Buck Pronghorn Close Up On Antelope Island – Worth the Gnat Bites?

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Buck Pronghorn Close upBuck Pronghorn Close up – Nikon D500, f10, 1/640, ISO 400, -0.3 EV, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light

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.

Mia

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.

6 Comments

  1. Elephants Child June 22, 2017 at 2:08 pm

    Thank you so much for donating blood. From my bite free perspective it was definitely worth it – which makes me feel a tad selfish.

  2. Kathie Brown June 22, 2017 at 10:09 am

    Beautiful photo, Mia. You make me miss Utah and Antelope Island. I would love to hear a Western Meadowlark sing again, but you can keep the gnats!

  3. Patty Chadwick June 22, 2017 at 9:25 am

    Great portrait of a pronghorn…the detail is so crisp and sharp it almost makes me think I have good eyesight again! BEAUTIFUL!!! This teallyvshows the texture of the horns so clearly…wonderful photo, bug bites and all!

  4. Liz Cormack June 22, 2017 at 7:49 am

    Thank you for the beautiful shot even as you were donating blood at the time.

  5. April Olson June 22, 2017 at 7:26 am

    Beautiful animal. There were many Antelope by the visitor center Sunday. They all looked mangy due to the winter coats still shedding heavily. Sadly I did not see as many Sage Thrasers as other years. Happily I did not have any trouble with the gnats!

  6. April Olson June 22, 2017 at 7:26 am

    Beautiful animal. There were many Antelope by the visitor center Sunday. They all looked mangy due to the winter coats still shedding heavily. Sadly I did not see as many Sage Thrasers as other years. Happily I did not have any trouble with the gnats!

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