First of the Year Sage Thrasher on Antelope Island!

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First of the Year Sage ThrasherFirst of the Year Sage Thrasher on Antelope Island – Nikon D810, f8, 1/1600, ISO 400, +0.3 EV, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light

I was absolutely delighted to spot a pair of Sage Thrashers on Antelope Island yesterday because I have been anxiously awaiting their arrival since they left last fall. I almost missed them but the shape of the bird said “Sage Thrasher” and I turned around and went back to the birds. It was then that I could hear the one that was furthest away singing. This Sage Thrasher was perched on a tintic quartzite boulder high above the Great Salt Lake and the mudflats of the drying lake bed.

I looked it up and the earliest I had seen Sage Thrasher on Antelope Island was the 18th of March so my sighting beats my personal record by 5 days!

Preening Sage ThrasherPreening Sage Thrasher – Nikon D810, f8, 1/1250, ISO 400, +0.3 EV, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light

While I wish the boulder had been closer I enjoyed observing this thrasher preen and fluff on a warm spring morning. I loved this fun pose and had to share it.

I thought (hoped) I would hear a Long-billed Curlew yesterday because they too should be arriving soon but instead I had a Sage Thrasher surprise.

Life is good!



  1. Charlotte (Prairie Birder) March 14, 2015 at 8:27 pm

    Beautiful photos, Mia! I can’t wait for the Gray Catbirds to return.

  2. Susan Stone March 14, 2015 at 4:15 pm

    Seeing these guys always makes me smile. They seem to have big personalities.

  3. Elephant's Child March 14, 2015 at 11:58 am

    A cheeky (and musical) charmer.

  4. Patti March 14, 2015 at 11:32 am

    So cute!

  5. Patty Chadwick March 14, 2015 at 9:37 am

    These birds have attitude! I love them because they are so lively and sassy looking…

  6. Kathie March 14, 2015 at 9:07 am

    Mia, I would so love to see this bird! Nice shot!

  7. Neil March 14, 2015 at 8:14 am

    Very nice Mia! I was down by Sevier Lake this past week and saw a good number of them. Also saw first-of-year Vesper Sparrow too so things are on the move!!!

    • Mia McPherson March 14, 2015 at 8:19 am

      That is awesome Neil! I love spring migration. I can’t wait to hear the curlews, their calls really touch me.

  8. Dave Sparks March 14, 2015 at 6:56 am

    I’m glad the Sage Thrashers came back for you. Love the background and the pose.

    • Mia McPherson March 14, 2015 at 7:16 am

      Thanks Dave! I love to hear them. It won’t be long and the Mockingbirds will be back too

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