I love winter in Oregon. While it doesn’t have the snow and low temperatures that most people associate with the season, for me, the cooler temperatures, ample rain, and return of green are just perfect. Other perks include the return of a high density of waterfowl to the refuges and slightly more convenient photo times.

While I miss the many hours of daylight of the summer and the ease of getting outdoors to exercise (without a flashlight and other gear), I love being able to get up and get to the trails while the best light of the day is still available.

Ankeny NWR

Please enjoy this photo essay of my morning.

Sunrise over Eagle Marsh
Duck, duck, geese, landscape
Breakfast meeting
Hooded merganser (female) profile
Trio of rudies
Gettin’ pretty
Water falls
Light on their wings

The synchronized Dabbler Teams

“Who let in the extra guy?”
“Swim THROUGH the lines”
“Fred, why are you out of formation?”
“Dang, it Fred! We were so close!”
“Here’s how it’s done, boys.”


By my favorite part of the morning, and my most exciting, as catching these photos of the dunlins doing formations.

Cascade Gateway

After the light got higher, Key and I hiked Cascade Gateway before returning home. It’s been more than a year since I’ve ventured to my former, almost-everyday stomping grounds. I was dismayed to see the park was closed, but I decided to venture in anyway. I review of the website indicated the park was closed for cleaning and renovations, which I will report are well under way and should be a big improvement when finished. I was surprised how much the species diversity has changed without the crowds of people and stocking of the lake. The crowds of widgeons aren’t there, though it’s possible they’ll show up later in the year. Still, I was a good hike.

I got directly below this bald eagle. S/he didn’t look amused. “Are you trying to peak up my skirts?”
Only one heron, hanging out on a post.
Counted five greater yellowlegs. I’ve only ever seen a single before.
While there were no widgeons, there were a lot of common mergansers and a fair contingent of these hooded mergansers.
Found a pair of red tails. One was pretty casual, but this one was shy.
Only the cackling geese were using the dog runs.

I hope you enjoy this post. I’m going to do some painting before I take the kittens to the vet for a shot. Don’t say anything, okay?