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2015-05-12 Two Days At Bear River

Yellow-Headed Blackbird - Xanthocephalus xanthocephalusThe Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge, west of Brigham City Utah is 80,000 acres of marsh, open water, uplands, and alkali mudflats. There is a one-way dirt track loop though the middle of it that offers some good view into the habitats where the Bear River drains into the Great Salt Lake. After my morning session at Antelope Island I drove to this location. Not satisfied that I’d gotten what I could from this reserve, I returned the following morning.

A high point for me, though it did not produce high quality images, was a meeting with a Sandhill Crane family group with two chicks. There were Red-Winged Blackbirds giving the cranes hell, relentlessly dive-bombing the crane’s head and back. The cranes were working the cat-tails and bulrushes along some grassy pastures and perhaps the were a real threat to the blackbirds nesting there. I watched the drama for about an hour hoping the birds would wander closer, but they did not. It was a nice visit none-the-less.

Some of the birds I photographed were American Avocet, American White Pelican, Barn Swallow, Brown-Headed Cowbird, California Gull, Canada Geese with young, Cinnamon Teal, Clark’s Grebe, Double-Crested Cormorant, Forster’s Tern, Great Blue Heron, Marsh Wren, Pied-Billed Grebe, Sandhill Crane, Red-Winged Blackbird, Western Grebe and Yellow-Headed Blackbird.

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