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, June 18, 2011


Thirty five years ago I returned home from an LDS church mission to the Philippines in mid December, the cultural shock returning home was scary but getting used to the cold and dry climate of Utah was even more difficult, my eyes burned, my nose was dry and stung all the time and I could not get warm. One of the things that greatly helped in my transition was taking pictures. I brought home with me the Nikon Nikomat camera that I had purchased used from one of the other missionaries. I loved that camera it took great pictures. One of the first things I remember doing was going out on a cold, foggy Saturday morning to take pictures with my dad. We went of course to Farmington Bay I got great shots of ice crystals on all the plants but the picture I remember most was a picture of a Killdeer standing in a small puddle, the reflection of the bird in the water was so good it was hard to tell which was upright or upside down. I had that picture for years in fact I placed it in a frame and it hung in our restaurant lobby. We have since moved several times and the picture has been misplaced. It was the first time I was moved by one of my own photographs. It's hard to explain why but looking at reflection pictures are calming to me. If a picture says a thousand words a picture of a reflection says two thousand. Here are some of my recent reflection photos, I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.
Snowy Egret
Yellow-headed Blackbird

Great Blue Heron

Solitary Sandpiper

Wood Duck

White-faced Ibis

American Avocet, this is one of my favorites

American Avocets and Black-necked Stilts are great subjects for reflection shots
Black-necked Stilt

Eared Grebe

Pied-billed Grebe

Clark's Grebe
Ruddy Duck

Common Goldeneye

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Sunday Afternoon Stroll

It's sunday afternoon and everyone is taking a nap. it is a beautiful day, too beautiful for me to waste. I decided to go over to Farmington Bay and walk the Nature Trail. Here are some pictures of birds I saw.
Avocets setting their nests

A couple of Cinnamon Teal Drakes
Black-necked Stilt
Stilt on her nest
Cinnamon Teal and Black-necked Stilt
Mallard Drake sitting on their nest
Great blue Heron
Clark's Grebe
Western Grebe
Ruddy Duck
Eastern Kingbird, this area has always been a good place to see Eastern Kingbirds long before the Nature Trail was built, today though I saw more Eastern Kingbirds than ever before.
Eastern Kingbird
Brown-headed Cowbird
Bullock's Oriole (female)
Song Sparrow
Also seen of course Red-wing and Yellow-headed Blackbirds, Gadwall, Forsters Terns, American White Pelicans, Great-tailed Grackle, Sandhill Crane, White-faced Ibis, American Coots, Pied -billed Grebe, Western Meadow Lark, Canada Geese, American Robin, European Starling, Ring-necked Pheasant, Western Kingbird, Tree Swallows, Barn Swallow, Killdeer, Willet.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

June 2011 Bird of the Month Willet

I have chosen the Willet as my Bird of the Month for June. This large gray plain looking sandpiper is quite common in the wetlands of the Great Salt Lake. On the ground they are drab gray with some speckling, it's only when they take off and open their wings their striking makings are visible.

Willets are one of those birds that are usually heard before they are seen, their trill "pill will willet" is unmistakable.

Willets nest on the ground and are seen foraging on mud flats and marshes, that is why last Saturday on my trip to Antelope Island I was surprised to hear them in the sagebrush. At first I did not see them o\so I stopped my car and started walking in the sagebrush. Much to my surprise they  continued to call to each other giving me a chance to see them.

One of the things I love about birds is they often surprise with unusual behavior. I wonder if they are nesting in the area and using the sagebrush as a lookout.

There are two subspecies of Willets, the Eastern which is a costal bird and the Western which is an inland bird.

The Willet may have been the first sandpiper I was able to Identify when I was a new birder. Always a happy day when I see Willets during my birding outings and my choice of Bird of the Month for June.