Flooding at Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge – Road Closure

Flooded marshes at Bear River Migratory Bird RefugeFlooded marshes at Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge – HTC One M8 cell phone picture

Local residents have more than likely been made aware of the flooding at Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge which has closed West Forest Street west of the refuge visitor center that goes out to the auto tour loop but since I have viewers from out of state who often write to me asking about the birds and conditions at the refuge I thought I would share two photos of the flooding seen right before the closed gate. These were taken yesterday.

This photo was taken looking due north from the edge of West Forest Street, I have never seen the water this high or close to the road in this location. This water is from the Bear River which has overflowed its banks, the flooding has occurred because of warm temps melting some of the snow pack early and quickly and from the snow and rain we have had in the area recently. The mountains you see on the right are part of the Wasatch Mountain Range.

Flooding next to the road going to the Bear River MBR auto tour loopFlooding next to the road going to the Bear River MBR auto tour loop – HTC One M8 cell phone picture

This photo was taken looking nearly due west from West Forest Street, right after the white line ends there is a closed gate (hard to see in this image) and that is as far as we can go right now. You can see that the water comes right to the edge of the road on both sides. The Bear River isn’t even all that close to this area (about 1.4 km) though the Reeder Overflow is just beyond the gate. I can only imagine what it looks like where the Bear River is right next to the road.

I’m sure local folks will easily recognize this view from the road. That is the Promontory Mountain Range way off in the distance.

Map view of Bear River MBR closureMap view of Bear River MBR closure

This flooding is probably good for the Great Salt Lake for raising the lake level but it has caused damage to many homes in northern Utah.

Hope all the roads and structures past the closed gate at the refuge are okay.

Great Blue Heron in the marsh at Bear River MBRGreat Blue Heron in the marsh at Bear River MBR – Nikon D810, f6.3, 1/3200, ISO 500, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light

I am anxious to get out to the Bear River MBR auto tour loop of the refuge to see what migrants have flown in but right now that isn’t possible and there isn’t any information on when the road will open again (last I checked).

Tundra Swans lifting of at Bear River MBRTundra Swans lifting of at Bear River MBR – Nikon D810, f6.3, 1/3200, ISO 500, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light

The Tundra Swans are probably enjoying the marshes at the refuge without humans traveling the auto tour loop but they have already begun to move north towards their breeding grounds. I hope some of them hang around until after the road opens again, I need a swan call fix before they leave!

I’ll post a note when the auto tour loop at the refuge is open again.

Life is good.

Mia

The visitor center at Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge is open its normal hours.

8 Comments

  1. Allen Boynton February 28, 2017 at 3:04 am

    I know what you mean by swan call fix. I wonder how many tundra swans are left at Pongo Lake . . .

    By the time I get down there in mid-March, they will all be gone.

  2. April Olson February 27, 2017 at 11:07 pm

    I saw the refuge Monday, the amt of water is incredible, all the fields in the area have one to two feet of water. It will be interesting to see the auto loop when it opens again. I am a little worried driving it when it is so muddy.

  3. Stu February 27, 2017 at 7:00 pm

    Great Post ..nice to read about and see the location from various

    • Stu February 27, 2017 at 7:01 pm

      oops goit cut off. anyway grest pics too

  4. Utahbooklover February 27, 2017 at 2:59 pm

    I found this post very interesting, having taken the auto loop several times now. Especially love that heron image. Thanks!

  5. Patty Chadwick February 27, 2017 at 8:45 am

    Thanks for showing that. I was wondering what it looked like. Have you noticed any difference yet in the lake? Nature often has a way of mending things when given the chance…though not always….at often at a cost….

    • Patty Chadwick February 27, 2017 at 8:50 am

      I never tire of pictures of herons, especially Grest Blues and Snowys….this one is a beauty…love the grasses and implied action of wind, watercand probably,snow…

  6. Bob mcpherson February 27, 2017 at 6:51 am

    Beautiful photos, Mia.

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