Friday, May 17, 2013

Antelope Island - An Owl bust

I decided to do a spring trip out to Antelope Island and see if I could snag some pictures of those cute little Burrowing Owls.  No such luck.  I didn't see a single one.  However, you can't go out to the island without seeing a lot of things to photograph.

My favorite bird along the causeway is the Avocet.  They are pretty standing around and gorgeous when they fly.
The color contrast and the long, curved bills make them so interesting.
I was watching a pair of them exhibit a very odd behavior.  Their heads are normally fairly high above the water with that long neck.  They appear to have a built in mechanism for getting a close look.  They flip their neck around so it is pointed down instead of up, but then their head would be upside down.  No worries, it turns a 180 on the neck, almost like an owls. Now you have a closeup view with the head still right side up.
This is the Chukar, an old hunting transplant to the island.  Sometimes you have to hunt for hours to get a good view of one.
Other times it seems a bit simpler, as long as you are looking where you are driving.
It wouldn't be Antelope Island without an antelope, although technically I think it is just called a Pronghorn, and not a Pronghorn Antelope.
I continue to be amazed that anyone would keep a boat in a body of water so shallow, and with three times the salinity of the ocean.  Perhaps you just throw it out at the end of every summer.
Antelope Island is famous for its Bison.  They are always around, but this is a great time to see them.  Most of the herd, other than a few rogue bulls, are all gathered together.
And in May, the herd includes a lot of little Bison calves.  By little, I mean a lot bigger than Jasper. I thought that it might be good exercise for both Jasper and the calves if I let him out of the car for a chase.
However, here is how most of the calves were protected.  That would be a calf laying down, with mom and dad about 6 feet away.  Needless to say, Jasper stayed in the car.
And we end with a little Killdeer I saw on the way home.  He kept looking up at the sky.  I finally guessed that he was watching a plane that was flying buy.  There was nothing else up there.
No owls. No coyotes.  Other cool stuff.  You have to like Antelope Island.
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