Sunday, December 30, 2018

Sanibel friends

Diana and I are spending next week at Sanibel Island off the western coast of Florida. A favorite of ours for many reasons, but for me it is a chance to revisit old friends.  Here's some of them I plan on seeing again.

Yellow-crowned night heron

Roseate Spoonbills


Green Heron

Little Blue heron

Reddish Egret


A flamingo conversation - got very noisy!

Friday, December 28, 2018

Refuge Friday

Randy and I rolled out to the refuge, a bit later than normal due to my Dr. appt. It started out quiet, chased after a white weasel, saw a heron way out in the marsh and then, just like the other day when I was out there, we found a harrier on the ground with food! The other harriers did flybys and then one upset the eater and took its place.
At one point the food was abandoned on the ground and a juvenile bald eagle picked it up. He took it to a spot a ways out on the edge of the field and ate until an adult eagle came by and attacked him. During the ensuing fracas the juvenile took off and then dropped the food into the bulrushes. Never did see if someone picked it up. A bit of excitement for a while - love to see these big birds in action.

Kestrels were their beautiful selves and not skittish at all as we rolled underneath them and took photos through the sunroof.

Rough-legged observing something..

Midday refuge moon..

Harrier exchange..

Juvenile eagle, perhaps 2nd year morph..

Juvenile eagle and adult..

Harrier looks like another Phragmite flower...

Big blue....

And the cutest of all....

Thursday, December 27, 2018


Some more photos from the aviary photo walk (the owls and ruddy duck) and a couple more from the refuge and the harriers.

Barred owl

Burrowing owl

Ruddy duck

Northern harriers

Rough-legged hawk

Thursday, December 20, 2018

A "WOW" day

Taking advantage of the continued sun shine with minimal smog I had a fascinating visit to the refuge today. After I stopped to observe and photograph a Harrier that was out in the open and eating on a bird of some type, other Harriers began to try to drive it off and take it's place on the food.
After several birds tried, one succeeded and held the position for a while. Then another drove it off.
The incoming birds look quite fierce - but I didn't see any feathers flying during the various episodes.
What a treat it was - getting to see such action and the story of the birds..

And while all this action was occurring these two Rough-legged hawks sat quietly observing..

Further up the road the GBH moved silently amongst the bulrushes..

Several Kestrels were around, took this photo through the sunroof as I slowly rolled by!!

Monday, December 17, 2018

More Aviary

I had my eyes dilated today so I couldn't see well enough to process any photos. Here's a few that I did late last night that I like..

Cute little guy..

Classic pose for the white pelican

Big boy was showing off - he paraded around with his wings spread so I could see how big he is. Condors run 9 to 11 feet wingspan..

Golden eagle..

Mallards are beautiful..

Visiting the Aviary

Here in SLC we are fortunate to have a wonderful aviary, Tracy Aviary. It is undergoing considerable remodeling, all to the better.
Randy and I spent time there Sunday with some amazing birds. We were fortunate to be present at the time of feeding the small colorful parrots and were invited inside the cage with the two guys who had paid to feed them and the staff person. Here are these incredibly beautiful birds a foot or so away from us and walking on the feeder's arm and hands.
Sandhill cranes - normally brown in color - are grey here since the staff put grey mud in rather than brown mud and the birds change their feather colors with the mud. So grey for these two!
Flamingos were gorgeous and noisy - young and old. Their feathers are exquisite, which maybe makes up for their beak which is a bit dorky!
This is my first installment - more to come..


Black Swans



The small and gorgeous parrots..

Thursday, December 13, 2018

After the storm..

A beautiful day today, especially this morning before the smog started to accumulate. A quick trip to the refuge found, as expected, Harriers and Kestrels plus two Bald Eagles. One adult and one juvenile.
A couple of GBH's along the way, mostly just so beautiful in the sun with the variety in the marshlands.

King of the Hill! Kestrel enjoying the sun from it's watching place.

Female Northern Harrier lifting off..

Female Northern Harrier.

Male Harrier - aka Grey Ghost...

Harriers harrying a juvenile Bald Eagle -

Great Blue Heron sunning itself..