First of the year Brine FliesFirst of the year Brine Flies

Yesterday while near the marina on Antelope Island State Park I spotted my first of the year Brine Flies warming up on some of the rocks in the water. You might wonder “why” am I so excited about flies?

It is because I know how many birds feast on the little buggers! If the brine flies are out it won’t be long before the shorebirds that eat them arrive.  Last week there was ice on this water, how quickly things change. The image above was taken yesterday.

California Gull in a thick mass of Brine FliesCalifornia Gull in a thick mass of Brine Flies

This image was taken last year when the brine flies were thick, all of those little dark dots in the air, on the rocks and in front of the California Gull are Brine Flies. With billions of them in just a small area it is easy to see why the birds that devour them like the area of the Great Salt Lake. The California Gulls are already here and they appear to be eating the flies along the causeway.

Franklin's Gull with Brine FliesFranklin’s Gull with Brine Flies

It won’t be long before the first of the Franklin’s Gulls arrive too and for a short time the Bonaparte’s Gulls will feast on the flies too before heading further north. All those dark flecks on the water? Brine Flies.

California Gull with Brine Flies in flightCalifornia Gull with Brine Flies in flight

I do get excited about seeing the first Brine Fly because I know that their presence brings on the birds and the feeding frenzies that follow!