Snow one day, sunshine the next. Yesterday I took advantage of the bright day to pay a visit between Tacoma and Olympia to the Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge. The bright low late spring light left me with wonderful opportunities to both hone my birdwatching skills just as much as my photography skills on these very same creatures of our natural world! I was hanging out low photographing Hooded Mergansers, Green-winged Teals, Pied-billed Grebes, Common Mergansers, Horned Grebes, Mallards, Northern Pintails, Northern Shoveler, and the list goes on. Of course the refuge was scattered with literally dozens of Great Blue Herons including one who was the standing guards-bird of the path that led to the photo blind area.
What a rascal! Bald Eagles were in the high cottonwood trees along the Nisqually River, and I was lucky to find a small group who had found the resting Great Horned Owl in the large trees near the barns.
All this while thousands of Canada Geese circled in and out of the refuge. Winter is still here but the birds were looking cozy paired up in many cases with mates and life was wonderful for them all. It should be fun to pay a re-visit to see some babies from our avian friends within the coming month or so!
(photos top-to-bottom: Male Hooded Merganser; Heron standing guard on trail; Great Horned Owl sleeping in tree; Male/Female pair of Hooded Mergansers; Male/Female pair of Northern Pintails swimming; Male Green-winged Teal)