Mountain Plover on Antelope Island State Park

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Mountain Plover on Antelope Island State ParkMountain Plover on Antelope Island State Park – Nikon D300, f6.3, 1/1250, ISO 640, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 400mm, natural light

Eight months ago I spotted two Mountain Plovers on Antelope Island State Park and I am still blown away by seeing and photographing those beautiful shorebirds who are uncommon in Utah. Uncommon enough that my sighting of these two birds was only the tenth record accepted by the Utah Bird Records Committee.

I have to wonder since these plovers winter in California and Arizona and breed to the north and east of Utah if they aren’t in Utah more often than we know. Maybe in the spring they rest for a bit on golf courses and sod farms in Utah which would provide the low vegetation they prefer.

I know that I will be keeping an eye out for them in the spring but it is possible to see them even in December as the 9th confirmed sighting in Utah of a Mountain Plover before mine was by Mike Hearell on Christmas Day of 2012.

I might have missed these lovely Mountain Plovers On Antelope Island State Park if I hadn’t focused my lens on a pair of tiny shorebirds in the distance.



  1. Patty Chadwick December 13, 2013 at 4:41 pm

    Just looking at this photo, again…such a beautiful little bird…and a great image…composition is perfect!

  2. Elephant's Child December 3, 2013 at 12:21 pm

    Congratulations. A win for you – and for avian knowledge.

  3. Wally December 3, 2013 at 12:05 pm

    Wonderful find, Mia! Outstanding photograph of a beautiful plover! Congratulations!

  4. Utahbooklover December 3, 2013 at 11:28 am

    A lovely Christmas bird to watch for and a beautiful image for this wintry day.

  5. Jane Chesebrough December 3, 2013 at 11:08 am

    Amazing what you can spot when curiosity makes you zoom in on an unidentified bird and you get a surprise like this. Good going and I hope you find more.

  6. Chris Rohrer December 3, 2013 at 10:42 am

    I would certainly love to spot these beauties in the wild instead of on those sod farms. You had really satisfying views. Such a cool bird.

  7. Jerry Liguori December 3, 2013 at 9:56 am

    Love these birds, wish we could see more. Fantastic photos, some of the best ever of this species!

  8. Bob Bushell December 3, 2013 at 6:22 am

    Superb little Plover, well taken Mia.

  9. Montanagirl December 3, 2013 at 6:19 am

    Congrats on your wonderful capture of a beautiful bird. I have never seen one.

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