Ridgefield NWR.

The drive up to Ridgefield yesterday morning was dreary at best.  Misty rain, more misty rain, some fog.  My expectations went from so-so to zero over the 15 or so miles.  Thankfully after I arrived at the refuge the weather dried up and the skies brightened a little bit...

Cackling Geese

 For some reason I thought to myself that it was a good day to find a Virginia Rail.  With remarkably little effort I did indeed find one one weaving through the cattails.  Posing in true rail style...

Finding a rail already exceeded my expectations for the morning, so everything else was just icing on the cake.  There was a bird singing at one point that drove me nuts.  Turned out to be a Bewick's Wren.  This happens every time I hear one singing- serious mental block.

With the weather turning milder herons were super stoked.   Some just sat around in trees laughing their asses off.

Lately the bird blind has been offering views of the most vile nonhuman creature on earth: the albino nutria.

Lots of water birds were out picking in the mud today- snipe, yellowlegs, dowitchers, teals...  Fun to watch but no good photo ops.  Back in the slough in the forest were the usual gangs of Ring-necked Ducks...

Marsh Wrens were doing their adorable Marsh Wren stuff.

Bald Eagles were the real show-stealers yesterday.  I was parked along one stretch of road when I saw an eagle flying towards me.  It proceeded to land on the dike just up the road.  I crept up a bit closer and watched as it hopped up and down on the grass.

With each hop it was acquiring more dry grass in its talons.  Eventually it had enough and took off with what I assume will be nest material...

And that made my day.  Hell yeah.  I love how a day can go from zero to awesome in just a couple hours.  Lastly I will share with you a crime scene.  I have no theories, the evidence is all a bloody mess, and I can't even identify the victim (though that one little puff of feathers had me thinking Marsh Wren)...

Whodunnit??? And what did they do exactly?  And to whom?  So many questions!  Good times!


  1. Very cool to see the Eagle getting nest material!

  2. wow, those Eagle shots are National Geo Worthy! Good stuff for sure..
    You need a CSI to figure that last bit out tho...the long red feather for your area maybe a RS Flickr, and the other is missing a head? That almost says OWL...either way its YUK.

  3. Wow! That nutria looks like a bio lab experiment gone horribly wrong.

  4. Jen, awesome shots of the Eagles!! Happy Birding and have a great weekend!

  5. Wow Big Bins sweet post. That Eagle is top notch, but are we sure it's not just making sure the chickies are getting plenty of fiber in their diet???

    Too bad the Owl or whatever raptor was involved in your crime scene didn't go for the nutria. I saw a similar albino muskrat once...it was awful and made me angry. Kill it! Kill it with fire before it lays eggs!!!

    I have no good theories for the killing though. Better relay it to Sherlock Holmes (the new sexy one).

  6. Sweet Eagle shots!!! RIP little bird this is no more.

  7. Just wonderful seeing an eagle collecting nesting material. What a moment ... and beautiful catch on your part.


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