Rainy morning at Bear River Refuge.

The only new thing I saw at the Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge, just north of Salt Lake City, was a ring necked pheasant (the blurry photo above). We saw several from far away but they were very skittish and would dart under the bushes when they saw us drive nearby.

The scenery was beautiful with the mountains in the background. The refuge is a one-way 12 mile drive where the fresh water Bear River meets the northeast section of the Great Salt Lake. It should have been full of ducks and birds but two things were not in our favor. The long drought and a recent prescribed burn. We saw very few animals. Actually a third thing since this was the only day we say rain, it drizzled the entire time we were there. The sun peaked out quickly right before we were leaving.

The rental jeep was filthy due to the mud on the gravel drive. We stopped at a car wash before heading back to the hotel.

A big statue of an avocet in the nature center.

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Birds at the Atlanta Botanical Gardens

This young Carolina wren was hopping all over the place.

Usual birds: a sparrow, robin and baby mockingbird.

 

A rare bird for me, one that I don’t see in my area of Florida is the American Goldfinch. There were several in the back of the gardens eating the flowers.

I saw several hummingbirds buzzing around but I could only catch this one.

Lots of little critters at the Atlanta Botanical Gardens during my trip in August.

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Little critters at Rocky Mountain Arsenal Park

These little prairie dogs were so cute. I know, they are just cuter gophers or maybe more like meerkats. We just sat in our car and watched them run around for a while. These shots are all extremely cropped up. They were pretty far out in the field and if I opened my door they would all scurry into the holes.

My first ever coyote sighting. He was also pretty far away.

A few birds along the road: pigeon, meadowlark, kestral and a sparrow of some type.

Some of the critters we saw during our drive through Rocky Mountain Arsenal Park in Denver. I think if I lived here I would always be cruising through here.  Lots of critters to see roaming around. It was near our hotel so we drove through quickly before getting dinner. We also saw bison and deer so more on those later.

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More of the same

A red shoulder hawk greets me as I walk on the trail. Right after I shot the hawk, an eagle flies high over my head.

A snowy egret skimming along the marsh and a great blue heron posing.

I think this is a female indigo bunting. I had heard there were buntings in this part of the trail but I didn’t see any male blue ones.  Any confirmation?

One of the many sparrows that hangs out at the intersection of Heron Hideout trail and Eagles Roost trail. Not sure if it’s a Savannah or Swamp,

This little lady flew right in front of me and landed on the tiny stick. She sat there forever.

More black bellied whistling ducks in the marsh.

Same ole gators along the trail.

From my early November visit to Circle B Bar Reserve.

Linking to Wednesday Around the World

The Usual Suspects.

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The usual suspects along the trail: pied grebe, sparrow, palm warbler, cardinal, snowy egret and a hawk that looks half asleep.

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This very handsome common yellowthroat was posing nicely for me.

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An osprey bringing home padding for the nest.

The usual things at Circle B Bar Reserve in early January.

SkyWatch Friday

A late February walk at Circle B Bar Reserve

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Great blue herons were all over the park. Including several sitting on nests.

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A green heron was stalking something.

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A sparrow hiding in the bushes.

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The only black bellied whistling ducks I saw. The park use to be full of them. You could hear their whistling all over the park. I’m not sure why there are only a few now.

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The robins were scrounging on the ground for bugs.

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A lost royal tern. He should be at the beach.

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A wood stork showing off. He was actually moving his foot around on the ground to stir up the bugs, frogs or snakes to eat.

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A limpkin taking a break.

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I caught a blue gray gnatcatcher being still for just a second.

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A red shoulder hawk up high.

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A marsh rabbit on Marsh Rabbit Run trail.

A few things I saw on my walk at Circle B Bar Reserve.

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The funny farm.

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Pretty horses.

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Funny horse.

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A cross between a zebra and a horse?

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The duck wasn’t sneaking up on someone. He walked with a limp.

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I was concerned about this duck. I’ve never seen a duck sleep with his head on the ground.

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He eventually popped his head up. He was okay.

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Goose napping.

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King of the coup.

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King of the entire farm.

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Turtle train.

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Sparrow hanging around looking for a handout.

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The cow train.

More fun from my mid-February visit to the petting zoo/horse farm near my house. I stopped by again last Saturday and realized when summer comes, it’s going to be too hot to visit. On March 1st it was 80 degrees by noon. Where did winter go?

Typical and not so typical at Circle B Bar Reserve

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Typical green heron. He was not paying attention to me.

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Not so typical american bittern. They only visit in the winter and are usually really hard to find. Several other people were watching this one already.

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Typical little blue heron with a frog for breakfast.

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Typical blue wing teal. These are common here in the winter.

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They were trying to sleep.

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I think this is a savannah sparrow. Not that typical but not rare.

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The very typical black bellied whistling ducks. Looking cute as ever.

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Coming in for a landing.

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Not typical, my first virginia rail. He was being very allusive hiding in the reeds.

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Not a typical bird but a typical squirrel eating. Look at his little fingers holding that snack.

Things were quiet on this late January walk around Circle B Bar Reserve.

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Back at Circle B Bar Reserve after 5 months away.

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Sad picture but I think it’s the first time I’ve seen a yellow-bellied sapsucker here. I’ve only seen them in Atlanta.

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Blue gray gnatcatcher looking up as usual.

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I’m not sure what this is. He was deep in the bushes. I’m thinking a yellow warbler but that would be too easy.

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This looks like a palm warbler. They are pretty common here in the winter (which translates into “you’ll be seeing a ton of these on the blog”).

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Some type of sparrow. I think it’s a Savannah sparrow with that little bit of yellow around the eyes.

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The eastern phoebes have returned to their usual winter spot at the corner of Marsh Rabbit Run trail and Heron Hideout trail.

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The stork tree, out in the middle of the lake.

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Ring neck duck reflection. There has been one ring neck duck hanging around Wading Bird Way lately. I guess he’s waiting for all of his “snowbird” duck friends to get down here.

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This is the only alligator I saw on this trip. I know there are tons of them there.

This was my first trip back to Circle B Bar Reserve in Lakeland since May. It was early October so there still wasn’t a lot of migrating ducks there but there were a few little birds moving through. Seeing palm warblers, blue gray gnatcatchers and eastern phoebes means that winter is on its way. Now if only the heat would go away. Under 80 degrees would be nice. The park looked the same, except for the overgrown weeds along the trail. Those will die down once the cold weather hits. The park also recently mowed the trails so it’s good to see ahead and not to have to worry about alligators popping out in front of you. Soon I’ll be heading out there often.

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Tweeters and croakers at the Atlanta Botanical Gardens

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Not a tweeter or croaker but still cute. I think he thought I couldn’t see him behind that branch.

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Blue jay in the winter.

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Sparrows landing on the feeder at the gardens.

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The feeders were busy but mostly sparrows and blue jays.

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Inside one of the buildings was a tropical frog exhibit. These were all in indoor enclosures.

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Blue frog posing.

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This was an exotic frog inside. We did not see any of the outside frogs in the frog pond that morning. I think the air was too cold for them and they were hiding in the water until the sun came out.

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Mockingbird posing on an empty rose bush.

Just a few of the animals we saw on our pre-Christmas walk around the Atlanta Botanical Gardens.

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