~Yellow-headed Blackbird~

Monday, June 30, 2014

Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge

 

High above the marsh as we walk along the boardwalk toward the entrance to the bird refuge, tall reeds wave gently in the breeze below, showing off their summer colors. 

I can hear birds singing. As we stop to take in the surrounding beauty, I spot Barn Swallows performing their acrobatics, Dragonflies trying to stay out of their reach and these gorgeous Yellow-headed Blackbirds singing their welcome.

There are several and we are delighted. It has been many years since we have seen the Yellow-headed Blackbird. The brightly colored males are sitting among  the swaying reeds, showing off their handsomeness for us. 

The lovely female, with her muted patch of gold, is busy catching Dragonflies for her babies. We stand in awe watching these birds. Finally, the female becomes brave, perhaps knowing we are not a threat, and delivers her mouthful of bugs to her babies.

Down she goes into the reeds and out of sight. We can’t see the nest even though we try diligently to get a glimpse; they have done a masterful  job of hiding their nursery.

Yellow-headed Blackbird (male)
Yellow-headed Blackbird
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Its a warm day and the birds are hot
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Looking for bugs
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Sitting proudly
Female Black-headed Blackbird
Yellow-headed Blackbird (female)
Got a bug!
Got a bug!
Down she goes to feed her baby.
Down she goes to feed her baby.
Near the Visitor Center
Near the Visitor Center

 

For all you birders out there, please go to the Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge web-site and take a look! Better yet, if you are ever in this area stop in for a visit, you won’t be disappointed. It is located just north of Willard, Utah.  I know you will enjoy seeing this gorgeous refuge.

 

Sharing with: Wild Bird Wednesday

http://paying-ready-attention-gallery.blogspot.com

 

 

~Willard Bay State Park and Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge~

 

Willard Mountain
Willard Mountain

We enjoyed this view of Willard Mountain from our site.

 

Willard Bay State Park, Site 61
Willard Bay State Park, Site 61

Willard Bay is a  lovely Utah State Park with nice pull-thru and back-in sites. Lots to do in this park, one of which is to walk down a trail to Willard Bay and enjoy swimming, fishing and boating. Wish I had time to write more about the park, but I don’t.

If interested go out to their web-site http://stateparks.utah.gov/park/willard-bay-state-park and learn more about this state park.

The only complain about the park is traffic noise, because it is located just off I-84.

One of the first things you notice upon entering the small town of Willard is how quaint and clean it is. Same goes for Willard Bay State Park and the lovely, historical town of Brigham City just to the north. We spend two nights at Willard Bay and I wish we would have had more time to tour around the area.

 

A small bog in the park
A small bog in the park

The  park, with its large selection of trees and scrubs, offers great nesting and food sources  for the birds.

 

~

Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge
Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge

 

On our second day we took a ride to Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge just to the north toward Brigham City. I admit, I haven’t been to a lot of refuges, but Bear River is one of the most beautiful I have ever seen. In the Hansen educational center we watched a film showcasing the importance of this refuge for migrating birds and others that nest here.The film was breathtaking!

Please go out, if interested, and read about this Refuge at http://www.fws.gov/refuge/bear_river_migratory_bird_refuge.

 

James V. Hansen Wildlife Education Center
James V. Hansen Wildlife Education Center

 

"Welcome to the Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge"
“Welcome to the Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge”

Cliff  Swallow

 

"Welcome to the Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge"
“Welcome to the Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge”

A White Pelican

 

Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge
Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge

It must be spectacular to visit in the spring and fall when the refuge is filled with thousands of migrating birds!

~

Local Bing Cherries
Local Bing Cherries

 

As the locals told us “the cherries are on, so make sure you stop and get some”.  Well that is exactly what we did. After leaving the bird refuge we found one of the recommended fruit stands and purchased not only Bing Cherries, but some Apricots. The landscape, in this area, is filled with Cherry Trees.

~

 

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I took lots of photos while visiting the refuge and I look forward to sharing this beautiful area with you!

