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

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Shore and Wading Birds

Spring is Shorebird season at The Great Salt Lake. A drive out to Antelope Island along the causeway will reward you with all manner of Shorebirds. Farmington Bay is also a great place to see Shorebirds.
Here are pictures of some of the Shore and Wading Birds of Great Salt Lake and Farmington Bay
American Avocet and Snowy Egret
Snowy Egret
Great Egret
The Great Egret is found across much of the world, from southern Canada southward to Argentina, and in Europe, Africa, Asia, and Australia. The Great Egret however is uncommon in Northern Utah, this one showed up several years ago and hung around Farmington Bay clear into late January.

Black-crowned Night Heron
Great Blue Heron
The Great Blue Heron is a year round resident to The Great Salt Lake Wetlands, a couple of years ago when all of the water at Farmington Bay was frozen over I observed Blue Herons in the grassy areas hunting meadow voles.
Great Blue Heron hunting Meadow Voles
White-faced Ibis
One of the worlds largest concentrations of White Faced Ibis Nest on the shores of the Great Salt Lake

The American Avocet is a favorite shorebird for many people. Great Salt Lake is host to one of the largest concentrations of breeding American Avocets in the world
Never far from the Avocets are the Black-necked Stilts
Long-billed Curlew are common along the Antelope Island Causeway, feeding on Brine Flies.
Long-billed Dowitchers congregate by the thousands during Spring and Fall migrations.
This unfortunate Dowitcher had somehow lost a leg and wintered over a few years ago. Though handicapped he seemed to do well and was seen for several months and probably met up with other Dowitchers during spring migration and move on, at least I would like to think that is what became of him.
Killdeer are a study in crazy behavior. They love to lay their eggs in gravel and for some reason often pick parking lots with a lot of traffic. After choosing a less than perfect place to nest they are constantly running around calling to people and doing their broken wing impressing to lure people away from their nest. Killdeer are year round residents of Northern Utah and can be found in many types of habitat from the foothills to pastures to mud flats on the Great Salt Lake and Farmington Bay.
Marbled Godwits are hit and miss, sometimes you can look all day and not find any then other times you can see large groups of them. For me they are one of the harder birds to get a good photograph of.
Great Salt Lake hosts the largest concentration of Wilson's Phalaropes during spring and fall migrations
Red-necked Phalaropes in winter plumage a smaller cousin to the Wilson's Phalarope. Very entertaining to watch them spin in circles while they feed on Brine Shrimp in the Great Salt lake
Solitary Sandpiper
Sora a small Rail is much more often heard than seen and I felt fortunate to get these pictures.
These little beauties usually hiding in the Cattails this one came out to let us take some pictures.
Spotted Sandpiper in Breeding Plumage
Spotted Sandpiper in winter plumage

Virginia Rail another bird more often heard than seen but doesn't seem to be quite a shy as the Sora. This one hung out right next to the Nature Center a couple of years ago much to the delight of many visitors.
Western Sandpipers and other "peeps" small sandpipers are seen in large numbers on the Antelope Island Causeway during migration.
Willets flashing their black and white wings in flight are rather drab on the ground.
Greater Yellow-legs
I think these are Lesser Yellow-legs, but hard for me to tell unless I see them side by side with Greater Yellow-legs.
Millions of Shorebirds move through the Great Salt Lake and her Wetlands twice a year during migration


Joan said...

You do not have a caption beneath the black birds in your eighth photo, the one above the avocet. What are they?

Joan said...

Please, can you identify the black, slightly long necked, duck-like birds in your eighth photo, the one above the avocet. I have recently seen birds like this walking on the mud flats beside Many Farms Lake, Apache County, Arizona, and have been unable to identify them from my field guide. Thank you for any help.

Steve's Bird Blog said...

The Dark colored birds in the eighth photo are White-faced Ibis, the same as the 7th photo. Their feathers are iridescent and they appear different colors depending on the light, They can appear Black in low light, Brown or Green and Purple in bright light. Thanks for visiting my Bolg