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
Bonaparte's Gull, 1st Winter, @ AIC, 11-22-11
Bonaparte's @ AIC, 11-16-11
Rough-Legged Hawk,adult male, light morph (Thanks Kris)
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,
3 Surf Scoters together, with
Ruddy duck (upper left) for size comparision
November 10, 2011 NEW
Adult Surf Scoter with breeding plumage
And yet another view of the Surf Scoter.
I round off the 'rare' sea-ducks with a
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
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
UPDATE ON THE THREE HARLEQUINS
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
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
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
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
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
Jeff Bilsky responded, providing a link to Cornell.
Apparently this coloration is associated with breeding.
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...
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...
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
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)
"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
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
Mill Race Pond, Murray/Jordan River Parkway, Salt Lake
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
(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 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.
Mallards at Winchester Park
Redwing Blackbird has a lot to say
American Avocets, Sandy Pond
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...
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
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.
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
CHIPPING SPARROW- BUTTERFIELD CANYON, UT. 2010
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