Ring-billed Gull, Great Blue Heron & a Stormy Sky

/, Great Blue Herons, Ring-billed Gulls, Salt Lake County, Utah/Ring-billed Gull, Great Blue Heron & a Stormy Sky

Ring-billed Gull in flight in front of a stormy skyRing-billed Gull in flight in front of a stormy sky – Nikon D500, f6.3, 1/1600, ISO 500, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light

Christmas morning was kind of a bust for me photographically at Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge primarily because of fog, poor light and low hanging clouds. There was some interesting action when a coot had a fish and other coots, a Gadwall and a Canvasback duck chased it. That coot ended up losing the fish to the canvasback who ended up swallowing the small fish. It was peaceful though out on the auto tour route, the ground was covered in snow, I saw very few people and I needed the refuge that I always find there.

I really wanted some nice bird photos to remember Christmas Day 2017 and I found them but just a few blocks away from home at the local pond. Most of the clouds had cleared by late afternoon but there were some dark stormy looking clouds that still hung around and I’m glad they did because they created a dramatic backdrop for the birds that flew in front of them in the golden afternoon light.

It didn’t matter to me what species of birds flew in front of those clouds as long as some of them did. I have a fondness for gulls so when this Ring-billed Gull flew in front of the stormy sky I was happy.

Great Blue Heron in flight in front of a stormy skyGreat Blue Heron in flight in front of a stormy sky – Nikon D500, f6.3, 1/1000, ISO 500, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light

A little bit later I was happy again when a Great Blue Heron flew past the stormy clouds too, it almost seemed to glow against the much darker sky. Not too long after this photo was taken a cloud started to block the sun and the golden evening light and it was time to head home.

A Ring-billed Gull, a Great Blue Heron and a stormy sky were all a wonderful Christmas gift.

Life is good.



  1. Utahbooklover December 27, 2017 at 7:26 pm

    Nice break in the weather (4th white Christmas back-to-back) and a wonderful image of the Great Blue Heron inflight.

  2. Laura Culley December 27, 2017 at 9:36 am

    Just lovely! And that incoming-storm sky is one of my favorites as a background as long as there’s sunlight to set it off. When the sun goes away, it’s time to take shelter, but in that brief time before, it’s glorious!

  3. Pepe Forte December 26, 2017 at 1:39 pm

    Great pics Mia. Love the blue heron. The wintry background really enhances both images. Thanks.

  4. Elephants Child December 26, 2017 at 1:06 pm

    Glorious. A present to you, and a present to us. Thank you.

  5. Patty Chadwick one of my favorite birds December 26, 2017 at 9:20 am

    Thanks for sharing such beautiful images,,,,love them both…they are two of my favorite birds…(like the photographer, too!!!)

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