For today’s Friday Photos I am mixing it up a bit and posting images of Pronghorns, a Black-crowned Night Heron, a Long-tailed Weasel and an American Kestrel. Please enjoy!

Pronghorns of Antelope Flats, Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area Pronghorns of Antelope Flat, Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area, UT –  Nikon D300, f7.1, 1/2500, ISO 800, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 400mm, natural light

I am behind on processing (that really isn’t news) but earlier this week I edited some files from a camping trip I made in September of 2011 to the Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area located in northeast Utah so I had this file on hand.

I photographed this group of Pronghorns in an area known as Antelope Flat which really seems like a fitting name since I saw so many Pronghorn there. Because I was there during the Pronghorn rut I was able to observe and photograph a Pronghorn buck trying to keep control of his does. I’ll do a post on them soon but for now I wanted to share one image of that buck’s “ladies” taken in the early morning light.

Black-crowned Night Heron adult Black-crowned Night Heron adult,  Bear River National Wildlife Refuge, UT – Nikon D200, f5.6, 1/1250, ISO 400, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 330mm, natural light

I photographed this adult Black-crowned Night Heron in early morning light at the Bear River National Wildlife Refuge in northern Utah as it stood on a mound of dead Bulrushes. I find the very long white occipital plume, cherry red eyes and the colors of this night heron appealing and beautiful. Unlike the Black-crowned Night Herons in Florida that I found easy to approach I have noticed that this species in Utah is far more difficult to get close to so I am always pleased when one poses within range as this one did.

American Kestrel male on frosty Rabbitbrush Male American Kestrel,  Antelope Island State Park, UT –  Nikon D300, f6.3, 1/1250, ISO 800, +0.7 EV, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 400mm, natural light, not baited

I was a bit further away from this male American Kestrel on the Antelope Island causeway than I would have liked to have been when I photographed it but I loved the setting, the pose of the falcon, the soft light and the frosted vegetation. I also enjoy having my subjects “small in the frame” at times and believe they can be compelling and appealing images. Besides; I adore American Kestrels and will photograph them at every opportunity!

Long-tailed Weasel in summer coat Long-tailed Weasel in summer coat, Bear River National Wildlife Refuge, UT – Nikon D200, f7.1, 1/800, ISO 400, +0.3 EV, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 200mm, natural light, not baited

There is a story behind this Long-tailed Weasel photo that I will do a post on another time but I wanted to share this one file for now. This Long-tailed Weasel is in its summer coat, in the winter the coat becomes all white with the exception of a black tipped tail. I’m still hoping to get images of them in the winter because they are especially beautiful then. They may be beautiful but Long-tailed Weasels have a reputation for being ferocious and they will even kill and cannibalize their own species. I would not want to mess with these weasels!

Have a terrific Friday!