Rich B Young


Random Images from my recent jaunts that you might find interesting...

No special order here...

Except the newest entries are at the top





A Prairie Falcon flyover,

December 5, 2011, Murray/Jordan River Parkway



On the Murray/Jordan River walk, I often have access to several

Belted Kingfishers. They are always a great distance away, requiring

me to magnify them through cropping my images.

They sometimes render a little soft; but it beats the high prices

of purchasing Pro. Nikon telephoto lenses!



These images of the Belted Kingfisher were taken Dec. 5, 2011...

an unusually cold day even for December!



Belted Kingfishers in flight are a difficult target!









Earlier Birds in Flight...

Belted Kingfisher, October 9, 2011, Murray, Jordan River Parkway



same Kingfisher...


Bonaparte's Gull, 1st Winter, @ AIC, 11-22-11




Bonaparte's @ AIC, 11-16-11



Rough-Legged Hawk,adult male, light morph (Thanks Kris)

AIC, 11-22-11




Rough-Legged Hawk...



Rough-Legged Hawk...




A rare sight in Utah,

A juvenile male Harlequin duck.

It was joined with 2 female Harlequins later



Shown here is the difference after the male began molting

A more comprehensive series of images over time can be seen (HERE)






A Rare Duck,

White Winged Scoter

November 6, 2011




And Yet Another Rare Duck,

Surf Scoter




3 Surf Scoters together, with


Ruddy duck (upper left) for size comparision




November 10, 2011 NEW

Adult Surf Scoter with breeding plumage



Another view...




And yet another view of the Surf Scoter.



I round off the 'rare' sea-ducks with a

Black Scoter






November 26, 2011

Odds and Ends

(Images collected recently)

American Pipit, from Antelope Island Causeway (AIC).


My "Symmetrical Kestrel", AIC




Rough-Legged Hawk that perches along the Causeway, close to the entrance.



Green Pheasant? Not!

Apparently a variant of Ringneck pheasant,

North side of AIC, within the first mile after the entrance.



Pied-Billed Grebe, Sandy Pond



"Shake It!"



American Robin

Sandy Pond






The three Harlequin ducks disappeared on Friday

November 25, 2011...

Much to the dismay of many birders who were excited

to see such a rare species in Utah.


November 16, 2011


The three Harlquins persist at the 1st Bridge on the

Antelope Island Causeway,

and the "pecking order" remains the same with the newest member being

relegated to the back of the line.



The original pair swim towards the bridge, with the 2nd female behind



The birds, near the road where they will rest in the shadow of the concrete bridge



Distinct changes in the male's coloration can be seen each week...



A Ruddy duck male, Winter plumage was disloged when the Harlequins 'came home'!

As an aside, note the differences between this breeding male

(and female) Ruddy from Springtime at Jensen Nature Center, Syracuse.



The Harlequins rest in the deep shadows cast by the concrete bridge...



With the male resting on a rock, we can see the coloration

in great detail.




Down on the 2nd bridge of the Causeway, the Bonapart Gulls are feeding...





November 10, 2011

I discovered a 3rd Harlequin Duck, that has joined the others

at the Antelope Island Causeway!



After studying my other images of the 1st two birds

from several prior trips,

I determined the new bird is the one at the upper right.



This is the typical distancing I saw, due to the female (front)

constantly fighting with the new bird (back) when it got close.



Here is a closeup of the new (3rd) bird

Earlier... September, 2011

A Rare Find on Antelope Island Causeway, a Juvenile

Male Harlequin Duck!


(I photographed this bird shown at approx. 12:00 P.M. on Sept. 30, 2011)

Click (HERE) to see a sequence of images of this bird's

Quaint method of entering the water



November 6, 2011

What a Difference a MONTH Makes!

The male Harlequin is molting!




And it now has a companion!

(Original bird on Left; new arrival on Right)



Summer In Utah, 2011


July 22, 2011

Another round at Antelope Island



Long-Billed Curlew was seen...



