Friday, October 4, 2013

Two new birds -- to me, at least

I finally got out to Antelope Island for a little birding one evening this week.  I really wanted to get to Bear River before the opening of duck hunting (this weekend), but it was not to be.  It was a lovely evening on the island and I had success seeing two birds new to me.  The Sabine's Gulls are apparently a novelty if not totally rare in Utah.  Three had been reported near the second bridge.  Driving over, I was daunted by the large numbers of Eared Grebes and Wilson's Phalaropes spread out over the water and thought I would never find those gulls.  But on the way back, I stopped for another look and found all three right by the bridge.

At Garr Ranch, they had closed the gates for the night, but since they aren't locked, I let myself in and started to wander to the little woods behind the ranch house.  I was hoping to see a couple of different owls that had been reported.  However, I felt nervous there alone and decided to abandon that idea.  A couple of women were near the parking lot looking at some birds and I was lucky enough to get some pictures of an Audubon's Warbler (western version of the Yellow-Rumped Warbler).  I don't know warblers and haven't studied up on them, so this was a treat.  A large flock was hopping in and around the trees there, but I was lucky enough to get a few good photos.

Here are some shots from my evening.

Audubon's Warbler (Yellow-Rumped Warbler)

 Sabine's Gull among some Wilson's Phalaropes
 Two more Sabine's Gulls among the phalaropes.
 A bison who was right next to the road and inexplicably leaning up against a rock.
 Two-point mulie, also right next to the road and showing no desire to run away.
 And of course, if it's sunset as I'm leaving the island, I'm surely going to grab a shot.

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