I mentioned in an earlier post how my little one and I went fishing at Scofield Reservoir, about 100 miles south and east of Salt Lake City…and how we didn’t come home with any fish. We did come home with some photos of birds that we had never seen, though. Below is a Western Grebe, not to be confused with a Craig’s Grebe. The most significant difference, to my novice birder’s eye, is that the black hood goes below the eyes on the Western Grebe and remains above the eyes on the Craig’s Grebe.
The next two photos are of Sandhill Cranes…. It was unusual to see such large birds walking near a lake/reservoir way up in the Mountain West area of Utah. I have read that our region is along the migratory routes of many types of birds, but just hadn’t seen much of anything that fit the definition of such birds yet.
One of the sources that helped me identify the birds showed photos of large gray birds with the red forehead, so I thought I was wrong about their name, but then they also showed other photos similar to these guys, indicating that the migratory cranes are usually scruffier and brown, while still keeping their red forehead.
And lastly, here’s an American White Pelican…way the hell out in the mountains and hundreds of miles away from any ocean. The link states that they breed on lakes throughout the northern Great Plains and in the mountain west, but winter along the coast. I guess they can pretty much go wherever they want to. I thought it was nice to find them where we did. There appeared to be a huge flock of the large birds waaaay off in the distance, but this one was the closest I could capture for a clear photo.