Ridgefield NWR, etc.

Oh, man, last weekend was brutal.  I woke up in the middle of the night Friday night with the worst food poisoning I've ever had and it lasted through Sunday afternoon.  Cramps, chills, fever, all that fun stuff.  It did not help that I would occasionally look at OBOL only to find I was missing out on Mountain Bluebirds and a Loggerhead Shrike.  Curses!

Monday morning I woke up to rain but I just had to get out of the house.  I figured a drive around the auto tour at Ridgefield would keep me dry and ease me back into life.

The rain stopped completely soon after I arrived.  A nice surprise.

I noted a couple of the young white-tailed deer with fresh and ridiculous ear tags...

It's hard to like these deer knowing they are the reason you don't see coyotes at Ridgefield anymore.

Yellowlegs have arrived are busy slurping wormies and things...

There was even a Lesser Yellowlegs in the mix...

Greater and Lesser Yellowlegs

It's impossible to dislike snipe. 

So I noticed this beaver lodge while I was driving around, took two quick photos, and forgot about it.  When I got home I was like oh man, I should have looked to see if there was a beaver nearby.  Then I zoomed in and there's a damn beaver right in the dead center of the thing.

Oh well.  Only my second photo of a beaver ever, the first one being at Ridgefield five years ago as can be seen here.

Hoodies look like giant nerds sometimes. 

Tundra Swans will be leaving soon, so try to enjoy their awkward water landings while you can.

Back at home yesterday afternoon I was working on weeds between rain squalls when I got word that the Loggerhead Shrike was still around.  I thought for sure it was already gone, so I was psyched and headed out to Troutdale.  The shrike was fairly easy to locate as it flycatched from various fences.

I walked out to the Columbia to see if anything was going on there.  Lots of Violet-green Swallows flying about.

I had never before noticed cormorants roosting on those big red and white towers.

Secret cormorant society. 

Ah it was so nice to get outside after my terrible weekend!  Good times!!


  1. Way to recover and post some good numbers Jen.

    Your Snipe to square footage ratio at Ridgefield seems to be very high--a good sign of a healthy ecosystem for sure.

  2. Really interesting stuff, especially the side-by-side of Greater and Lesser Yellowlegs and the beaver. What's the deal with the bling on the deer? Were coyotes removed to protect those things, or did the deer make conditions so bad that they left willingly?

    1. So this subspecies of white-tailed deer is endangered, and when a nearby refuge was expecting flooding which would have wiped them out there, F&W decided to transport them to Ridgefield. But to ensure their survival they killed all of the coyotes they could find. Prior to this, coyotes were one of the best things about Ridgefield because you could see them fairly close up (from your car) hunting and playing and all that.

    2. Don't you hate when 'man' tries to out-think Mother Nature? It's the damnedest thing...and those tags on the ears will probably kill more of the deer than any coyote could have Holy COW--- and are they trying to save the deer so hunters can blow them away at will cause here deer saving is all about deer killing in the end...

  3. Now a proper comment rant aside...Love the hiding beaver, so cool and glad you got the loggerhead, and over the sick yuk.

    1. Thanks, Sondra! I'm not sure they'll be allowing those deer to be hunted any time soon, but I know where you're coming from.

  4. A hidden beaver is a safe beaver.


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