Yesterday morning I went to Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge because the sun was shining, the air was clear and I was itching to see it again. On my drive to the auto tour loop I was amazed to see well over a hundred Long-billed Curlews near the Bear River in the fields on both side of the river. I have never seen so many curlews congregated in one area in my life! They were east of the hard top road and the light was bad on them so I didn’t take any photos. I should have gone back in the afternoon to see if they were still there.
Then, I didn’t see them but I could hear the calls of Franklin’s Gulls, it is nice to know they have returned. They remind me of the Laughing Gulls I photographed and was so fond of in Florida.
On the south side of the auto tour loop there were plenty of Red-winged and Yellow-head Blackbirds feeding right next to the road on the ground and perched on top of the rushes snatching midges right out of the air. I was able to take this male Yellow-headed Blackbird portrait because the bird seemed more intent on catching midges than being nervous about me. I really, really wish that it hadn’t had out of focus phragmites in front of the blackbird but what I really liked about this image was that I’d never been so close to a Yellow-headed Blackbird that I could see five tiny yellow feathers in the orbital (eye) ring of this species before.
Did I mention I really wish the phragmites weren’t in front of the bird? Oh well, stuff happens.
Life is good.