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Ridgefield Wildlife Refuge

Back to Ridgefield

It was time for my semi-annual teeth cleaning recently, and, as usual, I combined my dental appointment with a lunch out with fellow retired teachers and a quick trip to the Ridgefield Wildlife Refuge. I only managed to get shots of the wildlife refuge, though.

While it’s no Malheur or Bear River, I seldom visit without finding something that peaks my interest. On this visit, this seemed like the most interesting sight.

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I have never seen this many Great Egrets in one place, certainly not in Vancouver. In fact, until recently it was rare to see a single Egret at Ridgefield though they’ve become a familiar visitor in the last few years. That doesn’t explain why there were so many gathered in this relatively small pool of water. I wondered if there was an abundance of food because the drought has forced all the fish into a much smaller body of water or if the drought has dried up so many small lakes and wetlands that this is one of the areas to still have water.

It’s certainly not rare to sight a Red-Tailed Hawk, but I rarely get as close to one as I did to this one that glared at me as I took a shot.

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Closeups have a magical way of forcing us to see common sights in a new light.

The morning visit was capped by a sighting of a pair of American Bitterns.

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I used to see American Bitterns regularly at Nisqually until they took out the dike, but I don’t think I’ve seen one for over a year now.

It was a delightful way to start a long day, though it was nearly 80 degrees already by the time I left the refuge at 10:30. Originally I’d planned on returning in the evening after my dental appointment, but with smoke in the air and temperatures hovering at nearly 100 degrees I decided instead I would cap off my day with a visit to Burgerville for a real ice cream Shake, a Pepper-Tillamook Cheese Burger, and Walla Walla Onion Rings.

Who knew dental appointments could be this much fun?!