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National Wildlife Refuge


Great Blue Heron

Julia and I have lately been trying to learn more about birdwatching and wildlife photography. Fortunately for us there are many great places nearby to practice these skills. Ridgefield and Steigerwald Lake National Wildlife Refuges are two we visited recently.

You need a good camera to take great photos and we recently upgraded our camera to a Sony a7rV. We included a Tamron 50-400mm f/4.5-6.3 lens. For the camera geeks out there: because the new camera has a 61-megapixel sensor when the full frame lens is cropped into APS-C mode, the lens’ focal length becomes 600 mm. So, you get a 600 mm lens in a 400 mm package, nice.

Full Frame Sensor Crops

Ridgefield is northwest of Portland and in the lovely state of Washington. It is split into two sections. In one area one can hike into the refuge and in the other area one can drive a car around the wetlands. The drive gives one by far the best view of wildlife.

We went to Ridgefield last year and so we were reasonably familiar with the place. But this year we extended our birdwatching to Steigerwald Lake National Wildlife Refuge too. Steigerwald Lake is just northeast of Portland and right on the Columbia River.

Ridgefield and Steigerwald Lake
Our first visit to Ridgefield


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