Saturday, September 25, 2021

Back to Fernhill

After my return to Oregon, the first place I visited was the Fernhill Wetlands.  One of the closer wildlife refuges to my home, it's a favorite hangout for myself and my neighbor and photo-mentor Cheri.  She was glad to have me home - her photo-buddy was finally back!   

Great Blue Heron giving me the "eye"

Cheri had heard there were white pelicans at Fernhill.  She loves photographing pelicans, so we drove over one day to check things out.  Arriving late in the afternoon, we heard from another birder that a flock had just flown away.  No matter, it's a pleasant walk around the main pond, and we did spot a friendly Great Blue Heron.

This green heron posed nicely for us!

Not only that, but Cheri spotted a usually elusive green heron who posed nicely on a tree - for several minutes!  (Can you say "money shot?")

Perfect pelican reflection

Although the herons were great photo material, Cheri wanted to capture some pelicans.  Not to be deterred, she proposed we return to Fernhill the next morning - early.

Pelicans in flight

Arriving at the refuge by 6:30 am, we immediately headed to the large pond, hoping to spot some of our large-beaked friends. 

Big pelican flock in great light

At first all we spotted was one lone pelican, standing in the water by himself.  The morning light was perfect and the water so still, it made for an awesome reflection image.

Another shot of the flock

Then Cheri noticed the pelican flock in a nearby pond.  We sighted our cameras on the birds, but they were still too far away.  But then, much to our delight, the entire group spread their wings and flew into the pond right in front of us!

Caught the middle pelican's beak at an unusual angle!

Conditions couldn't have been better!  The morning light was coming from the correct angle and illuminated the pelicans perfectly. 

One guy is still feeding

Besides photographing them, the pelicans were fun to watch.  They swam around in a large group, dunking into the water for food in unison, and coming back up all at the same time.

Pelicans in a row

Then three of the pelicans broke away from the flock and swam together in a row.  Too perfect!  Cheri and I made many images of this.  (Naturally, we ended up with a lot of the same photographs.)

"Yak, yak, yak....."

This photo made me laugh.  Looks like the one pelican is boring his companion to death.

Swimming together looking for food

Although pelicans were our main focus of the day, I couldn't resist pointing my lens at the numerous shorebirds scampering around water's edge.  This Killdeer reflected perfectly in the shallow waters.

Killdeer reflection

After about an hour, the pelicans left in a large group, flying from the main pond to a smaller pond in an inaccessible area of the refuge.  But Cheri and I had enough time to fill our memory cards with plenty of great pelican images.  Enough photos that sorting and editing them would occupy an entire afternoon.

Acorn woodpecker

We ended our perfect morning by stopping by another local greenway on the way home to look for some acorn woodpeckers.  Eagle-eyed Cheri spotted one flitting through the trees with a green acorn in it's beak.

It was great to be back home in Oregon photographing some of my familiar feathered friends.  Enjoy the pics!


  1. ...they all are fabulous, but the pelicans in flight are my favorite.

  2. Nice pictures of all the Pelicans, but yes that's a money shot of the Green Heron!

  3. Wow, these are fantastic shots! I especially love the ones with the pelican's mouth's open.

  4. Lovely photos. What a treat when everything works in unison to give those exceptional photos.

  5. Hello Linda,
    Awesome collection of bird photography! I love the White Pelicans. The Herons and the Acorn Woodie are all wonderful. Have a happy Sunday and a great new week!

  6. Superb and you got some great shots,I love that one of the two Pelicans flying

  7. Absolutely superb images of one of my favourite birds. What a wonderful morning you had.

  8. Pelicans are such unusual looking birds! You got so many wonderful photos of them. I also loved the woodpecker with his prize acorn!

  9. Pelicans always seem so exotic yet I'm guessing they are pretty common

  10. Wow the Pelicans in a row is just a perfect photo! What fun!

  11. That woodpecker photo is grand! I also love pelicans but only see them if we go to CA. I don't think I've ever seen a green heron. All the photos are wonderful.

  12. Wonderful photos. Those pelicans are so amusing. My favorite shot of them was the 3 all lined up in a row.


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