~Rock Springs, WY to Willard, UT~

A most beautiful Rest Area off of I-84
Beautiful Utah

We spent last night surrounded by dry, baron, landscape in the booming town of Rock Springs, Wy. No pretty scenery or lush grass to gaze upon. For those of you who have stayed in this town you know what I am talking about.

It was however entertaining watching as RV after RV drove into this KOA looking for a place to stop for the night. We normally don’t stay at private RV parks, but this was a convenient location for us to stop on our first night out.

What else was there to do, but watch the RV park fill up with all types of RV’s.

We observed rigs stopping in front of the office, people going in and coming right back out and then watching as they turned their rigs around heading back to I-80 with, I assume, hopes of finding a place to spend the night on down the road.

Lots of people RV’ing this time of year! It is a good idea to make reservations if you can!

This morning, as we continued west, the landscape became green and mountainous and in places fast flowing river water carried happy floaters down stream. Looked like a lot of fun.

We passed fields with cows, horses, llamas, goats and sheep all grazing on tall, summer grass. Howard saw some Big Horn Sheep, but I missed them!

Here we are stopped at one of the most beautiful rest areas we have ever seen.

Stopped at one of the most beautiful Read Areas - Utah off of I-84
Utah off of I-84

We turned from I-80 onto I-84.  Our destination, Willard Bay State Park, which is located just north of Ogden and south of Brigham City. What a beautiful drive this was and more on this state park later.

 

Utah, I84
I wonder who lives here? Do you see the house?
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Gorgeous rock formations, just what Utah is known for

The above photos were taken at the Rest Area. I have tried to take photos while riding down the road, but I am never satisfied with them. I was lucky we stopped at this rest area today.

 

American Robin
American Robin (young)

As we sat outside at our camp site today, we had a visitor, an American Robin. He would run around, plop down to sunbathe for a few minutes, then get up and start running around some more!

 

A camp site visitor
A camp site visitor

The photos below were taken while taking a walk around the campground this afternoon. I had to add some close-ups! (didn’t have my macro lens with me).

 

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We will spend one more day at Willard Bay State Park to go sightseeing!

 

 A fun day! 

~As the song goes “On the Road Again”~

 

White Puffy Clouds
White Puffy Clouds

This morning we left Loveland, Colorado, destination Oregon! 

It is fun to be back on the road again, but oh so soon after just arriving back home! Oh well – life is calling!

We have been planning a westward trip for several summers and finally, this summer, we are heading west. It has been several years since we were on the Oregon Coast and we are looking forward to our visit.

After we leave the Coast we are heading to Glacier!

We have never been there, so this trip will be extra special!

Today we travelled scenic Colorado Highway 287 from Fort Collins, CO to I-80.

It was a gorgeous day. Breathtaking backdrops for our leisurely drive today, were the spectacular Rocky Mountains. Deep, blue skies with white puffy clouds provided striking contrasts.

With all the spring rain, the country side is filled with lush greenery as far as the eye can see.

Here and there, white and rusty colored bodies could be seen grazing on the bountiful grasses. Grouping of Antelope, some with new borns, provided a little entertainment.

Our only complaint was the wind.

Once we hit Wyoming and turned west, on I-80, we encountered strong wind with gust up to 40 miles per hour. Not fun!

After spending a lot of time getting things ready to leave, I am now back to blogging!  I intend to stop by some of my favorite blogs, visit new ones, contribute with photos on those I enjoy and plan to post a few about our travels west.

 

Hopefully, I will be making music with my friends and will have beautiful things to write about and take photos of.

On the road again
written and recorded by Willie Nelson

On the road again just can’t wait to get on the road again

The life I love is making music with my friends

And I can’t wait to get on the road again

On the road again like a band of gypsies we go down highway

We’re the best of friends insisting that the world keep turning our way

And our way is on the road again just can’t wait to get on the road again

The life I love is making music with my friends

And I can’t wait to get on the road again

On the road again goin’ places that I’ve never been

Seein’ things that I may never see again

And I can’t wait to get on the road again

On the road again like a band of gypsies we go down highway

We’re the best of friends insisting that the world keep turning our way

And our way is on the road again just can’t wait to get on the road again

The life I love is making music with my friends

And I can’t wait to get on the road again

Enjoying retirement: On The Road & At Home