Weekend Expedition 3 went off with no undue trouble thanks to Willow English, a phalarope researcher who drove us both to Westham Island and the George C. Reifel Bird Sanctuary. This was the first time I had been there in many years, the last having been on a field trip with my vertebrate ecology lab way back in undergrad.
The weather was a mix of fog, cloud, and sun, so no real dramatic lighting was available, but this is typical for this area in the winter. There were certainly a lot of birds, as this is one bird sanctuary where you are allowed to feed the wildlife (which, when you think about it, is kind of odd). I think these feeding opportunities made for some good photo opportunities such as the sandhill cranes in closeup, as well as the low angel mallard shot. On the raptor front, we were not disappointed to find a sleepy Saw-Whet Owl dozing on a low limb with another somewhat higher. These have been spotted for several weeks now, and in general they seem to be reliably found at Reifel.
Overall, not so many surprises, but it was definitely worth the trip. And feeding Sandhill Cranes really is pretty awesome.
What did you get up to this weekend?
Pingback: Weekend Expedition Plans: back to Reifel! | Ibycter