March scenery at Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge – Nikon D810, f11, 1/2500, ISO 500, Nikkor 18-200mm VR at 80mm, natural light
Sometimes when the summer heat gets to me I look back at images I have taken during the winter and quite often I find those images to be taken at Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge and the birds that I find there. Somehow it refreshes me just seeing snow, ice, the winter landscape of frozen marshes and snow-topped mountains in my photos.
We didn’t get much snow last winter in the valleys but in March there was some snow on the Promontory Mountains that are west of the refuge, those snow-covered mountains sure are a pretty background for the marsh and birds I see on the auto tour route during the colder months of the year including the thousands (and thousands) of Tundra Swans that overwinter here in northern Utah.
This winter I’d like to be at this same location well before the sun rise so I can photograph the beautiful colors of dawn from this spot.
Immature Tundra Swan in flight over Bear River MBR – Nikon D500, f7.1, 1/3200, ISO 640, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light
In February I had a blast photographing the Tundra Swans I found at the refuge, seeing them bathing, resting, feeding, calling, preening, taking off and flying over the refuge is fascinating, fun and because of the cold temps, invigorating.
We see both adult and immature Tundra Swans at the refuge, early in the season it is easy to tell which ones are immature because of their plumage and the color of their bills but later in the season it can become more challenging to tell them apart. The bill can help, or more precisely the color of the spot on the bill near the eyes, in adults it is bright yellow, the immature birds quite often have a spot that is whitish in color as seen in the photo above.
Adult Tundra Swan running to take off – Nikon D500, f7.1, 1/5000, ISO 640, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light
Even from a distance the yellow spot on the bill of adult Tundra Swan’s can be easy to see. This adult Tundra Swan was running across the shallow water to take off when I photographed it.
Yes, thinking of the snow scenery at the refuge and looking at images of the birds of winter does feel refreshing to me.
Life is good but could someone please turn down the heat?