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.


*Please do not pin my images on Pinterest, Tumblr or any other pinning site, that is a violation of Copyright Laws. Feel free to share the link to my posts but not the images directly.


  1. Humming Bird lover April 14, 2013 at 5:51 pm

    Hi! love them all! such beautiful colors and Markings. The flight real are great. Have a great week!

  2. M. Firpi April 13, 2013 at 10:10 pm

    Great variety. It’s great you’re getting to see spring again.

    • Mia McPherson April 14, 2013 at 3:35 pm

      Thanks Maria, it is wonderful to see spring again.

  3. Prairie Birder April 13, 2013 at 7:30 pm

    I hope you are feeling better, Mia! Excellent photographs, you should this a weekly feature!

    • Mia McPherson April 14, 2013 at 3:34 pm

      Thank you Charlotte, I am feeling better now. I might do this type of post weekly, it could be fun.

  4. Wally April 13, 2013 at 5:02 pm

    Mia, sorry to hear about the fall! Ask Santa for those knee guards you know you need anyhow!
    Superb series of photographs! Love the Curlew and hope to see one of his brethren Monday at Ft. Desoto. Again, congratulations on the Mountain Plover! Really super find! The Avocet is just such a handsome bird, nicely portrayed by a proficient photographer.

    • Mia McPherson April 14, 2013 at 3:34 pm

      Thank you Wally, my knees are doing better now, I am just glad I didn’t break anything. I hope you see a Long-billed Curlew tomorrow at Fort De Soto!

  5. Jane Chesebrough April 13, 2013 at 4:51 pm

    i likeyour photos and find this time of year invigorating-share your excitement. I saw my first Mallard this year and was so happy that I had to laugh at myself! Yup been a good week.Trust that your knees are healing.

    • Mia McPherson April 14, 2013 at 3:33 pm

      Thanks Jane, my knees are feeling better now. I sure felt silly crashing to the ground though.

  6. Kathleen April 13, 2013 at 2:31 pm

    Hope you heal quickly! Weather has been inconsistent here, too. Am doing a bird walk for work tomorrow AM, so I will at least get some birding in. Went birding late thursday as the sun was getting because there were three lifers reported in the same location, but no luck.

    • Mia McPherson April 13, 2013 at 2:44 pm

      Kathleen, I hope you get to see those lifers soon, they always are a joy! Today is horrible but tomorrow looks more promising as far as the weather goes.

  7. eric c11 April 13, 2013 at 1:32 pm

    very nice this serie !!

    specialy the ameraican avocats, very nices colors
    last week i ve done some coupling in pictures with avocets too, i like the moment just after where they cross the beck between each other, like a big hug, it s very cute and nice

    see you soon

    • Mia McPherson April 13, 2013 at 2:43 pm

      Thanks Eric! I also saw the avocets cross bills after they mated but unfortunately they were facing away from me when they did that. I hope to get more mating images of avocets this year.

  8. Merrill Ann Gonzales April 13, 2013 at 12:21 pm

    You are very lucky with your fall. The last time I slipped I broke my right wrist even though I was in a ball as I hit the ground. Hope your knees are o.k.
    These are a wonderful list of birds. What you do in one week I could not even hope to do in a life time so you have every right to feel happy with the results.

    • Mia McPherson April 13, 2013 at 2:42 pm

      Merrill, I feel very lucky that I didn’t do more damage when I fell, if I had broken my right wrist it could have seriously been an issue since I need my hands to photograph!

  9. Julie G. April 13, 2013 at 10:00 am

    Despite only being able to get outside with your camera three days this week, you certainly photographed some especially lovely birds! Congratulations on the Mountain Plover sighting. How very exciting! It’s always a pleasure to visit your wonderful blog and view your exceptional wildlife photographs.

    • Mia McPherson April 13, 2013 at 2:41 pm

      Thank you very much Julie!

  10. Bob Bushell April 13, 2013 at 8:15 am

    Great photography Mia, my favourite is the first one, superb.

  11. Dennis April 13, 2013 at 7:50 am

    Mia, perfect week, perfect photos. Love your work!

    • Mia McPherson April 13, 2013 at 2:40 pm

      Thanks Dennis, it has been a notable week!

  12. Susan April 13, 2013 at 7:21 am

    What a lovely post Mia, beautiful photos as usual

  13. judy watson April 13, 2013 at 7:10 am

    Fantastic shots! Love them all!
    Sure wish I could have seen the Plovers.
    Glad you didn’t hurt yourself too bad.

    • Mia McPherson April 13, 2013 at 2:39 pm

      Thanks Judy, I just have sore scraped knees today, that won’t stop me from getting out and photographing!

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