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

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Heard Often But Seldom Seen

There are two birds that I hear often in the marsh but rarely see because they hide in the cattails and rarely make themselves visable. These two birds are the Virgina Rail and the Sora. I have seen Rails many more times that Soras in fact I have only seen Soras on two occasions and never close enough to get a good picture. During the Bird Festival there was a very cooperative Rail in the Cattails right next to the Nature Center at Farmington Bay. I stood and listen to him cluck for about 15 minutes and then out he came. First he poked his head out then eventually came all the way out and I was able to get some nice pictures. Now if I can just get a Sora to cooperate I will be happy. Here are some of the pictures I got of the Virgina Rail.


Sunday, May 24, 2009

The Great Salt Lake Birde Festival

I had every intention of documenting this years Bird Festival events with pictures but found it difficult to lead tours and presentations and take pictures at the same time. These are some of the few I was able to take of birds.
Below is a list of birds seen at Farmington Bay during the four field trips I either lead or assisted with these include a tour of Glover Ponds where we spotted the Snowy Plovers in the playa west of the ponds, Those Wild Wetlands workshop for kids we identified 26 Species in 15 minutes and several boys were able to earn their Bird Study Merit Badge, Bus Tour of the Turpin Unit lead by Rich Hansen Manger of Farmington Bay, and Birding for Families and Dutch-oven Dinner.
This was my 7th year involved with the Bird Festival and it was our 3rd Birding for Families and Dutch-oven Dinner.

Bird List:
Pied-billed Grebe
Eared Grebe
Western Grebe
Clark's Grebe
American White Pelican
Double-crested Cormorant
Great Blue Heron
Snowy Egret
Black-crowned Night Heron
White-faced Ibis
(Mute Swan)
Canada Goose
Cinnamon Teal
Northern Shoveler
American Wigeon
Lessor Scaup
Ruddy Duck
Northern Harrier
Ring-necked Pheasant
Virginia Rail
American Coot
Sandhill Crane
Snowy Plover
Black-necked Stilt
American Avocet
Spotted Sandpiper
Long-billed Curlew
Wilson's Phalarope
Franklin's Gull
Ring-billed Gull
California Gull
Caspian Tern
Forsters Tern
Black Tern
Western Kingbird
Tree Swallow
Cliff Swallow
Barn Swallow
Black-billed Magpie
Common Raven
Marsh Wren
European Starling
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Chipping Sparrow
Song Sparrow
Red-winged Blackbird
Western Meadow Lark
Yellow-headed Blackbird
Brewers Blackbird
Brown-headed Cowbird
Common Grackle

Sunday, May 3, 2009


My Bird of the Month for May had to be the busy little Marsh Wren. When ever you enter a wetland in the spring you are sure to hear the chattering of the little Marsh Wren within the cattails and bullrush. Heard a lot more than seen this busy Little bird has a lot to say and I have found it to be one of the most responsive birds to "pishing".

Often the only glimpses you get are of this tiny bird fluttering around the cattails. One day last spring I was bound and determined to get some pictures of these little guys so I sat in the middle of some grease wood for about 30 minutes and waited. Well here they came and close enough to get some nice shots and it was only then I was able to see how beautifully they are marked. Here are some of those pictures along with a couple of Ruby Crowned Kinglets that were a bonus that day. They were flitting around the Grease wood while I was watching the Marsh Wrens. Enjoy.

Marsh Wren Adult Description
Small brown bird with thin bill.
Tail often held upright.
Dark cap.
Whitish eye line.
Bold black-and-white streaks on back.
Buffy flanks, whitish chest.
Immature Description Juvenile similar to adult, but lacks bold streaking on back and has only an indistinct eye stripe.
Similar Species
Sedge Wren has similar streaks on back, but is paler, has a paler, streaked crown, and has a less distinct eye stripe.