Friday, February 10, 2012

A funny thing happened...

My wife and I have been going to the Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge up in Ridgefield Washington for three or four years. I wanted to go because two of my then colleagues, Rick Cameron and Rob Sanford, would come back with wonderful images of a bird I've never seen before. They told me it was a Bittern.

Their images were to fun and interesting that we'd trek up there from time to time to see if we too could find that funny shaped bird.

We never found him.

I accused Rob of taking a stuffed Bittern and placing him by the road at RNWR just so he could take a "realistic" image. Rob and Rick both laughed and told me how easy it was to find them.

They didn't tell me how illusive the Bittern could be. No. They just continued to laugh at my predicament.

RNWR - Bittern

Once. Just once, we found a Bittern. I took his photo and was thrilled. But that was three years ago.

On recent a Sunday when our house was being shown (it was on the market for sale) and there was some silly National Holiday Sporting Event on TV, my wife suggested we go to RNWR to say goodbye to all our feathered friends. One last time.

All our bird friends were there. The Tundra Swans, the Shoveler Ducks, the small song birds, and the big Northern Harriers were all out giving us a winged farewell. Everyone but the Bittern.


We were cursing the Bittern for his illusive ways.

We came around the south edge of the loop, muttering all the way. "Where is that Bittern?" "Where, oh where is that Bittern?"

Coming around a corner, my wife asked again "Where is that Bittern?" I said "There he is!!!"

Not 20 feet from the car was our funny Bittern friend. He was so close that if I used all 400mm's of my Canon 7D/100-400L combo, I only caught the Bittern's head.


He'd come out to say goodbye too.

I'll miss them all up at RNWR. Such a beautiful place. Such a peaceful area.

It's time to go. April 11th is our pending departure date. The house is sold. Our things are packed. Paris awaits.

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