An Afterthought

If you’d told me that I would get the best pictures of my Malheur trip at The Ridgefield Wildlife Refuge, I would have laughed. No, Ridgefield was simply an afterthought, and the brilliant sunshine I experienced there was pure luck, especially since it poured right before I got there and just as I was leaving.

What’s more, I really didn’t see anything there I hadn’t seen earlier on the trip, except for the Scrub Jay. Heck, I had a couple of good shots of Wood Ducks that I took at Conboy Refuge a few hours before, but I didn’t like any of them as much as I liked this shot:

Wood Duck Pair

I don’t think I could have gotten a better composition of this pair if I’d been posing them myself.

And it somehow seemed fitting that I got the best pictures of the trip of a Cinnamon Teal on this last stop:

male Cinnamon Teal

In fact, I got four of the best shots I’ve ever gotten of a Cinnamon Teal during the time I was there. Perhaps I should have called this “My Cinnamon Teal Vacation.” I don’t think I’ll ever need to take another shot unless I can find one in action.

But I might be fondest of this simple shot:

Scrub Jay

This Scrub Jay landed a few feet from me while I was talking to a birder from Longview. I spent weeks futilely trying to get a good shot of the Scrub Jay that seems to live in my mother-in-law’s backyard, and this one flies down and poses four feet away from me for two or three minutes straight. And, yes, I got so many good shots of this one I’ll probably never need to take another shot of one unless it’s flying.