The Sandpiper Trail at Grays Harbor NWR

//The Sandpiper Trail at Grays Harbor NWR

The Sandpiper Trail at Grays Harbor NWR

Last month, Hugh and I took a spontaneous and soggy photo walk through Grays Harbor National Wildlife Refuge in Hoquiam, Washington. For a few weeks at the end of April and beginning of May, hundreds of thousands of migrating sandpipers, Dunlins, plovers, dowitchers and Red Knots feed and rest on the Refuge’s mud flats and along the tideline. On the day we went, a volunteer estimated 15,000 birds were foraging on the plateau in front of us.

With my camera on the fritz, Hugh’s memory card failing (after we got home), and the light quality, at times, almost onyx and sable, the day was more about the experience than the shots.

There was also a bonus round: At the end of the walk, we had a surprise visitor who capped the entire excursion with one of my favorite (ever) nature experiences.

The post is at The Wildlife Conservation Stamp website: The Shorebirds of Grays Harbor National Wildlife Refuge

By | 2017-09-24T02:20:24+00:00 May 28th, 2013|Animal Behavior, Bird Species, Blog, Migration, Pacific Northwest, Parks|9 Comments

9 Comments

  1. Glenn Nevill May 28, 2013 at 4:55 pm

    Nice report, loved the weasel shot too.

    • ingrid June 8, 2013 at 1:38 pm

      I’d never seen a long-tailed weasel which was a great bonus. I couldn’t get a superb shot to save me, but the experience was worth it all.

  2. Mia McPherson May 29, 2013 at 3:26 am

    Great post Ingrid, I’d never heard of this NWR before but it looks like a fantastic place. The weasel is wonderful!

    • ingrid June 8, 2013 at 1:39 pm

      There are obviously a lot of species there, Mia, but there’s a great focus on the shorebird migration in line with the Festival. It’s also a non-hunting Refuge, a situation I don’t run into that often.

  3. M. Firpi June 1, 2013 at 11:12 am

    I still like this flock of birds you posted here the most in this pano framing.

  4. John Raymond June 3, 2013 at 8:30 pm

    Wonderful post, Ingrid. It wouldn’t be a true trip to the coast and near the rainforest unless it was downright tough with miserable conditions only the birds would love! Glad you guys persevered onward.
    What a nice treat to see the mother Weasel too. The perks of just being out there and coming across nature without a script.

    Nice work!

    • ingrid June 8, 2013 at 1:41 pm

      John, so true! From a personal and experiential standpoint, I *love* the rain and inclement weather … especially after getting years of sun over-dose in L.A. It’s only a downside for photography sometimes. My camera and lens are supposed to be waterproof and water-sealed, but I don’t test them to their limits.

  5. John Raymond June 15, 2013 at 4:08 am

    I wouldn’t know what to do with a weather-sealed camera. I have drowned *only* 2 Olympus OM1’s in about 30 years
    since I bought my first in 1976. Sad to say, haven’t had a chance to drown one since about 2000 and the era of seduction of digital.
    Sidenote. So rare to see weasels here anymore. Mink fairly common anywhere near water but have missed seeing weasels. Found a dead one a couple years back and was just amazed at the colors and finely tuned precision body. Much like shrews and hummingbirds, such amazing creatures in small packages. The mustlids are so amazing anyway. Have you had a chance to see many badgers in the wild?

  6. John Raymond June 15, 2013 at 4:10 am

    *mustelids

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