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, September 29, 2010

Birding Europe

 It almost feels like starting over, we have been in Europe for the last week, most specifically Nuremberg Germany, and Como Italy, I have been able to get out a couple of times for several good hours of birding. So far I have added 24 new birds to my life list. At first I tried to get pictures of every bird I saw but found by doing so I was missing a lot. I have been able to take a few pictures but I am mostly concentrating on finding birds and making a correct ID on each. Here is a list of birds I have seen *means a new life bird. I will also include a few pictures. I will be birding a new place in Germany this weekend and hope to add several more new life birds.
Birds seen:
*Eurasian Jay
*Great Tit

*Coal Tit
*European Goldfinch
*Common Blackbird
*Blue Tit by far the most abundant bird in this area of Nuremberg
House Sparrow
European Starling
*Tree Sparrow
Collared Dove
Rock Pigeon
*Willow Warbler
*Glossy Ibis
*Eurasian Nuthatch also abundant and not shy
*European Robin
Tree Creeper
*Stock Pigeon
*Wood Pigeon
*Hooded Crow
*Black-headed Gull
*Carrion Crow
*Western Bonelli's Warbler
*Mute Swan, I have seen these several times in Utah but never counted them because they are surely escapees. They are native to Europe
*Black Redstart
Common Raven
*Gray Wagtail

Sunday, September 12, 2010


Grebes similar to Loons in appearance and behavior are small to medium-large in size, have lobed toes, and are excellent swimmers and divers. However, although they can run for a short distance, they are prone to falling over, since they have their feet placed far back on the body so rarely leave the water. I personally have never seen a Grebe on land or flying since they also migrate at night.
Most Grebes are migratory however Pied-billed Grebes, are permanent residents of Great Salt Lake wetlands. Western Grebes, Clarks Grebes, Eared Grebes as well as Pied-billed Grebes nest at Great Salt Lake. During their fall molt tens of thousands of Eared Grebes find safety from predators during this time of flightlessness on the Great Salt Lake.
Bills vary from short and thick to long and pointed, depending on the diet, which ranges from fish to freshwater insects and crustaceans.  The feet are always large, with broad lobes on the toes and small webs connecting the front three toes. The hind toe also has a small lobe. All of Great Salt Lake's Grebes have bright red eyes except the Pied-billed Grebe which has a dark eye.
Grebes are diving birds they have plumage that is dense and waterproof, by pressing their feathers against the body, grebes can adjust their buoyancy, often, they swim low in the water with just the head and neck exposed.
In the non-breeding season, grebes are plain-coloured in dark browns and whites. However, most have ornate and distinctive breeding plumages, often developing chestnut markings on the head area, and perform elaborate display rituals.
Eared Grebe in Breeding Plumage
The largest concentration of Eared Grebes in the world stage at Great Salt Lake
Eared Grebes resting on Great Salt Lake
Clarks Grebe
Can you spot the field mark differences of this Clark's Grebe
 and the Western Grebe below ?

Western Grebe
Western Grebe with young
Horned Grebe in Breeding Plumage this Grebe is uncommon or rare at Great Salt Lake
Pied-billed Grebe
Pied-billed Grebe often mistaken by non-birders as baby ducks

Pied-billed Grebe with Young

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Quality Time at Farmington Bay

Friday morning I took my bicycle and rode around Farmington Bay. I spent a hour on the Nature Trail, it was a little quite but I did see some beautiful scenery and got some nice Hummingbird pictures. I then went over to the main bird refuge and road along the main dike, again kind of quite but I got some nice pictures of Pied-billed Grebe with young and Western Grebes with young. Here are some pictures.

Marsh Wren
Pied-billed Grebe with young
Black-chinned Hummingbird

Canada Geese on Glover's Pond
Western Grebes with Young

Saturday we went out to Antelope Island for their annual Stampede, I didn't do any real birding but I did get a couple of nice pictures of Common Nighthawk and Rock Wren. Other pictures will be Posted on our Family Blog, "Steve and Nery's Place
Common Nighthawk

Rock Wren