You want to start the new year doing something that brings you joy and sets the tone for the rest of the year. How better to start 2009 than with a trip to Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge in Ridgefield, WA?!? Christmas Eve 2007 was the First Annual Winter Auto Tour with Mr and Ms Nut and I hope the tradition continues! We even ran into Seth and Michelle, of the Portland Backyard Birds blog, on their annual New Year's Day outing. Small world!
Some snow remained from our recent wild winter weather and much of the open water was still iced over.
There were all sorts of birds everywhere and we couldn't stop pointing them out!
I don't get tired of looking at and listening to swans. They sound vaguely like Sandhill Cranes. Here are my favorite shots of Tundra Swans....
A sharp pair of Hooded Mergansers stylishly cruised past.
Ms Nut always pointed us in the right direction......
Lots of Rough-legged Hawks, Herons, Harriers, and Red-tailed Hawks take advantage of the bounty of rodent life in the fields. We witnessed a Heron snare a mouse\rat\vole about the size of a guinea pig, dip it in the water then swallow it Whole and Alive. Yowza.
This is a Rough-legged Hawk in the field. It looks like a vanilla ice cream cone....good way to ID it.
A terrific start to the new year.....can't wait for more outdoor adventures!