Chukar on a lofty perch
Two days ago I spotted this Chukar on the edge of the road near the marina at Antelope Island State Park, the Chukar was at road level but just beyond the rock there is a slope that drops about 25 to 30 feet. I know I wouldn’t want to tumble down that slope but the Chukars go down that slope as easily as a mountain goat can climb up the sides of Denali.
Chukar near the marina on Antelope Island State Park
I do like the setting with the Rabbitbrush greening up in the background and the lichen covered rock. The soft pastels in the image are soothing while the red bill and orbital ring give a nice pop of color.
More Chukar images
Willet just after lift off – Nikon D300, f6.3, 1/1250, ISO 500, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 400mm, natural light
The Willets are moving into their nesting territory on Antelope Island State Park and I am excited about that, what I am not excited about is that the biting gnats (no-see-ums) are back too. I love to hear the Willets calling either from their perches or when they are in flight. This Willet had just lifted off from a Sagebrush where it had been calling. I did clone a bit of the very top of the Sagebrush out at the lower right portion of this frame.
All fluffed up - Nikon D300, f6.3, 1/1250, ISO 500, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 328mm, natural light
Further south on the island this Willet was on the ground where it had most likely been foraging and it stopped to shake its feathers and fluff them up.
Alert Willet - Nikon D300, f6.3, 1/1000, ISO 500, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 328mm, natural light
Then it moved a bit closer to the pickup and stood at alert. I think the tiny pink flowers add to the last two images.
The biting gnats… The nasty buggers will be trying to suck the blood out of me for at least the next six weeks every time I go to the island but I am not going to let them stop me from photographing the wonderful birds and great wildlife I see there.
Burrowing Owl juvenile
I can’t resist photographing Burrowing Owls, I just can’t. They are so much fun to see and observe. I photographed this juvenile last year as it tried to get its balance back while perched on a Sagebrush and the pose and facial expression amuses me.
I’ve been seeing the Burrowing Owls on the island again, it won’t be too long before there are chicks.
This is just a simple post with a few Long-billed Curlew images I took not long before I discovered the Mountain Plovers on April 10th on Antelope Island State Park. The Mountain Plovers were great but so are the Long-billed Curlews.
Alert Long-billed Curlew
I think that Long-billed Curlews are elegant and graceful shorebirds and their colors are earthy but vibrant plus they are a lot of fun to observe and photograph.
Long-billed Curlew about to lift off
This Long-billed Curlew was about to lift off when I photographed it so I like the pose and how dynamic it feels.
More Long-billed Curlews have arrived here and just two days ago I heard my first of year Willets calling on the island so soon I will be photographing them again.
Flock of male Yellow-headed Blackbirds
Yellow-headed Blackbirds are filling the marshy areas of Utah with their odd mechanical call once again as the males court the females for their annual spring fling. If you have never heard their calls you can listen to it here (about halfway down the page). I photographed this small flock of male Yellow-headed Blackbirds last April on Antelope Island Sate Park.
Male Yellow-headed Blackbird
The auto tour route at Bear River National Wildlife Refuge is a terrific location to get up close to Yellow-headed Blackbirds where during the peak of breeding season you can see thousand of them flitting about or perched on the top of cattails, grasses and rushes. The males are easily identified by their black bodies and namesake yellow heads.