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, September 18, 2011

Antelope Island Gold

I took a trip out to Antelope Island Saturday the Island was gold everywhere, the grasses have all turned gold, the Sunflowers are in full bloom and the Rabbit Brush is just beginning to bloom.

Black-necked Stilt gorging on Brine Flies
The causeway was alive with American Avocets, Black-necked Stilts, California, Ring-billed and Franklin's Gulls and 10's of Thousands Red-necked Phalaropes all feasting on brine flies.
Franklin's Gull enjoying the banquet
Some more gold
Rabbitbrush is beautiful this time of year but I don't recommend cutting some for a bouquet it smells like dirty gym socks
Stilts napping between meals
A Canada Goose flyby
Avocets and Phalaropes sharing a meal
Black-necked stilts
Even Barn Swallows enjoy the gold
Our Birding Bug
Avocets taking a rest 
Long-billed Curlews with Great Salt Lake foam on the shore
Long-billed Curlew
Red-necked Phalaropes with Wilson's Phalaropes will stage here feasting on Brine Shrimp and Brine Flies for several weeks before making their long migration to South America for the winter

California Gull
Franklin's Gull
What a difference a year makes. Run-off from our abundant snow pack from last winter brought the lake water level up more than it has been for 10 years. This same area last year was mud flats.
Franklin's Gull and Eared Grebe
Pronghorn buck with his harem, 
Pronghorns mate each fall in the dry, open lands of western North America. Bucks gather harems of females and protect them jealously. One of the females took off and he promptly chased her down and brought her back to the others where he could keep a close eye on them.

My best sighting of the day was 2 American Redstarts at the spring at the Ranch. They were not very cooperative about having their picture taken but I did get this fair shot of one of them.
I could use some help with this Flycatcher, I am terrible at ID'ing the tiny Empids
There were a lot of Hermit Thrush yesterday, more than I have ever seen at one time.
 Birding was fair, here is my list
American Avocet
Black-necked Stilt
California Gull
Ring-billed Gull
Franklin's Gull
Red-necked Phalarope
Wilson's Phalarope
Long-billed curlew
White-faced Ibis
Eared Grebe
Western Grebe
Loggerhead Shrike
European Starling
Red-winged Blackbird
Brewers Blackbird
Canada Goose
Wilson's Warbler
American Redstart
Nashville Warbler
Orange-crowned Warbler
Spotted Towhee
Hermit Thrush
Empid Flycatchers
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Virginia Rail heard only
Common Raven
American Crow
Black-billed Magpie

My last picture of the day was of this lucky guy. There are signs everywhere warning people not to approach the Bison. Some people are never satisfied with the shot. This guy was lucky and was able to walk away, the scary thing is as I was driving off three more photographers were headed down for a closer shot.