Adult American White Pelican
Yesterday at Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge there were two American White Pelicans that were close enough to photograph as they floated on the Bear River, it was a cloudless morning so the river was a gorgeous blue which always sets off the whites of these big, beautiful birds.
American White Pelican on the Bear River
This pelican was sporting a long, shaggy “do” that would stand straight up as the wind blew. Photographing these large white birds can present exposure challenges, I tossed a few over exposed images into my delete bin but for the most part the series I took came out very well.
American White Pelicans breed here in Utah and many nest on isolated islands in the Great Salt Lake, they often fly long distances to freshwater locations such as Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge to capture fish for their young as the Great Salt Lake near those islands is too hyper saline to have fish.
Swainson’s Hawk portrait – Nikon D200, f9, 1/250, ISO 400, +0.3 EV, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 400mm, natural light, not baited
I photographed this hawk in May of 2011 and soon after I photographed it I made a post about the bird here on my blog. The other day I came across that post and felt very embarrassed because on that post I realized I had incorrectly ID’d this bird as a Red-tailed Hawk. I must have been distracted or in a hurry to make the wrong ID but it does show that no matter how well you know your bird ID a mistake can be made.
I’ve corrected my previous post that had images of this bird n it.
And I have completely washed the egg off of my face
First 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 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 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 flight
I do get excited about seeing the first Brine Flies because I know that their presence brings on the birds and the feeding frenzies that follow!
*Sorry for the double post this morning, I thought the other post on Capitol Reef National Park had already been published a long time ago, but it had been marked “private”. Oh well, it IS a great place.
Adult Snow Goose in the Great Salt Lake
Spring is arriving and there have been reports of Snow Geese in the area. I edited some Snow Geese images I took in November of last year to post today.
I love the way it looks as if this goose is grinning.
Juvenile Snow Goose on the shore of the Great Salt Lake
The immature Snow Goose hung close to the adult. These two geese were seen along the causeway to Antelope Island for a few days last fall.
Adult Snow Goose walking the shoreline of the Great Salt Lake
They walked the shoreline of the Great Salt Lake. The early morning light seemed to make this adult glow.
Young Snow Goose walking the shoreline of the Great Salt Lake
The juvenile Snow Goose was starting to get the pure white feathers of adult plumage on its back. I wonder if by this spring it looks just like the adults.
I’m hoping to go on a “Goose Chase” this morning, the sky is supposed to be clear so there should be good light and I would be delighted to see some snow, Snow Geese that is! I’ve had about enough of the other snow for now.