February 27, 2017
Snow geese Concentrating at Gunnison Bend Reservoir
Personal Web Site
Updated: February 27, 2017
This site reflects my current passion for photographing birds.
I have been photographing for over 50 years; and am now retired from a satisfying profession beginning in Biochemistry, and ending in Biomedical Photography.
Below are links to my most recent nature photography. Hopefully you will find as much enjoyment in viewing it as I do in creating it.
The photos on this page are changed frequently.
Older posts are found by clicking the rectangular "buttons" on the left side of this text.
Links to older posts for this year are located at the extreme bottom of this page!
Questions-Comments about this website?
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My images are copyrighted and I ask the courtesy to not use them without written permission.
February 27, 2017
Regarding posting of current birds... for me, there aren't any!
Recent months have been short on birds in my territory!
This past weekend, the Delta, UT. Snowgoose Festival was active, thus I decided to post the best year I ever experienced Snowgeese from that location!
The year was 2003, and for once the sky was clear of gray clouds.
Mount Nebo in early morning light.
Going west of Mount nebo to Gunnison Bend reservoir, fog had lifted leaving the landscape covered with hoarfrost!
The reservoir was devoid of any geese at this time!
Over time, Snow geese began to appear in small groups, to land in the middle of the lake to rest after feeding in the fields in early morning.
Larger groups also began to arrive.
With their wings set to land, Ross's and Snow geese continued to rain down onto the lake!
Lighting was perfect, for the first time, after earlier years being gray and drab, with no blue skies!
The birds continued to arrive as they settled on the far side of the reservoir, where they rested for several hours
Later in the day, the geese took to the air, all of them, at precisely the same time! Note: this is only a tiny fragment of the entire birds in flight!
This day, a substantial number of geese returned to the lake rather than leave!
They landed at the northern end of the lake and commenced resting.
Over time a man appeared on the far side of the lake!
The entire group became airborne due to this intrusion!
But, rather than exiting the area, the birds again settled on the water a distance away!
This time they were closer to me!
During the afternoon, I moved away from the lake, hoping to intercept some stragglers feeding on a nearby farm, which I succeded in doing!
The birds were unaware of me, providing me with extraordinary images!
Small groups continued to fly in!
Going to a'wider angle' with my camera's zoom lens still didn't show the entire spectacle!
With more arrivals coming in for a landing, I was delighted!
Two of us had this location to ourselves!
Here the birds were actively feeding, but very cautious (necks outstretched).
Finally the birds settled down after foraging for a time...
It was finally time for us to head for home, passing this gorgeous landscape, with Mount Nebo in the background!
November 22, 2016
Big Cottonwood Park these days, still has its "draw" for me with its occasional bird-photography possibilities...
Winter plumage is the "dress" seen with the American Goldfinches at present...
I remind the viewer what the American Goldfinch looks like in Summertime, with its Breeding plumage!
Male American Goldfinch, Breeding plumage.
Again, contrasted against the Winter plumage on the current bird below!
Wintertime draws Dark-eyed juncos to the Park...
With this one actively gorging on Russian Olives...
Here you see the bird eating a portion of an olive...
However, the major portion of this post deals with the cute, tiny
Ruby-Crowned Kinglet species that have been present these days!
Here we see one in deep shade, actively foraging for food!
These little critters are extremely difficult to photograph, since they are always moving at "high speed"!
The size of the bird's "Crown" varies, and most of the time it is hidden.
Direct sunlight provides this coloration...
This Ruby-crowned Kinglet has nearly totally hidden it's "Ruby Crown"!
Direct sunlight revealed a sleeping Fox...
It was awakened by the presence of another fox...
Eye contact tells of a peaceful encounter here...
November 7, 2016
Summer/Winter Bird Plumage Seen in Big Cottonwood Park
American Goldfinches are year-round residents at the Park, dwindling in numbers during the dead of Winter.
Their plumage varies dramatically with the seasons!
Summer (Breeding) Plumage Male American Goldfinch
Winter plumage transition, with the circled bird complete with Winter Plumage
Completed Winter Plumage seen 11-3-2016, Big Cottonwood East Park
Again, Summer Plumage followed by...
