Male Long-billed Curlew callingMale Long-billed Curlew calling

Because of fluctuating weather I have only gotten out to photograph three times this past week, on the days I didn’t get out I know I was having withdrawals because it is spring migration and I’m excited to see my first of years birds and to photograph the ones that have already returned.

Last Saturday the weather was a bit on the gloomy side but we went to Antelope Island anyway to meet up with Steve Creek who was camping on the island and visiting from Arkansas. Before seeing Steve I took this image of a male Long-billed Curlew calling. The bills of male Long-billed Curlews are shorter than the bills of females.

Steve didn’t stay in Utah as long as he hoped because our weather turned nasty with a storm front coming in and rain/snow in the forecast. The winds got pretty bad ahead of that front.

Male Mountain PloverMale Mountain Plover

The highlight of the week was when I spotted a pair of Mountain Plovers on Antelope Island State Park, they are rare to Utah and they were lifer birds for me. I sent in my report to the Utah Bird Records Committee along with a few images.

Who knew that sighting a tiny shorebird could cause such an uproar?

Anyway, I took loads of images of the pair of Mountain Plovers that I am very happy with. I suspect there are more of these beautiful shorebirds in Utah this time of the year but they might be located in areas that are under birded or inaccessible to the general public.

Great Egret stalking preyGreat Egret stalking prey

Yesterday at Bear River National Wildlife Refuge I saw a few first of year birds for me, two Great Egrets, a few Snowy Egrets and Clark’s Grebes delighted me. I also spotted a Rough-legged Hawk from a distance, all the Roughies will soon be gone.

American Avocet in flightAmerican Avocet in flight

Black-necked Stilts and American Avocet numbers are on the increase at Bear River National Wildlife Refuge and their calls are filling the air.  This one flew past me and seemed to beg me to take pictures of it. Okay, the bird didn’t beg, I simply could not resist taking images of it.

American Avocets matingAmerican Avocets mating

Speaking of “not being able to resist”, these two American Avocets couldn’t resist courting and mating yesterday. I wish they had been a bit closer but I feel lucky to have gotten the images I did of them because they mate very quickly. You can’t blink while they are mating or you will miss it.

I’m hoping the weather this upcoming week is better so I can experience more of the wonders of migration.

I tripped yesterday in a parking lot which literally brought me to my knees. My knees are scraped up and bruised and although I was embarrassed by my lack of grace, I’ll be fine.

Even though I only got out to photograph birds three times this week each of the days I did get out were very memorable!

Have a great Saturday.


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