A Few of Leslie’s Shots from Bear River

Our trip to Bear River has been long enough ago that it seems more like a memory than an immediate experience, so I’ll wrap it up with four of Leslie’s shots that haven’t already been included.

We saw many goslings, but this was a favorite shot.

We also saw a lot of White-Faced Ibis, but this shot does a better job of showing off its varied colors than most of the others.

Hard to pick out a best shot of a Black-Necked Stilt since all the shots seemed show them foraging.

We generally take Northern Shovelers for granted, but this shot serves as a reminder of just how striking they are.

Pretty amazing how many shots we got on a “disappointing” trip.

Grebes “Foot-Shipping.”

Since we didn’t see a single grebe with babies, we wondered if the grebes we saw in pairs were courting.

That made us wonder if this strange lifting of their legs

was part of a courtship ritual.

Nope. A little online research revealed that this behavioris called “foot-shipping” and is even used by chicks to warm themselves. Makes sense since the water is cold and the rest of the body is insulated by feathers.

Great-Tailed Grackle

While watching the Forster Tern diving at the Bear River headquarters I heard a very unusual sound coming from a nearby post and looked around to see this Great-Tailed Grackle, a bird I’ve never even heard of before.

Great-Tailed Grackle

Clearly preoccupied with the circling tern, it ignored me as I snapped shots.

Great-Tailed Grackle

When it finally noticed me, it took off, clearly showing why it is named Great-Tailed.

Great-Tailed Grackle

Forster’s Tern at Bear River

I seldom stop at the Bear River Migratory Refuge headquarters, but I was fascinated by the birds we saw there on this trip, particularly this Forster's Tern.

I particularly liked the symmetry of this shot,

but there were so many good shots that I found it hard to choose between them.

Heck, I was even happy when the tern landed nearby and seemed to scold me for interfering with its hunting.