Winter is a good time for viewing eagles at Ridgefield but this young bald eagle at Schwartz Lake was the only eagle I saw during my visit on January 16th. I didn’t expect to have much time for pictures when I pulled the car over as I feared the eagle would spook when the next car came past. But the steady rain kept traffic on the auto tour so low that no one else came by and since the eagle was in no hurry, I was able to watch it for quite a while. Most of the time it just stood on a submerged log, but a few times it leaned down for a drink before finally flying off to a nearby tree.
Schwartz Lake (like most lakes at Ridgefield) is quite small and shallow since it is really just a flooded field. The water levels of many of the lakes are managed to mimic the floodplains of the Columbia before the dams were built, flooding during the winter and drying out by summer.