The weather has been unseasonably warm here in Utah the past few weeks but I know that it won’t be long before temperatures drop, snow starts falling and I will have opportunities to photograph birds that I only see here in winter. It felt weird yesterday to see a temperature of 77°F before 7 am but we have had odd weather lately.
Last winter I was able to photograph this drake Lesser Scaup as it floated near some hens at Farmington Bay Waterfowl Management Area. I see these ducks up in Montana during the summer but not here in Utah.
It is time to check my winter clothing out to see if I need to add to the wardrobe I wear in the field. It gets bitter cold and I want to be prepared for it.
The White-crowned Sparrows don’t seem to mind the cold much and as soon as the sun warms them they are off searching for food.
I see other sparrow species in the winter here in Utah but the White-crowned Sparrows seem to be the ones I see most often. The juveniles look very different from the adults but their song is just as beautiful.
The snow will fall, the winds will blow, the fog will blot out the Great Salt Lake and the mountaintops and the freezing temps will chill me to the bone. But guess where I will be? Out in it all soaking up the winter scenery and being delighted by the birds that make a home in the Great Basin during the winter.
Another wonderful thing happens in the winter and it involves people. During the warmer months my fellow bird-loving and photography friends and myself are spread all over the place like dandelion fluff in the wind but during the winter it seems we all go to a few locations where large numbers of our birds overwinter and form a delightful flock of our own. We catch up and share stories of birds we saw in the warmer months and reveal the journeys we have been on. We complain about the cold yet we have a light in our eyes that says we enjoy it all.
Life is good, isn’t it?