Winter plumage of American Goldfinch
As White-crowned Sparrows appear in Autumn, Juveniles look like this
However, their plumage change is unrelated to climate. Instead it is associated with Maturation!
Adult White-crowned Sparrow
Another example of an adult...
My primary purpose for this series is to illustrate what happens to the
Yellow-rumped Warbler in terms of Breeding vs Winter plumage.
Breeding plumage, showing the yellow crown.
Below, a fine example of Breeding Yellow-rumped Warbler for comparison!
Yellow-rumped Warbler, Winter Plumage!
Another example of Breeding Plumage...
In contrast to Winter Plumage!
October 1, 2016
A 2nd encounter with the Gray Catbird at Big Cottonwood Park...
Another encounter with an Orange-crowned Warbler as well...
But I was especially delighted to discover a Cassin's Vireo that provided me with this nice series , up close and personal!
My favorite image of this bird...
September 30, 2016
A recent post of a Hummingbird catching flying insects, was popular enough for me to post another similar series, same location (Big Cottonwood Park) on another day!
September 23, 2016
Big Cottonwood Park has become alive with migrating birds at this time, such as this Warbling Vireo!
A Cooper's hawk is seen routinely...
Lots of Hummingbirds....!
An extraordinary migrant for this park, a Sage Thrasher!
Here is a very cooperative Orange-crowned Warbler!
I discovered the Hummingbirds were actively feeding in-flight, capturing flying insects!
I located 2 different Flycatchers, and I believe this one is a Western Wood Pewee!
Along with a (I believe...) Hammond's Flycatcher!
And, finally, here is another offbeat migrant at the Park... a Gray Catbird, located in the same general vicinity as the earlier Canada Warbler (as can be seen in the post below this one)
September 11, 2016
Yesterday I had the best access to the rare Canada Warbler so far!
I'm pleased with the results!
Here are a few images from yesterday afternoon!
September 8, 2016
I finally had some time this morning, to pick up my camera and look for a rare "Canada Warbler", discovered and reported yesterday by Kenny Frisch, in "Big Cottonwood Park".
There were several other birders looking for the bird with no luck; but while I was alone, I briefly located the bird in direct sunlight.
However, this Canada Warbler was extremely difficult to photograph!
My locating the bird today occurred at 9:30 A.M. and only lasted about 3 minutes!
Below is my best image, showing the distinctive eye-ring and equally distinctive is the white undertail covert!
I included this image, since it shows the white undertail covert as well.
In Utah, white undertail coverts depict rare Warblers!
I now have images of 3 rare (for Utah) Warblers, each distinguished by having white undertail coverts:
1) the above Canada Warbler, discovered by Kenny Frisch.
2) Below is my Tennessee Warbler I discovered several years ago in Big Cottonwood Park, just a few hundred yards from the current Canada Warbler. (You can see multiple images from 2013 Utah Bird Records by clicking HERE)
3) Some years ago, Kristin Purdy discovered a Prothonotary Warbler along the lower Weber River, that was enjoyed by a sizable number of local birders.
Below is one of my results:
So, in the future when looking for Warblers, I'll trade the musical phrase: "Look for the Silver Lining" and sing "Look for the White Undertail Coverts"!
July 23, 2016
A walk along the Murray/Jordan River Parkway was very rewarding!
An adult Cooper's Hawk perched in a nearby tree!
A male California Quail peeked out at me, from high atop a tree!
A Belted Kingfisher was scanning the pond, looking for fish...
It dived upon a fish, but wasn't successful!
But the most exciting experience for me was to encounter a 2-point Buck Mule Deer foraging!
The Buck finally sauntered across the shallow water and moved away in the direction of the nearby Jordan River.
July 18, 2016
Bird photography has taken a 'back seat' for a time, with only a cooperative Western Tanager male at Silver Lake, Brighton UT. to display!
This little guy had been exposed to so many hikers, that it paid little attention to me and my camera (fortunately!).
Framed in pine foliage...
Here he is in broad mid-day sunlight, vocalizing beautifully!
