Mar. 21: 1st day of Spring! Count on cousin Steven Usher to bring us all together this day – with a challenge: send in a photo from your back yard. The Larson cousins (Primos) have been getting together and keeping in touch regularly since they grew up (did they really grow up?). Hence Steven’s communication which included folks from England to Ontario, BC, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Arizona, and Utah. So much fun!
Steven’s photo shows 2″ of new snow (after he’d seen the irises poking up their heads the day before.
Next Jane sent a photo from our balcony in Calgary, since she’s living there while we’re gone. Normally it is a great view of the Calgary downtown skyline. But thick ice fog has obscured everything!
Then from Lorne in Cambridge, England, his beautiful green yard.
Erling and Ann in Nanoose Bay, BC have (of course) goreous blooms.
From us here in Brigham City, UT – our Airstream with catkins raining down! (Temp about 20C). There are flowering trees all over the city – both white znd pink – as well as yellow forsythia bushes.
Desiree, who is also in beautiful Burnaby, BC, is enjoying a very green yard with a crow in it!
Joan and Norm are in Arizona at Organ Pipe Cactus Park – and here is a photo of Ocotillo in bloom (which I had in a previous blog!) with a few saguaro’s in the background. Temp’s around 30 C.
From Karen and Harold – one from their apartment in Swift Current…
and one from their farm near Hazlet. A new snowfall!
From Robyn and Palmer in Cochrane, a lovely sunny yard.
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Mar. 22: Heard a Robin singing in our RV park as we boarded our truck to head out. Also House Finches (though we’ve heard them throughout the winter). Great to hear the Robin!
Birded Bear River Migratory Bird Sanctuary. It is still a little early for many migrants, but we did see some nice sights.
One of the first birds we saw – just like a few years ago – were these Guineafowl. Whether they’re wild or not is another question. They sure are cool though!
The valley is wide and brown with hills on either side.
There are a few streaks of snow on some of the peaks. That’s a goose flying right.
There were indeed lots of Canada geese flying around. I always think to myself when I see them “good luck you guys – hope you make it!”.
We spotted 5 Sandhill Cranes a long way off. Here are 2.
Red-winged and Yellow-headed Blackbirds sang amongst the reeds.
And Marsh Wrens could be heard along the water’s edge, just like in Henderson, but many more!
We were very happy to add 2 new grebes to our list (which now stands at 270).
Western Grebes (courting)
…and Clark’s Grebe. In case you think they look the same, the red eye is exposed on a white background on the Clark’s. On Western it’s within the black.
There isn’t much cover for deer yet. Not until the grasses grow taller.
The midges are hatching at a great rate – making lots of food for birds. This Common Grackle was picking them off a sign (which said: PARK BETWEEN SIGNS ONLY).
Had to throw one in for Gallie – whose remains were scattered in Costa Rica by Dougall recently. We love you Dougall and still feel Ann’s spirit strongly!
Finally heard a Savannah Sparrows singing.
This Double-crested Cormorant is showing lovely orange face color, which accentuates his blue eye.
Mar. 23: Rainy and windy this morning, so work for Bill and laundry for me.
But in the afternoon we headed out to Antelope State Park, about 45 minutes south. A long causeway joins it to the mainland. It was clear when we left but lots of dramatic clouds around Started to rain on our drive, then sleet. Turned from 10C down to 5C. At least the front windshield got cleaned off (Bill didn’t do a great job cleaning it last time we filled up). So here are some scenery shots, showing the drama.
The grasses are all dried and brown and have not yet acquired any green. This weather should go far to start things off!
We didn’t see too much here, but acquired our target bird, Chukar! We saw 3 – they’re very common.
This place isn’t called Antelope Island for nothin’.
Sitting on top of a picnic cover – this California Gull begged for a photo (or was it for food?).
The dried fields are quite attractive I think.
The wind had picked up, the sleet was driving down and this poor Long-billed Curlew looked a bit bewildered.
We were happy to see a pair of Burrowing Owls in the nest sites which have been man-made for them. Only 1 pair though. They are so cute!
A couple of hours was enough for today. Home to hope for better weather tomorrow!
Mar. 24: Cloudy, rainy and windy. More work for Bill – the last of the laundry and cleaning for me, including defrosting the fridge. Tomorrow it’s a quick dash for home, with stops in Dillon and Shelby Montana. The weather looks promising for our trip home, with temp’s of 17 in Calgary by Friday!
Probably no more bird photos, so here ends this winter edition of the blog. More to come when we go to SK in May!