Willets were everywhere along the Causeway



On the way to the Ranch, a Sage Thrasher was seen.




As per Paul Higgins' directions, approx. .5 mile north of the ranch

was alive with Grasshopper Sparrows, mostly Juveniles.

I only saw this one wind-blown adult.



The birds were plentiful, yet skittish.



Big eyes with a continuous eye ring on this Juvenile



I was fortunate to catch 2 juveniles in close proximity.

Here... a front view.



And, here, a side/back view of Grasshopper Sparrows.

(Thanks, Paul... these were my first of this species.)



On the Ranch, I happened upon this handsome Say's Phoebe.



Also at the ranch are lots of opportunities to see Barn Swallows

up close



Just west of the Spring, I found hundreds of them in the

Russian Olive trees.

These images sum up my results on July 22, but my purpose

was to capture images of the Sparrows.


July 15, 2011

Another Round at Bear River Migratory Refuge

(One of my favorite birds, a pair of Western Kingbirds)




Western Kingbirds often toss their prey upward, to catch

and re-position the critter again as seen here...



Horned Larks are numerous this day...



A Yellow-Headed Blackbird flourishes its feathers...



But the 'sweet spot' of birds was located on the first open water

going west beyond the restrooms. Here we see only a few of

the species represented here.



Long-billed Dowitchers were found in quantity...



Here are only a few Dowitchers...



Here are more, with one in Juvenile plumage on the far right



A closer view of the apparent non breeding, or perhaps juvenile

Long-billed Dowitcher (right)



Black-necked Stilts are represented well...



Along with Marbled Godwits, in the top and right of the frame.



A closer view of Marbled Godwits...



Lesser Yellowlegs are present also, likely representing migration


(as with the Dowitchers and Godwits)



The Lesser Yellowlegs tended to skirt the outside perimeter

of the bird activity here.



The sun appeared, better illuminating this Lesser Yellowlegs.



American Avocets were busily protecting their single

baby with aggressive behavior both in flight as seen here...






And in the water where the solitary baby can be seen.



Other birds seen were a pair of Redhead ducks...




And some raucous White-faced Ibis were seen before we exited

Bear River Migratory Refuge on our way to

Antelope Island Causeway



Here at Antelope Island Causeway, Red-necked Phalaropes

were everywhere!



A fun little bird to watch...



And I observed a wide variety of markings on these birds.



A vehicle drove past, causing an explosion of flight.



What an experience!



But, nothing like my experience there in July 2009, when there

were considerably more birds. This image only represents a

small portion of the birds on the south side of the causeway

that year!



This year, Franklin Gulls are well represented...



Seen again here among California Gulls.



Finally, we see two Willets, playing Leap-Frog on the rocks...



before they took flight.








July 7, 2011

A Trip To Heber, Ut.

A few birds found there...


American Goldfinches are plentiful...




The ubiquitous Common Snipe is concealed in ground cover

during morning, then appears everywhere...

on posts, fences, gates, etc., around noon.



Common (Wilson's) Snipe



Front View...





Final view.



Sandhill Cranes are relatively easy to locate here...



as is the Savannah Sparrow.



Bobolinks weren't cooperative... I found this one a

gadzillion miles away... a 'lifer' for me.

I'm hoping to replace this poor image with a better one soon.



Cliff Swallows are busy gathering mud for nests on a nearby




closeup of a Cliff Swallow gathering mud.


One Final Note...

If you're in the vicinity, you might want to see the

Ospreys at Rock Cliff, Jordanelle State Park










June 25, 2011

A Slideshow of Bullock's Orioles Images,

feeding their (unseen) young

(click image for slideshow)




June 24, 2011

Bear River Migratory Refuge

provided some nice photo opportunities.


