Yesterday started off with gray clouds then the skies cleared for the most part during mid morning and then later became gray again before the sun set. I visited Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge and then headed north towards the road to Promontory Point in Box Elder County.
At Bear River MBR there were more birds than a week earlier but not many that were close enough to photograph when the light was good. I saw between 12 to 15 Long-billed Curlews and that got my blood pumping! I didn’t see Tundra Swans but I heard them way off in the distance, they will soon be on the wing to their breeding grounds.
I saw several Golden Eagles and missed an opportunity to photograph one of them on a road killed rabbit and when it took flight the light was awful. The Rough-legged Hawks that were there a week before were missing and have probably migrated north to breed. I saw Red-tailed Hawks, Prairie Falcons, Bald Eagles and Northern Harriers but haven’t seen my first of the year Swainson’s Hawk yet.
Yesterday I wrote that I hadn’t seen my first of the year kingbird and I am happy to say I saw one yesterday, a Western Kingbird on a wire.
I also saw two Yellow-bellied Marmots, one I couldn’t get images of because it crossed a gravel road and then hid in boulders next to the road. I was able to take images of a Box Elder County Yellow-bellied Marmot further south next to the road near the foothills of the Promontory Mountains. The light could have been better but it was after noon by the time I photographed it. Still, I couldn’t resist photographing the marmot on the lichen-covered rocky outcropping.
In the interest of full disclosure I did clone out some very out of focus grass stems that were at the bottom right side of the frame. I don’t often use the cloning brush in Photoshop for anything more than dust spot removal but I felt those grass stems need to go.
It felt good to get out knowing the forecast for the next three days is dreary due to a slow moving weather front. Spring time in Utah.
Life is good.