A Cool Morning in the Refuge
Temperatures dipped into the 20’s last night and it was just a bit nippy as I headed into the refuge this morning.
As always, click on any image for a larger, sharper version.
The chilly temps do not seem to deter the birds as they were out and about as soon as the sun peaked over the hills to the east.
One of the male Northern Harriers had found a perch warmed by the early sun and was performing his daily grooming ritual.
Anyone following this blog can probably tell I have a strong fascination with the ” Gray Ghost “.
The great Short-eared Owl shot still eludes me, though he does seem to take a certain delight in tormenting me with his distant antics.
Male Ruddy Ducks are now sporting their brilliant blue bills to impress the ladies.
And small birds are singing their hearts out everywhere throughout the refuge, again hoping to impress members of the opposite sex.
Late in the afternoon, just around sunset, I ran into this colorful male Ring-necked Pheasant along the southern portion of the refuge road. Lighting conditions were just ideal to capture the breathtaking colors of this bird, the sun was low and the soft light further diffused by clouds as the bird moved in and out of the shade at a fairly close distance from me. These conditions just make all the colors pop!
In this closeup, you can see every color of the rainbow on this bird. The purple around the neck is a color I had never noticed before, revealed when this bird walked into the shade.
Pretty spectacular creature, wouldn’t you agree.
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