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

Friday, March 25, 2011

Farmington Bay Diversity More of My Happy Place

Loggerhead Shrike
One of the things that make Farmington Bay such a great place is the diversity of birds attracted there. 
 Waterfowl, Shorebirds, Wading Birds, Birds of Prey and Passerines, it is a bird paradise. Here are some more pictures from Farmington Bay
Brewer's Blackbird
White-crowned Sparrow
Bald Eagle
American Avocet
Long-billed Dowitchers
Downy Woodpecker

Northern Pintail and Mallard

Ring-necked Pheasant
Song Sparrow
Yellow-rumped Warbler
American White Pelican
Ring-necked Duck
Greater Yellow-legs
Spotted Towhee
American Kestrel
Black-necked Stilt
Solitary Sandpiper

Virginia Rail
Spotted Sandpiper

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Tundra Swan Day

Tundra Swan Day is my favorite event each year, not just for the Tundra Swans but because a lot of the spring migrants start coming in. This year the Swans started leaving early, a week ago there were 10,000 Tundra Swans at Farmington Bay yesterday and today there were between a hundred and two hundred.
Red-winged Blackbirds were singing everywhere
Always present are the American Coots
It has been a good year for Bald Eagles. Usually by this time there are very few if any Bald Eagles left. Today we saw at least 60.
Song Sparrows were very vocal, a welcome sound with the promise of spring.
Canada Geese paired up and establishing their territories for nesting
My friend Mike Johnson came along yesterday to take pictures
Common Mergansers
Great Blue Herons are busy working on their nests
For years I have been trying to get pictures of one of these little guys, this Long-tailed Weasel was very cooperative and posed like he know what he was doing.

Another great thing about Tundra Swan Day is the Chorus Frogs start signing. their sound is almost deafening 
These tiny frogs are very difficult to see, these are the first pictures I have ever gotten of them
The Sandhill Cranes are usually back by Swan Day this year they came even a little earlier. I saw my first of the year 2 weeks ago. Who is watching who in this picture?

So even if the Tundra Swans are few in numbers it is still one of the best events of the year and guaranteed not to disappoint

Friday, March 4, 2011

Awesome Cub Scouts

Watching Bald Eagles circling 
Today I held a Cub Scout "World Conservation Award" workshop for a Cub Scout Pack from Draper Utah. I have been doing these classes for 10 years and I love doing them. It is so rewarding to introduce these young men to nature and the Great Salt Lake Wetlands. Over the years I have had some tremendous Cub Scout groups come out and the one today was one of the best. They all came prepared with their pad of paper and pens ready to take notes and list the birds they saw. Thank you to the great cubs and their dedicated leaders for a successful workshop.

I am always happy when sisters of the cubs come along. We get far too few girls out to see the Nature Center and the birds

Looking at the tank that displays the Great Salt Lake ecosystem
There is live algae , Brine Shrimp and Brine Fly Larva 
Checking out some animal skeletons and skulls from the wetlands, including skunk, deer, beaver, muskrat, and an owl pellet with at vole skeleton. the vials hold samples of macro-invertabrates collected from the ponds at Farmington Bay. The macro-invertabrates are an important food source for birds
These boys are looking at feathers and nests that have been gathered from the wetlands
Parking lot with Great Blue Heron rookery in the background
The boys learned how to identify birds by location, habitat and field marks, the taxidermy at the nature center helps teach people how to identify birds by their field marks.
What are the identifying field marks of this Tundra Swan
These two Snow Geese are different colors but they have similar field marks that help us identify them both as snow geese. Can you see the field marks that they both have that identify them as Snow Geese?
What field marks identify this as a Canada Goose?
Juvenile Bald Eagle circling over Farmington Bay
Adult Bald Eagle we saw circling
Northern Harrier Hawk
Great Blue heron in the pond next to the Nature Center
Great Blue Herons working on their nests on the rookery
I had a great time and hope you all will return many times to Farmington Bay.