Both of these Chukars above the Great Salt Lake were photographed on the east side of Antelope Island State Park this month. The photo of the Chukar above was taken yesterday with clear skies and bright sunlight lighting up the lake in the background. It seemed that the Chukar was just warming up in the sunlight. The tans tones in the background is the exposed lake bed, or mud flats, caused by the rapidly receding water levels of the lake.
This Chukar photo was taken in early March not to far away from where the first image was taken. The skies were clear and the sun was shining brightly. The blue in the background is water near the shore of the lake and the tan is the exposed lake bed. There are areas where there are acres and acres of the exposed mudflats due to our drought and excessive water consumption from the rivers that feed the lake.
When I first visited Utah in 2008 to photograph on Antelope Island if I had photographed these Chukars in the exact same locations both backgrounds would have been entirely blue because the lake was much higher back then. The lake is drying up and we need to find a way to save it.