Check out the winter migratory birds at at local wildlife refuge just a few miles north of portland. Bring your binoculars!
Sometime Dad’s are awesome. Especially retired Dads, like mine, who have great ideas about fun things to do with an infant. A couple weeks ago he picked me and the baby up and took us to the Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge to drive their Auto Tour. The refuge is a few miles off of I-5 in Ridgefield, WA and in the winter, it’s packed with birds and waterfowl. Evidently it’s a popular winter migration stop.
There are a couple short hiking trails there, but the big “attraction” is their 4-mile car tour. This is similar to Wildlife Safari outside of Roseberg, but much cheaper and focused on birds rather than exotic zoo animals. It only costs few dollars to do the loop. You aren’t allowed to get out of your car, so it’s a nice cozy way to spend a winter afternoon. We were armed with two pairs of binoculars and a couple DSLR cameras, which were very helpful seeing the birds. My lens was not up to the task so most of the photos I’m sharing today were taken by my parents.
This was my first “birding” trip and I must say, it was fun! We took our time, stopping frequently while the baby slept quietly in her car seat and saw all kinds of birds: geese, swan, hawks, heron, tons of ducks and other birds that are new to me.
We spent about an hour driving the loop and spotted more than just birds. Nuria were everywhere. And we even caught glimpse of some deer. The brochure they hand out at the entrance says there are also opossum, rabbits, coyote, raccoon, otter, beaver and skunk in the area so you never know what you’ll see.
I was a big fan of this place. It was the perfect slow-paced afternoon out for me and the babe, but I think it was be a great addition to a road trip, maybe the next time you’re headed to Mt. St. Helen’s? Or if you have a high powered camera lens, this is a great place to put it to the test.
RIDGEFIELD NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE
28908 NW MAIN AVENUE, RIDGEFIELD, WA
OPEN YEAR ROUND