Friday, October 05, 2012

Last Antelope Island trip this year

I figured Jasper and I could make one last photography visit for the year to both Antelope Island and Farmington Bay. We won't go again until the cold of winter, hopefully to find lots of Bald Eagles.

This first series of photos are all Avocets. They are such cool looking birds and there wasn't much else of interest along the Causeway.
The water on the north side of the Causeway was great for reflections.  The south side had too much glare and more waves.
So cool when they fly...
You probably have to double click on this one to see it, but the Avocet in the back looks like he's barking out orders to the three in front.  It reminded me of a track coach barking at his training runners.
The bison were everywhere, but this one really stood out.  He was wearing a bouquet of pretty yellow flowers on his right horn.  Although it looked very decorative, he didn't seem that happy with it.  Try as he might, he couldn't get them off.
This shot of a Red Tailed Hawk was almost an accident.  I had been trying to get a shot of him, but he flew off too far.  I was about to put the camera away when I noticed he kept flying near the moon.  He's a very, very long ways off so it isn't a great shot, but the idea worked out pretty well.
I was getting whiny because I hadn't seen any coyotes.  Suddenly one walked out onto the road in front of me and laid down.  Too weird.  My best guess is that the pavement was warm on a chilly morning.  I think he would have let me get a lot closer, but a big truck came from the other direction and scared him off
Once I found the first one, I found a lot more.  This is the closest I have come to my holy coyote grail picture of one pouncing while hunting prey.  The sot is from quite a distance, through some grass, and he didn't get much air, but it was a pounce and it was successful.
I grabbed a bite to eat at the Buffalo Island Grill, which is the only eating establishment in the park.  I finished, got back in the car, and 200 yards down the road spotted another coyote.  You can really tell that they are trading in their scraggly summer fur for their big winter coats.
In Farmington Bay, there wasn't much happening.  The ducks, grebes and herons were all too far away.  This Meadowlark was very cooperative though.
I didn't see any eagles yet (too early) but there must have been a dozen Harriers and a pair of hunting Osprey.
The fall migration is just about done. The leaves are all losing their color. The temperatures are dropping into the 20s in Park City tonight.  I think my wildlife photography will probably decrease to a few local moose until winter.
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