A Sunny Hike in the Ridgefield NWR

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Carty Unit

It was a sunny, almost spring-like day. I drove to the Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge for an opportunity to spot migratory waterfowl and a few miles of hiking.

After crossing an arched foot bridge above a set of railroad tracks, I headed west. I could see tundra swans in the distance but was unable to get very close. I did sneak relatively near to a great blue heron.

I walked north to a cedar plankhouse built in 2005 as a representative of the 14 plankhouses observed by Lewis & Clark in a nearby Indian village. This was the beginning of the Oaks to Wetlands Trail, a well-marked path passing several lakes.

I was surprised to see a few small yellow stream violets in bloom. I think this is my first year ever spotting wildflowers blooming on both sides of the Cascade Mountains before February. Amazing!

Great Blue Heron

Lake beside the trail

Tundra Swan


Lots of Oak trees along the trail

Stream Violet that has seen its better days

Foot bridge over the railroad tracks

A Song Sparrow in the shadows



Categories: Portland Area HikesTags: , , , , ,


  1. It looks like a beautiful day for it. Lovely photos. 🙂

  2. Great Blue Herons are the best! Glances of this bird in flight in dim light is my theory for the origin of the Jersey Devil myth.

  3. Ha. I set the heron picture as my desktop background. Since I have three connected monitors there is often one with the background showing. Now I have this huge bird with yellow piercing eyes staring at me as if to say, “quit looking at me and get back to work slacker”!

  4. I love the Song Sparrow. Its coloring is beautiful. Great shot!

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