Birding Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge

On our recent visit to Ridgefield NWR, we saw two small flocks of Ring-Necked Ducks, a duck I used to see a lot at the pond at Nisqually NWR but haven’t seen often since I quit visiting there regularly.

For some reason, it’s one of those ducks that I always have trouble identifying, perhaps because the male Ring-Necked

looks an awful lot like a Scaup and because it seems misnamed. Shouldn’t that be a Ringed-Beak duck? I’ve never been able to see the ring around it’s neck.

Luckily, the female Ring-Necked duck

is quite distinctive and is not easily mistaken for other female ducks.

We also saw several Gadwall, like this male.

Though the male is an easily recognizable duck I often struggle to remember its name because I seldom see them and I have a tendency to confuse its name with Gander.

The All-too-common American Robin

Is the American Robin the most common bird in America? It is certainly so common that most people don’t even notice it or even the calls it makes. Looking back at photos over the years, I’d have to admit that I’m probably guilty of that, even though I remember loving Robins as a kid.

Now the only time I really notice them is when there are large flocks migrating, as they are now at Theler.

How do we get ourselves to re-see them? Here’s my attempt, pairing an Emily Dickinson poem with a recent photo.