All Photos posted on this blog unless otherwise noted were taken by me with my Canon Rebel XTI using a 300 mm zoom lens

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Antelope Island Finally

Grazing Pronghorn
At the end of April I had open heart surgery and have felt like I have been swimming up stream barely keeping my head above water ever since. I have had no time for birding or riding my motorcycle or much else but work and family events. Last week I finally told myself, enough I need a day to myself and where better to go than Antelope Island. I took Belle along because she doesn't require much and she is a good companion. Belle is my little Papillon Dog.

I call it Birding but visiting Antelope Island is so much more than simply birding. It was a wonderful day even though it rained much of the time. The colors this time of year are spectacular, there was plenty of wildlife and the birding wasn't bad. Here are some pictures of our day, and a list of birds and other animals that we saw.


Brewer's Blackbird
Barn Swallow
Ring-billed Gulls and Franklin's Gull
Northern Harrier
Long-billed Curlew
American Avocet and California Gulls
Eared Grebes
Horned Grebe
Black-billed Magpie
Sage Thrasher, none were very cooperative to have their picture taken
Western Meadowlark
Common Raven
Ruby-crowned Kinglet
House Wren
Wilson's Warbler
Orange Crowned Warbler
MacGillivray's Warbler
Northern Water Thrush
Willow Flycatcher
Western Wood Pewee
Other Empid Flycatchers
White-crowned Sparrow
European Starling
Canada Goose
Red-wing Blackbird
I'm going to say it is a Coopers Hawk even though I want it to be a Goshawk 
Goshawk would be a new life bird, but I'm pretty sure is a Coopers Hawk. I hope someone will comment and give your opinion. Regardless it is a beautiful Hawk and was quite cooperative to let me take its picture.
Other Animals Seen
Bison on the Beach
Bison Resting
Bison Cow
Cow and Calf
Bison Grazing
Pronghorn Buck
Island Mascot

Mule Deer Doe
Mule Deer Grazing
Antelope Island Scenery Plants, Rocks and Views
The Rabbit Brush is just starting to bloom
View of Freemont Island
For much of the year these flowers look like reddish sticks in the fields then in September they boom I finally found out what they are called, Moth Mullein and they cover much of the island.
Pronghorn in a Moth Mullein Jungle
Sunflowers with a lavender colored flower I don't know the name of. UPDATE My friend John Lofgreen of Anchorage Alaska has ID'd the lavender colored flowers as Rocky Mountain Bee Plant. Thanks John!
Rocky Mountain Bee Plant
You don't need to go to the mountains to see fall colors, the blooming Salicorina (Pickle Weed) in it's spectacular fall colors.
Mountain Shot from White Rock Bay

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Cowbirds, Cattle Egrets and More

Brown-headed Cowbirds 
I took about an hour this morning before church and drove over to Farmington Bay. It was fairly quiet but I did see a few birds. here are some pictures.

Male and Female Cowbirds

Cattle Egrets living up to their name.

Yellow-headed Blackbird
The White-faced Ibis one Great Blue Heron and a Killdeer were the only wading/shorebirds I saw this morning
Thistle and Phragmites 
Birds Seen
White-faced Ibis
Yellow-headed Cowbird
Red-winged Blackbird
Common Yellowthroat
Marsh Wren
American Coots
American White Pelican
Forsters Tern
Caspian Tern
Canada Goose
Mourning Dove
Chipping Sparrow
House Sparrow
Song Sparrow
Brown-headed cowbird
Cattle Egret
Barn Swallow
Black-billed Magpie
Pied-billed Grebe
Great Blue Heron

