October 10, 2014 Willard Bay State Park, Utah

Bear River NWR
Bear River NWR

Bear River National Wildlife Refuge ???

I took a drive out to explore the Bear River NWR first thing this morning.

Peregrin falcon and breakfast
Peregrin falcon and breakfast

As always, click on any image for a larger, sharper version.

On the 12 mile road into the loop road around the refuge wetlands, I encountered a peregrine falcon on a fresh kill,

Ring necked pheasant
Ring necked pheasant
Ring necked pheasant
Ring necked pheasant
Ring necked pheasant
Ring necked pheasant

 

 

 

 

 

Ring necked pheasant
Ring necked pheasant

as well as several pair of ring necked pheasants and a few Northern Harriers. As with the falcon, I just couldn’t get close enough to get a decent shot of these colorful introduced game birds. I was told that these pheasants, though not native here, do breed on the refuge. I really hope to be able to figure out a way to get close enough to these very wary birds to get a nice shot of them.

Unfortunately, duck hunting season opened on October 4th and hunting is allowed on this refuge. Not real clear to me how “hunting” and “wildlife refuge” are compatible uses. I would like to make it clear that I am not anti-hunting, just think that a wildlife refuge should be just that, a refuge for wildlife, not a plot of land designed and maintained to attract birds to hunt, that would be the function of a hunting club or organization.

Needless to say, there were no ducks to be seen anywhere on the refuge, and this refuge looks like it would normally be a gold mine for photographing ducks and other wetland species. One of the best loop roads of any of the NWR’s I have been to.

Western Grebe pair
Western Grebe pair

Love those red eyes !

Western Grebe pair
Western Grebe pair

I did manage to get a couple of decent shots of a pair of western grebes who were paddling around in the reeds,

White Pelicans
White Pelicans
White Pelicans
White Pelicans
White Pelicans
White Pelicans

but, other than one small group of white pelicans and a gazillion coots, in the face of shotgun blasts going off every few moments, no other wildlife dared show its face out there today.

I have a 3 PM appointment in Riverdale to have the 30,000 mile service done for the Prius, so that pretty much shot the afternoon.

A Very Rare Two Headed Western Grebe
A Very Rare Two Headed Western Grebe

Forgot about my shot of the day, a very rare two headed western grebe, obviously struggling with deciding in which direction it wanted to go. 😉

Thank you for shopping Amazon from my site!

When you click through to shop Amazon from here, I get a tiny commission, one that does not in any way impact what you pay, and all those tiny commissions eventually add up and that helps me keep this blog going !