The Willets and Biting Gnats are back on Antelope Island

/, Birds, Davis County, Utah, Willets/The Willets and Biting Gnats are back on Antelope Island

Willet just after lift offWillet 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 upAll 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 WilletAlert 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.



  1. Mia McPherson May 27, 2013 at 6:48 pm

    Thanks for the comments on the Willets and for the sympathy regarding the no-see-ums!

  2. Rohrerbot April 29, 2013 at 4:09 pm

    I don’t know how you deal with it. I was severely attacked last summer and it was terrible. I don’t want to go back and bird those areas with all of the no-see-ums. Chiggers are some of the worst bugs out there…..leaving marks for weeks along with the pain!

  3. M. Firpi April 28, 2013 at 12:21 pm

    I love that flying Willet!

  4. Stu April 28, 2013 at 7:46 am

    I now see why humans get tattoos 😉 envy..
    Great great image Mia !

  5. Sherry in MT April 28, 2013 at 1:30 am

    Annoying little bugs anyway. Great photos and I love the ones with just the little bit of purple flowers in them!

  6. Prairie Birder April 27, 2013 at 6:52 pm

    Terrific photos, Mia!

  7. Dave Sparks April 27, 2013 at 6:22 pm

    Wonderful shots of a bird I can’t resist photographing …. and photographing…. and …
    I love the posture and BG of the first one.

  8. biobabbler April 27, 2013 at 3:58 pm

    Wow, good for you re: not letting biting nasties keep you away. *pat pat pat* =)

    Great shots of willets. I’ve never seen them in breeding plumage, so that’s a treat. I monitored shorebirds in San Diego in the winter, so everyone was as drab as possible. I AM a fan of those leggy creatures.

  9. Wally April 27, 2013 at 12:52 pm

    Willets are sometimes so common along the coast it’s easy to overlook them as photo subjects. Thank you for reminding me how truly beautiful they really are!

    (What? Florida doesn’t have a monopoly on no-see-ums??) 🙂

  10. eric c11 April 27, 2013 at 12:39 pm

    nice pictures mia, especially the first, beautifull move, and excellent bokeh too, well played ☺

  11. judy watson April 27, 2013 at 8:14 am

    Beautiful! Love the first one in flight!

    You are like us…..those biting gnats not going to stop us either. I stocked up on the cloths. I call them OFF cloths. They are great for the face and ears.

  12. Bob Bushell April 27, 2013 at 5:54 am

    The Willets are my favourites, great photographs Mia.

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