Although seeing the Sage Grouse Lek made my trip, my last day was capped off when I found several Avocets just south of Burns, a place I’ve never looked before. As I mentioned earlier the refuge itself is in the throes of a drought, but it had rained hard the week before I was there and the farms fields, probably because they been watered regularly during the drought, were all flooded, as well as the fields directly next to the sewage plant.
And, although I didn’t see the number of Avocets I’ve seen on the refuge in previous years, I got a lot closer to them than I’ve previously been able to do on the refuge. Even the sun seemed to be cooperating as I made my way home.
I usually see Avocets in shallower water than this, so I wonder if the water didn’t give them a greater sense of safety because instead of skittering away from me, they proceeded to swim directly toward me.
and then turn just in time to offer a good profile shot.
Although they seemed to become a little more cautious as they approached, they continued to wade toward me,
making it relatively easy to get some of the best shots I’ve ever gotten of them before.
In the end I had so many good shots that I had a hard time deciding which ones to put up, a problem I’d be more than happy to have all the time.