Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Ridgefield

The second day in Oregon my daughter planned an early morning bird watching tour in Ridgefield, WA. The group ended up with too many people and was going too slow for our liking, so we bailed and decided to explore on our own. Not long after sneaking off like thieves in the night, we stumbled onto a couple of photographers with gargantuan lenses pointed toward a tree. To our sheer and utter amazement it was a pair of great-horned owls; a momma and her baby. Unfortunately, it was a bit cloudy so my pics didn't turn out as well as I'd hoped. We were so glad we ditched the group because we circled the park twice and never saw the owls again. If we hadn't gone when we did we never would have had the opportunity to observe these beautiful birds.

All in all we saw 28 different bird species! How I wish I could have photographed them all and done them justice. Just gives me incentive to return again soon. So while these are not my best shots, many of these are lifers, and for that, I am beyond delighted.
Marshy area of Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge

Marsh wren with a grub worm

Pair of great egrets

Great-horned owl and owlet


Tree swallow

Pied-billed grebe

Cinnamon teal, female and male

Possibly a savannah sparrow

American goldfinch
I thought about cropping this down, but I liked the way he was leaning horizontally

Savannah sparrow

Song sparrow

Cedar waxwing

Black-headed grosbeak


45 comments:

Jacquelineand.... said...

These are stunning Gail and the photos of the owls are STUNNING!

Katie said...

oh my goodness! what a visual treat for us and for you when you were there! thanks so much for sharing!

Amy Burzese said...

All great, Gail, but I LOVE the owls. How fortunate that you found all of these!

Gone Country said...

How exciting to see so many birds on your list!

I think the photos turned out great!

Linda said...

I'm glad you followed your instincts and separated yourself from the main group. The owls were a great find, and you got some beautiful shots of them. I love all of these, but my two favorites (besides the owls, of course) are the marsh wren with the worm and that precious little sideways goldfinch.

Tree Hugger - Suzan said...

What a gift finding those owls!!! That's a lot of rats and mice Momma Owl is having to find for her Baby Owl. He's as big as her and he still has down feathers!! I like your goldfinch too!! All very nice!!

bailey-road.com said...

What a wonderful group of beautiful birds!

TexWisGirl said...

the color in your photos is just gorgeous. loved the owl and owlet. the goldfinch made me grin out loud. :D

Reena Walkling said...

Oh my, your images are so awesome! I love those owls. I have yet to capture one. Stay cool in those hot temps!

Lisa @ Two Bears Farm said...

Oh the owls are amazing! I also like the shot of the egrets.

Karen said...

Birdwatchers paradise! Beautiful captures. The owls are marvellous!

Pam ;) said...

Each one of your amazing photos tell a story all its own in a beautiful way Gail. Your knowledge of birds astounds me.

Evelyn S. said...

When you mentioned Washington earlier, I wondered where you had gone....these are glorious bird photos! The Teal male looks like a decoy, doesn't he? ;-) And the owls---just fabulous. The tree swallow is very similar to the barn swallows that are so common around here. And I've had a pair of black-headed grosbeaks at my feeder this spring; their appearance was a first for me.

Starla said...

It is amazing how that mama owl just blends into the background!!

Renae of Simple Sequins said...

Oh Gail, my grandma loved Cedar Waxwings. This photo of him is awesome!!! The first photo is amazingly like a painting!!! Thanks for the fun comments and the liking of my leopard top. I have had that thing for a month and haven't paired it with anything til then. I have been hunting down white pants but found those fun jeans instead. I got a white skirt instead. Man I am getting ahead of myself here. hahahaha

eileeninmd said...

What a great variety! My favorite are the owls and I love the grosbeak too! Great outing and photos, Gail

Rambling Woods said...

You asked about the purple-pink flower in my NN post.. it is fuchsia.

Kerry said...

Lucky you! An owl baby!

