Fortunately, Ridgefield Wildlife Refuge has more to offer than just shorebirds. Although most of the places you can walk are off-limits for another month or two, in the short walk to the duck blind I managed to catch sight of a Brown Creeper
foraging for insects.
It didn’t take long to sight this pair of Greater Scaup,
which I rarely see.
Unfortunately, I can’t really share the most interesting moment of the morning. I had been standing in the duck blind for nearly half an hour enjoying a quiet, peaceful morning when suddenly every animal in the refuge started making noises, like this female Mallard.
From the racket I thought there had to be a predator nearby, but despite another fifteen minutes waiting I didn’t see a thing.
I finally gave up, got back in the car, and started driving again. I couldn’t figure why the car in front of me was going so slowly, until I spotted the predator walking calmly down the center of the road right in front of it.
When the driver pulled over I got a better shot of the coyote, and he didn’t even turn around when I clicked the lens.
The driver told me the coyote seemed totally unconcerned and, in fact, had paused long enough to snack on a mouse beside the road.
It’s probably not a good thing that the coyote is so indifferent to people, particularly since the refuge is slowly but surely being surrounded by houses, but it is a great feeling experiencing nature this immediately.