Today was lovely. I paid my three dollars, dropped the top on my VW duck blind, dug out my binoculars and started the "Auto Tour Route" through the Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge. Last week I was told there were a lot of swans there, but they've left to continue their journey to summer homes in the north. There was one lonely swan. I wonder that it didn't leave with the rest. Since wildlife and I don't get along, I don't really know what birds are what. So I will make a guess that it was a Tundra Swan. I also saw tree swallows, robins, barn swallows, a coyote, five-inch turtles on a floating log, lots of mallards and a multitude of birds I couldn't identify.
But, I was able to identify some. For instance this killdeer just stood beside the road for a photo opportunity.
Also this red winged blackbird was kind enough to follow me around for about an hour.
Red Winged Blackbird
The birds are in order of appearance.
Breeding Male Ruddy Duck
(and yes his bill really is that blue)
(These are very hard to see because they spend a lot of time under the water)
Western Scrub Jay
Great Blue Heron
Red Tailed Hawk
(looks like a beaver with a rat tail)
And then the Canada Geese
("Melanie, they are not 'Canadian Geese', they are 'Canada Geese,'" I've been told)
The Canada Geese filled the field and suddenly they leaped into the air and made a frantic dash for the trees at the edge of the field, flying over my car. I yelped and dropped my camera in an effort to cover my head. Being in a convertible in a wildlife refuge took on new meaning. When the birds were far enough away, I scooped up my camera and took this picture.
But then they started coming back, honking and screaming and wailing and I finally figured out why. This bald eagle was following them.
None of the other birds seemed upset by the bald eagle, but as the dozens of Canada geese circled around and their distraught flight path headed toward my car again, I decided it was time to leave before they could jettison fuel over my upholstery. I motored the car to the exit, put the top up and crossed back into civilization.
I hope you have enjoyed the journey.