Finally made it to the Bear River Migratory Bird Wildlife Refuge in Brigham City, Utah. They are just completing paving a 12 mile dirt road from their Visitor Center, near the I-15, to their old Visitor Center near a 12-mile unpaved loop around a freshwater impoundment. That makes a 36 mile auto tour route, counting the return trip back over the paved road. It really is an incredible refuge.
Above, a series of pictures of part of the grebe courtship ritual. Grebes carry their young under their back feathers while they swim around.
While some birds are just starting to nest, saw some young American avocets and killdeers.
A huge number of pelicans nest on an island on the Great Salt Lake. They come to the fresh water marshes at the refuge for food and water.
There was intermittent rain, along with snow in the nearby mountains my first few days at the refuge. The swallows (cliff I think) were swarming to get mud and build nests.
The rainy weather alternated with temps in the 70′s, causing concern for flooding from snow melting and adding water to the already saturated ground.
The warm weather also brought lots of bugs. After just driving the paved road during the rain, ventured out on the dirt road loop when it warmed up. Wanted to take a lot of pictures, but my truck was always surrounded by hoards of midges. Locals drove with their windows down and laughed at out-of-towners unnerved by the bugs.
Saw dozens of Western kingbirds. The kingbirds and swallows should have no shortage of food (bugs).
Muskrats are supposed to be a sign of a healthy marsh.
On an off-topic, happened to watch the movie Hereafter. While I didn’t really care for the movie, was surprised when the character played by Matt Damon was shown to like to listen to Charles Dickens’ books. I have just about gone through all of this prolific writer’s books, either listening to a free download read by my Kindle or to an Audible edition on my iPod. A lot of the same themes run through the books and they have happy endings, or at least you are told what happens to all the characters. People in England during this period seem to have drunk a lot of alcohol and eaten a lot of meat.