2017-08-17 Antelope Island (Part 1 of 4)

White-Lined Sphinx Moth - Hyles lineata

I fell in love with Antelope Island in the spring of 2015 when introduced by friends Ron and Mia, so when my new friend Joe suggested we spend the day there, neither Jerry or I protested. In fact, we followed up with a second visit the next day.

Depending on the water level in the Great Salt Lake, Antelope Island alternates between an “island” and a “peninsula”. Even with the present day low water in the lake, the exposed mudflats to the south provide a sufficient barrier to isolate the island from any overland approach.

The history of this island is long and includes a visit by Kit Carson and John Fremont in 1845. In 1969 the State of Utah bought 2000 acres at the north end of the island and build a two-lane road over a causeway connecting the island to the communities east of the island. A present day drive over the causeway often rewards the traveller with encounters of large numbers of birds. On our visit there were Red-Necked Phalaropes numbering in the millions, with a few Wilson’s Phalaropes mixed in. California, Ring-Billed and Franklin’s Gulls shared the scene, along with avocets, willets, curlews and swallows.

I gathered too many images during our stay on the island to share all at once, so I’ve broken the story into four parts: Phalaropes, Gulls, Swallows, and “Other Stuff”. I’m starting off with the latter set. Included today are images of American Avocet, Chuckar, Cordillerian (or Western) Flycatcher, Lark Sparrow, Western Meadowlark, and Willet. We went looking for hummingbirds on Rocky Mountain Bee Plants, but only found humming bugs (White-Lined Sphinx Moth). Spiders, Butterflies and deer found their way into this image set.

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