Fire in the sky, fog and a female American Kestrel

/, Birds, Davis County, Farmington Bay Waterfowl Management Area, Utah/Fire in the sky, fog and a female American Kestrel

Fire Rainbow - Circumhorizontal arcFire Rainbow – Circumhorizontal arc or a Fog Bow?

I love to be at my shooting location before the sunrises and yesterday as normal I was there before the sun peeked over the Wasatch Mountain Range and even though there was heavy fog in the valley there was blue sky straight above me. I happened to look up towards where I thought the sun would rise over the mountains and saw what looks to be a fire in the sky. This might be what is called a “Fire Rainbow” (Circumhorizontal arc) or some phenomena caused by me looking up through the fog but whatever it was it was beautiful.

Farmington Bay WMA in a heavy fogFarmington Bay WMA in a heavy fog

This is what it looked like for quite some time yesterday morning at Farmington Bay Wildlife Management Area, there was plenty of thick, heavy fog. By the time I took this image the sun had risen over the Wasatch Mountains and I wasn’t seeing anymore “Fire in the Sky”. Just the fog.

Perched female American KestrelPerched female American Kestrel – Nikon D300, f7.1, 1/1000, ISO 400, +0.7 EV, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 400mm, natural light, not baited

The fog generally dissipates slowly after the sun rises and burns it off and fortunately it did yesterday so I could photograph this little female American Kestrel (here) who is the same kestrel I photographed a few days ago in low light, foggy conditions as the snow fell and she dined on an American Pipit.

It was delightful to photograph the female kestrel in much better light but once again there was an air boat revving its engine not too far away. Boy they are loud. The duck hunters are almost as persistent about being out early in the morning to scoot out into the marshes as I am to be on location bright and early. Okay, maybe it is a tie.

The American Kestrel had just finished devouring a small bird of some sort, I really couldn’t tell what it was because there were only a few small feathers left by the time I spotted the tiny falcon and when we stopped to photographer her.

Female American Kestrel lifting offAmerican Kestrel lifting off – Nikon D300, f7.1, 1/1000, ISO 400, +0.7 EV, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 400mm, natural light, not baited

The female American Kestrel sure was beautiful in the soft morning light with hoar frost covered vegetation in the background.

Yesterday I had sparrows, fog, a few distant Bald eagles, frost, snow-covered mountains, the marsh, this American Kestrel and a fire in the sky.

Yeah, I love what I do.



  1. Patty Chadwick December 16, 2013 at 8:12 pm

    I’m amazed, and disappointed that airboats are even allowed in a protected area…they are so loud and disturbing to wildlife (and other humans)…When we lived in Florida they zoomed around in the Sawgrass making a heck of a racket. I can’ t understand why electric motors aren’t required instead. Some folks seem addicted to noise and “making waves”…

  2. Dennis Coleman December 16, 2013 at 7:51 pm

    Your rainbow sky shot is wonderful. Almost looks like the aurora borealis. Your Kestrel shot is a beauty. I’m seeing more Kestrels this fall and winter than in years past. Do you think the population is starting to increase relative to the last few years?

  3. Jane Chesebrough December 16, 2013 at 6:49 pm

    Great capture of the rainbow effect. Like how the kestrel’s feathers are sticking out.

  4. Sonja Ross December 16, 2013 at 6:31 pm

    She’s a lovely little raptor. I also like the foggy landscape, and the fire rainbow reminds me of some of Galen Rowell’s work.

  5. Wally December 16, 2013 at 4:36 pm

    Thank you for sharing your special morning light show, Mia! That’s pretty spectacular!
    Your photographs of the Kestrel are truly special. It’s amazing how such a tough little bird can look so soft and cuddly.

  6. Bryce Robinson December 16, 2013 at 12:32 pm

    This is a great post! I love the fog photo. I think the kestrel atop the rusted fence post is great as well. Natural perches are preferred by most, but when unnatural perches provide a satisfying aesthetic, I almost prefer them. Well done as always Mia!

  7. Elephant's Child December 16, 2013 at 11:43 am

    I love what you do too. So very much.

  8. Chris Rohrer December 16, 2013 at 11:33 am

    Beautiful setting!! What a gorgeous morning?

    • Chris Rohrer December 16, 2013 at 11:34 am

      I meant “morning”:)

  9. Patty Chadwick December 16, 2013 at 10:45 am

    Oh! Mia! FOUR fantasticostings! ILOVE the landscapes as much as the birds…and the birds are WONDERFUL! Love the “FIRE IN THE SKY”….BEAUTIFUL!!!

  10. Lois Bryan December 16, 2013 at 10:44 am

    Absolutely sweet, sweet images of the kestrel … I’d think I’d died and gone to heaven if I ever got a shot like those!!!!! Such a beautiful creature, so magnificently captured!! I adore both poses.

  11. Humming Bird lover December 16, 2013 at 7:48 am

    Hi! I agree Wow,wow! What a beautiful shot of the sunrise fire in the sky! I love your bird also! I miss seeing them here in the city. Have a great day.

  12. Montanagirl December 16, 2013 at 7:09 am

    Wow! the sky shots are amazing…and the Kestrel photos are just superb.

  13. Bob Bushell December 16, 2013 at 5:19 am

    Brilliant skies and well taken photos of the Kestrel.

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