Thursday, May 16, 2019

Cool Birds, BIG Mosquitos

South of Highway 80 is Salt Lake City.  North is the biggest migratory bird refuge I've ever seen.  It literally goes from the Wasatch Range almost to the Nevada border.
This was my chosen destination on BQ day (before quilts), only because it was closer than the hour's drive to Antelope Island.  I wasn't disappointed.  I will try to identify most of the birds, but honestly I had to search the internet, so my apologies if I've not named them correctly.

Yellow headed blackbird ... these guys were EVERYWHERE!!  
I actually could not find this one, but I think it's a great horned owl.  Missed by most, you only got pictures if you knew the secret hiding place.  They think she's either on eggs or babies, neither of which I could see.
Dad hung out close by.
About the time I got to the narrow 12 miles long dirt road and the one way only sign, the bugs began to make themselves known.  They swarmed like Hitchcock's BIRDS.  They looked exactly like mosquitos, but might have been some nymph-like thing that doesn't bite.  It didn't matter.  My automatic window button got a workout.  Down for a picture, instantly back up.
I imagine the white bird above is some kind of egret with a cowlick.  Surprisingly, I spotted several muskrats cruising the waterways.
Look close at this one ... that "stick" in his mouth is the fish he just snagged from the water and tossed in the air, only to catch it for a quick snack.
The scenery was spectacular as I maneuvered down the road trying to pass those who were stopped, but refused to pull over.
One of the claims to fame are these avocets.  They certainly are elegant in their movements as they look for lunch.
More muskrats, as well as large carp were swimming in the shallows.
Snow dusted mountains made for beautiful peaceful scenery.
As in my county in California, there were several sandhill cranes.
Two male pelicans were fighting over a lovely lady far out in the water.  This one finally gave up his quest and went looking for safer waters.
I tried and tried to get an image of the red spotted blackbird, but they were so fast it was hard to capture.  At long last, this is the best I could get.
Love was in the air as all the grebes were trying to catch each other's attention.  One mimicked the movements of the other for ten minutes while I watched.  
You've seen these guys before ... mallards.
I was thinking this was a meadowlark with the beautiful tune he was singing, but couldn't find him on the internet.  Not really sure what he is.
Cinnamon teal ducks were everywhere.  
At first I thought this was a peregrine falcon, but comparing it to other images, I think I was wrong.  It actually appears to be a golden eagle, but I'm guessing.  He was pretty magnificent to say the least.
So there you have it ... a day with the birds.  When I got home, I spent an hour trying to clear my car of the mosquitos.   

Although I was supposed to leave this morning, the 30-45 mph winds have got me spooked.  I'm going to lose another reservation fee, but between the wind alerts, rain and predicted snow along my route, I've decided to stay put one more day.  It was so bad last night I had to put my dish down and slides in.  Stuck in Brigham City again!!


  1. Great pictures of all the Wildlife.
    The bugs have been bad everywhere this year.
    Better to sit still with the high winds.
    Be Safe and Enjoy your adventures.

    It's about time.

    1. Thank you! My bug swatting skills are getting better.

  2. Love all your bird pictures,
    At least you are safer in the campground than on the road with high winds.

    1. Exactly my thought. I'm afraid I may be here for some time.

  3. Beautiful pictures, Nancy! Mosquitoes that don't bite! I wonder what they are?
    We call your 'red spotted blackbird' a redwing blackbird, I think. They look the same anyway. Is the yellow head bird near the end some kind of grosbeak?
    You did well and I'm glad you're safe, sorry about the reservation loss.

    1. Could be a grosbeak. There is a list a mile long of the birds here.

  4. Beautiful pictures. Mosquitoes that do not bite now that would be nice. I have an app on my phone called Merlin Bird ID by Cornell Lab of Ornithology, it was free, which has helped me identify birds.
    Sorry you had to lose a reservation but with that type of wind predicted better to stay put and be safe.

    1. Interesting app ... I think I'll get that one. Thank you!!

  5. We were in Brigham City May 2017. It snowed, it snowed a lot. It was really really cold. We had planned to walk places and look at stuff, but it was so cold we ended up drinking coffee in a grocery store with a Starbucks because it was so cold. What a cool bird refuge, I did not know about that.

    1. Well I'm glad there is no snow right now or I would be in deep you know what. Hoping I can get out of here some day.

  6. Rained ALL night last night, on and off again today. Friday is 'suppose' to be good, but rain again Saturday and Sunday. GOOD LUCK, be safe.

    1. This is the pitts Dave. Hoping to get at least one leg down today. There's still rain, but hopefully not as much wind.