Thursday, June 07, 2007


Once again, we awoke to beautiful weather. Since I had to be at choir at 3:00, Adam and I did some local birding at Ridgefield NWR and Vancouver lake. We first went to the Carty unit at Ridgefield, and upon our arrival we were greeted by a pair of Lazuli Buntings right by the parking lot (this one is the male).

Lazuli Bunting

A steeply arched bridge crossed the railroad tracks, and we walked the gravel roads to the Cathlopotle plankhouse (a replica of the native American structures found in the area), where the "Oaks to Wetlands" trail actually started.

Bewick's Wren

We had just begun meandering through the beautiful dense oak canopy when we found a female Western Tanager foraging on the trail in front of us. She seemed to prefer the shade, but I got my best photo when she paused in some patchy light for a second.

Western Tanager

Exiting the oak forest, we found ourselves on the edge of the marsh where Song Sparrows and Common Yellowthroats were abundant. Photography was difficult in the harsh midday light. The highlight of our walk was when Adam located our first Townsend's Warbler at the very top of a tall oak--I pretty much had to lay on my back to get a glimpse. Pleased with our success there, we did a quick run through the auto-route on the River S unit, watching and photographing the typical Cinnamon Teal, Barn Swallows and Great Blue Herons along the road and at the observation blind.

Cinnamon Teal

Great Blue Heron

After a quick lunch, we headed over to Vancouver lake, where we found my first Bullock's Orioles (absolutely stunning birds, I wish I had been able to get pictures) in a grove of birch trees. Here's a neat shot of a Spotted Towhee I took at the same place.

Spotted Towhee

Then it was time for choir and from there back home to prepare for our big trip on Thursday.

All photos © Benjamin Berkompas 2007, taken at Ridgfield National Wildlife Refuge


Anonymous said...

I've really enjoyed all these posts, Benj! What amazing pictures. :) Great job!! Are there more posts? :D

Anonymous said...

oops, sorry about that... I think I just posted the same comment like 3 times. I thought it wasn't going through, heh, heh. :D

Benjamin said...

Thanks Hannah. I've got at least one more post to do, but they always take awhile since I have to prepare the photos for publishing and arrange them within the post. Blogger doesn't let you create posts in the preview format anymore--that's annoying. But yeah, the best is yet to come :)