Thursday, July 4, 2013

July bird of the Month Yellow Warbler

My first sighing of this beautiful little warbler I was taking a walk at Farmington Bay at the South entrance. I was all alone except for the birds and a little yellow bird came out and perched on the willows bordering the road. He was not shy at all and lead me quite a ways down the road. 
I have seen Yellow Warblers in several different habitats, I have seen them flitting about in the cattails, in shrubs along streams and high in cottonwood trees at rest stops in in the trees in my backyard. I always know when they are around by their song Sweet Sweet I'm so sweet.
One of my favorite sightings of Yellow Warblers several years ago I took a couple of my neighbors who are not birds birding at Pineview reservoir. There was some road construction and as we sat waiting our turn to move on I could hear Yellow warblers in the scrub oak up the hill from the road. I told my friends to watch the scrub oak and I started pishing. Out came several Yellow Warbles, this really impressed my friends. They were amazed at the little yellow birds, they had now idea we had birds that beautiful where we live. 
Yellow warblers are the only warbler that is yellow over it's entire body. Males have reddish streaks on the breast. They are found over the entire 48 states. Yellow warblers I have read are one of the most common victims of the parasitic nesting Cowbirds who they their eggs in the Yellow Warblers nests. 

Cute in appearance as well as personality Yellow warbles are one of my favorite birds.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

I'm Back after almost 2 months of silence

Three days after my last post, I went to the hospital for open heart surgery. I had my aortic valve replaced, so I haven't been birding or felt much like doing anything. Almost two months later I am slowly getting my strength back, Friday Nery and I took a day trip to Bear Lake on the Utah Idaho border. We joined a family reunion already in progress. I was able to get away with my dad for about an hour and a half and went to Paris Idaho to the Bear Lake National Bird Refuge. It was a quick trip but we saw some nice birds and it was good to finally be out and do some birding.

Our first sighting my dad spotted a family of Sanhill Cranes, the baby went into the bulrush as we pulled up so I didn't get any shots of the baby but here is mama and papa.

I got this shot of a mama Coot and her baby
There were a lot of Ruddy Ducks

Lots of Geese crossing the road
Birds seen
Sandhill Crane
Western Meadowlark
Canada Goose
Northern Harrier
Common Yellow-throat
Marsh Wren
White-faced Ibis
Snowy Egret
Norther Shoveler
Lesser Scaup
American Coot
Western Grebe
Ruddy Duck
Redwing Blackbird
Brewer's Blackbird
Yellow-headed Blackbird
Brown-headed Cowbird
Turkey Vulture
European Starling
Yellow Warbler
Spotted Sandpiper

Hopefully I'll be able to get out more and post more of my birding adventures.

Friday, April 26, 2013

A New Life Bird Red-throated Loon and Pesky Woodpeckers bring in Pesky Starlings

Today was a good day because I added another bird to my life list. There has been a Red-throated Loon reported at Lee Kay Ponds in Salt Lake City just south of the City dump. Today my brother in law Frank and I went to search for it. We were rewarded and got several good looks at it from my spotting scope. It was too far out in the pond to get a picture.

Every spring the Northern Flickers start drumming on the sides of our office building. I am told that they feel or hear the sound of electricity in the walls of the building and peck at them thinking they are insects. Every year they punch many holes in the building.
You can see where this area has been patched before and now there is a new hole in the building.
But the holes don't go unused every year several families of European Starlings set up housekeeping in the holes.
Several years ago a well meaning young lady came to me distraught because there was a poor baby bird on the ground and wanted me to take care of it. I was quite certain that the bird was a Starling and my first reaction was to wring it's neck, but I have a reputation to keep as the go to guy in our building when it comes to birds and that would have destroyed my reputation. Sure enough it was a young starling just too big for the nest but not quite ready to fly. I have watched mother birds continue to feed and watch over babies that leave the nest before honing their flying skills. Help this poor baby bird was her plea. So I caught the bird and got the maintenance guy to let me on the roof and I placed the bird back in it's nest. I was a hero. After work when I left for  the the day the baby was back on the ground and mother was watching over it.
This bird seems to be the watchman on the tower keeping us safe from all kinds of calamities.
On a more positive note American Kestrels also nest in some of the holes. Unfortunately I don't have pictures of the Kestrels.