I begin my BRMR images with

a Snowy Egret, with its normal coloration

(as described in Sibley's)



I requested help in understanding why the Snowy Egret below has

Pink lores.

Jeff Bilsky responded, providing a link to Cornell.

Apparently this coloration is associated with breeding.

Thanks, Jeff



Snowy Egret-Closeup of Lores



There is an abundance of Snowy Egrets at BRMR (June)


With an occasional Great Egret.

Here we see them together



A substantial number of Great Blue Herons are present...



With a surprising number of Kingbirds...

Western Kingbird here.



A front and back view of an Eastern Kingbird...



With water levels rising each day, this scene will continue for awhile.



I take this opportunity to distinguish between Grebes...

Western Grebe lower left/Clark's Grebe upper right.



A Pair of Cinnamon Teal...



Forster's Terns are plentiful...



They are a challenge to photograph in flight!



White Faced Ibis are everywhere!






Black-Necked Stilts and Avocets are well represented.



With both species nesting in the open






Perhaps my favorite bird there was the Wilson's Phalarope...



Again, here...









Springtime In Utah, 2011





I enjoyed seeing

2 Black Crowned Night Herons at approx. 50th South Murray Blvd.

(Likely an adult and a 1st summer)


The Adult bird in flight...







And the First Summer...




Such Fun!!!





June 13, 2011

An Overcast day at the Murray/Jordan River Parkway...

Provided me with two Male Bullock's Orioles.

The bird on the right is a 1st year male



This image shows the back coloration of both birds.

Soft, diffuse light was the perfect recipe!



At the oxbow at the Murray/Kennecott Nature Center,

I located a male Cinnamon Teal that provided a wide variety

of images.

Here is one...




A newspaper article detailing discovery of Neotropic Cormorants in

Northern Utah can be seen by clicking (HERE)


June 11, 2011


A Neotropic Cormorant high in a dead tree,along the

Murray/JordanRiver Parkway Trail.

The NECO (left) was keeping company with a

Double Crested Cormorant, (DCCO, right).


May 7, 2011

A Common Loon, thoroughly enjoying himself!

Willow Pond/Murray/Jordan River Parkway,


(During the slideshow, notice the bird playing with a stick that floated by!)


(Click Image for Slideshow)






"RAPACIOUS"... Definition:

"Taking by force, Plundering, Living on captured prey".


Life among Pelicans and Cormorants...



Closeup of the prize!

Mill Race Pond, Murray/Jordan River Parkway/UT.,

May 11, 2011




May 16, 2011

An "accidental" Neotropic Cormorant seen


Mill Race Pond,

providing me with a

'Classic' image

of an alien (to Utah) species!




The Consensus, regarding correct I.D. of my

Swainson's hawk is, "Intermediate morph Adult".

Syracuse, Ut. Spring, 2011






June 18, 2011


3 Neotropic Cormorants located June 18,


Cindy and Steve Sommerfeld,

4924 So. Murray Blvd. Murray, Ut.



Still there on 6-19-11...



Still there on 6-20...


May 21, 2011

Neotropic Cormorant


Sizeable Panfish!

Mill Race Pond, Murray/Jordan River Parkway, Salt Lake

County, UT.


Click Image for Slideshow


(Note Pink gular pouch:

Click on pink for explanation)



May 13, 2011

First of Year (Salt Lake County) Neotropic Cormorant,

Mill Race Park, Murray/Jordan River Parkway, S.L.


A little late to the Salt Lake
Valley this year....


Lone Neotropic Cormorant, discovered 5-13-11, Mill Race Pond



First of Year for Salt lake County...



My first Caspian Tern for this year

New Discovery:

(This bird was banded as a chick at Crescent Island in

Mid-Columbia River near Pasco, WA.

in June, 2005.)

The Researchers are asking for Utah Birders' Help

in discovering more of them!


Click HERE for further information


Click HERE for the Article

in local Newspaper




Notice the quantity and colors of leg bands on this bird!



