A bathing Common Merganser at Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge

/, Birds, Box Elder County, Common Mergansers, Utah/A bathing Common Merganser at Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge

A bathing Common Merganser male in breeding plumageA bathing Common Merganser male in breeding plumage – Nikon D810, f8, 1/1250, ISO 250, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light

It was very quiet yesterday at Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge which I enjoy immensely. I could hear the sounds of sparrows, blackbirds and the crunch of the frozen road under my Jeep’s tires. I saw quite a few Rough-legged Hawks, a few Bald Eagles, lots of ducks in the air, Northern Harriers coursing over the marsh looking for prey, Great Blue Herons flying off before I could get close enough to take photos but the best bird for me yesterday was a merganser.

There isn’t much open water right now but in a few places where it is open it attracts waterfowl including this bathing Common Merganser male in breeding plumage. I watched and photographed as it splashed in the water and was most pleased with this image of it showing a sheath of water running off of its head, neck and bill. The eye and catch light is visible in the middle of the circular opening on the mergansers face.

A snow covered view of Bear River Migratory Bird RefugeA snow covered view of Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge – Nikon D300, f11, 1/640, ISO 400, +1.7 EV, Nikkor 18-200mm VR at 18mm, natural light

I photographed the beautiful landscape at the refuge yesterday by stopping often and getting out of the Jeep. The coldest temp I saw was 11°F but with the sun shining and no wind it felt much warmer than it looks. I’m not sure what made the tracks in the snow in the foreground but I like seeing them in the image. Soon this view will change, the ice will melt, spring growth will appear and the birds will arrive by the thousands but until that happens I will enjoy the winter wonderland that is Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge.

Life is good.

Mia

4 Comments

  1. Utahbooklover February 12, 2016 at 1:33 pm

    I enjoyed these images and the list of birds you saw. Gives me an idea what to look for.

  2. Patty Chadwick February 10, 2016 at 7:54 am

    I wonder if ice ever forms on winter bathing waterfowl…..

  3. Molly February 10, 2016 at 7:34 am

    Nice image. Just started to think about spring yesterday myself. The potential is in the air.

  4. Bob McPherson February 10, 2016 at 5:14 am

    Beautiful images Mia, the Merganser is a treat.

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