Monday, May 19, 2008

Killing an hour

I was traveling to south today and I had an hour to spare. I stopped in at the Nisqually Wildlife Refuge located along Interstate-Five between Tacoma and Olympia. The weather over the weekend was in the low nineties and sunny, today was overcast, muggy and in the sixties. That is how it works here.

The following is a sampling of what I came across in one short hour. I think it was well spent.

A true sign that summer is near here in the North West, Turkey Vultures circling high overhead. They need the warmer air thermals to soar effortlessly. Only summer time brings breezes warm enough for Turkey Vultures to migrate this far north. They are smaller than the Black Vultures seen further south.

Male Song Sparrow. Dozens of them fill the woods with their territorial notes.

A young Raccoon hunting for frogs. Not very graceful but successful.

Raccoon food....lucky Raccoon food it got away.

A fantastic pair of Wood Ducks.

Close up of the Drake Wood Duck.

Male Yellow Warbler. He flew up on me while I was trying to photograph another one near by. We startled each other. He hopped off in to the brush.

A Marsh Wren that would not turn around. Not very social.

Male Common Yellow Throat. He was social and posed for several photographs.

Barn Swallow perched near it's nest.

Mama Goose herding the young ones as a pair of hawks flew over head.

Cliff Swallow in nest.

Cedar Waxwing.
Silky ghosts of the forests. This is the closest I have ever gotten to one of these.

You may be familiar with Canada Geese, these are a Cackling Geese a smaller sub-species a little bigger than a large duck. They stand in sharp contrast with the larger more commonly seen cousins.

Here a Cackling Goose on the left flies along side a more common Canada Goose on the right.

Yes, I do take photographs of things other than birds. Here is a brown butterfly. But it flies.

Here is a blue flower. It would not fly.
I am sure if it was a bird I would be able to tell you what it was.

A turtle basking in the filtered sunlight. Very filtered.

This is my prize of the day.
I had not seen one of these in almost twenty years. It is an American Bittern. Shy and secretive this one was so close I had to back off to get the camera to focus.
For such a large bird their slow gait and superb camouflage make them a treasure to behold.

Over all not a bad walk, I could have spent the whole day.

Get out and take a walk.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Looks like you had a great day. I go often to the Nisqually Wildlife refuge for walks but I did not see the Bittern. Keep up the Good work. Your blog has improved my knowledge and appreciation of the natural treasures we have around us.