Beautiful captures. The goldfinch is crazy. And I love those egrets too. Plus you got a cedar waxwing. You sure do know your sparrows; they all kinda look alike to me when I see them for just a moment. When I try to look them up I can't remember if there were streaks on the belly or how pronounced the eye patch was. :\

Ruth's Photo Blog said...

What a wonderful collection of pictures and birds. The Goldfinch is rather comical.

Mitzi said...

these photos are stunning as always, but I absolutely LOVE that 1st one! So beautiful! I think it is totally amazing that you know the names of the birds you photo... Big hugs...xoxo

Buttons said...

Oh Gail "thieves in the night" those shots are incredible. I was thinking of you last night when I came upon a Cedar Wax Wing you are so good at bird shots me not so much.
Love all of yours. B

Cindy said...

Fantastic!!! Love them all. How lucky you were to see the owls.

beth said...

oh that goldfinch photo....i love it !!!!
xo

Patrice said...

How exciting Gail--I love seeing different species!

Wally said...

All that scenery and birds, too!
Very nice photographs, Gail!
What a great opportunity to visit a different environment.

Thank you for sharing your wonderful experiences!

Shug said...

Shanda and I were just talking last evening about owls. We heard what we thought was an owl, up in a tree at the ballpark. Ended up being a Large dove. I want to see one so bad....I know they're around here, but I've never seen one.
I know you were on a big high every day of this trip, with all the beauty that surrounded you and by all the wildlife that was around...
Great, great photos..once again!
shug

the wild magnolia said...

So many pretties, and the owl and owlet are extra special, seldom seen.

Keep having fun and following you intuition.

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

Oh Gail -- these are wonderful birds and wonderful pictures. I've never been to Ridgefield; now it's on my list. You two sure didn't need the tour guide (you could lead your own if you wanted to!)

Chatty Crone said...

You should hear the carrying on next door to me - ooh - ah - awe - hey wait a minute that is coming from me! GORGEOUS! sandie

Barbara said...

These are wonderful, Gail! The ones of the owls are great - oh my gosh! What an experience! What do you normally have your aperture on when you take shots like these? Your focus is awesome!

Brian King said...

Awesome shots, Gail! The owls are fantastic! Glad you left to head out on your own. The goldfinch looks like he's going to fall over any second! LOL!

Indrani said...

Absolutely stunning captures.
Such clear images.

EG CameraGirl said...

I'm very impressed by the photo of the marsh wren. I have seen them, I have heard them...but I have never taken a good shot of one. :)

Congrats on finding lifers. It always makes my day to find one.

ladyfi said...

Wow wow and more wow!

Jori said...

Magnificent as always!!!!!!! Love the owl shots especially!

Deanna said...

What glorious captures...I enjoyed them all!!

Rambling Woods said...

Lovely photos and congrats on the lifers.... Michelle

Terri said...

Wow...just WOW!

Renae of Simple Sequins said...

hi Gail! Just dropping by to say howdy and seeing if new post is here but that is super cool to see this one. I love your photos!!!! I could stare at them all day long. (if I had time, that is.)

Karen said...

Love the odd angle shot and the owl, there's something mysterious about owls, forbidding even, and yes plantation pink is a camellia, sorry I didn't add that.

Deb Crecelius said...

These photos are wonderful and I like
that you have them identified.
Many are not found where I live.
The great horned owls (we do have these) ...
they are certainly camouflaged.

MICKAN from QUEENS FIELD¸.•°`♥✿⊱╮ said...

Oh my, this is great.
You are a GREAT photographer.
The goldfinch is so funny to look at.
All picture are ... hmm, you know what:) Nice!

Donna said...

I adore your pictures of birds...catching them in their everyday lives....

She Who Carries Camera said...

Total eye-candy for us bird enthusiasts! I had to look a couple of seconds to make out the adult Great Horned...I think he/she was hiding! :-) How do you identify your sightings? Do you use a specific book. We have the Sibley book which is quite good but it can still be tricky figuring out some birds.

Mitzi said...

that American Goldfinch perched sideways is awesome! You are so lucky to be able to catch such wonderful pics of such wonderful animals!