I went out to Antelope Island State Park yesterday morning to
feed the nasty, horrible bloody sucking biting gnats look for birds to photograph and although I did find a few birds I think I was mostly there as a prey item for the biting bugs. I got chewed up. Insect repellent is ineffective on them. Even though the temps have been in the high 90’s for days, even into the 100’s, be forewarned that those biting gnats are still active and seeking blood donors. I can’t wait until they are gone.
The heat of summer has already dried up most of the grasses on the island itself and it was fairly quiet yesterday as far as birds go. I did see Loggerhead Shrikes, Western Meadowlarks, Bar Swallows, Burrowing Owls, Chukars, California and Franklin’s Gulls, Sage Thrashers and Lark Sparrows. The causeway to the island was birdy though.
My best photos of the day were of a buck Pronghorn that was very close to the dirt road I was on, he was so close I had trouble keeping all of his head in the frame. I was using my 500mm VR lens with the 1.4x teleconverter on and didn’t have time to remove the teleconverter as the buck walked past. I think the pronghorns have been sticking to the west side of the island lately because they haven’t been as visible as they have in previous years so when I do see the pronghorns I am happy to photograph them.
I guess this photo was worth getting bitten by the gnats.
Life is good.
PS, after this photo the pronghorn walked closer to the vehicle and at that point I was unable to fit his head and horns into the frame. They are used to people on the island but they are still wild animals and should be respected as such.