Bear River MBR Clouds, Marshes, Sunshine and an Immature Western Grebe

/, Birds, Box Elder County, Utah, Western Grebes/Bear River MBR Clouds, Marshes, Sunshine and an Immature Western Grebe

Heavy clouds over the marsh at Bear River MBRHeavy clouds over the marsh at Bear River MBR – Nikon D810, f13, 1/400, ISO 320, Nikkor 18-200mm VR at 18mm, natural light

I want to start off this morning’s post by wishing everyone a Happy Thanksgiving. I hope that you are able to share your holiday with family and friends. I’m thankful for each and every one of you that visit On The Wing Photography to share in my photographic journeys and the stories behind the images.

Yesterday morning found me at Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge, a wild and wonderful place that I am very thankful for because of the birds there, the spectacular scenery and the refuge I find within its boundaries.

The weather wasn’t the best at first with heavy clouds hanging over the marshes but it was peaceful and I could hear the Tundra Swans calling from where I took this photo. Their calls, as simple as they are, were music to my ears. I could also hear squabbling American Coots and the calls of gulls as they flew past. Seeing the snow-capped Wasatch Mountains in the distance reminded me that winter is creeping up on us and that soon the marshes will also be covered in snow and ice.

Immature Western Grebe in NovemberImmature Western Grebe in November – Nikon D500, f7.1, 1/3200, ISO 500, -0.3 EV, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light

I was surprised at how many Western and Clark’s Grebes are still at the refuge, at Farmington Bay WMA most of the grebes have already migrated but I know that some of the grebes at Bear River MBR nested later than usual so that may be why I am still seeing them there. This immature Western Grebe was surprising mainly because it kept popping up so close that at times I couldn’t fit its entire body into my viewfinder. It would move away, dive and pop back up so close I took several portraits of it. This grebe might be one of the last Western or Clark’s Grebes I photograph this year so I was thankful it was so cooperative.

Clouds, Sunshine & Marsh at Bear River MBRClouds, Sunshine & Marsh at Bear River MBR – Nikon D810, f13, 1/2500, ISO 1000, Nikkor 18-200mm VR at 18mm, natural light

The sky did lighten up some while I photographed the Western Grebe and I had to reach for my other camera to take this photo of the clouds, sunshine and marsh with the Promontory Mountains in the distance.

I am so blessed to have this refuge nearby where I can focus on the birds, the scenery, the wildlife and to be able to shut out the troubles of our world for a few hours when I visit this wonderful oasis.

Life is good.



  1. Anita Austin November 24, 2017 at 7:06 pm

    What’s wonderful is seeing Mother Nature through your eyes. I love clouds and the last shot has beautiful cloud formations layered above the land and blue water in the foreground. And, of course, your shots of the birds you feature are so well matched to the species. You can see the motion of the water as the Grebe glides by. Thanks for sharing your work. And enjoy your holidays this year.

  2. LSClemens November 23, 2017 at 5:55 pm

    That last photo @ the marsh is breathtaking! And to see the beads of water on the Grebe! All of us admirers out here thank you for sharing your beautiful photos & commentary with Us!

  3. Elephants Child November 23, 2017 at 12:42 pm

    Happy Thanksgiving.
    And thank you for the education and the beauty you bless us with.

  4. Pepe Forte November 23, 2017 at 11:57 am

    You know, I am so accustomed to commenting on the wonder of your bird and animal pics…I forget to mention what a great landscape photographer you are. Today’s shots are simply terrific. Thanks Mia…for everything you give us every day. Have a great Thanksgiving.

    P.S. …enjoy your fall weather, it’s supposed to be 95 in San Diego today.

  5. Kathy Duchene November 23, 2017 at 11:26 am

    Spectacular photos! Another Happy Thanksgiving from Canada!

  6. April Olson November 23, 2017 at 9:26 am

    Beautiful photos, beautiful location. Happy Thanksgiving and happy travels over the holiday.

  7. John sherrill November 23, 2017 at 9:16 am

    Happy Thanksgiving, Mia.You live close to so many beautiful spots that you show to us everyday. Thanks, John

  8. Patty Chadwick November 23, 2017 at 7:38 am

    You have some of the most amazing photos of clouds…LOVE THEM!!!

  9. Liz Cormack November 23, 2017 at 6:38 am

    Happy Thanksgiving from Canada. I look forward to your photos, lessons & commentary every morning.

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