Mantua birding extravaganza

Sherrie and I went to Mantua Reservoir one afternoon this week with a two-fold purpose: do some walking around the lake, and see some birds (and hopefully get some good photos). We were not disappointed in either regard.

We saw some water birds, as expected. I didn’t know what it was at the time, but we saw a few Common Loons:

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and this cool-guy Black-necked Stilt:

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and the obligatory mallards:

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I managed to catch a Forster’s Tern diving into the lake; I believe he came up empty-handed, so to speak:

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We were amazed at the number of Western Tanagers we saw–we must have seen at least a hundred. Here are a couple shots:

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Lots of bugs at the lake also means lots of swallows flying about; here’s the Tree version:

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we saw some Barn versions as well, but I didn’t get a good shot. We saw some Goldfinches, and I got a view of one about to take a bath down by the water (or looking for bugs–one of the two):

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We also saw the Eastern Kingbird. No, that’s not a mis-identification. During breeding season, the Eastern Kingbird’s range extends just into Idaho and Northern Utah. He is uncommon in Utah:

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But the highlight of the day, saving the best for last, was that we saw a Bald Eagle nesting pair! Here are my favorites:

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It was quite fun to see all those birds! Unless you have binoculars (or a long lens on a camera), you don’t often appreciate the beautiful colors our feathered friends display.

It was the slowest walk around the lake we’ve ever had, but it was a fun day.

COVID-19: Backyard birding!

COVID-19 has caused Sherrie and me to stay at home a lot. We’ve spent some time hiking; yesterday we went to Green Canyon in the Logan area:

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We did the 8-mile up and back to the Yurt. It was a fun hike, but the bottoms of our feet were a little sore by the end–we need to hike some more!

We also went up above Mantua on the side-by-side a week or so ago and got stuck in a snow drift:

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but that’s a (not-so interesting) story for another day.

What I want to write about today is the fun we’ve been having spotting birds from our backyard. It is Spring, and the birds are movin’! We’ve spotted some old favorites:

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as well as some new friends we’ve not often seen around here:

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and

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as well as:

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All of these, and a few others, I identify on my photography blog; take a look if you’re not sure what they are. Stop by sometime and let me know what you think of those and my other photos.

So, if the COVID’s got you down, take a step outside, look into the trees, and see if you can meet some new friends!