Many new images are now in my portfolio from this cute bird!
June 22, 2016
Big Cottonwood Park still has several Soras,
And although they are at times very vocal, they aren't likely to be seen!
This particular Sora is the only one I've ever photographed in the act of swimming!
Lesser Goldfinches are plentiful in the Park, although other species are not.
A lone male Brown-headed Cowbird was vocalizing high atop a tree...
A Sharpshinned Hawk flew over, carrying its dinner, an unfortunate bird!
June 18, 2016
A Great Egret, from Asilomar State Beach, California provided me with some great images on an overcast (Marine Layer) day!
These birds are HUGE, being 39" tall with a wing-span of 51"
This Great Egret provided me with plenty of extraordinary images, including these with its complete reflection!
We see them in Utah somewhat frequently in such places as the
Bear River Migratory Refuge, and Farmington Bay Wildlife Management Area!
June 10, 2016
Big Cottonwood Park East currently has a small population of Soras; and it wouldn't surprise me if they are nesting there as they did a few years ago!
Most often they are very shy... difficult to observe in their settings!
However, yesterday I had a Sora provide me with some Out-Standing (pun) images!
The bird appeared out in the open long enough for the following series!
This final image is my favorite!!
June 5, 2016
My walk along the Murray/Jordan River Parkway produced a few interesting critters...
A first-of-year Olive sided Flycatcher
A male Brown-headed Cowbird...
a male California Quail, hiding in a tree...
A FOY Spotted Sandpiper... foraging in shallow water
This sandpiper had something in common with...
A silly CAT that had decided to forage the same way!!!
With a muddy chin, it was intently glaring at some unforseen morsel!
Such fun... for a CAT!
Here it had submerged its snout to grab a stick!
Which it brought out of the water, looking for some delicacy.
Finally, with muddy paws, it retreated to dry land to discover me and my camera!
May 25, 2016
At Big Cottonwood Park East, with a little diligent searching, you might find a gorgeous male Bullock's Oriole (or two!).
Below is a series showing the bird working feverishly to locate and collect insects (assuming there are fledglings close by)...
All of these images are compromised in quality due to the feverish pitch this bird manifested while foraging for a family!
May 22, 2016
The throngs of Western Tanagers have exited Big Cottonwood Park, leaving behind such birds as:
male American Goldfinch
and plenty of Audubon's Yellow-rumped Warblers!
May 15 2016
Finally, Big Cottonwood Park East has some new birds... some migrants and some who will nest there!
For several days, I've been enjoying an unbelievable number of Western Tanagers there...
Also there, to nest, are multiple numbers of Black-headed Grosbeaks!
Yellow-rumped Warblers are there in good numbers...but they aren't easy to photograph!!
There have been several female Lazuli Buntings, with no males being seen yet!
female Lazuli Bunting
Bullock's Orioles, such as this male, are present, and likely to nest there.
But the most enjoyable migrant, to me is the Western Tanager!
I've only seen 2 females among dozens of male Western Tanagers!
Female Western Tanager
Northern Rough-winged Swallows are seen there...
Here's another male Black-headed Grosbeak from yesterday.
The Western Tanagers are extremely busy foraging (including the process of catching insects in flight, like Flycatchers do).
I was fortunate to see just a few Tanagers that would hold still for a photograph...
With this one being my favorite!
May 6, 2016
I'm now seeing some expected migrant birds appearing where I walk...
Male American Goldfinch...
Murray/Jordan River Parkway
Black-headed Grosbeak male from Big Cottonwood Park East
Male Western Tanager, Big Cottonwood Park East.
Female Western Tanager, same park...
Northern Rough-winged Swallow, Jordan Parkway
Non-migrating birds are active also.
"Alien" Eurasian Collared Dove, Jordan Parkway
April 29, 2016
On the Murray/Jordan River Parkway trail going southward, just before you go under the bridge at Interstate 215, you might encounter a colony of Ground Squirrels in the open field!
April 21, 2016
The Murray/Jordan River Parkway is temporarily my favorite walk these days, with new birds practically every time I visit there!
A pair of Cinnamon Teal, on the river, late to migrate!
