Resting Pied-billed Grebe on Silky Looking Water

/, Pied-billed Grebes, Salt Lake County, Utah/Resting Pied-billed Grebe on Silky Looking Water

Silky water and a Pied-billed GrebeSilky water and a Pied-billed Grebe – Nikon D500, f7.1, 1/640, ISO 500, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light

I went to Farmington Bay WMA yesterday and birds were scarce, there were tons of hunters out on the water and walking through the marsh keeping the birds stirred up and nothing seemed to go well so I left there feeling like I had been beating my head against a brick wall and that is a feeling I don’t like.

After my disappointment at Farmington Bay I stopped by my local pond to see if there were any interesting birds there to photograph. The regular birds were present including Canada Geese, Mallards, American Coots, Ring-billed and California Gulls and quite a few Pied-billed Grebes. I could have just gone straight home but I decided to take a few photos of the Pied-billed Grebes because I loved how the water looked through my lens, it had a silky appearance. When one of the resting grebes opened its eyes to look around I took that opportunity to take about a dozen photos of it.

Pied-billed Grebe on silky waterPied-billed Grebe on silky water – Nikon D500, f7.1, 1/640, ISO 500, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light

The Pied-billed Grebe was a bit too far away to take frame filling images of it but I was okay with that because I feel that the visual appearance of the silky water is just as important as the bird in these photos.

Life is good.



  1. Elephants Child November 20, 2017 at 1:15 pm

    Hunters? In a reserve?
    Insert expletives and tears.
    And thank you for the shot-silk water. And serenity as a balm.

  2. Pepe Forte November 20, 2017 at 10:16 am

    I love your presentation of the grebe and agree with your other contributors…the water is beautiful; almost surreal in it’s soft reflection of the light. You truly are the Wizard of Ahhh’s Mia. (Sorry…I couldn’t resist it….). Thanks.

  3. Patty Chadwick November 20, 2017 at 8:56 am

    The birds are cute, but the water is the star in these photos…its a beautiful complement to the coloring of the birds. How sad to see dead swans! WHY? Who eats swans? I ‘ll never understand killing anything in a “nature preserve”.. …or killing anything for “sport”… Just don’t get it….

  4. April Olson November 20, 2017 at 7:37 am

    FBWMA has been a disappointment for me lately. Too many hunters (and 5 airboats) and in areas I have not seen them before. Last Sunday I even saw 2 falconers out hunting in the grass to the west of the main road. One with a Harris Hawk and the other had a Peregrine. Needless to say all I saw, alive, were a few Pied-billed Grebes at the end of the road. I know hunting helps keep the numbers down and habitat degradation due to ever population, but my heart still broke when I saw three hunters taking photos in front of their airboat with a Tundra Swan each. One of my favorite birds, I left very heavy hearted that day.

    • Mia McPherson November 20, 2017 at 7:46 am

      It has been very discouraging at FBWMA lately because of the lack of birds and how busy it is.

      I understand why you felt heavy hearted seeing the swans. I would have felt much the same way.

  5. Andy McCullough November 20, 2017 at 6:57 am


  6. November 20, 2017 at 6:55 am

    Lovely water! Thank you.

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