Photos from personal trips AND trips with
“Birds of Oregon and General Science” (BOGS)
of Celeste Campbell Center
BOGS Fern Ridge Reservoir Birding
It was an overcast but fairly bright day and we had an especially good turnout. We even had about half a dozen new members. At first we had some rain splatter and the clouds were heavy and the sky dark. In a short time, the rain stopped altogether and the sky brightened considerably. The lighting was bright enough for short photo exposure times, but it was
not good for getting "dynamic range"; i.e.; colors just do not have the kind of brilliance one gets on a sunny day.
After only a short time we already had seen four adult Bald Eagles and an American Bittern.
We saw lots of birds, and had some pretty special ones as well. The trip highlights were a Northern Shrike, a Red-Shouldered Hawk, flocks of Dunlin flashing white when they turned all at once, and a flying American Bittern. Many of the birds we saw were at quite a distance from us, which does not allow for clear, large sharp pictures with my Canon SX40 camera. I also want to mention that the auto-focus on my camera does not always latch onto birds if they are too small in my viewfinder, or if any branch or twig is in front of the bird; and active birds frequently don't allow time for fussing with manual focusing. I tried and tried to get a picture of the Marsh Wrens that were singing along the trail several times - but they were just too fidgety and obscured by the tall grasses. Also, sometimes, like in the case of the American Bittern, there was no time at all for even the auto-focusing, because the bird was there - flying- for three or four seconds - and then gone. I just aimed and pressed the shutter and was lucky enough to get a "soft-focus" picture which does show some field marks.
After our group left the area I stayed around the NE corner of Fern Ridge for another hour or so
and found another Red-Shouldered Hawk. This one was much closer and I was able to get a few interesting pictures of it, including one showing the TOP of the bird with it's wings spread. Although the focus is very fuzzy, that picture shows a rare glimpse of the red shoulders for which the bird gets it's name. I also got pictures of what I think was a Red-Tailed Hawk. I've included these pictures at the very end of the album - because we did have a Red-Shouldered Hawk on this trip and my later pictures are clearer, and the Red-Tailed Hawk provides a "study in contrast" between these two species. (I might be wrong about it being a Red-Tailed Hawk though - so write to correct me if I'm wrong). I ended the album with two scenic views of the reservoir taken from the end of Shore Ln. While looking at the photo album, you can view the album map to see approximately where many of our birds were seen, including the hawks I found after our group trip ended.
As usual if any of my captions give the wrong name of a bird, please email me and let me know. Don't worry about flooding my email box - so far no one has ever sent me a correction yet I'm sure I get some of the ID's wrong.
BOGS Fern Ridge Reservoir, Feb 28, 2013