The area has lots of Northern Red-shafted Flickers nesting!
On Mill Race Pond, a Great Blue Heron lifted off as I arrived.
A pair of Killdeer were nesting near the pond...
Nice birds to photograph...
This Killdeer feigned being wounded, to distract people with dogs!
The river has several Belted Kingfishers, this one being a male.
And, finally... Northern Rough-winged Swallows are back!
April 20, 2016
Concluding my earlier Mill Race Park Pond photo-success,
here is a series of FOY Swainson's hawk being harassed by an American Kestrel!
Finally rid of the pesky Kestrel!
Another FOY bird, a Caspian Tern hitting the pond surface after a trout
The Tern was successful; and while it exited, an American Pelican decided to try and steal the fish!
but was unsuccessful!
The Caspian Tern circled, gaining altitude...
The bird attempted to swallow the fish while in flight.
The bird succeeded in devouring the fish while in mid air.
April 17, 2016
Yesterday, on my walk along the Murray/Jordan river Parkway, I had numerous opportunities to photograph interesting new birds, which I will post as time allows.
This post features FOY Ospreys I located at Mill Race Pond.
A lone Osprey had settled in a tree overhanging the pond...
Other birds became my objective until a 2nd Osprey
appeared above me!
I noticed (as you might already have done), this Ospreywas banded!
It had bands on both legs. The left leg sported a blue-white band with:
"M2" clearly legible!
The banded bird decided to rest on a power pole some distance from the original Osprey, still perched in its tree.
Eventually, the 2nd bird became airborne and plucked a fish out of the pond. Here you see it with both bands distinctly seen. This bird exited the area.
The original bird (no bands) became airborne, tried to capture fish, but was unsuccessful, and ended up in the tree as I exited
More to come, showing other interesting behavior with other birds!
April 15, 2016
On a heavily overcast day, I encountered this Red-tailed Hawk high atop the tallest power pole, a short distance from the Murray/Jordan river Parkway path.
I was impressed with the interesting feather pattern on its breast.
The next images are a series of the bird in flight.
Not the best of lighting conditions, but I'm thankful for what I had!.
April 11, 2016
The Jordan River Parkway continues to reward me with new birds as I exercise there!
2 Double-crested Cormorants sunning above the river...
A close-up of one...
A male Downy Woodpecker was busy constructing a (hole) nest!
Later, the bird had disappeared, but the 'nest' was remarkable!
A 'light-morph' Red-tailed hawk soared overhead...
A male Belted Kingfisher captured the smallest "Dojo" (Asian Weatherfish) I've ever seen, downing it almost immediately!
This male was in the process of 'courting' a female close by...
Another male was seen landing on a high limb on this dead tree.
The bird employed its "Alula feathers" (atop the wing on either side) to Stall while landing.
The male sat, watching for fish activity below...
I was delighted to locate a Merlin... here in the process of landing
I'm venturing a guess that this is a juvenile TAIGA Merlin.
On the lookout for a meal...
He saw something below!
and was on his way!
April 6, 2016
A stroll along the Jordan river provided me with some photo-opportunities...
A Double-crested Cormorant landed, using its tail to slow its speed!
The Cormorant began catching recently-stocked Trout!
A back-lit male Mallard provided me a "stop-action" flight opportunity...
A male Red-shafted Northern Flicker was doing some 'house-cleaning',
in anticipation of nesting!
Birds are in process of nesting, as seen here, with a Black-capped Chickadee collecting nesting material.
An American Crow was also collecting nesting material!
A female Belted Kingfisher had a mate nearby...
As seen here...
An American Robin stood stationary in the water for a long time before it...
began its bath!
A close-up of the activity reveals a rapid spinning of its head in the process of bathing!
A Muskrat casually swam away from me here.
April 1, 2016
Be on the lookout, on some of our deeper local fisheries here in the valley,
for: Male Red-breasted Merganser
This male is particularly "well-dressed" for breeding...
One of the best specimens I've ever encountered!
He settled down from a stretching episode!
March 30, 2016
Antelope Island traditionally has at least 2 species of birds that can be relied upon at this time of year!
