's ok.

Another first at the refuge for me was a Eurasian Collared-Dove!  Michele at Nature Nut Notes had mentioned seeing one there a couple weeks ago so I knew to keep an eye out.  They really are slowly taking over!

The next bird I was most excited to see.  At first I wasn't sure about it- I saw a little black blob in the shadows across the slough (just before the Kiwa Trail).  I was afraid it was just a blackbird...

But then it creeped out into the open: baby Virginia Rail!  Obviously, it was a fair distance away in horrible lighting, but still!  So cute!

I know you guys have been jonesin for a flycatcher, so here's a Western Wood-Pewee for you:

Handsome devil.  After emerging from the forest, I found several trees filled with roosting Great Egrets and herons...

I counted about 30 egrets total- pretty neat.  I didn't see any pelicans this time though the grass is getting tall so maybe they were hidden.  There were three bitterns in the slough along Rest Lake... This one was quite charming as it showed me exactly why they are colored the way they are...

Around this time a little bug flew onto my car door and hung out with me for a bit.  Tried to find it in my bug guide but failed...

I'm just calling it a heart bug.  The last bird at the refuge was this pretty American Kestrel...

It was a great morning at the refuge! 


  1. The baby Rail is awesome; great find! Nice shot of the Kestrel inflight!

  2. Another great morning of birding for you Jen...that Rail Chick is SOOO adorable! Great find! And your Love Bug? No Idea he sure is striking lookin!

  3. I need to get up there, it's been too long. I bet that Kestral was on the last sign on the straight stretch on the way out, right? I often see one perched there. Your bug is infact a "bug". I think it is a Stink Bug. It's a big family. Nice to see Ridgefield in the summer.

  4. Very cool birds sightings, Jen! I love The baby rail shots and the egret tree and the Bittern is an awesome sight. You must be very lucky seeing birds.

  5. Here's what I concluded when I saw a very similar bug: "Looks like a member of the Ligus genus, per bugguide, to me. Common name mirid plant bug, in the Heteropterans, which fall under Hemiptera..." (my pic is at http://biobabbler.blogspot.com/2012/06/2-bugs-4-u.html if you want to compare it to yours)

    I'm sorry, but a BABY VIRGINIA RAIL?!?!?

    I am SOO SOO envious and SO excited you got a picture of that CUTENESS. Wow. How very fun. Congrats!!!


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