Muskrat in morning lightMuskrat in morning light – Nikon D300, f6.3, 1/250, ISO 500, -0.3 EV, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 400mm, natural light

Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge is always a delight and I never know exactly what I might see when I am there which suits my spontaneous nature perfectly. Some of the highlights yesterday morning included seeing a Muskrat out of the water gathering food in the golden light of dawn. Normally I only get to photograph them in the water so it was wonderful to have this one on the shore.

Double-crested Cormorant drying outDouble-crested Cormorant drying out – Nikon D300, handheld, f8, 1/200, ISO 500, +0.3 EV, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 400mm, natural light

Double-crested Cormorants in Florida were well adjusted to human traffic and could appear quite tame but here in Utah it seems much harder to approach them so I was pleased when this one allowed me to get outside of the vehicle to take images of it. The cormorant was drying itself after feeding.

Marsh Wren searching for nesting materialMarsh Wren searching for nesting material – Nikon D300, f6.3, 1/800, ISO 500, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 400mm, natural light

The Marsh Wrens at the refuge are busy singing, guarding territories and building nests right now and this one appeared to be searching for nesting material while it sang over the distant calls of Franklin’s Gulls, Yellow-headed Blackbirds, Red-winged Blackbirds along with Western and Clark’s Grebes.

Western Grebe eating a crayfishWestern Grebe eating a crayfish – Nikon D300, f6.3, 1/500, ISO 500, +0.7 EV, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 400mm, natural light

I’m used to seeing Western Grebes dive and come up with fish to eat but when I saw this one surface it had a Crayfish in its bill. Oh how I wish the light had been better but I am happy with this image despite the light. It is the first series I have of this species chowing down on a mud-bug!

Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge is a great location to see birds, scenery and other wildlife and to feel nature envelop all of your senses. And you just never know what you might see there.

Mia