The singing Western Meadowlark!
slightly overcast skies produce a nice photo-result!
March 23, 2016
Overcast conditions outside... I turned my attention towards a lovely orchid.
Using my trusty Nikon 300mm f4 PF lens and an off-camera flash, I created the image below!
(works extremely well for close-up as well as distance.)
March 22, 2016
An overcast, rainy day that provided 2 Cedar Waxwings!
March 21, 2016
A very few birds were available to me; however, 2 different species in flight was a treat!
Cedar Waxwing taking flight...
Red-winged Blackbird also...
3 separate "poses" from a Dark-eyed Junco: frontal view along with two "profiles"!
I've had my Nikon 300mm f4 E PF lens X 1.4 TC for over a year, and I continue to marvel over the sharp results!
March 18, 2016
March is the month that traditionally boasts the appearance of Hooded Mergansers at Mehreban Wetlands in Draper!
Hooded Merganser Pair
Female (left); 1st Year Male (right)
Adult Pair in flight...
Adult Male in flight...
Adult male (front); 1st year male (mid-distance); female (back)
Black-billed Magpie also seen
Cedar Waxwing, also there...
March 17, 2016
A look at some birds presently found at Big Cottonwood Park East...
Male Red-wing Blackbird
Female Red-wing Blackbird
Harlan's Red-tailed Hawk...
Spotted Towhee (3 views)
Backview, showing detail.
FOY Yellow-rumped Warbler (Myrtle)
Last, a Song Sparrow!
March 11, 2016
I've now photographed, for the 2nd time, a little-known Fox behavior called,
"A FOX DANCE"
It's spectacular to witness!
2 foxes stand on their hind legs, facing each other, with their front paws planted squarely on the opposing animal!
The most recent series is below...
A lone Fox saw another and quickly closed the distance between them.
This series was brief (approximately 10 seconds long); and suffers in quality due to distance and lighting.
The Foxes are in a "Fox Dance" position here!
There was no vocalization... all was quiet.
Less than 10 seconds and it was over.
BUT WAIT... THERE'S MORE!
In 2014 I captured a more successful and elaborate interaction that lasted minutes rather than seconds.
I've reproduced my "2014 Classic Fox Dance" here!
It was April, and a lone fox searched for a partner...
He located one, partially hidden in the April, 2014 foliage!
They encountered one another, appearing to fight, but with no vocalizing
Mouths agape, they took the traditional stance...
They began to rotate counter-clockwise!
These are just a few of my images from this experience!
They stopped, and saw me for the first time.
Below is a series of images depicting natural fox behavior.
A Fox on the run!!!
(Nothing chasing this critter; however he was moving FAST!)
Good detail here!
The whole series was over in such a short time!
Two sleeping foxes, basking in the morning sun...
One fox became alert...
A 3rd Fox approached, rousing both animals peacefully
The newcomer was allowed...
They noticed me...
providing me with a nice series, seen below!
I prefer not having animals staring at me...
But this trio 'posed' for me!!
Finally, back to Fox business, and ignoring me...
Sunshine and warmth brought sleep again!
It's approaching Springtime; and here was a male Red Fox, moving aggressively toward a cowering female.
The male's aggressive stance has softened a bit here... the same with the more relaxed female.
At this point, the pair became "touchy-feely"!
However, romance disappeared as they discovered an oncoming intruder!
A lone adult decided to join the pair!
The 3 Red Foxes wandered off together at this time...
toward the location of a solitary SCREAMING Vixen!
Another set shows 2 different foxes "under the influence" of approaching Spring!
They were watching other foxes moving about...
One "sly fox" appeared at the far right of the frame!
Close-up of the intruder and the female Fox
March 2, 2016
A brief interlude with a busy White-breasted Nuthatch!
March 1, 2016
A brief encounter with a few Red-breasted Nuthatches netted me these images!
Posts for the year 2016 can be seen by clicking on the links below:
POSTS FOR THE YEAR 2015 CAN BE SEEN BY CLICKING ON THE LINKS BELOW:
(includes my Utah-Mandarin Studies)