Here is a closeup of the bands, with the bird in flight!



Looked like this bird wintered at the New Orleans mardi gras!



Here the bird begins a power dive for a fish...



Blurred, but identifiable!






I relocated the same Caspian Tern on April 13, and observed it

again on April 14 at Sandy Pond.



April 11, 2011

Sandy Pond is becoming active now...

An Osprey has arrived, cruising the sky above the pond.



This time the Osprey connected with a Trout.









Avocets are mating at present.



American White Pelicans, Double Crested Cormorants

American Coot, American Avocet, and Mallards.



April 4, 2011

At Glover Ponds in Farmington, the American Avocets were swarming!



Not the best lighting conditions for BIF



Nothing rare here, but I liked the pattern formed by a gang of




An Eared Grebe caught my attention at Glover Pond



Here he begins a dive... The rest of the sequence occurred

in rapid succession.



His head is just penetrating the water's surface...



Tail and feet are all that shows here...



He emerges in all his glory!



At Layton Commons, the Wood Ducks seemed to have dispersed,

with only a couple of pairs visible on 4/4/11



A Classic Pose by a Drake, framed by natural objects.



On Gentile Street, going toward Jensen Pond, I glimpsed

a Eurasian Collared Dove gathering nesting material.



The 'flat lighting' worked well here, as the bird prepared to

fly deep into the pine tree to add to the nest.



Birds in Flight are my passion!



At Jensen Pond, things were quite active!

Flocks of Grackles were abundant.



Pelicans are back in force, with the pond being stocked with

catchable trout now.



Here are the Fishermen's Nemesis!

Two fish-Hungry Species, DCCOs and American White Pelicans



The Resident Snow Goose masquerades as a domestic duck!



Any of you who are familiar with Jensen Pond likely recognize this

'Oasis' that sits (sat) mid-pond.



This location no longer exists! It was there last week when I

photographed the Snow Goose.

But Monday, April 3, it was gone completely!



Speaking of the Snow Goose... in this image, note it is

entangled in fishing line and hardware!



I was happy to see a pair of (Breeding plumage) Ruddy Ducks!

There was a pair last year also that provided wonderful photos.



Also, just like last year, A Great Blue Heron is on the scene!



I can't pass up opportunities like this...



Moving onto AIC (Antelope Island Causeway), old friends were

present there also.



A Burrowing Owl was seen...



A Chuckar was most accomodating...



It provided many 'poses' for us.



Even up close...



Western Meadolarks are everywhere!



I was surprised to see American Widgeons and Cinammon Teal

on the north shore of the AIC.



American Widgeons.




March 2011

Mallards at Winchester Park



Redwing Blackbird has a lot to say



American Avocets, Sandy Pond



Common Loon



Yellow Rumped Warbler



Eared Grebes, Sandy Pond



Blue-Grey Gnatcatcher, Red Butte Gardens



American White Pelican, Jensen Park, Syracuse UT



Greenwing Teal, Mallard drakes, Jensen Pond



Cinnamon Teal Pair, Jensen Pond



The Snow Goose

that overwintered at Jensen Pond still is there,

albeit the Ross's Goose disappeared several weeks ago!



Northern Harriers still patrol the Jensen Park area...




The Meadowlark announces Spring best, in my opinion!



Along with the Sandhill Crane!




April 7, 2011


A Downy Woodpecker, photographed in

Cottonwood Heights, that is about to defy Gravity!



The bird is slowly making its way toward the bottom of

the limb. Notice the direction/placement of its tail.



Notice the positioning of its right leg,

and its tail, toward the left, for balance as it goes...



And here we see the bird upside down!

It balances perfectly using three points:

its clawed feet, and its tail pressure.

Very Cool, I must say!



Speaking of Cool, notice the Robin splashing in Little Cottonwood

Creek, a stone's throw from the Woodpecker's antics.



