Autumn Marsh Wren at Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge

/, Birds, Box Elder County, Marsh Wrens, Utah/Autumn Marsh Wren at Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge

Bear River NWR marsh in early autumnBear River NWR marsh in early autumn – Nikon D810, f11, 1/800, ISO 320, Nikkor 18-200mm VR at 20mm, natural light

On the 20th of September it was so delightful to see skies that weren’t smoky, to feel the cool air on my skin and to see the changes that autumn is bringing to Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge and beyond the refuge’s boundaries.

Just 15 days earlier the sky was filled with smoke which made it hard to even see the Promontory Mountains to the west, in this photo they are clearly visible.

This is one of my photos where I wish the viewer could hear what I heard as well as see it because the American Coots in the image were running across the water with their huge feet and I love to hear them do that, there was also a pair of Clark’s Grebes calling, Barn Swallows twittering away as they flew overhead, the occasional blackbirds calling as they zipped by and at least a dozen Marsh Wrens chattering while they searched for prey in the rushes and other vegetation. I wish I could share all the sounds I heard that morning when I took this photo of the marsh at Bear River MBR.

Autumn Marsh WrenAutumn Marsh Wren – Nikon D500, f7.1, 1/1250, ISO 400, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light

About 200 feet from where I photographed the marsh scene above I stopped hoping to take photos of Forster’s Terns again before they leave for the winter and although not many of them were hunting in that area a few other birds made sitting there worth it. Besides, I had great views of the scenery, the clean air, the sounds of the marsh and it felt so soothing.

The Marsh Wrens at Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge live there year round even through the heat of summer and our harsh winters they are there going about the business of living. There have only been a few times I have visited the refuge and not seen or heard a wren.

This Marsh Wren popped up into clear view to briefly perch and looks towards me before it dove back down into the vegetation. Sometimes a brief look and a few frames is all you get when photographing these frenetic, tiny birds. I know that I was happy just to get a quick burst of images of this one before it disappeared.

Life is good.



  1. Brian Pittman October 2, 2017 at 10:56 pm

    Beautiful images. Little Bird is looking very beautiful.

  2. Elephants Child September 29, 2017 at 3:10 pm

    I suspect it will come – but some days I long for not only sound attached to our photos but also ‘smellovision’.
    What a glorious place.

  3. Utahbooklover September 29, 2017 at 2:18 pm

    Beautiful images, especially the first one. Some great fall weather, which we saw on our trip to Logan yesterday. 🍂

  4. Liz Cormack September 29, 2017 at 7:13 am

    What a beautiful little bird. And fabulous scenery to boot!

  5. LSClemens September 29, 2017 at 5:52 am

    Gorgeous place!

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