A Stop-over at Bear River Bird Migratory Refuge

I find it nearly impossible to drive past the Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge without stopping since I discovered it a few years ago, but I didn’t really have high expectations. The last time I drove through it in October I got a lot more mosquito bites than photographs. We stopped at a campground about 50 miles north of the refuge and planned on driving through early in the morning.

Leslie captured this shot of a hawk watching us watching it just outside the refuge.

I was a little surprised to see large flocks of Avocets in non-breeding colors as we approached the refuge since I thought they would have left by now.

Though it was the striking orange breeding colors that first attracted me to American Avocets and brought me to Bear River, seeing them in non-breeding colors made me look at them in different ways.

I was also surprised to see Clark Grebe’s with young this late in the season.

I wondered how long it would be before the young were ready to fly to their wintering grounds.

Although there weren’t nearly as many grebes as there were at the beginning of summer, there were still quite a few adults around so perhaps the young grebes have plenty of time to mature before they need to leave.

Though we have American Pipits in the Puget Sound, this is the first time I know that I’ve actually gotten a shot of one.

Bear River was a good way to start the last stretch of our trip to Broomfield.

What do you think?