Visited the refuge this morning, fairly quiet, not too many hunters and just a few birders. I could not find the screech owl despite playing screech owl calls on my iPhone, but did see some other birds. A beautiful day!
Ravens hassling a Red-tailed Hawk. They stopped as soon as he landed on the tree.
Kestrel hovering overhead.
Rough-legged hawk - no fear at all, he sat there with lots of human activity around him.
Kingfisher - didn't expect him today but there he was..
You know it's bad and getting worse when you cannot see the Kennecott stack - from anywhere on the east or even at the refuge. Yuk!
Nevertheless, the intrepid explorers headed out and we had a good time. There's just so much beauty to capture and not enough time - or patience!
Looking southeast from the top of Goose Egg Hill -
I love the grasses..
Little cutie didn't fly away..
The Western Screech Owl is still hanging out in their place..
Here's a couple of shots from the refuge last time that I found interesting. The first is frost on the dark grasses - they seemed to stretch for miles. Secondly this Red-tailed hawk flew between the sun and I and I caught this one just after he left the sun. A little color saturation to pick up the rainbow caused by the lens, and voila - a heavenly hawk!
Stellar's Jays are back in the mix in the backyard again. They've been absent (or so it seems) for a few weeks, but made themselves at home today. Their mix of black and blue and the splotches of white are always startling and beautiful.
Molly and I enjoyed the sunshine and cool breezes was well as the abundant wildlife at the refuge. Kestrels, Harriers and Rough-legged hawks were to be seen all over the place along with a couple of juvenile Red-tailed hawks. Molly raced down a trail and flushed a Bald Eagle, much to our surprise!
And Pheasants, the Dandies of the desert! Season must be over because the males were found quite readily.
Here's some shots from today...
On the wing...
Rough-legged - love their stare..
Hard to hide these beautiful colors...
Beauty in death as well as life...
Here's Molly's Bald Eagle...
Classic Rough-legged hanging out on top of Goose Egg Hill..
Lisa treated me to an early birthday gift by taking me to see the Vikings show at the Natural History Museum. What a treat that was! Thanks Lisa!
Learning about my ancestors - ancient though they may be - was quite educational and it raised a number of questions for me that I will explore. I was also struck by how little knowledge we have of these folks. And no, there were no helmets with horns!!
I looked through the exhibit for something a bit different to photograph - here's what I found..
Two very different views of the same thing - a demonstration of a Viking boat - first the nails that were used and then the polyethylene line that they used to string the nails.
It was a chance call - to go to the refuge or not at 7:30 this morning. The wind was gusting from the south and there was still a darkness mostly due to the cloud cover. But since I wanted to give Molly and myself a good walk, plus I was curious about what was happening at the refuge in the supposed pre=storm time.
As expected, the duck-goose hunters were blasting away. A low cloud cover plus the strong south wind kept the flying birds low, just what the hunters wanted. Where we walked the sound of the guns came occasionally but didn't impede us. When Molly flushed 4 pheasant 5 feet in front of us, that's when we got excited!
Kestrels, Harriers, Rough-legged were all out today, and the ones I saw were successful in their hunt. The low visibility meant shooting at a very high ISO to get any shutter speed, so not too many good photos of wildlife, but some fun ones of Mother Nature creations.
Kestrel and Vole
Teasel in it's winter dress
Goose egg hill and the savanna
These last two are paintings by Mother Nature. Ever-changing, what you see is only a moment in time that will not ever be repeated.
Molly and I visited the refuge today, glad to be back there after a week away. Smoggy day, by the time I left - about 1 - the Oquirrh's were hidden by the smog. Cold, clear days and it builds up quickly.
A Bald Eagle was sitting on the eagle tree - good to see one so early. A Rough-legged was hanging out in the field, and two female pheasants flushed right next to Molly and I causing a bit of excitement! A Kingfisher came over and ate in a tree - and the Pied Bill grebe is cuteness outstanding!
Juvenile Red-tailed greeted us on the way in.
Pied Bill Grebe
Air bubble in ice.
Male and female Mallards, not sure what the small one is.