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.

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