Oof. Ankle surgery has happened.
It’s been rough, but it’s getting better. The things that make it less rough are reading about birds, looking at birds outside the window, and thinking about birds. The yard birds have been okay, the best being a Barred Owl calling outside the week before surgery.
Other than that, besides a whole lot of juncos, we’ve seen our reliable and spunky Anna’s Hummingbirds, the occasional pair of Fox Sparrows, and a less than regular Townsend’s Warbler. Luckily there’s the (mostly-annoying) ever-amusing squirrels keeping us entertained.
Better than Netflix. Apparently I’ve picked a good time of year to have surgery because birding is slow. It’s the lull before spring. To liven things up, my friends Sarah and Max offered to take me on an outing to Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge, a perfect destination for those with walking challenges because: auto tour! Never have I been so excited for a car ride.
They picked me up and off we went on a chilly, but gorgeous weekend morning.
There were American Coots, Green-winged Teal, Northern Pintail, and Tundra Swans flying in and out and foraging in the winter waters.
We saw Red-tailed Hawks, Bald Eagles, and a gorgeous adult Red-shouldered Hawk.
We got a look at Jen’s favorite albino nutria, that was happy and cozy – and fertile? Yuck. I mean, congratulations!
We listened to Marsh Wrens and hoped for Swamp Sparrows. We cheered when we looked overhead and saw FOY Tree Sparrows zooming around in the sky like maniacs.
At the end of the trail we scanned the grasses when we heard a Virginia Rail! (and got a quick glimpse of rail tail). Then Sarah spotted an American Bittern that I eventually saw.
So cool. And to think, I’d almost left my camera at home.
After completing the loop we stopped by the information kiosk and decided to go around again after the kind refuge volunteer gave us excellent directions to a well-camouflaged Great Horned Owl.
And another bunch of birds we’d missed, Wilson’s Snipes!
What? Don’t see them? Neither did we until we looked a little closer.
So many sneaky snipes! Love those birds.
On the way out the second time around we also got a bonus banded Cackling Goose.
This little lady (K9*) was banded five years ago, 2,000 miles away in Bethel, Alaska. Good job, goose!
And good job us! We left the refuge 51 species richer and feeling very satisfied spending the morning with such great birds and great company.
Tweets and chirps,