A composite image of 2 Redtailed Hawks, in the air

at the same time,

placed in the same frame, Crestwood Park, Sandy, Ut., 4-6-11




Layton Commons Park,

A Location Worthy of Investigation

February 6, 2011


An encounter with a White Goose, capable of flying, mixed in with Canadas

at Layton Commons Pond

Is this a hybrid Canada?




Slightly larger than the Canada Geese, as seen here,

but appears to be part of the group in every way



A lovely bird, both standing and in flight...

A Hybrid?



January 23, 2011


Layton Commons Park, home to a substantial number of Wood Ducks



Here we see the female...



I found it somewhat easy to locate and photograph pairs of these lovely birds



A fortunate example of a pair of Wood Ducks standing



A handsome bird from any perspective!



Here is a special treat! A Trumpeter Swan, up close and personal!



To me, this was worth the trip to Layton on Sunday, January 23, 2011




Snow and Ross's Geese at Jensen Nature Park

January 18, 2011


Not rare birds, but these two (Ross's at left; Juvenile Snow goose at right) were a delight

for this photographer!



Geese on the ice, with a female Grackle behind



In the short time I visited Jensen Pond on January 18, these birds provided numerous photo opportunities, as they were constant companions!



Snow goose in foreground; Ross's behind



Another highlight was to capture a portion of a huge swarm of Grackles in flight...

A tiny fraction is seen here!






A Paradox of a Dichotomy of a Conundrum!


Jeff Bilsky discovered a gull at Antelope Island Causeway recently...

It's name is "Larus Sp".

I captured these images on 12-13-10, and although it is likely NOT a Thayer's Gull,

it has another claim to fame




On the Great Salt Lake that is known for having Brine Shrimp as resident

aquatic life,

It found a HUGE Carp on the water's edge!




The Gull was still eating even as I left...


Likely the fish died in a fresh water marsh close by

and was washed into the Great Salt Lake, ending up on the Causeway.

Click the picture for a video of this bird







Juvenile Swainson's Hawk



Prairie Merlin, Garr Ranch, Antelope Island, 10-10-10



American Kestrel, Crestwood Park



Swainson's Hawk, Murray, Ut.



Redtail Hawk with Snake, Butterfield Canyon



Juvenile Redtail Hawk, International Center, S.L. Ut



Juvenile Redtail in Flight, International Center



Multiple Exposures of Peregrine Falcon at Dusk with Prey, Antelope Island Causeway



Juvenile Cooper's Hawk, Flatiron Mesa Park, Sandy, Ut.



Osprey, Sandy Pond



Osprey fishing in the rain, with Albino Trout. Sandy Pond



Sharpshinned Hawk, my backyard, early 2010



Neotropic Cormorant discovered October 17, 2010

on the Jordan River at 9600 South.




Caspian Tern Mill Race Park 2010



Common Loon, Lehi, Utah 2010



Eared Grebes, Sandy Pond, 2010



Eared Grebes, Sandy Pond, 2010



Red Breasted Merganser, Willow Pond, 2010



Common Merganser, Mill Race Pond, 2010



A Standoff between 2 Neotropic Cormorants and a pair of American Avocets, Sandy,UT, 2010

(I don't know anything about the egg!)



Redwing Blackbird pair, Willow Pond, 2010







Antelope Island




3 Juvenile Sabine's Gulls




In the lower left notice the Adult (breeding plumage) Sabine's Gull along with 2 Juveniles



A flock of Red-Necked Phalaropes arrives at the scene...



Close-up of an HORNED Grebe, Winter Plumage...



Whimbrel in flight, AIC, 2010



A Sage Thrasher...



A Cassin's Vireo at the Garr Ranch




A Wilson's Warbler peeks out...




Evening light illuminates this Chuckar




Two Bird Predators... One with fur...




And one with Feathers, Peregrine dining on a Black-Necked Stilt


For more Antelope Island images, click HERE